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Just installed Ubuntu 18.04 on a MacBook Pro, mid-2009, 13" scren, Core2 Duo CPU and GeForce 9400 GPU. It took a little looking around and tinkering to install and get WiFi up and running after upgrading RAM to 4 GB to overcome hang issues.

The screen brightness controls do not function, can anyone please help?

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This solution works for a Macbook Pro with NVidia geforce card under Ubuntu 16 LTS:

In a terminal edit 'xorg.conf' file:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add a new commande line in "Device" Section (see below "#"):

Section "Device"
  Identifier     "Device0"
  Driver         "nvidia"
  VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
  BoardName      "GeForce 320M"

#This following line actually enables the brightness control
  Option  "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
EndSection

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