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Thread: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    after two weeks of trying, I'm still struggling to install Ubuntu 12.04.


    In brief:

    Machine: Apple macbook pro 5,1 which i've recently upgraded to Mac OSX 10.8.1 Mountain Lion, after upgrading the internal HDD.

    The optical disc is damaged or for whatever random reason, consistently spits out failed discs while reading or writing. So am not replacing that. Hence i've taken the route of trying to install 12.04 using a usb-stick and/or from a separate partition on my hdd.

    For this, i spent about 7 days researching into all issues. The two best methods are mentioned here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1329407

    and

    http://cweiske.de/tagebuch/ubuntu-on-macbook-air.htm

    Note: none of these are specific to my MacBook Pro 5,1 but the concepts are applicable.

    My status:

    1. Used gparted to add dos partition tables to a usb-stick.

    2. Used Unetbootin to install the mac-alternative.iso of 12.04 to the usb-stick.

    3. Created several partitions on my mac hdd, and in the fourth partition, used the powerful 'dd' command to install the image on the usb-stick to the internal hdd. at this stage, the first problem occured, my terminal just hung, the image was copied.

    4. restarted and synced rEFIT, which i installed a few days earlier, prior to installing ubuntu.

    4.Clicking on the 'tux' option in rEFIT i got the unetbootin option, but instead of booting a live version it just went into installing. So i did. it went through the steps, but showed errors while installing software apps, so had to skip that step, and also failed to install grub.

    5. on the restart, the tux logo shows up next to the mac os logo. clicking on it just leads to a black screen.

    6. holding down the option key, and rebooting, i get the boot from 'legacy OS' option. clicking on that i seem to get into loading, but the 'missing operating system' error pops up immediately.

    for sure, apple has made it extremely tough and challenging to install linux on their laptops.
    i've never experienced so much suffering in trying to install linux in the 14 years i've used it.

    the documentation on the ubuntu site also has nothing on how to install on the macbookpro 5,1 without an optical disc. Actually, am still eagerly looking forward to the documentation on how to install Ubuntu 12.04 on MacBookpro 5,1 on the official documentation wiki.

    Frustrated.

    I'm willing to start again, but could you please guide me what steps to use?
    Thanks for your help.

    Regards
    Niyam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    I can't help you but I'm having similar problems with my MBP 5,3. For some reason the ubuntu iso's (even the ones with +mac) simply won't work. I've heard that burning a CD is the way to go instead of a usb stick but I haven't tried that yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    You mean this CD?
    ubuntu-12.04.1-alternate-amd64+mac.iso

    In this case alternate refers to the fact that the CD is a text based installer, and is different from the desktop, live CD. The +mac bit refers to the fact that EFI booting has been disabled. If you want to boot a live CD in BIOS compatibility mode, then try this CD:

    ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64+mac.iso

    Alternatively you could try booting with EFI, which makes USB booting possible, but has some obscure GPU issues. In this case look for this CD:

    ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso

    And possibly read this blog post:

    http://myhumblecorner.wordpress.com/...acbook-pro-53/

    p.s. Did you check the CD integrity before installing?
    Last edited by davidryderuk; September 8th, 2012 at 08:43 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Quote Originally Posted by davidryderuk View Post
    You mean this CD?
    ubuntu-12.04.1-alternate-amd64+mac.iso


    er... yes, but mine does not have that 12.04.1 iteration, it's only 12.04. thanks for the heads-up. perhaps that's the culprit.


    In this case alternate refers to the fact that the CD is a text based installer, and is different from the desktop, live CD. The +mac bit refers to the fact that EFI booting has been disabled. If you want to boot a live CD in BIOS compatibility mode, then try this CD:

    ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64+mac.iso


    Alternatively you could try booting with EFI, which makes USB booting possible, but has some obscure GPU issues. In this case look for this CD:

    ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso


    okaie dokie. Here's what I'm doing. I've decided to simply erase all the partitions I created on my Mac's HD, save of course, the EFI, the Mac OSX, and the MAC OSX boot partitions that Apple decrees its users must have. Having said that, I find it strange I cannot delete the swap partition of 4GB that I had created earlier. But let's see what happens when I come to the fresh install stages again.

    Next, am downloading not one but four iso images, all 12.04.1 versions. At least hopefully one of them should work using the usb-stick or the special partition method:

    1. ubuntu-12.04.1-dvd-amd64.iso
    2. ubuntu-12.04.1-dvd-i386.iso
    3. ubuntu-12.04.1-alternative-amd64.mac.iso
    4. ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64.mac.iso

    am going to attempt the install starting with 4. then 3. then 2. then 1.
    after that i should probably take a sledgehammer to my macbookpro and buy an intel ultra book. but sadly, that is not an option. i do need Apple LogicPro and some other Mac software. sigh!



    And possibly read this blog post:

    http://myhumblecorner.wordpress.com/...acbook-pro-53/


    thanks for the link. this one for brave hearts. I don't qualify.


    p.s. Did you check the CD integrity before installing?
    nope. i know i should. let me start with the new install, and will post here again.

    thanks so much.

    regards
    niyam

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Oops! Some of my responses are in-line in the post above. Please find them there. Thanks. - Niyam

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    The ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64+mac.iso image *does* work. I'm typing this from a live boot of Ubuntu 12.04 from my MacBook Pro 5,1. Here's how I did it.
    1. Made fresh partitions on the Macbook Pro's internal HD. swap was the third partition, and a new partition i labelled 'BOOT' was the fourth. a fifth partition was 'Tux'.

    2. On the usb-stick, recreated the partition table by using gparted on an Ubuntu running on another laptop. Deleted all partitions on the usb-stick, then recreated the msdos partition-table.

    3. Created a fresh FAT32 partition on the stick, used Unetbootin on another generic laptop with linux, to install the *.iso mentioned above to that partition.

    4. Booted into the Mac OSX and used the dd command to clone the usb-stick's into the fourth partition. wait a while till the command-line gives you back the $ prompt. so far no errors were generated. rebooted, synced the rEFIT partitions.

    5. rebooted once more, this time with option-key. (yes, this second reboot seems important)

    6. selected 'windows' rather than rEFIT in options available. Voila! Unetbootin displays its boot options!

    7. press [tab] to get kernel-options before booting the 'live' ubuntu. Here, at the end of the options are '- -'. Take your cursor to before this mark, type 'nomodest' then add a space, then move the cursor to the end of '- -' and press return.

    8. keep watching that screen, it might re-display the unetbootin screen, but that's a framebuffer image, the cursor's blinking on the bottom left. you'll then get a black screen for a few seconds, then a dark grey one, and then the Ubuntu boot up screen appears. just be a bit patient. and there you have it!

    9. okay, the wi-fi wasn't working, but clicking on the wi-fi icon on the top-right, i got an 'activate' dialog-box to install broadcom drivers. i did. the dialog-box then prompted me to reboot for changes to take effect. no need. just wait 5 seconds, and click the wi-fi button on the task-bar on the top-right again. type in your wi-fi password and you're in.

    next step: am going to install this ubuntu 12.04 on my hard-disk. But tomorrow. it's 4:54am here, been struggling with this since 12 hours! Need a shut-eye.

    PS: i've got 12.04 working on another laptop, but on the Apple MacBook Pro 5,1 it looks just gorgeous! The screen is so beautiful and comfortable! Fonts so crisp! Wow!
    Last edited by niyam; September 9th, 2012 at 12:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Quote Originally Posted by niyam View Post

    1. Made fresh partitions on the Macbook Pro's internal HD. swap was the third partition, and a new partition i labelled 'BOOT' was the fourth. a fifth partition was 'Tux'.

    2. On the usb-stick, recreated the partition table by using gparted on an Ubuntu running on another laptop. Deleted all partitions on the usb-stick, then recreated the msdos partition-table.

    3. Created a fresh FAT32 partition on the stick, used Unetbootin on another generic laptop with linux, to install the *.iso mentioned above to that partition.

    7. press [tab] to get kernel-options before booting the 'live' ubuntu. Here, at the end of the options are '- -'. Take your cursor to before this mark, type 'nomodest' then add a space, then move the cursor to the end of '- -' and press return.
    re: #1 - Does this mean you can *only* use the USB on a computer that has specific partitions for Ubuntu? It kinda defeats the purpose for me - I was thinking/hoping I could have a mobile Ubuntu USB to use on foreign computers (when I don't have my computer with me).

    re: #2 - I only have a Mac to work with, so don't have the option to doing any config via another OS

    re: #3 - Unetbootin's official documentation states that "resulting USB drives are bootable only on PCs (not on Macs)". I've read conflicting reports about this, but I've not tried Unetbootin in my Mac only attempts.

    re: #7 - I have read elsewhere about the 'nomodest' step. I must try that out.

  8. #8
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Quote Originally Posted by davidryderuk View Post
    [snip]

    And possibly read this blog post:

    http://myhumblecorner.wordpress.com/...acbook-pro-53/
    Just noticed that blogpost is from May 2011, and deals with ubuntu 11.04. That time, Mountain Lion did not exist either Would be wary to try out those steps, as I wouldn't know which ones are redundant today.

    regards
    niyam

  9. #9
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    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    My optical disc went became unusable twice. The first time it happened under warranty, so apple replaced it gratis. Now it's on the blink again. In India, for the quoted price of its replacement, I can buy an i5 or higher multi-core laptop that also includes an optical disc. Besides, I will only need the Mac's superdrive for this one install of ubuntu, and apart from that have no need for the optical disc. All workflows are now either via usb-sticks or the cloud. So that over-priced purchase is essentially futile for me. I'd rather get this Ubuntu install working with usb-sticks and partitions, a procedure I'd assume exists since 5 years or more, and which the Linux/FOSS community would have hopefully taken to a mature and stable level by now.

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