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Thread: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    2

    Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    Hi folks,

    I have a MacBook Pro from '06 (OS X 10.4.11) with a 2GHz Intel Core Duo processor and 512 MB of RAM. It runs slower and slower by the day and I'm looking for a way to extend its life. (New laptops are expensive and have a high social and environmental cost.)

    Might my computer last a little longer if I clear the hard drive and download Ubuntu?
    Is this possible on my computer? If so, how do I go about doing this?

    Thanks a bundle!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Beans
    446
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    I'm not sure what the procedure is for installing on a MacBook Pro, I think there is a special way to do it. I wouldn't recommend installing Ubuntu with unity since it will not run well on 512MB RAM. Try a lighter weight Ubuntu spin such as lubuntu or xubuntu. See here for more information on installing on a MacBook: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBookPro.

    EDIT: More info on installing on an Intel Mac: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ma...elInstallation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    @mayallholier, welcome to the forum!

    A couple of comments. Your Core Duo processor is a 32-bit one so if you are intending to install Ubuntu or one of its variants, or any Linux distro, make sure you get the 32-bit installer. The core duo CPUs didn't last that long before being replaced by Intel with the 64-bit Core 2 Duos, but there were quite a few Macs with them, my 2006 Mac Mini (still going strong!) for one.

    My Mac Mini has the 1.6GHz version of the Core Duo, somewhat slower than yours, but MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) runs quite well on it, in a fairly leisurely way! That it runs at all is because I replaced the meagre 512MB RAM with 2GB early on. Is that feasible for you? Whether you want to install Ubuntu, continue with Tiger or upgrade to Snow Leopard (you can't run Lion on 32-bit), more than 512MB would be a good idea.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Beans
    95

    Re: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    I inherited a 7 year old macBook 1.1 from my son. I upgraded the ram from 512 to 2GB which I think is the max for this computer and upraded the os from 10.4? to snow leopard 10.6.8.

    I am very very happy with this computer and operating system. I have found that the new Ubuntu 12.04 with unity tries to copy the way Mac does things, ie launchers, app areas etc. The thing I like about the Mac is that things just work without having to fiddle around and the appearance to me is more appealing. Windows XP and Lubuntu work great in VirtualBox but Ubuntu 11.10 has a bit of lag.

    Of course it will cost a little to upgrade your mac, ram and os but to me it was well worth it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    3,037
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    There is quite some documentation about Ubuntu on Apple Macs, since probably quite some Ubuntu users have all kind of Macs. As a starting point:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBook2-1/Lucid/

    Since 512MB is most likely not appropriate for running Unity, I would suggest that you either upgrade RAM, or use lighter variants such as Xubuntu or Lubuntu.
    The setup procedure depends a bit on whether you want to keep Mac OSX or completetly replace it with Ubuntu. Both ways are possible. I replaced Mac OSX completely on my MacBook from 2008 and it works almost perfect.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    2

    Re: Refurbish Old Mac by Installing Ubuntu?

    Thanks so much everyone, this is super helpful! It seems like upgrading RAM is pretty easy...and cheap! Next time I'm in the states I'll order and install it, then work from there.

    Peace

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