Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 24

Thread: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Thanks for the reply. Were you running the x64 or 32 bit version of ubuntu.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Tried Ubuntu 12.04 x64 ended up at the same b43 firmware missing panic as with 12.10.

    So lame.. Why make an installer panic if it can't load the network drivers, just continue to boot and allow the user to fix it later. Heck even Microsoft installers at least installs the OS and lists unknown devices.

    Tried b43.blacklist=yes but then I get a panic with yes invalid for b43.blacklist error.

    So how hard was it to install Fedora on your Mac Book Pro 5,1?


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Had the same problem when trying to install Live Ubuntu (can't remember which version, 12.10 I think) on my Powerbook G4, had to switch to a different version in the end. Ridiculous.

    The fact that it stops installing (or worse yet, hangs/freezes) for not finding a specific driver for a piece of hardware which is not critical to the normal basic functioning of Linux, is indeed wrong.

    The fact that each version of Ubuntu have their own specific behaviour wrt to installation is even more troublesome I think (but being a Linux noob, what do I know ? ^^).

    Having said that, when you consider the enormous amount of effort the Linux developers community have consented over the years to offer an OS for free - even incomplete and with its own flaws (but which OS doesn't have any ?), that continues to support even old hardware and obsoleted processors...
    Last edited by peezee13; December 5th, 2012 at 12:50 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Utah, USA
    Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewiski View Post
    Is there a way to USB boot in UEFI mode after patching the usb stick with b43 drivers and nvidia drivers? Hopefully the process isn't a 3 day event.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Surprised no one else has mentioned this, but I would recommend checking out Rod Smith's site:

    He's the one who forked rEFIt to create rEFInd. The above link details his process in installing Ubuntu in BIOS emulation and then switching to EFI mode. Basically, you end up installing Ubuntu in the BIOS mode, set up all of your drivers and hardware, then switch. I've found that most information around somehow bases off of his site.

    I just completed an install of 12.10 on a MBP 8,2, and it was quite a process. However, I am able to boot the installer directly in EFI mode, which it sounds like yours is refusing to do. I know it's frustrating, but I think it's worth it to stick with it for the experience benefit alone.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Thanks for the link to I had tried using refitnd but hadn't studied hsi page in depth.

    I kept trying differnt refitnd.conf setting in my Mac partition EFI directory but couldn't get it to work. Out of desperation I mounted the EFI partition and copied the ubuntu directory to the Mac Partition EFI folder same spot as refited folder. Wouldn't you know no more Grub rescue errors it just booted.

    I have tried so many things at this point I am not 100% sure if that was all it was or a combination of changes that made it work.

    I have another hard drive here that I will reload Mac OS X on then install ubuntu to walk through the steps to get it back up and running.

    I belive the ubuntu folder on the EFI partition was created using boot rescue but I do not know that for sure. I also had a grub partiiton with an grub.efi in it as well but that may have come from my attemps to manual build grub. Not sure which put what where.

    If I get a few minutes I will try to reinstall from scratch so those who follow in my foot steps will have a guide.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Here is my How to Install Ubuntu 12.10 x64 on a Mac Book Pro 5,1 (5.1) then fix it so it boots in EFI mode so the 9600M GT video card can be powered down and the 9400M video card used instead.

    I got most of my information from this website ( but had to make some minor changes to get it to work. I suspect it was because the author had a slightly newer MacBook Pro that had true EFI 2.0 boot where as my Mac Book 5,1 does not.

    Step 1. Boot Mac OSX and install eEFInd (

    This is done by running the install script “./install” . This copies the files to the mac partitions/EFI directory. Note this is not the EFI Partition /EFI directory but is the Mac OS X partition /EFI directory. On my Mac 5.1 the firmware will only boot EFI files from the MAC Partition EFI folder, I believe this is different on new Mac’s that support true EFI 2.0 booting where the 5.1 does not as it’s a EFI 1.1 boot. Anyways its important to install rEFInd using “./” and not “./ esp” as that will use the EFI partition and rEFInd will not be loaded on the MacBook 5,1 because its not a true EFI 2.0 boot

    Reboot computer twice if you don’t get the rEFInd boot prompt, not sure why but multiple people stated that you have to boot twice to get it come up after its install, I never experienced this but thought I should pass along the info.

    Step 2. You need to make room on your hard drive for ubuntu. I already had Windows 7 installed so I shrunk the Windows 7 Bootcamp partition to make room. If you don’t have windows 7 installed you can use the OS X Disk Utility to resize your mac or bootcamp partition to make room.

    Step 3. Download the Ubuntu 12.10 x64 Mac Specific Alternative ISO and burn the image to a DVD, be sure to burn the image to the DVD not just the single file else it won't be bootable.
    Reboot MacBook and hold option (ALT) key, you should get a “EFI Boot” Icon and then after a couple seconds you will get the “Windows” with a CDROM icon displayed to allow the boot of the Ubuntu 12.10 install CD.

    You will need a wired connection later to fix the video and wireless drivers so now is a good time to plug in the Ethernet card.

    Click Windows with CDROM icon and wait for little white circle with Keyboard to appear at the bottom of the screen and press a key to allow changing the boot options.
    Choose your Language, then click F6, using the down arrow select "nomodeset" press enter so the x appears, press the “ESC” key to close this menu being sue that the x is still selected on “nomodeset”,

    Press Enter to boot "try Ubuntu without Installing" with the “nomodeset” options selected. The Macbook 5,1 should boot into Ubuntu 12.10 Live CD. If not try a clean reboot meaning power off then power on so we know the 9600GT is the active card. If you boot without "nomodeset" you will get a blank screen as the default video drivers crashes with the 9600G MT. Note that during the live CD boot you will get a black screen for up to a minute before Ubuntu loads the desktop.
    Now that the Ubuntu Live DVD has booted you can double click the “Install Ubuntu 12.10” Icon from the Desktop.

    I choose to Download Updates and Install Third Party Software but you will need a wired connection before these options will be available as the wireless card drivers won’t be enabled yet.

    When Prompted for "Installation Type" pick "something else".
    This will open a tool that shows the partitions.

    On my Partitcular setup I have a EFI, HFS+ OS X , NTFS BootCamp ntfs, And then 75 GB of free space that I freed up by shrinking my Windows 7 Partition. There are multiple tools out there for resizing including Disk Utility built into OS X. Be sure to back up your data first in case something goes wrong.

    Select the FreeSpace and click the + icon to create a new partition from the list, select Logical for the Type and use as “ext4” and mount point is set to “/”, I made this one 40GB in my case.
    The new partition should be added to the list and the freespace will have shrunk in size. Write Down the Partition Device for your “/” partition we will need it later when we create or EFI bootloader. Ie “/dev/sda4”
    Select FreeSpace again and click the + icon to create another new partition from the list and make sure its type is ext4 and mount point is set to /home, I made this one 20GB in my case.
    The new partition should be added to the list and the freespace will have shrunk in size.
    Select FreeSpace again and click the + icon to create another new partition from the list and make sure its type is swap, I made this one 15GB in my case, but should be at least 2 times the amount of ram your mac has. Click Install, if you don’t already have a Bios boot partition, I didn’t, you will get an error saying that you need a separate Reserved for Bios Boot Partition, We are using refind as our bootloader and its already installed on our OSX partition, rEFInd will find the ubuntu boot files and add an icon for us so we don’t need the Bios Boot partition so we can ignore this warning and click continue.

    Once the Ubuntu install starts you will need to pick your time zone and pick your keyboard English (US) - English (Macintosh) for me.
    Set your computer name, username, and password. Be sure to remember your username and password in case you have to boot into single mode later.
    Now you have to wait for the install to finish.

    Once you have rebooted you should see the rEFInd boot prompt and have a new Penguin Icon that can be used to boot Ubuntu in BIOS. At this point we haven’t fixed our video card issues and we still need to boot with nomodeset options but we set this option differently after we have installed ubuntu.

    Step 4 Boot Ubuntu in Bios Mode and Make Ubuntu Boot in EFi Mode.

    In rEFInd you should see a new Linux Penguin icon, You can click this icon to boot Ubuntu but you will need to press e as soon as you get the grub prompt as we don’t have the correct video drivers yet and without adding nomodeset we will get a black or scrambled screen as the default nouveau driver will crash with the 9600M GT.

    So we Click the Penguin and get a text based GNU Grub version 2.00 menu,now we need to press “e” on the keyboard to modify the boot entry and add “nomodeset”.

    After pressing e you will have a screen with a bunch of text. Find the text “quite splash” and add after it “ nomodeset” then press f10 to boot with this new menu entry.

    At the Desktop press Control + Option + T to open a terminal windows.

    Type sudo apt-get purge grub-pc grub-pc-bin
    You will see an older style GUI screen that asks are you sure you want to remove grub, be sure to select yes.

    In Terminal Type
    sudo mkdir /boot/efi
    sudo apt-get install grub-efi-amd64

    sudo grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=ubuntu --recheck /dev/sda4 (Note this is the ubuntu “/” partition Device Name we wrote down up above).

    --This may give some errors about missing variable just ignore its because we are Bios booted and installing EFI grub but what this will do is create a EFI boot file for gub in our /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu folder that we can then copy to the OS X /EFI folder to allow us to EFI boot ubuntu.

    sudo update-grub

    We have two options at this point we can reboot into mac OSX and install fuse so we can read the ubuntu partitions in OS X and do the copy all in OS X between the partitions or we can copy the folder to a usb memory tick and use that to do the copy in OS X.

    The USB Option is simpler but if you don’t have a usb stick handy the other option works just as well.

    To use the USB Option
    Open up your home directory and under computer navigate to File System, boot, efi, EFI, right click on the ubuntu folder and select copy
    Open the USB memory Stick and paste this folder to the Memory Stick.
    Reboot into Mac OS X, Copy the ubuntu folder from the USB memory strick to your mac hard drives /EFI folder.

    To use The Fuse in Mac OS X

    Boot into Mac OS X, if you already have installed a version of fuse you should see your unix partitions listed in finder if not you need to install fuse or macfuse to see the Ubuntu Partitions. Which of them you install depends on what version of OS X you are running.

    FUSE ( or for older OS X versions MacFuse ( )

    Once you have fuse installed you can open a Terminal windows in OS X and type “diskutil list” to see a list of partitions. We are looking for our “/” disk partition we created earlier, you should be able to tell by its size. In my case it was listed as disk0s4

    So to manually mount the partition we need to run these commands in an OS X Terminal

    sudo mkdir /Volumes/Ubuntu
    sudo mount –t fuse-ext2 /dev/disk0s4 /Volumes/Ubuntu

    Now in finder you should see your ubuntu partition. We need to copy /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu folder to our mac partitions /EFI folder. After were are done our /EFI folder will have a /refind and /ubuntu directory in it and this will add a new ubuntu icon to rEFInd so we can boot ubuntu in efi mode.

    Now we can reboot the computer and EFI boot into Ubuntu using the new Orange Circle Ubuntu Icon (not the Penguin), keep in mind we still haven’t fixed our video problem so we are still going to need to press e at the grub menu and add nomodeset behind “quite splash” and this time we will boot into terminal single mode only because the default nouveau video card driver will crash when it detects both video adapters.

    To fix the Video card driver issue we need to login using the username and password we created during the install.
    Also be sure at this point you still have a pluged in a wired connection because we need to download the latest version of the nvidia drivers from the internet.

    We have to download the linux-source files as there appears to be a bug in nvidia-current-updates where it will install but show the message “module build for currently running kernel skipped because source not found” so the kernel never gets patched and the driver never loads.

    sudo apt-get install linux-source
    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic
    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-3.5.0-17-generic
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current-updates

    type “sudo reboot” to restart the computer.

    Now when we boot using the rEFInd Ubuntu logo we will see the ubuntu logo and then a quick flash of the nvidia logo.

    We can make sure we are running the correct driver and both video cards are present by pressing Control + Option + T to launch terminal and typing “nvidia-settings” we should see both video cards.
    You can power down the 9600M GT using a couple of applications. Google gpupwr to find the source code another MacBook Pro 5,1 user created. You can alos add outb commands to the grub menu to power down the adapter. There is also a project called Bumblebee out there that is geared for newer MacBooks, I was not able to get it to work correctly but I am not sure I installed it with the correct nvidia drivers.

    Hope this saved someone all the hours it took me of reinstalling over and over trying to make since of the madness that was the install of Ubuntu 12.10 on a Macbook Pro 5,1

    Let hope the next version of Ubuntu is a little more along the way of an automated Install on the Mac Books.



  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Talking Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    @Andrewiski: You are a savior sent from above

    I've been trying to install 12.10 on my 5,3 macbook pro which should have identical hardware as yours but a smaller screen. Hopefully your approach will finally produce results.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Hope it works out for you! You will get a black screen for 15 seconds or so even with the correct nvidia drivers and efi boot so be sure to wait at least that long as I didn't the first time through.

    Good Luck, Please post your results.


  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    I've been trying to do this since I got the MBP 3 or 4 years ago. I have been unsuccessful on every attempt until I found this thread.

    I've now got battery life in linux that is comparable to that in OS X.

    Thank you.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 5.1

    Glad it worked out for you.

    If only we could get Windows 7 to EFI boot we would be in business. I have tried multiple different things but the Windows 7 EFI bootloader always crashes. I was able to get Windows 8 to efi boot on a 10,2 Mac Book pro for a friend. I havn't tried to get Windows 8 to efi boot on my Macbook 5,1 yet, so not sure if it will work or not. Its on my todo list. Just think Windows on your Mac Book Pro that will run on battery longer then 60 minutes and not melt the tray table on the airplane.


Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts