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Thread: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

  1. #1
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    Question Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    I have a late 2009 27" iMac i5. Because I really dislike OS X, it gets little use and it still looks like new. I tried to install Ubuntu on it back in 2009 when I bought it and Ubuntu had a lot of problems. Some were serious (display issues) and some were just personally important (lack of full/proper support for the Apple trackpad I purchased).

    So I had given up on running Ubuntu on my iMac until today when I read this:

    [Phoronix] Ubuntu 14.04 Now Runs Well On The 2013 MacBook Air, Beats OS X 10.9 In Graphics
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ba2013gl&num=1

    I would appreciate any informed opinions as to whether 14.04 is worth trying on my older iMac. BTW, my preferred flavor is Kubuntu and I plan to install the current beta - contigent upon feedback here, of course.

    Due to the fact that I have a small-ish SSD, I can't dual boot. If I go with Kubuntu, it is a total commitment. And I would want the following things to work:

    1. Apple Trackpad
    2. Apple Mouse
    3. support for hooking up an external HDTV in various display modes (mirroring or 2nd monitor)

    Why am I asking this question instead of just trying a LiveCD? Last time I tried to install Ubuntu on my iMac the display worked properly with the LiveCD. But when I actually installed Ubuntu, my iMac would only boot up to a blank/black display. I was never able to resolve that and I went back to OS X. Besides, I think it is always better to ask for advice first.

    My iMac Hardware Info:

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac11,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i5
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 8 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s

    Graphics/Displays:

    ATI Radeon HD 4850:

    Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 4850
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 512 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x944a
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-B9110C-425
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.383
    Displays:
    iMac:
    Resolution: 2560 x 1440
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Built-In: Yes
    Connection Type: DisplayPort
    Desktop: KX Studio (Kubuntu 12.04)
    Laptop & Netbook: Kubuntu 12.04
    Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Phone: Nexus 4 Cyanogenmod

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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Assuming you can run a live USB or DVD on a mac why not download that and try it out live first. Apart from that idea I can't help with anything mac.

    I suggest you try the daily image file, however, not the beta as a lot of updates have come along since the beta was released. I have not tried Kubuntu as I don't like kde now, but I am running Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu as virtual machines on my Intel based PC and all three of those are very good; occasional glitches but nothing that is a show-stopper any more.

    Get it from http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/daily-live/pending/
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 14.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    Assuming you can run a live USB or DVD on a mac why not download that and try it out live first. Apart from that idea I can't help with anything mac.
    Quoting from my OP:

    Why am I asking this question instead of just trying a LiveCD? Last time I tried to install Ubuntu on my iMac the display worked properly with the LiveCD. But when I actually installed Ubuntu, my iMac would only boot up to a blank/black display. I was never able to resolve that and I went back to OS X. Besides, I think it is always better to ask for advice first.
    Desktop: KX Studio (Kubuntu 12.04)
    Laptop & Netbook: Kubuntu 12.04
    Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Phone: Nexus 4 Cyanogenmod

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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Sorry I missed that comment of yours about live CDs, but it sounds as if you needed a graphic driver or something similar.

    When using a mac do you get the option of adding non-free proprietary codecs etc etc and updating as you install, as you do in a PC? That might solve your black screen problem.

    Otherwise, as I said, I really do not know or understand macs, so can't do much other than wish you good luck.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 14.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Have you tried the apple users Ubuntu forum? It is under Ubuntu specialized support.

  6. #6
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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Its the graphics card that is going to give you trouble.
    The fglrx drivers don't support legacy cards. e.g 4xxx

    Look - no support here :
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-arti...ta-driver.aspx


    However, this may work for you.
    https://launchpad.net/~makson96/+archive/ubuntu/fglrx

  7. #7
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    Re: Should I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my 2009 iMac?

    Thank you jowan512. I might also try this:

    Upgrade iMac 27" late 2009 video card? | Apple Support Communities
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3029120?tstart=0
    Desktop: KX Studio (Kubuntu 12.04)
    Laptop & Netbook: Kubuntu 12.04
    Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Phone: Nexus 4 Cyanogenmod

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