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Thread: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Glad you got it working. I agree about it being more difficult.

    With regards to the blog post there were a few key steps right at the top of the post, with other advice being a bit more general. In particular if you wanted to boot via EFI mode (with the ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso), then you could try these steps:

    1. Boot into OSX, go to System Preferences -> Energy Saver, and select the high performance option (vs. the battery option). This turns on the fancy NVidia 9600M video card.
    2. Reboot into the Live CD. When you see the accessibility logos on the bottom of the screen, hit the any key, then F6, and then Esc to get rid of that annoying menu that reminded me of Clippy for some reason.
    3. Anyways, in that boot options line, before the “–”, write in “nouveau.noaccel=1″. You need this because nouveau is still in early development, and it thinks it knows how to handle your video card. It doesn’t.
    I was wondering whether you could have used the OS X version of Unetbootin to carry out steps 2 and 3. In any case, thanks for detailing the whole process.

    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).
    Personally I'm happy enough if I can convince someone to install a recent version of LibreOffice or Firefox. Failing that, I sometimes use this website:

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoneCuber View Post
    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).
    For your sake, I plugged in the USB-stick created using the 'dd' command as explained in my thread earlier. It does show up in rEFIt, but clicking on it, the system either hangs, or gives the 'missing operating system' error. So this does not work. It does work on non-Macs though.

    re: #2 - I only have a Mac to work with, so don't have the option to doing any config via another OS
    Erm... Then you could try using unetbootin with the Mac. I did not try it for no particular reason. Do share your results here.

    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.
    The problem is not with the stick. And the solution is in installing it in a partition on your 'startup disk' which in our case is the internal HDD, on a sweet little partition.

    re: #7 - I have read elsewhere about the 'nomodest' step. I must try that out.
    Works like a charm. once you update to a stable and working version of a nVidia or alternative driver, the nomodeset gets overriden. This is I read somewhere in the large churns of documentation been reading off the web to get my machine to work.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Angry Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Damn! I just spent more than an hour and a half documenting how I installed Ubuntu 12.04 in dual-boot, but the Ubuntu forums engine reset itself and I lost it all. Grumble! Will attempt it once more tomorrow. What a waste of time!
    update: just found it on a page, but could not publish it from there, so copied and pasted below. Whew!
    Last edited by niyam; September 11th, 2012 at 11:34 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    I've finally got Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, installed and running on my Apple MacBook Pro, 5,1. Here are the steps.

    Install the 'Live CD' version on a small and dedicated partition for this task, on your internal Hard-disk. Then boot from this Live-CD-On-A-Partition.
    To do these tasks, please follow the steps I mentioned in post #1 and post #8 of this thread-conversation. These are obviously the first and the eighth post here.

    The 'Live' version works nicely, but the moment you shut down all preferences, wi-fi access settings, and other settings and even data may be lost. Time to install a native version on the Hard-disk of the MacBookPro.

    Dual-Boot Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    After a few hit-and-trial attempts, here are the steps that worked for me:

    0. If you've made a few attempts, you'll soon find a persistent swap partition on the hard-disk, that does not get deleted whether you use Disk Utility under the Mac OSX, or even GParted under your Live-CD-running-off-the-HD. You may even find your LiveCD-mode partition is not immediately after your Mac OSX HFS+ partition (excluding any freespace buffer). Generally, the situation is begging for a fresh start.

    So after booting into the Live-mode of Ubuntu 12.04, go to the terminal and issue these commands:
    $ sudo cp -r /cdrom /cdrom2
    $ sudo umount -lfr /cdrom
    $ sudo rmdir /cdrom
    $ sudo mv /cdrom2 /cdrom
    Then, launch 'Disk Utility' under Ubuntu 12.04. Yes, that's the actual name of the software here (don't ask). Delete the swap-partition, and every other partition, save the crucial ones: EFI; the HFS+ that contains your MacOSX; and the partition that contains your LiveCD mode of Ubuntu.
    Do note: I've even deleted my Mac emergency recovery / backup partition. Keep yours.

    1. Reboot. At the rEFIt menu on startup, do choose the partition-tools to sync your partitions, by typing 'y' at the prompt. Then boot into Mac OSX.

    2. Use 'diskutil list' on the mac's terminal to find your partitions. Then launch 'Disk Utility' in Mac, and delete even that partition containing your LiveCD-mode. Reboot to sync partitions in rEFIT, and then come back to MacOSX for your freshest and final install of Ubuntu:

    3. Using 'Disk Utility' on the Mac, create a FAT32 partition called 'LIVECD' of 1GB. Note: The size of this partition has to be bigger than the filesize of the CD-image you are going to 'dd' here. Since my *.iso filesize of the CD-image was about 700MB+, I used 1GB. Having the exact size may create problems, it did so for me. So a little buffer is good. Make sure this partition is the third partition on the hard-disk, after EFI and HFS+. In my case, this was disk0s3.

    4. Add another partition, give it a generic name, such as 'FREEDOM', have it in ext4 or FAT32, and save that too. This is the space we will later free up and start carving into neat little partitions for installing Ubuntu under the LiveCD mode. For me this was disk0s4.

    5. Unmount both partitions, 'LIVECD' and 'FREEDOM' disk0s3 and disk0s4. Plug in your USB-stick that contains the partition on which you've used Unetbootin to install your Ubuntu-installer. (This is explained in post #1 and post #8).

    6. On the terminal, use the 'dd' command to clone the usb-stick partition (in my case disk1s1) to the 'LiveCD' partition. In my case, this was
    $ dd if=/dev/disk1s1 of=/dev/disk0s3 bs =1m

    please double-check your exact partitions before attempting this.

    7. Okay, time to reboot. under rEFIt, use its second icon in the bottom row to sync partitions. Then boot into the LiveCD mode of Ubuntu. If the system appears to hang immediately after selecting the Tux icon, and for beyond 2 minutes, just reboot. It works in a reboot or two. Some sort of rEFIt blessing this!

    8. Once the Tux icon here boots, for a few seconds you may see just the Tux icon, then the screen goes black for a few seconds, then dark grey, and then you may see the Unetboot menu options, with a countdown about to launch Ubuntu. Immediately press the tab key, and add 'nomodeset' before the '--' to the kernel options there. then bring your cursor to the right of the '--' and press enter.

    9. Your screen may show the same screen again after blanking, with a blinking cursor at the bottom, and after a few pixel splutters for a few seconds, you'll find yourself booting into the Live Ubuntu cd.

    10. Once you come to the desktop, wait for 2 minutes. Then, on the top-right you'll see to the left of the wi-fi icon, a restricted drivers icon. Click it, 'activate' your wi-fi drivers for the broadcom wifi chip. No need to reboot. Just wait 2 minutes after the install's complete. You'll find your wifi accesspoint on clicking the wifi icon. Type in your access password and settings to log into wi-fi. You need internet. Alternatively, you may also use a wired connection, or whatever else.

    11. Go to step 0, mentioned here, and do the routine of the sudo commands on the /cdrom /cdrom2 jiggle. Then come back here.

    12. Click the Install Ubuntu icon. Once you come to the choice of Allocate Drive Space, choose the third option 'Something Else'.

    13. You'll see here:
    sda1: EFI
    sda2: HFS+
    sda3: FAT32 with 'LIVECD'

    notice that immediately after the second partition, the HFS+ one that contains MAC OSX, there's some freespace, perhaps at 134MB or so. That's a very good thing, used by the Mac to update itself and perhaps for upgrades, so please don't touch it.

    14. Then, the next immediate partition will be the LIVECD one, in my case, sda3.

    15. Now add partitions.
    sda4 should be of type 'Reserved for BIOS' I gave it a delicious 8MB (note 'Mega' and not giga). This is an important partition, and has to be in the first four partitions.

    sda5 should be of type ext2, mount-point should be /BOOT. I gave it a generous 2 GB. This is where I'm going to install the /boot files for my installed Ubuntu. Why? Multiple attempts to install it over the 'LIVECD' partition just failed, no matter what I tried with permission-settings. So came up with this idea to have a dedicated partition for each.

    sda6: of type EXT4, and for mountpoint / i've allocated 250GB because my data-needs are huge. I'd recommend atleast 20GB to get started. ymmv.

    sda7: /swap and this has to be exactly the size of your RAM. this is the clincher. Keep the /swap at the last. This way, your partition numbers are less messy during multiple installs. The exact RAM is because /swap is used while moving the machine to sleep or hibernation modes. I read the swap FAQ on ubuntu documentation thoroughly. That laid my doubts to rest, on whether I needed swap or not. Yes, we all do.

    For 'device for bootloader' option, I chose the /boot partition, which is sda5.

    16. I then clicked through the remaining install screen-steps. Did choose to install 'restricted plugins' in one of the screens, but no the automatic updates, as I wanted to it first install as is. Ubuntu installed normally. and quickly.

    17. Once done. I shut down. Not restart. Then switched on the machine again. Noticed rEFIt choices for one Mac OS, and two Linux Tux choices. The first of these is for the LiveCD and the second for the new install. But first, I synced partitions with rEFIT. Booted into Mac to check it's still safe and sound. Rebooted. Chose the third-option. Got the grub. Pressed 'e' to edit the kernel options, added 'nomodeset' and booted.

    18. Once booted, edited grub to add 'nomodeset' in grub's config and then ran the update-grub command. Noticed my wifi settings came through as well.

    End-note: Observed i can no longer boot into the LIVECD mode. Also will install tools to auto-mount in read-only the HFS+ partition of the Mac.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    Quote Originally Posted by cweiske View Post
    You can install VirtualBox on OSX and boot a live cd in there. When you unmounted the usb stick in OSX via the CLI diskutil unmount command, you can use it in the virtualbox and write it from there.
    I'm unable to boot using the live CD for Ubuntu 12.04 on my MacBookPro 9,2 I keep getting a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of the screen.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Installing 12.04 on MacBook Pro 5,1

    MacBookPro 9,2? I'm sorry I don't have access to that beauty so won't be able to offer any assistance for that particular model. Others on this thread may respond. You may also try the other approach mentioned earlier in this thread, of using virtualbox under MacOSX to run the live CD.


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