Mittwoch, 13. August 2014

How to install Ubuntu 14.04 on an old Macbook 2.1 EFI.

UPDATE on 13/3/2015: this instruction method is no longer valid for newer Ubuntu versions > 14.04 (e.g. 14.10)! I will write a follow up soon on this you can find here. There are lots of instructions and tutorials out there on how to install Ubuntu on Mac computers. Most dont work as stated (mostly because it is not easy to make a bootable ubuntu usb boot stick with a mac), so I wrote this tutorial which I think is the most easy one out there!

This post is basically just a short reminder for myself on how to install Ubuntu 14.04 on Macbook 2.1 EFI. Maybe it is useful for other people as well.


Macbook with Mac Os X >=10.6, the full harddisk is occupied by Mac Os X.

1. start Mac Os X, open Disk utility, shrink Mac Os X partition so much that you can create another two partitions, one for Linux root with at least 30 gb and another one for swap, rule of thumb: available RAM memory equals two. For me it was 2 gb * 2 = 4 gb. Choose Mac Os X journaling as filesystem for the new two partitions.
2. After partitioning you should now have three partitions, my setup was 65 gb total (SSD): 30 gb for Mac Os X, 30 gb for Linux (root paritions), 4 gb for the swap partition
3. Install rEFIt, power off computer (do not just restart) to see if rEFIt logo is booting up, if not try again powering off.
4. Boot back into Mac Os X and download Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit AMD for Mac ISO
5. download ISO2USB-Efi-Loader and prepare an USB stick with the ISO from step 3 (details here: here (in german) use the boot64bit efi file on the stick. Use google translate if you cannot understand German.
6. reboot and use the Mac ´ALT´ key during startup and choose the usb-efi stick
7. install ubuntu, choose ´something else´ as the installation type, then use the linux root partition from step 1. (mine is called /dev/sda4) and format it as ext4 and select root (/). Also define the swap partition from step 1. Most importantly in this step is to select the root parititon for the boot loader (e.g. /dev/sda4) but never NEVER use the whole disk for installation of it!!! (never use the full disk e.g. /dev/sda use a partition e.g. /dev/sda4)
8. at the end of the installation the installer says it cant install the bootloader at /dev/sda4, click on ´ignore this and continue installation´ (dont install on /dev/sda - the full disk etc.)
9. after successfully install ubuntu, click on ´test live system´
10. prepare a boot-repair-disk on your usb stick, install boot-repair as stated here (on a usb stick!, you can download the iso and use it similar to step 5 here), reboot and start the stick than click on ´Recommended repair´
11. done! reboot. now a tux symbol will appear at the rEFIt boot menue. Click on it to start ubuntu!