Just to add another option, you could also install Ubuntu on an external drive connected via USB or Thunderbolt. You may have heard that Linux OSes need multiple partitions to run at their best; one partition for disk swap space, another for the OS, and a third for your personal data. While Ubuntu can use multiple partitions, it's also capable of being installed in a single partition as well, which is the method we will use. You can always add a swap partition later from within Ubuntu.
We're going to use the disk partitioning utility included with Ubuntu to actually create the needed storage space.
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What we need the Mac's Disk Utility to do for us is define that space, so it's easy to select and use when installing Ubuntu. Think of it this way: Instead, we'll create a volume with an easy to identify name, format, and size that will stand out when it comes time to select a volume for the Ubuntu installation.
There is a fine write-up we're going to send you off to read that tells you the details, step-by-step, for formatting and partitioning a volume using the Mac's Disk Utility. Partitioning, resizing, and formatting any drive can result in data loss. Make sure you have a current backup of any data on the selected drives involved.
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If you've already created a Windows Boot Camp partition, you won't be able to add a Ubuntu partition as well. Consider using an external drive with Ubuntu instead. If you're going to use an existing partition, take a look at these two guides to resizing and partitioning:. Disk Utility: The format doesn't really matter since it will change when you install Ubuntu; its purpose here is only to make it easy to spot which disk and partition you'll be using for Ubuntu later on in the install process. One final note: Both pieces of information will help in identifying the volume later, during the Ubuntu install.
So far, we've been working on getting your Mac ready to receive Ubuntu, as well as preparing a bootable installer that we can use for the process. Your Mac already comes equipped with a boot manager that lets you choose between multiple Mac or Window OSes that may be installed on your Mac. In various guides, I routinely explain how to invoke the boot manager at startup by holding down the option key, such as in the Using the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant guide.
2. Create Your Ubuntu Installation Drive
We'll be using GRUB shortly, when we run through the installation process. Both of the boot managers available to use can handle the dual-booting process; actually they can handle many more OSes than just two. So, we're going to suggest you make use of a third-party boot manager called rEFInd. In a nutshell, SIP prevents ordinary users, including administrators, from changing system files, including preference files and folders the Mac OS uses for itself. You can certainly jump to doing an install, but I'm going to recommend you try Ubuntu first.
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The main reason is that it will let you discover any problems you're facing before committing to a full install. Some of the issues you may find include the install of Live USB not working with your Mac graphics card. This is one of the more common issues Mac users face when installing Linux. You may also find out that your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth isn't operating. Most of these issues can be corrected after the install, but knowing about them ahead of time lets you do a little research from your familiar Mac environment, to track down the issues and possibly acquire needed drivers, or at least know where to get them from.
Before you try booting to the Live USB drive you created, there's a bit of preparation to perform. The changes you just made are not saved; they're used just this one time. Should you need to use the Try Ubuntu without installing option in the future, you'll need to edit the line once again.
Adding 'nomodeset' is the most common method of correcting a graphics issue when installing, but it's not the only one. If you continue to have display issues, you can try the following:. Determine the make of the graphics card your Mac uses. You can do this by selecting About This Mac from the Apple menu.
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Look for the text Graphics, make a note of the graphics being used, and then use one of the following values instead of 'nomodeset':. If you're still having problems with the display, check the Ubuntu forums for issues with your specific Mac model. Now that you have a Live version of Ubuntu running on your Mac, check to make sure your WI-Fi network is working, as well as Bluetooth, if needed.
You can click on any of the OS icons to select the operating system you wish to use. Since you're probably itching to get back to Ubuntu, click on the Ubuntu icon. If after restarting you have issues, such as missing or non-functional devices Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, printers, scanners , you can check with the Ubuntu community for tips about getting all of your hardware working.
Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Updated September 28, A recent backup. We recommend a clone on an external bootable drive that includes a copy of the Recovery HD volume.
The rEFIt Project
We recommend Carbon Copy Cloner , which can create the clone and include the Recovery partition. Once you have a working clone, disconnect it from your Mac to ensure that the clone backup isn't accidentally erased during the Ubuntu install. As you might suspect, these are the bare minimums; more RAM and faster processor speeds or additional processor cores can only be helpful. We're installing on a inch Retina iMac, but the basic process should work for any modern Mac newer than If you're going to use an older Mac, you should still be able to install Ubuntu but you'll need to pay attention to how the boot process works for older hardware.
If you have problems getting your older Mac to work with Ubuntu, stop by the Ubuntu forums and search for install guides for your Mac model. The flash drive will be used as a bootable Ubuntu installer that contains not only the basic installer, but a live version of Ubuntu that you can run directly from the USB flash drive without modifying anything on your Mac.
This is a great way to test whether your Mac and Ubuntu can get along. A USB keyboard and mouse. You need a USB-based keyboard and mouse because it's highly likely that the Ubuntu Bluetooth drivers will need to be installed or updated before a wireless keyboard or mouse will work. This is the minimum size recommended for the desktop version of Ubuntu that we'll be installing; more space to work with can be a benefit.
Ubuntu This is the current stable version of Ubuntu that was available when we started this project.
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The latest development source code is available from the Subversion repository. Other resources are listed on the project summary page. Hosted by.
Download The current release is 0. Troubleshooting See the troubleshooting section for a full list. Here are a few common problems: It takes two reboots after using the package installer. This is not explicitly supported by rEFIt at this time. Resources This project is hosted by SourceForge.