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Ubuntu on Macbook Air 4,1 (mid 2011)

Taggar: linux ubuntu natty macbook_air

I wasted a couple of hours trying to install Ubuntu 11.04 (natty) on my new Macbook Air mid 2011. Eventually got it to work:

  • In OSX, avoid turning on File Vault, shrink OSX partition and prepare a new partition for Ubuntu using the disk tool.
  • Install rEFIt (http://refit.sourceforge.net/)
  • dd this file to a usb stick, it is a version of the standard Ubuntu Desktop ISO modified using mkisohybrid.
  • Reboot with the USB stick plugged in and choose it in the rEFIt boot menu.
  • At the first Ubuntu boot screen press F6 (or any key?) to see boot options, tick nomodeset.
  • Go through the installation process
  • Reboot and in grub, edit kernel command line to contain nomodeset. (Can be done permanently by editing /etc/default/grub and then running update-grub).
  • apt-get install grub-efi (I have this, maybe grub-pc is fine too?)

Enjoy your new toy!

Skrivet av atte, 2011-07-29 00:11

Thanks for the instructions! I'm thinking about ordering a macbook air in order to run ubuntu on it. You mind telling us what works and what does not? Thanks.

Skrivet av K., 2011-09-12 23:30

K: It is a really nice laptop, you will no be disappointed. I have not had time to fix all the little glitches yet. But I assume that if you install 11.10 on it, most of the issues are solved.

The two issues I know of with 11.04 is that only the first 1280 pixels of the screen are used (there are some random colors on the rest of the screen, to the far right). At least this is how it was when I last updated with new X.org packages back in august. Also, the two-finger-scroll on the touchpad does not work yet.

Skrivet av atte, 2011-09-23 11:33


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