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Installing Ubuntu On A Macbook Air -- Help ?


Ianatlarge

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I am interested in trying Ubuntu on my Macbook air. I like the hardware, but am becoming increasingly annoyed by Apple's dumbing down of its os. Also just interested in trying something new. The problem is that a superdrive is required to install ubuntu on an Air (I have read that a usb approach is possible, but it is problematical at best).

What I am asking is, has anyone in Pattaya had success with Ubuntu on an Air, and, does anyone have a superdrive I could use once, or have other assistance for this exercise?

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(I have read that a usb approach is possible, but it is problematical at best).

why, is this something particular to the mac hardware? i install from usb all the time.

k

ps. anyone know why you can't quote the OP without manually pasting and tagging? or is it just me? ;>}

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Try to use the multi-quote button on the right bottom corner

(I have read that a usb approach is possible, but it is problematical at best).

why, is this something particular to the mac hardware? i install from usb all the time.

k

ps. anyone know why you can't quote the OP without manually pasting and tagging? or is it just me? ;>}

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Try to use the multi-quote button on the right bottom corner

(I have read that a usb approach is possible, but it is problematical at best).

why, is this something particular to the mac hardware? i install from usb all the time.

k

ps. anyone know why you can't quote the OP without manually pasting and tagging? or is it just me? ;>}

there isn't one when only the original post is made (before anyone replies), at least not for me. see http://www.thaivisa....uctible-botnet/

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I've done this, as an ubuntu/mac dual boot setup. Although do give it a try, I found this difficult and I have a university level computing qualification. I have heard you need a superdrive to boot a macbook air, and although this may be true to boot into mac (I haven't tried), to boot into ubuntu this is not true. I just tried again to confirm.

I have a:

MacBook Air 11.6, Model 3,1 (bought about six months ago)

plugged into this is a Imitation 8X Slim DVD Multi-format Recorder External Drive

so a non Apple cheap standard DVD drive. I just inserted a Ubuntu 10.10 disk, rebooted the mac and held down the "C" key. My mac boots up into ubuntu fine. In the past I have also used rEFIt

http://refit.sourceforge.net/

for the dual-boot setup, and that also allowed booting up fine.

Some notes that might help:

1. The show-stopping problem on 10.10 (and I think 11.04) is that the open source video driver thinks it can run the video card but can't. If you just let the boot up sequence happen then you will get badly scrabbled video output. Solution: Hold the "C" key down until you see the first boot up text on the screen and then switch immediately to the "Space" key and hold. This will bring you to an options page. Press "F6" and select nomodetest. Continue with testing or installation. This will give you a small screen but a readable one. Use the same 'trick' to get a usable screen on the boot up of an installed ubuntu. Once you have ubuntu installed, then install the proprietary nvidia video driver which works very well except in has video tearing problems that I never found a solution to. Supposedly, Wayland:

http://en.wikipedia....server_protocol)

is coming to fix these tearing problems once and for all but it is not here yet. Hopefully the open source nouveau driver will work on the macbook air at some point.

2. On 10.10 the there is no out-of-the-box wireless driver, and I never got the mac USB ethernet converter working under ubuntu, so no internet. Solution: Download the broadcom sta proprietary driver as a package and, put it on a USB key, and then install from the usb key. I found the stability and performance of the proprietary wireless driver very poor, but something is better than nothing. Alternatively, use 11.04 which has an open source wireless driver that works well out-of-the-box.

3. See these people:

https://launchpad.ne...rt/+archive/ppa

for some useful packages.

4. To get restart working, enter the terminal command:

gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

change the line

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

to

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash reboot=pci"

enter the terminal command:

sudo update-grub

shutdown (not restart this once) the computer and power it on again.

Beyond these, there are other tweaks for the backlight control, better mousepad support, etc. but they depend on exactly what you are installing.

You have chosen what is, at minimum, one of the most difficult computers to put ubuntu on. Apple uses very proprietary hardware, and does things it's own way. Almost any other compter would be easier.

I eventually gave up on ubuntu on a Mac because just as the hardware support was getting good enough (in 11.04), with the new open source wireless driver making life much easier, ubuntu switched to the Gnome 3 desktop which I can't stand. Some people love it though, so ubuntu on a mac book air might be for you. I did like using ubuntu with the Gnome 2 desktop and plan to go back to some version of GNU/Linux at some point.

Hope some of the helps. Feel free to ask me questions if you get stuck on something, as, having done this, I may well already know the answer.

Good Luck

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