You all know i’m a sucker for Mac hardware and an avid lover of Ubuntu.
One of my other hobbies is seeing on what kind of hardware I can
install Ubuntu linux. So far it worked on my EEEpc, my Acer aspire one,
some older hardware lying around the house, my Mac mini and my Wife’s
grandmother. But yesterday I was feeling very bold and wondered if it
would be hard to install Ubuntu linux on our Macbook. With Nyana mostly
on the Macbook Pro and the Imac, the little Macbook is not used THAT
much and made a perfect ‘frankenstein’ for this little experiment. Yes
I know. With a combination of VMware and OSX Spaces its not that hard
to run both operating systems side by side (with enough ram it runs
very smoothly) but that is something I have tried already. It works and
stuff.. but where is the challenge 🙂
Time to really see how "intel" those intell macs really are and serving
them a real installation disk of Ubuntu. The objective : Dual booting
my Macbook (1st generation) with both Leopard AND Ubuntu. First off to
see what the results are (Does Ubuntu work out of the box) and second
to create quite possibly the most effecient laptop that I have ever
owned. One powered with both OSX for my creative exploits (kwtv,
knightcast etc) AND Ubuntu Linux for my darn geeky stuff.
I toggled around with bootcamp AND the disk utility to free up some
space on the hard drive. After that it was Reboot time with the Ubuntu
CD inserted in the Macbook. It booted fine and started installing. (and
looked mighty sexy, that brown background in white casing). When asked
for diskspace I told it to "use largest free space" and it installed in
no time. I was amazed to find out all the things that worked out of the
box : Aside from the webcam it was pretty much everything. Even the
right click issue ( The mac has no right click button on its touchpad)
was solved by pressing THREE fingers simultaneously on the touchpad.
The screen looked very bright and pretty, sound was a little low on the
volume, but I was pleased. A little Compiz fusion tweaking proved to be
very awesome in delivering results and soon after I had both the
‘expose effects’ that i was used to on the mac AND some of the cool
Compiz effects like spinning desktop and wobbly windows .. ON A MAC !
There was still some tweaking to be done: according to the online
manual you needed to take a good look at the temperature issues that
came up when you installed Ubuntu. And since this is a dangerous issue
(it could harm your hardware) when you don’t pay attention to it, I
decided to go for a reboot and tweak the system afterwards.
And then my courageous efforts where rewarded with a big error. I had
somehow managed to nuke the bootpartition of my OSX ! While rebooting
the laptop booted straight into Ubuntu and did not even mention the OSX
partition anywhere. Pressing the Alt key while booting showed me the
interface where the mac lets you choose between Windows and OSX
(remember i ran the bootcamp agent) well, it showed me … One drive ..
the "windows one". clicking it booted the computer straight into OSX.
Now I am a fan of Ubuntu , but not enough to sacrifice an entire mac to
it ! I want dual boot. So its back to the drawing board and try to get
things right. In any case it was a very interesting experiment that
demands to be brought to a succesful ending.
Documentation can be found here and here .