I want to install Ubuntu on my iMac. But I don't want to use Unity. I want to use Gnome 3. I can install it over Ubuntu (as I do on my laptop) but I know that Fedora and OpenSuse use Gnome 3 natively.

Also, I use Ubuntu on my laptop because of drivers. It was a pain in my ass to install all working properly on Fedora and CentOS. So finally I've installed Ubuntu and it works fine for years.

So now I understand, that here is another bunch of drivers on my iMac and maybe here won't be any problems with Fedora.

Ok. Actually, the question is what is the best distribution (best, I mean most compatible with drivers wireless devices: Mouse, Keyboard etc) to use on iMac. As a second OS and as OS in my VirtualBox.

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  • you can disable unity by selecting ubuntu classic at the login screen. – user6124 May 12 '11 at 11:52
  • 1. Gnome 3; 2. drivers compatible – fl00r May 12 '11 at 11:56
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    I use SuSE 11, CentOS 5 and Fedora all without issues within VMWare 2.x virtual machines. It's at the point where I don't even think about compatibility any more. They all just work when virtualized. – Ian C. May 12 '11 at 13:09
  • I am using VirtualBox and have got some problems with video driver – fl00r May 12 '11 at 15:36
  • This question has almost nothing to do with Mac, almost all current distributions will run well enough in VirtualBox. Pick the one you like based on the distributions merits, not any relationship to the Mac host. – Caleb May 18 '11 at 11:21

I look at this issue the other way (which may not help you at all as you mention video driver issues and you want full linux access to the GPU).

My take is "Which virtualization environment works best with the linux distributions I want to use?"

For me the answer is VMware Fusion, then VirtualBox and lastly Parallels. And I really haven't heard any significant issues with all three of these in the last several months.

The reason is that my time is so much more precious than whatever marginal increase in speed I would have gotten installing linux natively. If and when I need huge performance I deploy to co-located linux service where you can easily pick your optimal price / performance / service level.

  • I'm only using VMWare Fusion 2.x and it's still rock solid stable and great. 3.x is supposed to be even better. – Ian C. May 13 '11 at 13:56

you want to install (Ubuntu 14.04 GNOME)

follow the guide if you have any questions:


afterwards just old the Option key at the sound of the chime on a reboot and select the USB!

make sure to install GRUB to your Linux root partition /

also install REFIND so you can select the second os at boot.

IF YOU HAVE A DRIVER ISSUE (booting to blank screen) install in (nomodeset) once installed you might have to type (nomodeset)) into your grub menu but pressing e and adding nomodeset after quietsplash

once that is done you should be able to install drivers no problem.

you might have to blacklist some from loading at boot but I would segest reasercing installing linux on your specific Apple as your did not give us any information on that.

Also Ubuntu works with wireless devices but you have to write a script to pair them at boot automatically.

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. – nohillside Oct 23 '15 at 8:23

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