Has anyone tried putting Ubuntu on the new retina MacBook Pro? If so, were there driver issues?


I did, here is how.

First make sure you got enough space for the installation on your SSD. I resized the partion and left 50GB freespace for ubuntu. Don't make any Partition, just have some dedicated freespace on the drive.

After that Grab the latest Ubuntu iso from here http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/quantal-desktop-amd64+mac.iso

Once the file is downloaded use dd to write the .iso on a usb drive.

Assuming you Downloaded the file into your Downloads directory. Open your Terminal and check the dev path of your usb drive:

diskutil list

once you got the path cd ~/Downloads and use dd to write the .iso to usb:

sudo dd if=~/Downloads/quantal-desktop-amd64+mac.iso of=/dev/rdisk? bs=1m just replace the rdisk? with the right device name, probably rdisk1

If you got any error messages or Permission Denied alerts you need to umount the drive first by diskutil umountdrive /dev/rdisk?

While dd does write to your usb drive go to http://refit.sourceforge.net/ and grab the latest rEFIt version and download the .dmg file, open it and install the refit package.

Once dd is done (takes a while - depends on your usb stick quality) reboot os x and once it's starts again you should be greeted by refit boot menu and a choice of available os's. Select Linux and you will be booting Ubuntu.

Make sure to use F6 key and select nomodeset since the Gfx does not goes well with Retina by default

Once Ubuntu loads, Install and profit. Just let the installer use the freespace, it will partition the drive and you can change the swap space size later (it does 16gb swap by default for 16gb mbp retina)

NOTE: I don't have wifi running yet but I installed Ubuntu 15 min's ago, once I do have Wifi up and running i'll post an update here. Otherwise you can google the solution yourself.

  • Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I am installing ubuntu right now. Do I set nomodeset once I'm in ubuntu or is that a rEFIt thing? Also, what does install and "profit" mean? What do you mean 16gb default for a "16gb" retina? Thanks so much again! Sep 22 '12 at 2:07
  • I was able to get ubuntu on the disk and boot from it. But when the desktop loaded the colors were a gaussian blur rainbow. Sep 24 '12 at 14:09
  • @Dave - you hav do add the nomodeset kernel flag when you boot the ubuntu from GRUB, Press F6 and select nomodeset from the menu.
    – PJJ
    Oct 4 '12 at 20:13
  • Ok got it. Any luck with video and wifi drivers? Oct 15 '12 at 7:16
  • 1
    yup. that's pretty straight grab aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=21690 this arch-linux package and put the firmware into /sys/firmware
    – PJJ
    Oct 15 '12 at 17:27

I Installed it using instructions on http://cberner.com/2012/10/19/installing-ubuntu-12-10-on-macbook-pro-retina/ I still have two problems:

  1. Does not wake up after I close and reopen the computer.
  2. Wireless connection does not stay on, It disconnects after every 5 -10 minutes.

I will update as and when I solve these problems.

  • You've posted this as an answer, which is only for things that directly answer the question asked. 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.
    – Daniel
    Dec 23 '12 at 23:27
  • The question have two part "Has anyone tried putting Ubuntu on the new retina MacBook Pro?" My answer to that is yes I have. Second part is " If so, were there driver issues?" Answer to that part is "Yes there are two issues" How I installed (external link) is just additional information.
    – dkiscool
    Dec 24 '12 at 21:17
  • @dkiscool were you able to solve the problems?
    – nathanvda
    Dec 28 '12 at 7:22
  • No am not able to solve the problems. I bought a Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and mostly use it with ethernet.For #2 I shut off my computer once I am done.
    – dkiscool
    Dec 30 '12 at 1:41

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