I'm working on a MacBook late 2008 Unibody Aluminium with Mountain Lion on. I'm trying to mount Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit on a USB stick in Mountain Lion but it seems impossible.

I've read all the documentation on how to install it on the Ubuntu site with all the command lines etc., but it's not working. I get errors like "No mountable file detected" when trying to open the .iso file.

I'm specifically looking to have an OS that doesn't make high frequency noises. Has anyone been able to install 12.04 LTS Ubuntu on their Mac (with Mountain Lion)?

  • Could you add a link to the documentation you've read? How do you try to open the .iso file, double clicking it in the Finder? As for your last question, I run 12.04 inside a VM, and unless there's a compelling reason not to, I'd recommend that you did that, too.
    – jaume
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 12:00
  • You need an Ubuntu CD/DVD. Once you burn one of these, insert it into your DVD drive, and reboot. When the computer reboots, hold down Option. A selection screen should show up. Select the entry labeled CD/DVD/Windows. This will boot the Ubuntu CD. Install is somewhat self explanatory from there.
    – Linuxios
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 17:27
  • @jaume Virtual Machines are pointless if you're not even interested in using OSX anyway. You'll sacrifice a lot of your performance and still be banking off of OSX. He needs to just use a Live CD and avoid OSX entirely, even for installation.
    – DJSpud
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:08
  • Related: Installing Ubuntu without DVD or Flash Drive.
    – kenorb
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


This can be achieved using Linux USB Creator For Mac.


  • First just select the linux distribution you want to use. You can either select from the list or browse for a Local ISO file to use.
  • After choosing Ubuntu you can browse for your USB device.
  • The program will then download the ISO, Format the disk, Copy the ISO and Install the Bootloader.
  • Your USB Drive is now ready to use. Simply boot up your mac while holding the “alt” key and select the drive.

A YouTube video is also included & can be viewed from the above link to complement.

Please note: This program hasn't been updated since the introduction of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

  • I can say that I tried the tool on OS X 10.9 with the default Ubuntu 13.10 server and OS X does not recognize the USB disk as bootable, even with rEFInd.
    – sorin
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:15
  • @SorinSbarnea Fair enough.
    – Simon
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:25
  • Also tried with alternative-mac version of ubuntu and here the disk is recognized as bootable but it fails to load the kernel, giving you the grub menu. So, sadly, this doesn't seem to be a valid solution anymore. I am trying again with YUMI from Windows and the special mac blend of ubuntu ISO.
    – sorin
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:38
  • @SorinSbarnea I hope you find an ideal solution, there are plenty available for Windows, hopefully something will turn up for Mac.
    – Simon
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:47
  • @SorinSbarnea Also see sites.google.com/a/rmprepusb.com/www/tutorials/… as a potential alternative to Yumi for Windows.
    – Simon
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:51

You shouldn't directly open the ISO file in OS X: it's not needed. You should simply convert the .img file to an .iso file and copy it to the USB stick using dd, following these instructions.

Then restart your Mac pressing the Option key, and choose the live USB option.


Many models of Mac firmware are incapable of booting Linux from a USB stick. I recommend you burn Ubuntu to a CD or DVD via the .ISO download, which will work without a hitch.

While you can run Ubuntu natively, this has no guarantee of fixing your high-pitched noise, which sounds like a hardware issue to me. You will also have noticeably-reduced battery performance and, if your model has dual graphics cards, Ubuntu will only recognize one of them almost certainly.

  • Like @bispymusic said, use a CD/DVD. There's no point in using an operating system to install another operating system.
    – DJSpud
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:09
  • I've not had experience with USB drives not being bootable due to Mac firmware. I have had to run another OS to bless a specific media once it's been restored from an ISO if it's not properly set up to be a Mac bootable drive.
    – bmike
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 19:06

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