Friday, December 6, 2013

Installing Kubuntu 13.10 on MacBook Pro 13'' late-2013 from USB stick

I was given a MacBook Pro 13'' late-2013 at my work, and I decided to install Kubuntu 13.10 on it. After much fiddling I managed to do it and here is the procedure.

1. I followed this guide to create a bootable installation USB stick with Kubuntu 13.10 for the MacBook:

  • downloaded file kubuntu-13.10-desktop-amd64.iso to the Mac
  • opened the terminal and changed to Downloads directory
  • converted the iso image to dmg format:
    $ hdiutil convert kubuntu-13.10-desktop-amd64.iso -format UDRW -o kubuntu
  • inserted the USB stick into the Mac and unmounted it:
    $ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1
  • Written the dmg image to the USB stick:
    sudo dd if=kubuntu.dmg of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=1m
2. Opened Disk Utility to shrink the main partition in order to make space for Kubuntu.

3. Restarted the Mac and hold Alt key to boot from USB -- the rightmost option.

4. Booted the Kubuntu installation disk and installed it as usual creating these partitions:
  • 8000 MB for swap (/dev/sda4)
  • the remaining space went for the root partition (/dev/sda5)
  • pointed grub to be installed on /dev/sda5
At the end of installation the installation master "crashed" with message: “Failed to install grub-efi to /target/ the system will not boot”.

5. Opened Konsole in Kubuntu, being connected to the Internet via USB-RJ45 connector installed and ran Boot-repair:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install boot-repair
$ boot-repair
6. Started Recommended repair. It said it failed. Ignored this message.

7. Restarted the Mac and booted to MacOs. Installed rEFIt 0.14.

8. Restarted the Mac again holding Alt. Saw rEFIt option, selected it, saw Ubuntu among the options, selected it and successfully booted Kubuntu.

9. Because rEFIt sees 4 Ubuntu options to boot, in Konsole I did:
$ cd /boot/efi/EFI
$ sudo rm -rf kubuntu
Thus I deleted the unbootable EFI options created by Kubuntu installer. The other bootable "ubuntu" options were created by boot-repair.

10. The wireless card driver was not installed. Started Jockey and installed proprietary Broadcom driver. Now I had Wi-Fi working.

That's all!

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