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Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by christof, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    I've always been a Mac user since System 6. Those were the days when we got to install system upgrades on multiple diskettes--DISKETTES! I've always wondered about Ubuntu and decided to partition 8GB of my HHD for Ubuntu and a BootCamp setup.

    I wonder if anyone has tried installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on their MacBook Air. I saw directions at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBook, but I wonder if anyone has found any special procedures that should be followed for a perfect Ubuntu/MacBook Air setup.

    Anyone? Has anyone read or seen anything?
  2. macrumors P6


    id say that the procedure would be the same.. they run the same OS, have basically the same components. should work

    wow u have a lot of old macs :)
  3. macrumors 68030


    I don't know if Ubuntu supports the Airport Extreme card, I know it didn't about a year ago but haven't heard anything. Obviously if you can't use your airport card it's kind of pointless.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    I had Ubuntu on Parallels but never did a dual boot on a Mac.
  5. macrumors P6


    r u forgetting ethernet lol?

    hhmm i could never get ubuntu to work even on parallels.. wierd thing
  6. macrumors 68030


    You can use fwcutter to extract the broadcom drivers from the Airport driver of OS X, then using those drivers, just probe the module for the Airport driver that was extracted. After that you have to manually configure the wireless via command line - see the Ubuntu Forums on how to do this as this process is a few steps and requires a little bit of effort. But hey it works!
  7. macrumors 68030


    The MacBook Air doesn't have eithernet
  8. macrumors P6


    does if you have the adapter
  9. macrumors 68030


    Having an adapter doesn't mean jack if you don't have drivers. There aren't even drivers for it under Boot Camp.
  10. macrumors member

  11. macrumors 6502

    I agree. As I started my post, I've been a Mac OS user since the System 6 days. I just want to futz around with Ubuntu. Has anyone seen any comprehensive guides that address any driver/hardware differences MacBook Air may have with an Ubuntu install, compared to MBP and MB?

    I'm not a Linux geek, but can type whatever needs to be done in the command line... Any other direction people have?
  12. macrumors newbie

    I don't know much about dual booting Ubuntu, but Parallels' web site provides disk images for a pre-configured 7.05 install.

    I initially tried to create a VM in parallels using a ubuntu installation disk. No dice. It would just hang every time, sometimes during install, sometimes after.

    When I started a VM in Parallels using the images downloaded from their web site, it just worked. (i.e. BOOM). Ubuntu then updated itself to 7.10 without issue, and it's been perfectly fine since.
  13. macrumors P6


    oh wow thats for the tip. i shall be donwloading that disk image at the end of the month (if i have enuf to DL). :)
  14. macrumors 6502


    although for ubuntu there are seperate instructions specifically for the SR MacBook over all all current Mactops. It's all in their wiki, somewhere.
  15. macrumors member

    ubuntuforums.org has a dedicated apple intel forum: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=211

    as for the intel draft n card, if it is the same one as is in the sr macbook, then it works quite well natively (aka not having to use ndiswrapper with the windows driver, as mentioned above) i had ubuntu 7.10 working flawlessly on my macbook a few months ago (i've since sold it and bought an air...for which i don't plan on putting linux right now)

    almost everything that is known about getting ubuntu working with apple intel-based machines you'll find in those forums (or at least a link to external sources with additional info)

    there's probably not a whole lot of air-specific posts, but if you look at the sr macbook threads, most of it should apply. beware that the onboard graphics (intel x3100) is very immature in linux (xorg window system) right now...but they're furiously addressing the issues and should probably be much better in the upcoming releases...

  16. macrumors G4

    Dual boot is not as usfull as you'd think. You have to re-boot to switch OSes and that is such a hassel that you just won't do it. Some Windows users, gamers specifically, need to re-boot so that the games can run better but with Linux, it runs very well and fast inside VMware Fusion. It runs almost at native speed but there is zero delay while you re-boot.

    Another advantage of VMware is that there is no hardware compatabilty issue. Linux can run using a virtual network interface and you don't have driver problems

    One more thing.. A VMware image is "portable" you can install VMware on Windows or on Linux and run a VMware image you made on the Mac on your Windows or Linux system just by copying the VM image file.

    To run VMware with a linux system inside you will need about 2GB of RAM.

    What you will find is that Umbuntu is very much like Mac OS X. Linux and Mac OS can run a lot of the same software. In fact I'd say that anything that runs under Linux will also run on your Mac. But of course the Mac can run that nice suite of software from Adobe and Apple that Linux can't. I have Umbuntu on my iMac but I find little reason to use it because I can just run any of those Linux/unix apps on Mac OS X. I do use the Linux system for software development at work. I write for both Linux and Solars there.
  17. Moderator emeritus


    HLdan's post and follow-ups to it have been forked to this new thread. Thanks! :)

    (posted from Ubuntu, but let's not go there. ;) )

    EDIT: I'll throw in another nod for the benefit of Parallels or VMWare or the like -- until you decide that you're using Ubuntu much more than OS X, you probably won't do much in it that really benefits from running it on the full hardware as opposed to virtualized. Also lots of people decide after their first install that they wanted to do something differently in terms of partitioning or whatever anyway, so it'll be a good experience to learn it first and then repartition if you wish later). :)
  18. macrumors G4

    If you have any interest in Linux I'd recommend VMware's Fusion over Parallels. The reason is that VMware has a product that runs on a linux host whereas Parallels is Mac only. Some day you may have a real Linux computer and you would like the use the same VM system on both Linux and Max OS. Paralels I guess is OK if you live in a closed mac-only world

    I won't say which is technically better but in terms of the breath and depth of the product line VMware comes out ahead. They have dozens of products and a huge library of pre-build VM images. You can get most of the Linux distros pre-built as well as Solaris and other UNIXES. Paralles lacks VMware's "ecosystem"
  19. MRU


    I think parallels tools for linux breaks installations of 7.10 Ubuntu (just a warning :) )
  20. macrumors newbie

    I have successfully installed ubuntu to my macbook air with the superdrive and refit. There is a complete guide in the ubuntu forums. Just google "macbook air ubuntu" everything works, even multitouch and the ethernet adaptor if u have one.
  21. macrumors 68040


    I'd agree, it's fun for playing around with, but if you already have OS X there are no real advantages to running a Linux distro.

    The GNOME environment has some way to go to match the usability of the Macintosh as well.
  22. macrumors 6502

    open spotlight, write "terminal" and press enter. There ya go, no need for ubuntu ;)
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Why bother with Gutsy? Hardy Heron (8.04) has been out for a while now and is working on the Macbook Airs.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Because Heron wasn't out at the time of the post. This thread is six months old.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Ubuntu 8.04 on Parallels is trivial. Download the ISO, create a new OS in Parallels (Custom > Ubuntu), allocate memory as normal, etc. I prefer bridged networking, it's easiest. Load the ISO, and you're good to go.

    This is in response to replies about running Ubuntu over Parallels. I think that putting Linux directly on the MBA is good thinking, because you could make that machine blinding fast using something like Zenwalk or another Xfce-desktop OS. Ubuntu on Parallels on the Air sounds like trouble, and I bet the combo would be slow as hell.

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