Installing Ubuntu 16.04 on 5,1 Mac Pro (native boot) with non-EFI flashed Nvidia GTX1080

leon771

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
203
50
Australia
Greetings Macrumors users,

Just a little background on what I am trying to accomplish.
I have an Oxford Nanopore MinION which I am using to generate some whole genome sequences of some viruses. The processing from raw data from the device to "DNA" is quite intensive and using my 12 core Mac Pro takes 10 days of crunching.

There is a version of the software that will run on Ubuntu 16.04 that can leverage CUDA (10 series and up cards) which will speed up this process by an order of magnitude (1 day to process). The CUDA enabled version is not available for Windows or MacOS.

I have at my disposal the following machines.

4,1>5,1 with dual X5570s
5,1 with dual X5680s
13" MacBook Pro (late 2016 Touch Bar).

I have spent quite a bit of time searching the forum but I can't find the answers I am looking for.

I want to know whether it is possible to install Ubuntu onto its own dedicated hard drive in one of my Mac Pro's and boot in to it natively. I would then like to have CUDA installed and be able to leverage a GTX 1080. Is it possible to natively boot Ubuntu on a Mac Pro with a non-EFI flashed Nvidia card, or do you require EFI to see the bootpicker? I have seen some threads stating to install rEFInd as a boot manager.

My other options would be to install Ubuntu on an external TB3 drive and boot my MacBook Pro off it. I will then install a GTX 1080 in a Razer Core X and attempt to leverage CUDA from the eGPU. I'm not sure if this will be an easier process than trying to get Ubuntu running on either of my Mac Pro's.

Are there some resources concerning Ubuntu that anyone would recommend?
I'm a novice with Linux/Ubuntu installs so finding a lot to digest at the moment.

Thank you
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
can't see why you can't, just grab a drive or flash stick and try it out.

for testing I always just instal the OS on to a flash stick to keep things simple.

you also have the option to install via some VM software then booting from the drive I gess?
 

leon771

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
203
50
Australia
Booting from VM won’t allow me to use CUDA as there is no direct access to GPU compute.

Are there issues booting into Ubuntu USB with a non EFI flashed GPU? How do I select the USB image?
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
I did not mean to boot from the VM just instal the OS via a VM if you feel like it.

will be simpler just to instal it on to a USB stick or spare SSD and see what happens, wont take long to find out.

for safty, you can pull all OSX drives so you don't wipe them by accident
[doublepost=1560950449][/doublepost]ok did a google serch and this is the first hit
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacPro
may help
 

leon771

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
203
50
Australia
I did not mean to boot from the VM just instal the OS via a VM if you feel like it.

will be simpler just to instal it on to a USB stick or spare SSD and see what happens, wont take long to find out.

for safty, you can pull all OSX drives so you don't wipe them by accident
[doublepost=1560950449][/doublepost]ok did a google serch and this is the first hit
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacPro
may help
I’ve been to that link but it lists 1,2 2,1 3,1 and 6,1. No 4,1 or 5,1.

Thanks for looking.
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,320
6,030
Brazil
Since your GPU don't have pre-boot configuration support, aka BootScreens, you should install Ubuntu with an Apple GT120, check that everything is working as intended, then you replace the GPU.

Every other way to install it will be a nightmare for someone that is starting this now without pre-boot configuration support.
 
  • Like
Reactions: keysofanxiety

amedias

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2008
186
155
Devon, UK
Booting from VM won’t allow me to use CUDA as there is no direct access to GPU compute.
A couple of my cMPs are booting ESX and hosting multiple VMs, and ESX (and other hypervisors) does support PCIe device passthrough to give VMs direct access to the a GPU or any other PCIe device...but you should be able to get a native install of any modern *nix running with little to no bother.

Worst case scenario you may need an EFI GPU in there to get going and then replace or add your 1080 once you've got the OS installed but that depends on how you plan to install it. (EDIT - cross post with tsialex)
 
  • Like
Reactions: keysofanxiety

Kolvir

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2014
34
1
Iowa
After the install and the non-EFI card is put back in, what do you use to switch OSes? I'm using bootchamp now for MacOS and Windows, will it work three OSes, one of them linux? From what I have been reading rEFInd and clover require the bootscreen that I don't have with a non-EFI card. Am I wrong?

In my case I have a GTX 760, 4,1 -> 5,1. 10.13.6, Windows 7 and I'd like to have a linux install on a separate drive.