I have a late 2011 macbook pro, that I bought in early 2012. Is it possible to cleanly install ubuntu without the irritating EFI mac 'shell' surrounding the install, making the mac boot sound and generally slowing boot up time by 15-25 seconds?
You can install Ubuntu but under virtualization platform live VMware or VirtualBox this is the easy way for try Ubuntu.
But, if you want to going to install Ubuntu as a whole system I think you have to disable EFI interference like installing Ubuntu with Windows 8 installed.
To Avoid long EFI wait before GRUB
Assuming that the bootloader is on sda1, otherwise /dev/disk0s2 if it's on sda2, etc.
Credit for answer to Alaukik in this post.