I'm setting up an old mac mini (specs below) with a dual boot (Ubuntu) and I've run into an issue getting to the Apple boot manager or the EFI boot manager. Essentially the monitor does not activate for either boot manager, however, if I wait or hit return straight away OSX loads, if I hit right and then return Ubuntu loads. So the boot manager is there but the screen simply isn't coming on yet. As soon as an os loads the monitor comes on and works just fine.

The monitor is connected to the mac mini using a display port cable (mac mini thunderbolt out to monitor display port in). The monitor works just fine on other macs with the same cable. I've tried a whole load of things:

  • reset PRAM or NVRAM and SMC
  • tried a different cable (display port adaptor to vga cable - so different port on the monitor)
  • did a fresh install of OSX (initially 10.6 and then updated to 10.8.5)
  • tried a different monitor (an old vga CRT - mac mini thunderbolt out to monitor vga port in)

always the same. I'm now using the hdmi out of the mac mini (hdmi adaptor to dvi cable) and the monitor displays the boot manager as expected on boot up. Up until this point I thought the issue was mac/osx boot manager/thunderbolt related, however, there are issues in Ubuntu as well that I don't get in OSX. After loading Ubuntu (using HDMI), if I swap to thunderbolt/display port it works but I'm missing lots of the higher resolutions (everything above 1024 x 768) - perhaps related?

Are there any know Ubuntu/thunderbolt/Nvidia conflicts that might be causing this? I've already updated the Nvidia drivers for Ubuntu but no difference. When I open the thunderbolt preferences it states No Thunderbolt support. Is there something that needs to be done to enable Thunderbolt?


Mac Mini mid 2011, 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Nvidia GeForce 320m 256mb

OSX 10.8.3 Ubuntu Studio 18.04 with gnome, Nvidia binary driver 340.107 (nouveau driver does not work at all for me)

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