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My question is probably implicit in the title, but here's additional details:

  • installation target is macbook pro is a late-2011 17" model

  • the macbook has a 2TB SSD

  • the 2TB SSD has a 750 GB APFS partition with macOS High Sierra installed

  • the 2TB SSD has a 1.2 TB FAT partition created to accomodate an Ubuntu installation

  • rEFInd has been installed in anticipation of an Ubuntu installation

I've followed the mac-specific instructions for creating a bootable USB drive. From there, I followed the install Ubuntu desktop tutorial.

Everything looks good until the installer gets to the "big decision" step: Installation type. It reports, "This computer currently has no detected operating systems." Which of course could not be more wrong. This leaves me cold because despite the optimistic assurances on the Ubuntu website that it could be installed on Macs, the installer doesn't even recognize what a macOS looks like on the hdd. This seems incredible to me because if I run the Disks app in the Live system, it shows an EFI partition, and a 750 GB APFS partition! How could the installer not know?

I've tried the "Live Installer", and I've tried installing from the bootable USB drive I made iaw Ubuntu's instructions. Results are the same.

This curious note was found here:

Most Macs with Intel processors will work with either 64-bit or Mac images. If the 64-bit image doesn't work, try the Mac image.

The "Mac image"?!?! After searching for a while, I never found anything labeled a "Mac image" Is this a case of organizational disconnect at Ubuntu, or have I missed the link?

I can't go forward with this installation without some forward visibility. By that I mean, I'm happy to take the "Something Else" route at the Installation type screen, but I've got to know that the installer is aware enough not to overwrite my EFI partition - if it even recognizes the mac is an EFI system!

Is there a reliable and accurate installation guide for Ubuntu on Macs, or enough current information somewhere to allow one to proceed with confidence in a manual installation? I've been watching Ubuntu's website for a bit more than a week now, waiting/expecting Ubuntu to post an update to the installer, or the install instructions - but so far, it seems they are either unaware, or ???

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  • The "Mac image"??? Could you possibly be referring to legacy versions of Ubuntu that offered an BIOS booting installation which using the GUID Partition Table (GPT)? This was reserved for the initial 64 bit intel Macs with 32 bit EFI's. This type of installation allowed a 64 bit Ubuntu to operate; even though OS X could only be installed as a 32 bit operating system. A 2017 Mac does not have a BIOS. Jun 4, 2020 at 13:38
  • Is macOS installed in a APFS container? I would assume so, because you have installed High Sierra to a SSD. Most likely the Ubuntu installer does not recognize APFS. This really should not be an issue, since Ubuntu can be booted using the Mac Startup Manager that exists in the firmware on the logic board. Jun 4, 2020 at 13:54
  • @DavidAnderson: The "Mac image" was named here on this page on Ubuntu's website
    – Seamus
    Jun 5, 2020 at 1:16
  • @DavidAnderson: Yes - a "container" :-/ You may be right that the installer doesn't recognize it, but the live system certainly does - I looked at it while using the live system on the Macbook. And surprisingly (to me anyway) mac's Startup Manager will give you the choice without using rEFInd. However, as RodSmith explained in this answer, it comes down to a choice between rEFInd and grub. So it seems that mac's Startup Manager can't do everything required to boot Linux on a mac - do you agree??
    – Seamus
    Jun 5, 2020 at 1:24
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    Where are you with installing Ubuntu? Where are you stuck and need help? Jun 6, 2020 at 21:58

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