I have this old MacBook Pro, model 2,2 (from late 2006) that I thought I’d revisit, and put Ubuntu on (the optical drive doesn’t work anymore, so making a live DVD won’t help). I want it to dual boot into Mac OS X. So after a hit of reading, I partitioned the HD, and also got rEFInd working.
The machine supports 64bit, but has a 32 bit EFI. I have been down a very deep rabbit hole with a lot of stuff I don’t fully understad (GRUB, EFI stuff, etc. etc). My understading from everything I’ve read up until now is that it would be simple. I even tried an install on a virtal machine on a newer Mac to see what to expect in the Ubuntu install process.
I can not for the life of me get the Ubuntu live CD to boot. I have followed various instructions on making a USB stick with the live CD image on it, but nothing seems to work.
I started with the most current version - 20.04. Download the .iso file and off I went.
So first off, I started here: https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/create-a-usb-stick-on-macos#1-overview
Nothing happenms. rEFINd and even booting with the ALT key held down reveals no bootable drive.
Rinse and repeat, using Etcher to make the USB stick. Same as before - no show on the boot screens on the Mac.
Apparently, it will work if you use some command line to convert the .iso to a .img file. So I tried that.
hdiutil convert /path/to/ubuntu.iso -format UDRW -o /path/to/target.img
That’s a no-go too.
Worth pointing out that at this juncture, the .iso and .img files are not mountable, and the USB stick is not mountable either, so I don’t know what is (or isn’t) in the file structure that may need changing.
OK, so I then find out that there needs to be a little tinkering to get the installer to work. Fine, I’m OK with that. Seems that if I use a tool like Mac Linux USB Loader, I can get something working - I can actually see the file structure, and there’s a single folder structure: /efi/boot/
with boot.iso and a .efi file. I read that if I remove the 64 bit EFI file, and put in a file called bootia32.efi, that will work. And....
It boots! But, hold your horses. It goes so far - loads Linux, loads RAM disk, then gets stuck on loading the kernel. And, yes, I have been patient and have left it a while, but nothing happens. After an hour with nothing more happening, I decided that it probably isn’t working.
Also tried UNetBootIn - same thing.
So, onwards. I found this page: https://mattgadient.com/linux-dvd-images-and-how-to-for-32-bit-efi-macs-late-2006-models/
Where I learn that there may need to be some tinkering with the .ISO file. Fair enough, I’ll try that. I also follow the instructions linked to in that page to create a partitioned USB stick with USB partitions. Matt says that this is the best one to try, so I go off and click the link and follow the instructions. https://mesom.de/efi32boot/index.html Worth pointing out here that I don’t have another Linux box kicking around, so I have to do this in Mac OSX using DiskUtility to partition the drive.
And I try this, and again something different happens. I get a boot screen, and option to boot Ubuntu and then a blank screen with just a static cursor in the. That’s stuck too.
I get this: Start of Boot cycle
followed by this (and I feel I may be getting somewhere here): Second phase of boot cycle
And then: Third phase of boot cycle
And it gets stuck. Nothing happens. The cursor doesn’t flash.
I have tried this, as I said with 20.04 - I have also treed earlier downloads which are apparently meant for Macs, but with similar failures. At best, I get to the “loading kernel” bit before it all grinds to a halt.
I have been at this for a few days - these tests involve shunting a lot of data about.
I have also tried installing Ubuntu usiung a Mac that does work with the USB drive and then trying to move that install to the target machine. No go. Also tried migrating a VM from Virtual Box - again no go. Also tried making a DVD, booting another Mac in targeted disk mode and trying to access it from the target machine. No go there either (no DVD showed up - again, the Macs reject).
I am now feeling pretty frustrated. Something that seems easy has become more complex than I expected.
Any pointers, especially from people who have managed to get this working on this model of MacBook Pro, will be very welcome. Thanks!