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Late 2010/early 2011 Macbook Air 3-2, Narwhal or Meerkat presumably (model A1369) / Ubuntu 20.04 / No OS X. I wiped the disk when installing Ubuntu

Installation from live USB stick. On first attempt, I chose the option to install third party hardware drivers, including the Nvidia driver.

On reboot, the screen would show the below message twice, then go black, with no apparent way to recover the situation. In other words, for all practical purposes, the installation failed.

Failed to set MokListRT: Invalid Parameter

Could not create MokListRT: Invalid Parameter

Importing MOK states has failed: import_mok_state() failed
: Invalid Parameter

Continuing boot since secure mode is disabled_

The error message above appears to relate to a problem with the shim bootloader not playing nice with older Macbook Airs, according to this:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+bug/1867092

Someone on the above linked page mentioned the Nvidia driver packages possibly also being involved in this, so I attempted a fresh installation, this time not using the Nvidia prop drivers.

This time, on reboot the above error message only appears once and then Ubuntu starts up and I’m able to log in. So the Nvidia drivers are the bigger issue here, that error message seems inconsequential.

Unfortunately, the open source drivers for the nvidia card perform poorly with video so I'd really like to install the prop ones.

So two questions.

  1. How to fix the graphics driver issue?
  2. How to fix the error message at boot?

Any help appreciated!

1 Answer 1

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I got this sorted.

First, install Ubuntu with the open source graphics driver (nouveau). Get rid of the shim application and make sure grub is installed. This will fix that MokListRT error.

apt-get purge shim

grub-install /dev/sda1

Reboot once just to make sure the above didn't break anything. (If you also have rEFInd installed, you should now see two options to boot into Ubuntu, one mentioning grub, the other not mentioning it. From now on, always choose the grub one. If you don't see that one, then sth is wrong, and you need to fix that first before going on with the below.)

Now follow the steps in the first answer to below question. In short, you need to activate the VGA card as PCI-E bus master, something the Apple bios doesn't do, but that can be accomplished with a simple grub script.

Proprietary NVidia drivers with EFI on Mac, to prevent overheating

On a side note, even though I followed those steps precisely, when entering...

 ~$ sudo setpci -s "00:17.0" 3e.b

... I always get "0a" returned, not "08". I risked it anyway, rebooted, et voila, no more black screen. For reasons unknown I had to reboot twice more for the boot process to go through without any hiccups. There were still display issues on the first two attempts. I didn't change anything though, just rebooted twice more, and that somehow took care of the remaining kinks.

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