Since there are different revisions of each Mac model what needs to be done may also differ.
Just selecting the right Image often isn’t enough.
With Mac laptops its usually boot/install problems are related to:
- Graphic card chip (especially with dual graphic card MacBooks)
- Proper EFI booting.
- Card connecting to the built in laptop monitor(again with dual grapgic card MacBooks)
dmidecode |grep -i macbookpro
will give you your specific version. If you are able to boot into something that gives you a Linux shell. Try to deduce your model from the wikipedia MacBook version table.
I'm presuming models with the same hardware are of the same revision and hence the same steps should apply.
I've always used the ordinary Amd64 ISO for all installations described below. Not the alternate CD’s which seem to be mostly used for old,pre unibody, Apple hardware.
As long as you have refit installed in OSX, the ordinary Ubuntu live CD or USB disk will present you with a "efi linux" boot option along with a bios boot option"
15" MacBook pro version 5.1 [ two gfx cards 9400 & 9600]
Since part of your question was that you wanted to disable the gfx card.
enter this in your grub terminal when booting:
(You can actually play around with this booting of a usb live cd if you feel like it)
the values to add in grub (just plain , not appending any pre-existing lines already present:
outb 0x728 1
outb 0x710 2
outb 0x740 2
outb 0x750 0
This will disable your card and switch the display over to the correct one.
If your display only turns black. Boot back into OSX and switch what card is being actively used and reboot and try again. Since we don't want to add this to the command line every time to grub to be able to boot have a look at this
15" macbook pro version 8.1 [ two gfx cards Intel 3000 & Amd Radeon 6490M ]
Apply the grub settings above from the 5.1 example to disable the Amd card.
Using the Intel card also has some quirks regarding LVDs timings. Resulting in a yellow back light colour and barely readable / viewable screen in console and Unity. Fixes have been merged to Kernel 3.4 and above. And it works out of the box with 3.5 Kernels.
You need to either need to patch your kernel, upgrade to a newer kernel or simply install Ubuntu 12.10(currently beta) that ships with 3.5 out of the box.
13" MacBook pro version x.x? [ nvidia9400m ]
works out of the box