For the last couple of days I have been trying to install but most importantly run Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 on my Intel Core i7 Haswell iMac Model (late 2013). Unfortunately I haven't been able to boot into the system itself. The installation was nice and easy, but as soon as I restart my computer I am stuck at a purple boot screen.

Now I don't know if I have done anything wrong or if this is related to a hardware issue/the iMac itself. Does Linux support Intel Haswell chipsets at the moment? Or is this an Apple/Mac specific problem?

Here is how I installed Ubuntu on my new iMac:

  1. I installed rEFInd boot manager in OS X 10.8.5.
  2. Created a bootable Ubuntu USB thumb drive.
  3. In the installer, I created 3 partitions, 1 for Swap 8 GB, 1 for the BIOS 10 MB (I also tried Efi) but the result is the same and 1 for Ext4 850GB.
  4. Ran the install and waited until it fished.
  5. Once everything was successfully installed I was asked to restart my computer.

And that's about it really, from there on I cannot boot, I'm stuck at the purple screen.

My computer specifications are as follows:

  • iMac (Late 2013)
  • 3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Haswell, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM Memory
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5

Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Download the Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit PC (AMD64) desktop image, not the Mac one. Burn it to a CD/DVD with disk utility, the next step is creating a partition for Ubuntu. Go into Disk Utility and manually shrink your Mac partition. Shrinking your Mac partition will create some free, unallocated space, which is exactly what we need. Don't forget to Install The rEFInd boot manager before you proceed.

Now we can begin installing Ubuntu. Boot from Ubuntu CD by holding the option key on your keyboard (alt) right after the chime sound) and choose the "Windows" CD. I know this sounds strange but for some odd reason the mac thinks it's windows. This will bring you to a Ubuntu-like desktop where you can check out Ubuntu or use some useful tools. Just start the installation. When you start the installation you will be led through the installation process. Somewhere early along the path you will be asked where to install Ubuntu. I chose install alongside Mac OS X and it worked fine for me!

You will then be guided through the installation. If you are not familiar with Ubuntu installations, I can assure you that this is pretty straightforward. You will be able to pick a username, password, computer name etc. I recommend you to install the third party audio software since Ubuntu can't provide Audio codecs itself. Installing updates will increase installation time of course, but since it's the first thing we will do after the installation, you might as well do it. After having finished the basic configuration feel free to look at the slideshow, play around Ubuntu a little bit or just leave the installation to itself. Check in every 15 to 20 minutes to see if everything is alright. The installation took about 20 minutes on my iMac after having entered the personal info. The usb stick method did not work for me, I was only able to install and boot Ubuntu properly with a CD/DVD. Try this workaround and let me know if it worked for you..

  • Thanks Pat, this worked for me! In fact with the help of a friend of mine who is a Linux programmer I have not only managed to install Xubuntu 14.04, but also to make my 21.5 Inch Intel iMac Haswell run Xubuntu Linux exclusively without OSX, I've got now the entire HDD at my disposal! I am so happy :-) – LinuxScientist Jun 4 '14 at 11:35

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