I've been trying to install Ubuntu 13.10 on my Macbook Pro (15", Mid-2009, i.e. with dual graphics chips) via bootcamp. I can boot off the disk, select a language, and select "Install Ubuntu". Then a whole lot of text scrolls past quickly but at some point it stops and freezes (attached picture shows the frozen screen). I have waited for ca. half an hour for any change, nothing happens. The DVD drive seems to stop reading as well. Some more info:

  • My MacOS version is 10.9.2 (not sure this is relevant)
  • I am using the desktop-amd64+mac.iso burned to a DVD
  • My internal DVD drive appears to be broken so I am using an external drive

Picture of frozen screen here

Any help would be much appreciated.


Macbook pro's boot in EFI mode, whereas the bootcamp loader emulates a legacy bios in order to boot windows.

This is not the best solution for installing ubuntu 13.10 to a mac, as it can be handled natively in efi mode via grub2, or if you prefer refind.

  1. Decide on a bootloader that will manage your operating systems. I suggest grub as it can be repaired in the event of problems using the boot-repair app (which works very well with my mac5,5), and it can detect your OSX/Windows partitions. Alternatively as already mentioned refind is an elegant solution for mac's.
  2. Follow the steps here to get a live USB working for your mac, then hold 'alt' on boot. This should give you the option to boot and install ubuntu in EFI mode.
  3. When installing select the 'something else' option to partition your disk. Ensure you only install the grub bootloader to the partition of your ubuntu installation.
  4. Refind will detect a linux partition automatically, however if you have opted for grub you may (as in my case) need to run boot-repair from the live usb.

To download the boot-repair you will need to enable networking (use the proprietary driver to get this up and running on the macbook):

  • open a new Terminal, then type:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

    $ sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)

  • Press ENTER

Follow the instructions, then reboot. You should now have ubuntu working natively on the macbook pro.

Good luck, I hope this helps.

  • I just did that, using ReFind as it appeared easier to install. I still have exactly the same issue, when I select anything from the first menu (Try without installing, install, check disk... etc), something happens and then it freezes. Last time, it froze with a pink letter on a red square on the first line... I know there are some issues with dual graphics cards and ubuntu, but I haven't been able to find out how to do anything about it. – user257075 Mar 14 '14 at 17:32
  • Have you tried adding nomodeset to the boot parameters? – bleeves Mar 14 '14 at 17:39
  • Turned out I had to use nomodeset, acpi=off and nodrmraid. not sure why. It works now though, thank you very much! It is being really quite slow for some reason but at least it runs. – user257075 Mar 14 '14 at 19:06
  • The issues you have with speed may be because Ubuntu is running in legacy emulation mode as opposed to native efi. In your refind menu does it mention efi? – bleeves Mar 15 '14 at 6:34

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