How to single-boot Ubuntu 6.10 "Edgy Eft" on an Apple MacBook

This page describes how to install Ubuntu as the only operating system on your Macbook. To install Ubuntu for dual boot with Mac OS X, see the MacBook page.

To help decide which is best for you, keep these in mind:

Disadvantages of a single boot Macbook:

  • You will be unable to install any new firmware updates without first reinstalling Mac OS X.
  • The method presented here only works if you have quite recent Mac OS X install DVDs (10.4.6).

Advantages of a single boot Macbook:

  • It is easier to setup than a dual boot, requires no special tricks during the Ubuntu install.
  • If you plan only to use Ubuntu, no hard disk space is wasted on a Mac OS X partition.

This method is known to work on Core Duo based Macbooks, but has not yet been tested on the new Core 2 Duo based Macbooks.

The installation procedure

  1. When connected to the Internet, boot into Mac OS X and make sure you are running the newest firmware using the Software Update tool. Remember, you will not be able to update the firmware under Ubuntu.

  2. Insert the Mac OS X Install Disc 1. Shutdown your Macbook. Press the power button and hold down the "c" key. This will boot you into the OS X installer.
  3. In the menu bar along the top of the screen, click on Utilities, then Disk Utility.

  4. In the Disk Utility, click on the Partition tab. For Volume Scheme choose 1 Partition. The default file system type will be Mac OS Extended Journaled, which is fine as this partition will be delete during the Ubuntu installation anyway. Click the Options button and choose Master Boot record. Click the OK button. Then click the Partition button.

  5. Quit the OS X installer. Just after the reboot, press the eject key (in top right corner, just below the power button) to eject the OS X install disc. Insert the CD you burned from the ubuntu-6.10-desktop-i386.iso image. Press and hold the power button to power-down the Macbook.
  6. Press the power button and hold down the "c" key. This will boot you into the Ubuntu installer. At the first screen, press the "F6" key to get to the boot options. At the end of the existing boot options, append one of these:
    • For a 1.83 GHz Macbook: lpj=7330000

    • For a 2.0 GHz Macbook: lpj=8000000

  7. Then press enter to boot the Ubuntu installer. Once the live system has started, double click the Install icon on the desktop. You can now install Ubuntu normally. At step 5 of 6 "Prepare disk space", I recommend using the Erase entire disk option.

  8. Once the installation has completed, reboot and your Macbook will boot perfectly into your new Ubuntu install. To get the wireless working, the correct screen resolution, and other useful things, follow the excellent post-install instructions on the MacBook page.

MacBookSingleBoot (last edited 2008-08-06 16:23:24 by localhost)