Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 on Mac Mini

This post describes a short procedure for installing Ubuntu 10.04 on a Mac mini. The instructions were initially written (and should still work) for older Ubuntu versions, down to 8.10. However, I haven't tested the old versions for a long time.

The process is roughly the same as my previous instructions for Ubuntu 8.04, but the write-up is more detailed to address the questions I have received last time. So don't the post length scare you!

Outline
The article starts with a warning describing the shortcomings of installing Ubuntu on the newest Mac Mini model. That is followed by a step-by-step guide for installing Ubuntu which should work on any Mac (tested only on Minis though). The post ends with instructions on how to restore your dual-boot solution if Mac updates break it, and a list of (community-contributed) tricks for getting some hardware to work on the latest Mini.

Warning (skip if you're sure you want Ubuntu)
Ubuntu will not work seamlessly on the new Mac mini (model MacMini3,1 with 5 USB ports). This is based on the release version of Ubuntu 10.04.

Wireless does not work right after installation, so Ethernet is needed, at least for bootstrapping. Once the system gains Internet access, it offers to install a Broadcom STA wireless driver which offers good performance. Grub 2 will get stuck and not show the boot menu about one times in five. This is uncomfortable if you're planning to use your Mini as a server that sits somewhere far away. For desktop usage, you'll probably want to install the nVidia proprietary drivers. On the open-source nouveau drivers, my screen doesn't get recognized when using mini-Display Port, but it works reasonably well when connected via the mini-DVI port. Sound doesn't work out of the box, and you'll need to hack your configuration files to get it to work (see below).

Method
  1. Use a Leopard or Snow Leopard (Desktop or Server) install disc to get your Mac in pristine form. This step is intended to undo anything that might have gone wrong in your previous attempts. You can skip it if you have a fresh install.
  2. Use Software Update to ensure you have all your updates installed. Update and reboot until there are no updates left.
  3. Start up Boot Camp Assistant (press Apple+Space to open Spotlight, then start typing the name until the application appears) and create a "Windows" partition.
  4. Do not let Boot Camp Assistant reboot your computer. Use Apple+Q to quit once it's done partitioning.
  5. Download and install the latest version of rEFIt (0.14 at the time of this writing) from http://refit.sourceforge.net/
  6. Open up Terminal (use Spotlight if you don't have it on your dock) and type the following commands:
    cd /efi/refit
    ./enable-always.sh
  7. Insert your Ubuntu CD, and shut down the computer, then power it back up.
  8. You should see the rEFIt boot screen.
  9. Select the Ubuntu CD (it should have a penguin on it) and go through the normal installation process. If rEFIt doesn't recognize the Ubuntu CD, power-cycle your Mac, and use Bootcamp to boot the Ubuntu CD - press and hold the Alt key as soon as the computer starts up, until the BootCamp screen shows up; select the CD image.
  10. When you have to do partitioning, choose Manual. Remove the Windows partition (the big FAT32 partition at the end). Create an ext4 partition (be sure to to allow for swap space) and set it to mount to /, then create a swap partition. If you're unfamiliar with partitioning a Linux system, read the recommendations below.
    • Click on the FAT32 partition, then click the Delete Partition button.
    • Click on the free space entry at the bottom, then click the New partition button. Select Ext4 journaling file system under Use as:, check the Format the partition: box and select / as the Mount point:. Now subtract twice your RAM size from the partition size. For example, if your partition size is 53575 Mb and you have 1Gb of RAM, you would write in 51527, which is 53575 - 2*1024. Press OK when you're done.
    • Click on the free space entry at the bottom, then click the New partition button. Select swap area under Use as: then press OK.
  11. Unless you know what you're doing, do not change the Advanced settings on the last installation screen. Specifically, don't change the default Grub installation location (hd0).
  12. When the installation is done, the Mac will reboot (if you're lucky) or beep multiple times. If it beeps, turn it off (press the power button for 4 seconds) then turn it back on.
  13. When you get the rEFIt boot screen, go to Partitioning Tool (bottom row, second icon from the left). It will prompt you if you want to update the MBR to reflect the GPT. Press Y, and watch the system reboot.
  14. Power down the system by pulling the power cord. Then power up again.
  15. Select Macintosh HD, and make sure you can boot into OSX. If it doesn't boot after 2 minutes, power cycle (see previous step) again.
  16. Optionally, switch the boot default to Linux. Open up /efi/refit/refit.conf in TextEdit, and uncomment the line saying #legacyfirst (at the bottom of the file).
  17. Reboot your Mac mini, and enjoy choice!
OSX software updates might remove your ability to dual-boot. The colorful boot menu will disappear, and your computer will boot into Mac OSX. If that happens, you can restore dual-booting with the following commands (step 6 from the guide above):
  • Open up Terminal (use Spotlight if you don't have it on your dock) and type the following commands:
    cd /efi/refit

    ./enable-always.sh
Hint: you can bookmark this post to have the solution handy. I won't mind :)

Getting Hardware to Work (community-contributed)
The tips here should help if you want to go beyond Ubuntu's out-of-the-box hardware support. These were contributed by others, and I just put them together on one page.
Sound (by nonspeaking) - not needed after Ubuntu 9.10 Beta
To get the sound working, add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
options snd-hda-intel model=imac24

Motivation
If you're curious, the following reasons determined me to write this post
  • My readers commented on my installation method for Ubuntu 8.04, and said it doesn't work for 8.10. Takeaway: please do comment! I listen :)
  • I got a new Mac Mini (MB464LL/A, 5 USB ports) to replace the one that was stolen from me.
Enjoy Ubuntu on your Mac!
Please leave a comment if you find a shorter way, or if something is not working for you.

97 comments:

  1. Ubuntu is not ready for the new Mac mini

    Do you have any information on other distros on the new Mac Mini?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did you get audio working?

    Doesn't seem to work by default...

    ReplyDelete
  3. grml gnome does not work right.

    seems that others have the same problem:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-intel/+bug/322959

    can anyone help?

    thx!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the guide. I´ve just got one of these new Mac Minis as well and plan on using it for MythTV, so sound is important.

    I needed to add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base to get sound working:

    options snd-hda-intel model=imac24

    I am also having better results using the latest drivers from nVidia (180.29) rather than the Ubuntu packaged ones. Follow these instructions to install them:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NvidiaManual

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Alsa tweak works fine on my Mac Mini 2009 with Gentoo Linux. Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I could be wrong, but it appears that the solution to this reboot issue is within the range of your abilities. Is it possible to reverse-engineer Leopard's process to find out what changed from the old intel-mac-mini's which rebooted normally? I guess more importantly, what Leopards reboot mechanism does that linux doesn't. A simple shell script to patch the standard linux reboot scripts to include the proper reboot signals would be slick. Even if it's not elegant, it would be a great achievement. Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. @aDisasterisk -- There is a non-elegant solution to the reboot problem. Someone claims that installing the linux-server package, which brings in a different kernel, solves the problem. I haven't had time to verify that yet, so I haven't included it in my post. My information source is the original bug report.

    If you try it, I would be grateful if you let me whether it works or not. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks very much for the prompt response. It looks like the developers acknowledge that it's a bug and since they already found that the server package can fix it, they'll probably have a patch soon.

    I just hope they can release a script to fix that works on most distro's and DOESN'T involve recompiling the kernel.

    ReplyDelete
  9. restarting seems to work for me after i added reboot=acpi to the kernel command line (reboot=efi didn't)

    i added the options line, but this is not supposed to work on the internal speakers? (i haven't tried plugging external speakers in, but if couldn't get sound with the internal speakers)

    gohai

    ReplyDelete
  10. @aDisasterisk, anonymous - I tried reboot=acpi and reboot=efi with the plain kernel and the server kernel. I also tried updating rEFIt to 0.13, and used the above options. None of them helped me reboot.

    Given that the Ubuntu 9.04 kernel lockdown is this coming Thursday, I don't expect to see the reboot issue fixed in 9.04.

    ReplyDelete
  11. did some more testing and also can get this to work reliably :(

    ReplyDelete
  12. did some more testing and also can't get this to work reliably.. might just have been luck the first time around :( (all the other reboot-options also make no difference)

    gohai

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anybody have time to reverse engineer the OSX reboot process? Otherwise try to look straight at the open firmware documentation? I currently don't have the skill or time to work on this, but at some point I promise to post it here if I find a solution.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for your guide. I hope I get you right.

    1) Ubuntu 8.04 works with Mini Mac (new one with 5 USB ports).
    2) Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04 beta makes problems:

    - Wireless does not work right after installation
    - The system hangs after performing all the shutdown tasks
    -Sound doesn't work by default

    I hope the final 9.04 Version can fix the beta version problems.

    Greetings from Germany

    ReplyDelete
  15. @aDisasterisk: no need to reverse engineer OSX :). rEFIt can reboot the mini, so there is working open-sourced code for doing that. Also, the OSX kernel is open-sourced, so I think it's more a matter of debugging the kernel code and fitting in some new logic.

    @Anonymous from Germany: apologies if I was unclear. When I wrote my previous post (about Ubuntu 8.04), I had an older Mac mini, bought in late 2007. I haven't tried 8.04 on the new mini.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Brilliant... Well almost. Looking to ReFit is definitely the way to go. He or They don't actually have a solution yet, but it looks somebody's reported it.

    http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&aid=2700944&group_id=161917&atid=821764

    Isn't "debugging a program to figure out what its doing so you can replicate it" pretty much the definition of reverse-engineering? ;) To be honest though, I didn't know the OSX kernel was open source so actually, debugging seems like the hard way. I'm going to find an OSX # in IRC and beg developers to help us out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Once the system gains Internet access, it offers to install a Broadcom STA wireless driver. This driver works, though the network performance is poor.How poor is poor? Do you have any figures?

    I'm planning on running Ubuntu as the main OS on the new Mac Mini, and this might be a show stopper. WLAN is my only option for networking.

    Other than the WLAN, audio and video issues you mentioned, would you say Ubuntu works well on the new Mini?

    Any comments on the issues reported at Ubuntu forums?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post, Victor. Many thanks. One small step from your old post that you may want to duplicate here is to update the GRUB install location from (hd0) to (hd0,2), assuming you added a separate swap partition. That was a necessary step for for my Linux partition to be able to boot. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks! Points 12) and 13) helped me with my Fedora 11 beta installation.
    Even though it did not reboot automatically at least it booted.

    Also note to anyone installing Fedora 11 on iMac 24, remove all the preselected packages (like Office and Software development). Otherwise it will hang at the end of the setup.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry for getting back to everyone so late!

    @Boris: I measured the WiFi performance by System Update, downloading, and scp-ing stuff into the machine. I consistently got about 4KB/s.

    Caveats:
    (1) There's a lot of interference where I live (~15 access points). However, I consistently get speeds of over 1MB/s on my other computers.
    (2) I'm using 802.11n.
    (3) I just tried the Ubuntu 9.04 Release Candidate, and the Broadcom driver is activated, but not working at all.

    I would say everything else (Video, I/O) works pretty well.


    @Brandon: I removed that step because I was able to get things to work without it, consistently. Even with a boot partition. Will try to follow-up over email to figure out why we're getting different results.

    ReplyDelete
  21. First you say: "When you have to do partitioning, choose Manual. Resize the Windows partition ... to allow for swap space and format it to ext3, then create a swap partition."

    Right after: "Click on the FAT32 partition, then click the Delete Partition button."

    So there was never any actual resizing. Maybe reword this part?

    ReplyDelete
  22. @Anonymous: Thank you for your feedback! I fixed the writing.

    The reason why the summary was inconsistent with the step-by-step instructions is that I first tried out re-sizing, hoping it would make things work without rEFIt. Then I forgot to update it.

    Shame on me for that, and thanks so much for catching the inconsistency!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Just adding that while I also got the reboot problem in trying ubuntu on my new mac mini, I also saw the problem in gentoo. But strangely enough, I never have this problem with livecds like the Ubuntu one. I can restart fine from them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Okay, scratch that last part I guess :P Just tried again and it happened. It's kind of sporadic I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Luna: the new Mini (Macmini3,1) fails to reboot regularly for me. If it reboots for you, even sporadically, please consider adding that information to the launchpad bug, to help folks debug.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I find it interesting that you had no issues with the nVidia driver that shipped with 9.04 beta. Have you tried 9.04 final? X crashes if I maximize a window, or rather, stops responding.

    Updating to the latest nVidia update fixed this problem for me making the trouble quite worth it.

    Still haven't found a way to reboot properly. Anyone else?

    ReplyDelete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Using a 3.1 macmini on a 10.5 OS with a Ubuntu 9.04 install disck, the installation hangs on the "preparing to partion" menu at 38%. Can anyone give advice or HELP!
    Thanks,
    Partioner

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great post, very useful. However I still have the reboot issue. Anyone managed to solve this? Any alternatives? I tried both 8.10 an 9.04, I tried the server kernel and different options in the kernel command line with no success. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great post, very useful. However I still have the reboot issue. Anyone managed to solve this? Any alternatives? I tried both 8.10 an 9.04, I tried the server kernel and different options in the kernel command line with no success. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @ernesto: I tried Ubuntu 9.10 alpha, which has the 2.6.30 kernel. The problem is still there. I don't think we'll see a solution this year.

    @aDisasterisk: I know I _could_ be working on a solution. Sadly, at this time, I can't afford the time investment -- it's cheaper for me to stick to Dell Hybrids for my servers.

    I think this explains why nobody is stepping up to solve the Mini problem.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi everyone. Thanks for the article, helped me to get the sound working on the mini.

    Has anyone tried using bluethooth? My syslog shows:

    bluetoothd[2918]: Can't read class of adapter on /org/bluez/2918/hci0: Unknown error 4294967291 (-5)

    and I can't find any devices when scanning..

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Everybody

    i am new to ubuntu and i don t understand the folowig instruction to get thge sound working
    I tried that in Terminal
    but did nt work
    Cheers
    Cyril






    Sound (by nonspeaking)
    To get the sound working, add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base
    options snd-hda-intel model=imac24
    As of Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 6, sound doesn't work by default, and this workaround makes it work.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Included My email if anyone can help

    Hi Everybody

    i am new to ubuntu and i don t understand the folowig instruction to get thge sound working
    I tried that in Terminal
    but did nt work

    Cheers
    Cyril

    Sound (by nonspeaking)
    To get the sound working, add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base
    options snd-hda-intel model=imac24
    As of Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 6, sound doesn't work by default, and this workaround makes it work.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:32:00 PM PDT
    Delete

    ReplyDelete
  36. I cannot Find the: /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

    But Found:etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

    I added options snd-hda-intel model=imac24

    BUT Gedit Says :
    "Could not save the file /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf."

    "You do not have the necessary permissions to save the file. Please, check that you typed the location correctly and try again."

    Can Anyone Help Me please?
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  37. @Aldomodo -- can you try the following command to open up the configuration file?

    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks Victor
    i managed to make it work before i got your message last week
    i am not sure how exactly
    but one thing is sure it would not have happened without your page
    thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
  39. the audio tweak works also for me in debian/squeeze!

    thx to all!

    but, anybody know why there is a terrible crackling problem when I listen music?

    I have:
    * mac mini intel (mid 2009)
    * debian/squeeze
    * alsa installed (1.0.20, instead of 1.0.18 in ubuntu)

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a guy!! Just when I was sure the reboot issue fell into obscurity and had given up hope, I see your latest post on launchpad. Thanks for pushing the issue. What the hell could it be?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have a mid 2009 mac mini, and it's a wonderful piece of hardware. Ubuntu is my main OS and I would love to put Ubuntu on it but these instructions are bit over the top for me. If I had a 2nd mac mini I could play around with it. Just imagine if there was an Ubuntu 9.10 mac mini edition for download, that would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  42. @aDisasterisk: I initially thought it has to do with the fact that MacMini has a 64-bit EFI (I checked using the command at http://www.9to5mac.com/snow-leopard-64-bit-32-bit-firmware-efi) but that's not the problem. I'm running Ubuntu on my MacbookPro5,1 which also has a 64-bit EFI and that works.

    This would be the perfect excuse to dwell into the kernel code... sadly, I wouldn't be able to justify the time. I wanted the Mac Mini as a fast but portable server. Right now, I'm much more attracted to the Dell Studio 15 with Core i7... yes, it's more expensive, but damn the configuration looks promising.

    @Anonymous: I don't think the Mini justifies a separate edition. All the things that don't work in Ubuntu can be fixed in the main Ubuntu edition. That being said, if you want to improve things, by all means, go for it!

    If you're in a hurry, you don't really need refit anymore -- the latest Ubuntu builds install and boot just fine via Bootcamp. I still recommend refit because it's handy to have around, if something goes wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  43. As of 9.10 sound still does not work. The workaround still works but the file is now

    /etc/modprobe/alsa-base.conf

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have a mac mini 3,1 and it's imposible that microphone works.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  46. @Lupa: I'd like to thank you for your commend and confirm it.

    I can't get microphone input on my MacMini3,1 or MacBookPro5,1. I tried the internal microphone and the microphone in a Logitech USB camera.

    Oh well... daily lucid builds are available now. I'll try them out, and I'll update my post if I have any good news.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Restart works fine with my Mac mini with the kernel option reboot=pci

    ReplyDelete
  48. @Johannes: what Mac mini do you have? I tried out reboot=pci today, and it wouldn't boot. I'm using a MacMini3,1 with Ubuntu 9.10 x86_64, and the latest stock kernel, 2.6.31-15.

    I will try out Lucid's new kernel (2.6.32) when it becomes more stable. I have the devel release on my laptop, and it's hurting quite a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi, thanks for the guide. This is very helpful. I am installing 9.10 server (64 bit).

    All went smoothly except I do not see the partition in my reFIT menu. Also, I did not know if I needed to make the partition bootable in the partition setup (I didn't) and I didn't set up GRUB as I was afraid it would smash my MBR.

    I'm sure all this is related, but from your otherwise-excellent guide, I was unable to figure out what to do here. Any help would be much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Victor... completely agree. The dells are impossible to ignore. 6 arduous months of hoping for something that will be obsolete in another 18 SHOULD give you pause. The scarce reports about the reboot=pci "maybe" working are whats killing me. I'm seeing the trend now though... The first Intel Minis were perfect for linux... except they wouldn't boot headless without a hokey dongle. The new MAC's boot headless, but they won't reboot. Just seems like it's not meant to be.

    As for your time, the issues been "triaged" and "assigned" forever now so if I were you I'd save it for something more promising as well. Let the full-timers fix it. Nice try on the 64bit EFI though.

    ReplyDelete
  51. @Philip: the default installer settings should install Grub in your MBR. For me, this was the only option that worked -- I couldn't get rEFIt to see the Linux partition directly.

    @aDisasterisk: I have good and bad news.

    Good news: I downloaded the daily x86_64 Ubuntu build (kernel 2.6.32-9) and reboot works consistently.

    Bad news: the system freezes when I install the nvidia proprietary graphics driver, and botches the X configuration permanently -- X won't restart.

    Why this is bad news: AFAIK, there was no fix checked in specifically for this bug in the 2.6.32 kernel. So it all comes down to bugs. Maybe fixing the nvidia driver will break reboot again. On the bright side, at least there is hope. Rebooting is possible.

    Also: I haven't tested this on the fall 2009 Mac Minis. I'm a student again, so I don't have the budget for a new mini.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I see this was posted on my birthday, so double thanks for your continued efforts and research. Obviously, school takes precedence.

    I will focus on the bright side. i am going to re-scan forums and IRC chans for other distros for reports of the same bug and confirmed solutions. Obviously, any good news will be posted here first.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Victor, wondering if you tried centos on the new mac mini and did you face reboot issue with that too? Do you know if any other linux works on the new mac mini?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Anonymous, I'm trying CentOS and have the same issue. It appears to be common to at least 2 distros. I would not be surprised if it's universal.

    ReplyDelete
  55. @aDisasterisk: I haven't tried CentOS.

    On the bright side, rebooting still works pretty reliably on the latest Ubuntu 10.04 daily builds (kernel 2.6.32-11 and 2.6.32-12) so maybe it's just a matter of time until the bugfixes trickle down to other distributions.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Using the "halt" command under Ubuntu 9.10 gets the machine to power-off to my suprise.

    Any other form of reboot/shutting down hangs and doenst power down though.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi all,
    I have installed unbuntu server beta 10.4 successful on a mac mini with the instructions.
    But I have one qeustion is it also possible to reboot de macmini with out a monitor. The monitor is not connected to the mac mini just reboot from an other mac????

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi ! thanks for your post.

    Based on this post I installed today Ubuntu 9.10 32-bits desktop edition in a mac mini :-D

    so sweet

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi lads,

    just a quick update: with 10.4 beta2 almost everything works.

    Suspend, reboot, shutdown is fine out of the box.

    Wifi and video needs non-free drivers enable, and than works perfectly. I use it with two DVI displays, it's beautiful.

    Sound is the only thing that not works "out of the box". After adding to
    /etc/modprobe.d/options.conf this line:
    options snd_hda_intel model=mb5

    it works fine, but the sound is coming from the box, not trough the earphone (quite strange, isn't it?).

    I also measured the power consumption of my box (160G HDD, 2.26CPU, 4G ram). It eats ~20-25W on average (CPU is on 1.6 GHz) and ~32W on peak.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  60. @kees: using ssh or some kind of screen sharing (vnc)?

    You need to enable 'legacyfirst' in rEFIt config first though to make sure it's booting to Linux not to OS X.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Sorry it's me again :)

    So
    options snd_hda_intel model=mb5
    will make your sound enable and the sound is coming from macmini's internal speaker, not from the earphone.

    With
    options snd_hda_intel model=imac24
    the earphone will be enabled and not the built-in speaker.

    imac24 seem as a better option for me, but you can deicide yourself which one you like.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi... and the microphone ?

    ReplyDelete
  63. @kees: If you get a S-video adapter and plug it in the back of the Mini, it will boot. This is an old trick, I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary with the MacMini3,1. I'll give it a try as soon as I find some more time.

    @Anonymous: Thank you for posting your findings! As a matter of fact, I played with my Mini and the latest Lucid daily (20100417; the ones before are more or less busted) and it does work quite well.

    The latest daily boots reasonably well (Grub hangs about 1 out of 4 times) and can reboot. The nouveau driver works perfectly when using the mini-DVI, and it works at low resolution with the mini-Display Port.

    @Anonymous: I don't know if the microphone works or not. I'll try that for sure the next time I play with the Mini. I would try gnome-alsa-mixer to enable the microphone input and push the volume up, that worked on my MacbookPro5,1.

    Sad... chances are that, by the time this Mini works under Ubuntu, Apple will push out a new Mini with Core i3/i5.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi,

    I have 1600x1200 resolution on my mini-Display port. My other monitor is 1920x1200, I may give it a try to swap them to see how far can I push the mini-display port.

    nouveau seems a bit slower than the nvidia non-free driver, but I think that's normal. I don't use any 3D effect, so nouveau is fine for me. Installing the nvidia driver is a smooth process, works well.

    Never had any problem with boot up, grub never hanged.

    Unfortunately I don't have microphone to test with. Microphone is available in the menus, so it may work.

    ReplyDelete
  65. This works perfectly with 10.6 and ubuntu 10.04 beta on a Mac Mini Core Duo 1.66 (MacMini(1,1) I think)

    Steps 1 through 12 were the only steps required. GTP and MBR were already in sync.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I want to install Ubuntu 10.04 to my Mac Mini Intel Core 2 Duo.

    ubuntu-10.04-desktop-i386.iso is the correct image right?

    ReplyDelete
  67. @Anonymous: I use the amd64 ISO. Core 2 Duos have 64-bit support, so you can run either ISO. The 32-bit one might give you less headaches. I use the 64-bit one because that's what I run on all my other machines.

    Good luck! Don't hesitate to ask questions if you get stuck!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Anyone know how to get 10.04 to regonisize Apple Wireless Keyboard in login screen? (MacMini2,1)

    It works fine in rEFIt boot screen, but when it comes to the login screen, I need to use that virtual keyboard to input my password..

    Then in desktop I need to choose that bluetooth icon at top right of the screen and select Keyboard/Disconnect, and then select Connect again to get it work.

    ReplyDelete
  69. It's funny how my Logitech bluetooth mouse works just fine on login screen, but bluetooth keyboard not. :(

    Mouse uses external bluetooth 'receiver', though..

    ReplyDelete
  70. Me again lmao..

    Is it just me, or is it a known bug that Ubuntu 10.04 sometimes completely freeze. Mouse/keyboard stops responding (even wired ones) and I need to shutdown the Mini by pressing power button 5 sec. This happens totally randomly and rarely, but it's very irritating when it happens to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Victor.

    Instead of install Ubuntu as a separated partition, what do you think about the performance if I use virtual box or vmware to emulate an ubuntu server 10.4?

    Recently I need to install Ubuntu on Mac Mini, but i did not get it work, so I would like to install virtualbox or vmware to install ubuntu.

    What do you think about this idea?

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  72. The Mac Mini I bought does not have BootCamp Assistant. And I am unable to find it so far. Also, how did you partition the disk before installing Ubuntu? I want to partition a RAID set, is that possible?

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  73. @Ellery: it really depends on your workload. I/O intensive loads have bigger performance hits on VMs than compute-intensive loads. So, for instance, a Rails server will suffer less overhead than a FTP server. Unfortunately, even the latest Mac Minis come with Core 2 Duos which don't have hardware virtualization (VT-d) in them. Having that shrinks the virtualization overhead by a great deal.

    If you go that route, make sure to set up a Startup Item for virtualbox, so your server "reboots" on a power failure.

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  74. @Rajesh: what Mac Mini model did you get? OSX 10.5 and 10.6 should come with Boot Camp. I hope you didn't get the super-expensive one with 2 hard disks... most of the price overhead is for the OSX Server license, which you'll be throwing away anyway, if you want to replace the Mini with Ubuntu.

    I haven't tried any RAID setup on Ubuntu so far.

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  75. Has anyone installed ubuntu server 10.4 on the latest 1Tb 4Gb mini server?

    instructions please...

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  76. Hi,
    I have a new Mac mini (2 weeks old) on which I want to install Ubuntu 10.04. I have created a separate partition with Disc utility and then installled Refit.

    The CD boots using Refit (and using D on boot) works fine, however after starting the installation from the main boot menu I just get a blank screen with a blinking cursor and then the machine hangs.

    I have verified the CD with check option at start. I get the same behaviour using a Lubuntu 10.04 disc.

    Most grateful for any hints.

    Regards
    Ulf Westermark

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  77. i had same problem - problem seem to be that linux doesn't recognise the disk drive (i tried installing fedora with NOMODESET and you can see the disk controller time out i think)

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  78. Hi again,
    This probably brings some light to the problem:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Macmini4-1/Lucid

    I have not tested the steps yet.

    Regards
    Ulf W

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  79. I installed Ubuntu 10.04 with success on my Mini (end of 2009.. here in Brazil). On live version only the sound doesn't work.. and strangely the broadcom wireless card works only enabling the "restricted drivers".

    Buuut, after install the wireless card doesn't work anymore.. and the sound works enabling the line options snd-hda-intel model=imac24...

    Now, i need a wired connection to install the restricted drivers again...

    The best thing is that ubuntu boot on my Panasonic 42' (connected via mini displayport-> hdmi )without problema..

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  80. Anyone know if the new Mac Mini 2010 Server Edition can run Ubuntu without the above problems ?

    /mihai

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  81. @Mihai: I haven't played with the 2010 minis. The fact that they still have Core 2 cpus make it unlikely that I'll ever consider they're worth the money.

    On the other hand, I just thought it would be nice if someone walked into an Apple store with a Ubuntu live CD and tried things out! You should be able to test most (if not all) issues without modifying the machine's disk.

    I might do that if I'm really bored sometime. If you do it before me, please report your findings back here.

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  82. i installed ubuntu (with nomodeset) and almost everything worked.

    when i installed fedora - pc didnt boot

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  83. @Victor thx, will see when i get it.

    @David Do you have Mac Mini 2010 ? Sever or Desktop version ? I heard that the Mac Mini will comsume more power when running with Ubuntu and the fan will be louder. Have you noticed any of that with Ubuntu and Mac Mini ?

    /mihai

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  84. Got the 2010 MacMinis - rEFIt installed, Installed 10.10beta (to be sure the disks would be recognized). BootCamp is not included anymore, but you can copy it from another machine.

    After Ubuntu install, it will not boot. Tried with and without BootCamp.

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  85. Ah, problem fixed:
    http://reprocessed.org/blog/ubuntu_on_mac_mini
    and
    http://phildawson.tumblr.com/post/778134747/install-ubuntu-server-on-mac-mini

    use acpi=off and nomodeset, AND REMEMBER to install grub in the partition (/dev/sdaX), not directly on the disk!

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  86. @Phil, does the machine boot/shutdown fine ?

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  87. on 10.10 the machine does boots, even you get a black/blank screen.
    if you installed openSSH server you can ssh to it. (get the ip from your router lan users list)

    but from there no idea what to do.

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  88. thanks for the points 4,5 and 6.
    which is very useful for me. once again am thanking you...

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  89. Ubuntu 10.10 installs and boots just fine on a Mini 3,1.

    rEFIt doesn't like playing well with the Apple EFI, though (it refused to stay the "blessed" loader), so I modified an AppleScript I found online [1] and set it to start at login, making sure rEFIt would be "blessed" for the next boot. I took the code from /efi/refit/enable-always.sh [2], copied it to enable-copy.sh (in the same dir), and removed all the variables and arch checks (replacing them with their expected values) [3].

    So far (I'm not done yet), the CLI system installed from the Alternate CD works fine. Upon building my system to start X, it suddenly decides to not work and boot to a black screen after GRUB. Haven't had a chance to try sound yet, but rebooting works without configuration.

    [1] http://pastebin.ubuntu.com/547152/
    [2] http://pastebin.ubuntu.com/547145/
    [3] http://pastebin.ubuntu.com/547146/

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  90. Ubuntu 10.10 fully installed and ready to go (on the 3,1). No special configuration needed, apart from installing the nonfree nVidia drivers.

    FANTASTIC.

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  91. After following all steps, I got rEFIt works, I'd installed successfully (that means, the installation process was ok) Ubuntu 11, and I see the penguin in the boot menu, BUT, when I click the penguin, I get the grub menu, and after selecting the first option, I get garbage in the screen and the machine stops working.

    I have a Mac Mini with Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, NV9400m and 2 GB ram

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  92. Fixed. Passing to the kernel in the grub line nouveau.modeset=0

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  93. good guide, thanks. i've just installed debian wheezy netinst (grub installed at /dev/sda3) and it seems all works fine.

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  94. it was usefull for me too. thank you.
    jjR

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  95. I'm installing 11.10 onto my Late 2009 2.53Ghz. Mac Mini's 30GB external USB2.0 pocket portable drive

    right now as I work from my old 2002 G4 iMac "Lampy"

    This after the LiveDVD worked so well in the Mini...

    The new GUID is great, much more OS-X like...

    Stay tuned....

    J.C.

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