Ubuntu 9.10 On A Macbook 5,1 (2008 aluminum unibody)

November 26, 2009

Here’s what I did to get Ubuntu 9.10 running as a dual boot alongside the default OS X installation.  They are a little different from what is detailed on the Ubuntu help site because 9.10 uses a new version of Grub that is not currently compatible with rEFIt version 0.13:

  1. Make a backup of any critical files on your computer.  If something goes wrong, you may have to reinstall OS X.
  2. In OS X, run the Bootcamp Utility (in Finder -> Applications -> Utilities) to create a new partition for windows.  I made mine 70GB.  This took several minutes of nervous waiting while it set up the partition.
  3. Reboot to the Ubuntu 9.10 CD.  Hold the Option key when starting up in order to get the option to boot to the CD.
  4. Start Ubuntu in the LiveCD mode (something like “Start Ubuntu without making any changes to this computer”).
  5. Once Ubuntu is started in LiveCD mode, open the gparted partitioning program in System -> Administration -> GParted
  6. Delete the new windows partition and apply the changes.  You will now have a bunch of unused space at the end of your disk.
  7. Close GParted.
  8. Double click the “Install Ubuntu 9.10” icon on the desktop.
  9. Continue through the installation wizard until you get to the Partitioning step.  Choose the “install to the largest continuous free space” option.
  10. Continue to the final “Ready To Install” step.  Click the Advanced button.  Check the “Install Grub boot loader” checkbox, and select /dev/sda as the Grub installation location.
  11. Install, and reboot.
  12. To boot into Ubuntu, press the Option key while starting up to enable the Bootcamp chooser.  Ubuntu will be the “Windows” option on the right.