How to Install Ubuntu 12.10 In Macbook Air

This is a follow-up post to the previous article: How to Install (And Dual Boot) Ubuntu In Macbook Air (5,2).

If you have followed the previous guide to install Ubuntu 12.04 in your newly acquired MacBook Air and is looking to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10, or you just want to install Ubuntu 12.10 from scratch, this guide is for you. The good thing about Ubuntu 12.10 is that it works better than 12.04 on the Macbook Air, so the installation will be a breeze and less fixes are required.

Note: This tutorial is based on the 2012 Macbook Air (5,2). If you are using an older version of Macbook Air, this tutorial might not work.

1. In your Mac, download the 64-bit Mac (AMD64) desktop CD iso.

2. Once the download is completed, plug in your USB drive and open a Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal).

3. Convert the iso file to img format with the following command:

hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64+mac.img ~/path/to/ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64+mac.iso

Replace the “/path/to” with the actual location of the iso file (you can drag and drop the iso file to the terminal to paste the file location).

4. Check the location of your USB drive:


5. Unmount the USB drive:

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskX

Replace “diskX” with the USB drive disk number.

6. Run the following command to create the USB Installer:

sudo dd if=/path/to/ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64+mac.img of=/dev/rdiskX bs=1m

Don’t forget to replace the “path/to” and the “rdiskX” with the file location and disk number respectively.

7. Lastly, eject your USB drive.

diskutil eject /dev/diskX

rEFit is a boot menu toolkit that can detect multi-boot system on Mac and allows you to boot into another OS easily.

1. Download the latest version of rEFit from here.

2. Install it in your Mac.

The next step is to partition your Mac to make space for Ubuntu. Open the Disk Utility (Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility)

1. On the left panel, select the Mac SSD. On the right, click the “Partition” tab.

2. Select “2 partitions” from the Partition Layout dropdown. You should see the partition layout become two equal containers.

3. Highlight the bottom container (the partition to use for installing Ubuntu). Give it a proper name and select “MS-DOS (FAT)” for the format. Next, change the hard disk size you want to allocate for Ubuntu.


4. Click Apply.

Once you have partitioned the hard disk, you are ready to install Ubuntu.

1. Plug in your Ubuntu USB Installer and reboot the Mac.

2. On the rEFit screen, press the right arrow to select the USB installer.


3. The Installer should boot you into the LiveCD desktop without any issue.

4. Once you are in the desktop, select “Install Ubuntu”.

5. Follow the onscreen instructions to install Ubuntu until you reach the point where it asks you to select the “Installation Type”. Select the last option “Something Else”.


6. The partition table will now show up. You need to delete the FAT32 partition and create two other partitions – one for Swap and another for Ubuntu installation (ext4 format). The general rule of the thumb for the Swap size is to allocate twice the RAM size, up to a maximum of 4GB, so if you have 4GB or more RAM, make the Swap size 4GB. Leave the rest of the free space for Ubuntu.

Note: Some people will opt to create another partition for the GRUB installation. This is purely optional.





Make sure you select the correct partition for the boot loader installation.


Once you have completed this partitioning step, you can proceed to install Ubuntu.

After you have installed Ubuntu, remove the USB drive and reboot your Mac. On the rEFit boot screen, you should now see a new Penguin icon. select it.


Note: If you are seeing a dark screen instead of the GRUB menu, you have to:

1. Boot to Mac OS X
2. Install the GPT fdisk terminal utility
3. Follow these instructions to build a hybrid boot menu.

You should be able to boot into Ubuntu now.

There are some fixes and tweaks that we have to perform before Ubuntu can function properly.

Note: The following script is a modified version of the script that we used earlier for the Precise install.

Open a terminal and type:

chmod a+x

It will issue a warning that the script is not meant for your version of Mac. You can ignore it and continue the installation process. The script It will add a few PPAs and install a few important fixes, including macfanctld (CPU fan control), lightum (light sensor), xmodmap (key mapping), suspend, etc.

That’s it. You should be able dual boot Ubuntu 12.10 on your Macbook Air now.

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