Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal on MacBook Pro 8,1

Quick Notes

  1. Used this live DVD
  2. Hold 'option' key when restarting or turning on
  3. Select 'windows' CD/DVD (wait a while for Mac EFI to 'see' CD/DVD)
  4. I tried both 'install beside OS-X' and custom (to make a separate home partition)
  5. No wireless after install. Not sure what exactly worked but I updated and installed these packages and rebooted:
  • b43-fwcutter
  • linux-firmware
  • linux-firmware-nonfree
  • firmware-b43-lpphy-installer

EFI Stuff

Later I did this:
  • Uninstalled grub-pc, grub-pc-bin etc. and installed grub-efi
No need for rEFIt or rEFInd unless you want them.

I'd use rEFInd now and ignore rEFIt.

What works

  • Right speaker
  • Wireless
  • Ethernet
  • Keyboard backlight, F5/F6 keys, and OSD
  • Display brightness, F1/F2 keys, and OSD
  • Volume control, F10/F11/F12 keys, and OSD
  • Lid close and sleep
  • Lid open and wake
  • Display (using i915 I think)
  • Touchpad

What does not work

  • Left speaker is soft
  • Bluetooth


  1. Thanks for your post. I didn't know there is a Mac-specific ISO.

  2. I don't think it is that different - just more likely to install under Apple's BIOS emulation mode.

  3. Hi Phil,

    I'm running Ubuntu 12.10 on my MacB. Pro 8,1. It's almost all great... but:

    1) is the card reader working for you?

    2) boot takes a lot of time to start for me. Did you fix this?

    3) I feel that the wireless Internet is slow. At least when I use Skype.

    Thanks for the post. It was quite useful.

  4. 1) I did not try card reader. Sorry. I'll try.

    2) Whilst I like a fast boot, it is not something I do often as I let laptop sleep rather than shut it down after use.

    3) I can't say I noticed WiFi speed as being slow or fast. I'll check for you (I don't use a MBP8,1 - I was setting it up for my son)

  5. Thanks. I've read about some patches that could fix the card reader, but I don't wanna try right now (working a lot on the notebook, can't afford to screw it up and set up from zero again). Maybe during the holidays I'll try again.

    WiFi only seems slow when I use Skype, or watch The Daily Show on the Comedy Central webpage, otherwise, WiFi works great! So now I'm wondering if the video driver could be the problem. Comedy Central stream is HD.

    If you ever find any solution for these issues, please let me know. If I find anything, I'll post here.


  6. Wifi Speed seems fine - over ADSL link.
    Card reader is ok too.

    Linux 3.7.1 64b kernel does not work: low res display, keyboard not working.

    Linux 64b kernel works fine.

    I can pair a Nexus 7 with laptop but I could not transfer files.

    I can not pair a Logitech MX900 mouse. This mouse pairs nicely with Nexus 7.

    I hope this helps.


Please use family friendly language.