Steps for Installing Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail in Dualboot Configuration on MacBook Pro Retina 10,1

Ubuntu's Circle of Friends Logo.

Ubuntu Circle of Friends Logo.

There are a number of useful guides to installing Mac OS X and Ubuntu in a dual boot configuration on Macintosh hardware such as James Jesudason’s guide here or Alex Victor Chan’s guide here. However, I ran into a problem with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion not waking from sleep due to using the rEFInd bootloader (more information about this problem documented on this thread).

The following is the process that I used for successfully having Mac OS X and Ubuntu play well together on my MacBook Pro Retina (MacBookPro10,1) (15.4″/2.6 Quad-core i7/8GB/512 GB SSD)

  1. Using a Mac OS X 10.8 bootable USB flash drive (create your own by following the DIY instructions here), partition your drive into two equal partitions with Disk Utility. Format the first partition as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and the second as free space.
  2. Install Mac OS X on the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition.
  3. Boot into Mac OS X, download the rEFIt bootloader, and install it in Mac OS X. Reboot your Mac twice and you should see the rEFIt bootloader screen appear after the second reboot. It will have your Mac OS X installation highlighted. Press Enter to boot.
  4. Create a bootable USB Ubuntu disk with this guide for Mac OS X. It will involve downloading the Ubuntu 13.04 ISO image, converting it for Mac OS X, and using terminal commands to write the converted image to your USB drive. When it is all done, Mac OS X will not recognize the disk and ask you to initialize it. Choose “Ignore.”
  5. Reboot your MacBook Pro with the Ubuntu USB drive inserted. rEFIt will give you the option to boot Mac OS X (Apple icon) or Ubuntu (this might appear as two separate icons depicting four squares in a diamond configuration). Choose the first Ubuntu icon with the arrow keys on the keyboard, press Enter.
  6. Next, GRUB, another bootloader, will appear as white text over a black background (like DOS) and give you options to Try Ubuntu or Install Ubuntu. Unlike the other guides, I suggest selecting Install Ubuntu from this menu.
  7. The Ubuntu installer will guide you through the setup process. The only setting that you have to select is “Install alongside Mac OS X.” The Ubuntu installer will automatically find the free space partition that you created earlier, partition it in a way that Ubuntu anticipates, and install Ubuntu and its included software.
  8. At the end of the installation, it will return to a text-based screen and prompt you to remove the installation USB drive and press a key to reboot.
  9. After rebooting, rEFIt should show your Mac OS X installation (Apple logo) and Ubuntu represented by three stacked, colorful boxes (subtitled: EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi from EFI). Select the Ubuntu installation with the arrow keys and press Enter. GRUB will appear, select Ubuntu and hit Enter.
  10. The Ubuntu desktop should load very quickly, but it will appear very tiny at the native resolution of the MacBook Pro Retina’s 2880 x 1800 resolution. To adjust the resolution, click on the Gear/Wrench icon in the launch bar on the left to enter system settings. Click on Displays, choose a new resolution (I use 1680 x 1050), click Apply, and Confirm.
  11. The status bar at the top of the screen will show familiar icons for Bluetooth, WiFi, sound, and system/shut down (If Ubuntu does not automatically detect your WiFi card, you can download this package and its three dependencies from within Mac OS X, put them on a USB drive, reboot into Ubuntu, install each from terminal using the “sudo dpkg -i filename.deb” command for each–though, leave the Broadcom deb package for last. I downloaded the nightly build of 13.04, which I believe has this package on the installation disk.).
  12. To switch between installations, simply reboot the one that you are in and select the system that you want to run from rEFIt.
Apple's friendly byte.

Apple’s friendly byte.

Now, you can run Ubuntu or Mac OS X on your MacBook Pro. Here are some important things that you should do in Ubuntu after installation.

Also, it is possible to take GRUB out of the equation by installing Ubuntu with the “ubiquity -b” command from within the Live CD version of Ubuntu and configuring rEFInd or rEFIt, but I had trouble getting Ubuntu to boot following Jesudason’s guide for rEFInd (the fault is likely with what I did and not his thorough instructions). I can live with GRUB if it means that I can get my work done in these two computing environments on my MacBook Pro.

If there is interest among Brittain Fellows, I can incorporate this into the series of DevLab Workshops that I am planning for the upcoming year.

Bodies That Matter, What Matters Ubuntu

On today’s docket, I am reading Judith Butler’s Bodies That Matter, which I’ve read the introduction to before, but not the entire volume. As an experiment, I am going to read it standing up, not to get any better insight into her argument or enviable prose, but to get up and move around while I’m reading. It occurred to me this morning that I’ve spent a whole heck of a lot of time sitting down while I’ve been reading for my exams. Thus, I think it’s about time to get off my keister.

Between reading and standing, I’m reinstalling Ubuntu on my desktop. The installation got foobared about a week ago when I tried changing my account password prior to installing some updates. I don’t know exactly what precipitated the problem, but after rebooting from the updates, the OS would load the desktop image and mouse following login authentication and then nothing else. I could load the ctrl-alt-del screen, but that was all. Ubuntu is back up now, but I need to reinstall a bunch of apps.

Oh, and I did some polyurethane painting on a special surprise for Lyndsay and John this weekend. Stand up!

Ubuntu Linux and Rediscovering My Technologized Past

After reading so much theory about postmodernism, computer identity, and cyberpunk over the past two weeks, I felt that it was necessary to pull out my PC and get to work with an OS on the border or further out in the frontier. Ubuntu isn’t exactly that, but it is as close as I can get with the limited time that I have to play while I am reading for my exams.

Installing Ubuntu Linux on my Intel Q6600 quad core CPU powered PC that I built last year was seamless, effortless, and a heck of a lot faster than Vista or Windows 7. I have been installing software and playing with apps since New Year’s Day, and I am tickled about the responsiveness of the PC compared to Windows 7. The computer reacts with a hair trigger. There aren’t those interminable delays and hesitations that I repeated dealt with on Vista and Windows 7. I still have much exploring to do with this new OS, but I can say that I am pleasantly surprised about how happy I feel using Ubuntu.

Eventually, I plan on building a cyberspace deck around a mini-ITX motherboard. Why would I want to do this? A simulacral creation of an imagined-science fiction-artifact? Technological cosplay? Technofetishism? I suppose it is all of those and none of those. I have a desire to connect on a more viceral, emotional, and tactile level those things (computer culture, online identity, programming for fun and profit, charting the data pathways, etc.) that I have been reading about and thinking about. I was immersed in this way of being back in the 1990s, but I drifted to other endeavors as time passed. Also, I didn’t have the imaginative framework provided by cyberpunk literature and culture to see what I was doing from that particularly skewed angle. I wasn’t being reflective at that time. I realize that I cannot recover the past, and I don’t want to. However, I do want to try to touch a memory of that past and unravel a neural thread that’s bound up somewhere deep in my brain. And I want to do it in beautiful HD, so here it goes.

Download a free copy of Ubuntu for yourself here.