Not my macbook…I have a white one.

As I shared earlier today (via Twitter and this blog entry), I began my day loading UbuntuLinux on my Macbook. It was fun…sheesh, I’ve crossed over. Anyways, here are the steps I followed. I generally followed the steps online here, but found too much info in those steps. This is my streamlined version. I’ve kept the original instructions (bold black) but included my comments.

1. First, update MacOS X to the latest version using [WWW] Software Update and upgrade the [WWW] firmware to the latest version. I cleared up about 20 gigs on my 80 gig drive to make sure I had room enough. My past experience with ubuntulinux told me I wouldn’t need more than 10 gigs, tops.

2. Use the [WWW] Boot Camp to partition the drive in two. When asked whether to create a driver disk, answer “no” and click on “reboot” at the end of the process. This way you have a shrunk Mac OS X partition and a windows partition which you will replace with some Linux partitions. This was the easy part of the process.The words were a bit different (“restart” instead of reboot) but nothing major.

3. Get the [WWW] Live CD and boot on it. Choose your language and/or keymap.

Again, just go through the steps.

To prevent a kernel panic which might occasionally occur, press F6 and enter one of the following parameters at the boot: prompt:

lpj=8000000 (for 2 GHz MacBook) or lpj=7330000 (for 1.83 GHz MacBook)

N.B.: It will automatically be applied to the installed system so you won’t have to enter it manually ever again!

In regards to the lpj at boot prompt, I had to press F6 to get the boot command in.
Update: On a black Macbook, I was unable to type during boot-up from Ubuntu…everything seems to be working fine, so…I’m not worrying about it.

4. To install Ubuntu, double-click Install on your desktop, then click through the installer as usual. The defaults are fine most of the time. For the default partition scheme, follow these steps:

a. At step 4, “Prepare disk space”, choose Manually edit partition table and click Forward. Delete /dev/sda3 (and /dev/sda4 if it exists) from /dev/sda. Create an ext3 partition taking up all but 512MB of the disk and mount it on /, and create a swap partition taking up the remaining 512MB. Click Forward.

Continue through the remaining questions, and finally click Install to start the installation process.The installation will be completed without an error. Choose Restart now to reboot.

On Restart, Hold down the Alt/Option key at boot time to select the operating system to boot. To boot Linux, choose “Windows” (yes, really).

5. To get your screen resolution taken care of, type the following at the command line:

sudo apt-get install 915resolution

Press CTRL-COMMAND-DELETE on your Macbook keyboard.

6. Go to and download Automatix to your desktop. Double-click on it and install it. Then, go to APPLICATIONS->SYSTEM TOOLS->Automatix to run it.http://

Restart, and you’re set! Of course, I immediately installed Firefox Add-ons that I liked.

UPDATE 07/30/2007: Getting Wireless to Work on Your Macbook

I searched high and low for a simple tutorial to follow. In the end, I found this excellently written one. I have updated it to reflect the latest version numbers for ndiswrapper, but have tried to leave it intact as much as possible. Thanks to the original author!

7. Get a copy of the latest ndiswrapper. At the time of writing this, it’s version 1.47. You can find the latest online at Use Archive Manager to uncompress it to your desktop.

8. Remove any previous installations of ndiswrapper by typing in the following at the command line:

sudo aptitude remove –purge ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils

sudo rm -R /etc/ndiswrapper

sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper

9. Switch to your Desktop and change directories to the ndiswrapper folder you uncompressed earlier.

cd ~/Desktop/ndiswrapper*

10. Although you probably already have it after following the steps above, go ahead and type in this command just to be sure:

sudo aptitude install build-essential

11. Type in this command several times until you get no results.

make uninstall

12. Then type in the following command:


13. Then type in:

sudo make install

14. This is the tricky step. Download the Lenovo driver. It’s an executable (Windows) but you can open it with WINE and run the installer even though you’re on Ubuntu (nifty, huh?). Have it install its content to a Desktop folder. In my case, it was the LENOVO folder.


15. In the LENOVO folder (or whatever you called it, there’s another folder entitled WINXP_2K. Double-click on that folder. Inside that folder there is a file labelled NET5416.INF. Copy-n-paste that file (right click copy, then paste) into the ndiswrapper folder on your desktop. This will get you ready for the next step.

16. Install the wireless driver:

sudo ndiswrapper -i NET5416.INF

17. Restart your computer and unplug your ethernet cord.

18. After logging in, you’ll see little bars up in the top right hand corner of your screen.

Woohoo! You’re done!

Subscribe to Around the