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Linux on My MacBook Pro 2015

August 06, 2019

As a developer who got started on using a Mac, I didn’t know too much about Linux and I wish I got started on it soon. But as a newbie, here’s my experience in installing Ubuntu on my MacBook Pro 2015 (which I bought in 2017), since I didn’t want to buy a new computer. I’ve probably spent about $8K on laptops throughout the years. That’s a lot of moolah! I can also sell my old MacBook Pro and get a cheaper PC, but I want it now, so here I go!

I picked a good reference to follow instructions. For me this would be the article written in “The Ultimate Linux Newbie Guide” written by Alister Ross. I tried reading most of it first before finally starting to actually do the install. This way, I’m more prepared to do the steps. It also helps that I didn’t really care about what’s on my MacBook Pro. I’ve backed-up all my files the previous weeks as well.

I started by creating the USB stick containing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using the BalenaEtcher software. Following the instructions from the link I mentioned above was easy. But the challenging part was the partitioning of the Macintosh hard drive. When I first explored my hard drive, it looked like I can do the partition, but I when I came back after deleting some files, to actually do the partitioning, I can’t partition it anymore. It was showing that all of my storage were used up, even if the storage view shows that I still have about 95GB free space left. It was a confusing to me. So, I decided to just wipe out my computer. That might not have been the best thing to do, and will probably regret it in the future, but my Mac has really been just a practice machine all this time. I’ve saved my projects on Github, mostly, and have backed up data on the cloud.

So after wiping out my hard drive using the Disk Utility, I partitioned my 250GB hard drive into 100GB and 150GB for the Linux install plus an 8-GB swap space, and for the MacOS install, respectively, by following the instructions on the website I mentioned above.

I then proceeded by installing MacOS first. I turned off the computer and then restarted it while pressing the option key. I chose the Macintosh HD and then proceeded to install MacOS Mojave. When that’s done, I then connected my Ethernet to Thunderbolt adapter, and the USB drive with the Ubuntu iso file to the computer. I restarted the system while pressing the option key, chose EFI. The confusing part was that since I have created the SWAP partition as well (both this and the Linux partition have MS-DOS (FAT) format), there were two EFI Boot. I just chose whatever I thought was the right partition.

Following through the steps in the instructions was also straightforward, but I had it turned out that the types for the partitions I created were unknown instead of being classified as “fat32” in the “Installation Type” screen during the Ubuntu install. I just chose what I thought was the SWAP and the partition that was meant for partition.

In the end, my install worked. However, since I failed to check the “Install third party software for graphics and Wi-FI hardware and additional media formats”, my videos do not play.

macbookpro ubuntu

But I found a way to install it by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

(ref: question)

After this, the vidoes now play.

Next, I need to install git, so I can start playing.