1. Download the 32-bit .iso from here: http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=88 and burn it to a DVD.
2. Open Disk Utility and create a partition for your linux insatllation. Make the partition as big as you want plus 2GB (will explain later). Format the partition as free space.
3. Download and install rEfit from here: http://refit.sourceforge.net/. Once it is installed, it is a good idea to reboot once or twice to ensure that rEfit is working properly. On reboot, you should see a menu before OSX starts up (it's hard to miss).T
4. Insert LiveCD and reboot while holding down "c". This will force your MBP to boot from the CD.
5. As soon as the boot screen pops up, press "tab" twice. This will open the boot options. Use the arrow buttons to move to the end of the options. Before the two dashes at the very end ("--") enter the term "nomodeset". This will allow the CD to boot without the correct nvidia drivers. Then press "enter" to boot.
6. When the LiveCD boots up, open the program GParted. This will allow you to partition and format your hard drive for the installation.
7. In the window you should see a partition labeled formatted as "unallocated". This is the partition you made in Disk Utility. With this space you must make 2 partitions: one is a 2GB partition to be labeled and formatted as "linux-swap". The rest can be labeled as you please and formatted as "ext4".
8. Once that is finished you can start the installation. There are only two tricks to the process. When you choose the drive to install on, double click on the partition you made. Change the mount point to "/" and format as "ext4". Then, in two steps, make sure to install the GRUB bootloader on "dev/sda". Then click install.
9. Once the installation is finished, restart your computer. When the rEfit window appears, move to the "Start Partitioning Tool" and type "y" to sync. Now, back in the rEfit menu, choose to restart. Then, choose to boot back into Linux when the menu shows up again.
10. When the boot screen appears, press "e" to edit the boot optinos. Scroll down to where you see "ro quiet" and enter "nomodeset" after it. Press F10 to boot.
11. When linux boots up, log-in and start up terminal. First enter "su" and your password when prompted. Then enter
- Code: Select all
12. (This next part may work in Terminal but I am not sure). Open the Package Manager from the menu. When it opens, search for "nvidia" and select the packages "nvidia-settings" and "nvidia-xconfig" for installation. Let the program mark any other pacakges needed (there should be many, this is what I am not sure if terminal will do or not). Now click apply near the top of the window.
13. When the installation is finished, go back to the terminal and enter "exec nvidia-xconfig". If the terminal does not close you may need to enter it twice.
14. Reboot your computer to make sure that the driver installation worked. If the reboot gives you a blank screen after the boot options, then you need to reboot into recovery mode and enter "exec nvidia-xconfig" again.
15. On reboot, open up terminal again and follow the directions at: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/218 to get the wifi to work.
Now you should have a stable linux installation. The Update Manager will tell you that there is an update package available but when I installed it I could not get wifi to work on the new 3.2 kernel (however it did still work on the 2.6 kernel). I am also not a huge fan of the Gnome 3 interface so that is another reason why I have not updated. I would advise caution when installing further tweaks (cinnamon, for instance, reverted me to Gnome-classic when I rebooted for some reason) but that is half of the fun.
Good luck! And let me know if you hit a snag somewhere. I am definitely no expert but I have run through this installation close to half a dozen times in the past few days so I may have hit your same problem at some point.