Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem [Solved]

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem [Solved]

Post by ZainyMerv » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:31 am

Hello everyone :D

I'm one of the "fortunate" number of Mac users that has a laptop with graphic card issues (early 2011 15" Macbook Pro - i7 quadcore - 4GB RAM - Yosemite).

I eventually found a fix online, disabling/bypassing the faulty AMD chip, but in the process it made my Mac somewhat coocoos in the normal operations department - most probably from all the various and numerous attempts in the terminal, and not undoing the commands that didn't work: ie.:

* it can only boot into safe mode holding down the shift key in order for it to start up and [sort of] function;
* many a .dmg downloaded files now refuses to open [no mountable file systems] - whether downloaded from Safari or Firefox [other browsers doesn't work]
* the sound card is inoperative, although the Mac chime plays when booting/rebooting;
* the keyboard's backlight isn't working anymore;
* the superdrive still works [sort of - it still plays a movie DVD], but the contents on a burned CD/DVD is greyed out in Disk Utility, and it refuses to burn anything [please insert a burnable disk]
* it doesn't matter how I try to format a USB stick on my Mac or on our Linux Mint desk top PC, it doesn't show in Boot Manager where a disk must be displayed to boot from, but it does show in Disk Utility, and I have a whole collection of thumb drives of all sorts by now.

Before I attempt to install Mint on my Mac (preferably a dual boot OS), can anyone PLEASE come up with an idea how to get started?

Yes, I do realize installing Mint isn't magically going to fix those issues, but I just might have a better functioning machine. And the above given information also just might give the right person responding to my post a fairly good idea what I'm up against.

Thanks to everyone in advance

Have an awesome day :D
Last edited by ZainyMerv on Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

deepakdeshp
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3862
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by deepakdeshp » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:24 am

This should give an idea to install a normal system. If you come to an unsolvable problem, please report here
https://medium.com/@genebean/dual-booti ... bc21b830ef
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
I am using Mint 19 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB

ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by ZainyMerv » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:57 am

Thanks a TON!!

Shall definitely give it a go tomorrow pronto.

fabien85
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:30 pm

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by fabien85 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:02 pm

The guide would help you on a functioning mac, but the list of issues on your machine is pretty daunting.
In particular that one :
ZainyMerv wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:31 am
* it doesn't matter how I try to format a USB stick on my Mac or on our Linux Mint desk top PC, it doesn't show in Boot Manager where a disk must be displayed to boot from, but it does show in Disk Utility, and I have a whole collection of thumb drives of all sorts by now.
I am not sure how you can install linux if you cannot boot a live USB...

Because you dont have a (working) graphic card, DONT try to install Mint Cinnamon. Cinnamon needs a GPU.
Try Mate or Xfce, they are ok for computers without GPU.

Burn your live USB from your Mint desktop. Try to boot it. If that doesnt work, go to macOS and try to install refind. See if refind detects the live USB. If it doesnt, another option I see is to download the ISO in macOS, make a partition on the hard drive with the size of the ISO, and dd the ISO to that partition. Then refind may detect that partition and offer an entry to boot it.
The last resort is to pop out the hard drive, put it in a USB enclosure and use a side computer to install Mint to it (launch the installer with ubiquity -b so that it doesnt install a bootloader and overwrites the NVRAM of the side computer). Then refind should give an option to boot that installed Mint.

ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by ZainyMerv » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:38 am

Thank you for your response Fabien85

I just popped in my 500G external Back-Up [Timemachine] HDD and thát shows in the boot manager. Weird?

Also, my Mac is currently running on the discreet Intel 3000 graphics chip that's integrated with the CPU. Maybe Mint can also? It is somewhat sluggish because I'm in safe mode. And should my installation be successful I won't have to work in safe mode anymore and most of the machine's speedy functionality should be back .

But I shall definitely give your method a shot also.

Thanks again! :D

fabien85
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:30 pm

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by fabien85 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:34 am

ZainyMerv wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:38 am
I just popped in my 500G external Back-Up [Timemachine] HDD and thát shows in the boot manager. Weird?
Good news. That's not weird, a time-machine backup basically contains a full fonctional macOS system (at least if you used the default to backup everything). You should be able to boot on it.
ZainyMerv wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:38 am
Also, my Mac is currently running on the discreet Intel 3000 graphics chip that's integrated with the CPU. Maybe Mint can also?
Yes Mint can, for the Xfce and Mate editions.
Firefox and chrome will be a tad bit slower without GPU, but that shouldnt really be okay as most laptops nowadays dont have a dedicated GPU anyway.

ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by ZainyMerv » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:07 am

Thank you so much for your input :D

Xfce 4.10
The highlight of this edition is the lightweight Xfce 4.10 desktop.

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

It embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment.

For a complete tour of Xfce 4.10, please visit http://xfce.org/about/tour.

Xfce it is then 8)

ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem

Post by ZainyMerv » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:59 am

!! Update !!

My HDD refused to be partitioned to allow the Mint Xfce install, so after a system back-up I did a total Mint install on my Mac.

Almost everything works 100% and my Mac's usual zippyness is back, taking around 58 seconds for rebooting, and it still plays the Mac chime. :lol:

1. I have sound again
2. Keyboard's backlight is working again
3. Right click on the touch pad only works on the desktop, but not on a web or text page, holding down 'control' and C for copy and 'control' and V for paste works
4. Wireless card isn't working either, but I understand those are common problems when migrating from Mac OS to Linux Mint on a MBP
5. Can't comment on battery life as mine [stock] is aged already, even before Mint it gave me around 2 hours at best
6. Can't comment on the superdrive either as I havn't burned a CD/DVD yet, but plays a movie DVD flawlessly
7. Some on other Mac/Mint forums has complained about Logic Board fans running constantly, etc., mine hasn't come on yet, machine stays cool
8. As expected, thunderbolt isn't working either because of the AMD chip being disabled [wish there was a way around that, apart from buying a refurbished Mid 2012 Logic Board from iFixit - $599]

Thanks to everyone lending a hand [or brain] :D
Last edited by ZainyMerv on Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

fabien85
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:30 pm

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem [Solved]

Post by fabien85 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:33 am

Congrats !

That went much better than I expected, given the issues you listed.

For the wifi, try installing the broadcom driver (bcmwl-kernel-source) which should be available in Menu > Administration > Driver Manager. (you will need to be connected to internet for that, e.g. via a ethernet cable).
That said, there are often wifi issues on macs. e.g. for me with the broadcom driver I had random speed drops on some networks.

ZainyMerv
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:52 am

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem [Solved]

Post by ZainyMerv » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:05 am

I already tried that with no success, keeps on asking for password then click to connect, and that stays in a loop.

EDIT

Just tried again and this time it worked..... :? Starting to suspect there's a ghost in my machine :shock:

Another question , please Fabien

Given the current circumstance of my Mac, I'm trying to format a USB drive to show in Boot Manager but having no success yet. That part is still Mac OS, holding down the 'option' key while rebooting. FAT32 isn't working and I've tried various Mac related formats also.

Any suggestions please?

fabien85
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:30 pm

Re: Installing Mint on a Macbook Pro - Problem [Solved]

Post by fabien85 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:55 pm

Hi,
(sorry for the delay, I was on holidays)
I didnt understand exactly what you want to do with that USB stick.
- If it's a linux live USB, you can do that from Mint with the default program mintstick (Menu > Accessories > USB Image Writer). It doesnt matter how you format the USB originally, the program should completely reformat the drive.
Then to boot it, boot pressing alt/option and it should appear with the icon of an external volume and the label "EFI BOOT". (if it doesnt appear, I dont know, maybe try another program to burn the USB, like etcher)
- if it's a USB with MacOS installed on it, you need to format the stick with a GUID partition table (GPT) and make an HFS+ partition (called "journaled OSX filesystem" in macOS's Disk Utility). As far as I know, you can perform the install only from a running macOS with the installer app of the desired macOS version (that app can be downloaded from the App Store. It weighs a lot though). The USB stick will need to be at least 32GB. Note that you can do that on a external hard drive too, it doesnt need to be a USB stick.
Then boot pressing alt/option, and the stick should appear with the icon of an external volume and the label being the name of the HFS+ partition ("Macintosh HD" by default). If it doesnt appear, I dont know, try on another mac.
- if it's a USB stick to carry data, yes you need to format it as FAT32. But it wont appear in the Boot manager as there is no system installed there

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”