Ubuntu 22.04 on iMac a1312 (2011) w. 4850 video card

For inspiration see:

Here is what I did:

  • Download ubuntu-22.04 and writing it onto a USB-stick
  • restart the iMac, when the Apple chime sounds press the Option-Key
  • select the Orange EFI icon
  • select try/install ubuntu from the Grub menu
  • After some time I got the Ubuntu welcome chime, so the iMac had booted into ubuntu-22.04, BUT the screen was just black all the time.

The iMac I wanted to install Ubuntu on has had its graphics card down-graded to 4850, I do not know if this was the reason that it didn’t work, I am sure apple has never sold  a configuration this, so I understand if the Ubuntu people hadn’t testet it.

On next boot: press e (for edit) on the Grub Menu selection screen, replaced quiet splash with nomodeset and F10 will boot into Ubuntu. This time  the iMac booted as expected. And  Ubuntu can be installed onto a free partition.

chroot into the just installed Ubuntu

To make apt and other commands work on the newly installed Ubuntu-partition while still booted on the USB-stick, you need to have access to parts of the current root-filesystem, here how:

# mount root-disk-partion on /mnt
cd /mnt for i in dev dev/pts proc sys run;do mount -o bind /$i $i;done chroot . apt update apt install refind
# use efibootmgr to set bootorder, I have refind first

once you are done you can reboot your iMac, this time into Mac Recovery

Disable System Integrity Protections:

  • restart the iMac, when the chime sound press the Option Key
  • Boot into recovery mode
  • Open terminal
  • Run the command: csrutil disable to disable SIP
  • reboot

Thats it Ubuntu should now be running on yout iMac, and you can dualboot to macOS, if that is your thing.

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