Sunday, March 02, 2014

How-to: Install Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr On Macbook Pro [updated to 16.04]

Installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr on Macbook Pro 13" i7 now can be done easily. Here are step-by-step to make Ubuntu Trusty works on MBP:
  1. Download the Ubuntu for Mac ISO image (daily build), listed here.
  2. Make the iso file bootable from usb or external harddisk by using start up disk creator (Dash >> Startup Disk Creator).
  3. Make partition for Ubuntu allocation from Mac using Disk Utility
  4. Install rEFIt on Mac, make sure the installation was succesfull. If it can't be instaled, change the setting in System Preference to allow installion from outside applel store. I prefer rEFIt than rEFInd.
  5. Reboot, Install Ubuntu from the disk (ubs or external harddisk)
  6. After installation, some features are not working properly. Please refer to this page, download the Ubuntu driver for mbp and install it. However, it didn't work, we skip this step, but we need it to install additional driver from mactel-support.
  7. Install Macfan: sudo apt-get install macfanctld Install MBP Fan daemon
    cd /usr/local/src
    git clone
    cd Fan-Control-Daemon
    sudo make install
    sudo cp mbpfan.upstart /etc/init/mbpfan.conf
    sudo start mbpfan
  8. (not)Finish! enjoy your Ubuntu on mbp and keep fighting to face the problem :)
Trusty on MBP, still without wlan

Install wirelless driver

From other computer which has internet connection, or by using wired connection, do the following steps (copy to mbp and do make-make install):
  1. wget 
  2. tar xjf
  3. cd b43-fwcutter-018 
  4. make 
  5. sudo make install
  6. cd ..
For Linux kernel 3.2 and newer we need to download and install version 5.100.138 of Broadcom's proprietary driver (also from other computer which has internet connection and install it in mbp):
  1. wget
  2. tar xjf broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
  3. sudo b43-fwcutter -w "lib/firmware" broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o (do it in mbp)
if you copy the broadcom driver to /lib/firmware, you should do third command to /lib/firmware instead of lib/firmware (except you just extract it in current directory as above).

The next step is  to activate/deactivate one of wireless drivers because we have more than one. To deactivate,
  1. sudo modprobe -r b43 bcma 
  2. sudo modprobe -r wl
And to activate,
  1. sudo modprobe b43
  2. sudo modprobe wl
Network indicator showing wifi connection

Use one of two, try one by one. It works! Finally, to avoid one drive overlapp another, we use blacklist,
echo "wl" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
Or, we can unintsall bcmwl driver,
 sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source

Based on Macbook Pro (mbp) 13" i7 with these specs,
∘ Part: MD102J/A
∘ Serial:C1MLF1MMDTY4
∘ Model: A1278

Post Installation
  • Shift++ not working, and it decrease the font. Solution >> Change the shortcut! System Setting >> Keyboard >> Shortcut >>  Universal Access > Decrease text size >> Disabled (by pushing Alt).
  • Cannot delete file using delete button >> Use fn + delete or use this customization to set the keyboard layout to match Ubuntu's style,
  • Next, mapping alt+tab to command+tab (window switching) >> done with ccsm (CompizConfigSettingManager).
  • For brightness, keyboard brightness, use pommed (sudo apt-get install pommed)
Update Wifi Problem 
(August 18th, 2014)

After some apt-get update and apt-get upgrade, my wifi connection on my Macbook Ubuntu 14.05 is not working anymore. Do some googling, I found this solution worked for me.

Error message (from system log):
Firmware file "b43/ucode29_mimo.fw" not found

Solution :
Download the, open the containing folder and right click --> extract here, then do the following,

sudo mkdir -p /lib/firmware/b43
sudo cp Downloads/b43/*  /lib/firmware/b43 #change to your download location
sudo modprobe -rv b43 
sudo modprobe -v b43

Reboot and our wifi connection on Ubuntu on Macbook will work again.

(3 January 2015)

*Someone I reported confirmed that the step above also works on Ubuntu 16.04 and maybe later.

(3 July 2018)
After kernel upgrade from 4.14 to  4.15.0-24-generic, the steps above for fixing wifi problem strill works on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial.

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