Which iMac should I buy that just 'works' with Ubuntu Mate?

Ebay is littered with iMacs that in theory, should be able to nicely plug the gap between Apple products and Ubuntu Mate.

Just wondering if anyone has had some hands on attempt at putting Ubuntu Mate onto an iMac (whatever year) ??

Note, this is not about MacBooks - as I am a desktop user.

I’d Love to hear that a modern iMac would entertain 16.04 Ubuntu Mate, but if the iMac you’ve got Ubuntu Mate to work on is 5-10 years old then that’s fine too.

Not really recent but three weeks ago I tried to install on an iMac 2012.
It was a PITA, took hours (internal HDD was fried so target for the install was a large USB stick) and eventually failed.
The system was booting mind you but crashed hard when X started.
Anyway yeah I don’t recommend it.

I am about to try something like this (when my wife goes overseas NY on
election day!!) with a 7-8yr old Mac book pro (I don’t know much about
Mac models). I am not going to tempt fate by trying to swap her over
before all travel plans are finalised.

My son said he had a lot of hassles setting up the Dual Apple/Linux
boot, however he said that a single boot (I never use Mac!) maybe a lot
easier. I will let you know how it goes. I would like to get
Ubuntu-Mate onto it too.


Don’t do it if you do not know how or why!

It would be better to run in in a VM like VirtualBox (a Free) https://www.virtualbox.org/ from Oracle to Try-Out. Pretty straight forward lots of Go-To’s to help- online… Been around the block, this much better way to try out different OSs first before a leap.

Unfortunately trying it in a VM on a Mac won’t really tell you anything about how/if it will run on “bare metal”. Macs have always been problematic if you wanted to install anything besides Apple’s own OS (or the official Bootcamp solution for Windows).

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I’ve installed Ubuntu-Mate on a MacBook Pro 6.2.

I installed bare metal, wiping the drive with the installer.

Despite it being a 64bit machine I was only able to get the 32 bit ISO installed.

I installed 15.10 and later upgraded to 16.04.

There was some fidling with the settings (all possible via the GUIs) to get the special keys at the top of the keyboard to work.

I suggest you attach a mouse and enable “Onboard” (the on-screen keyboard) as there are some keys that I have not otherwise been able to “access”. :mouse:

All said, Ubuntu-Mate saved a good (and expensive) piece of hardware from the reprocessor, as an OS X upgrade had killed the system.

Hi I have installed Ubuntu-Mate on my MacBook Pro and as promised I have included the stats below for your information.

Release 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) 64-bit
Kernel Linux 4.4.0-47-generic x86_64
MATE 1.12.1

MacBook Pro
RAM: 3.7 GiB
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 520 @ 2.40GHz × 4

Processor		: 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU       M 520  @ 2.40GHz
Memory			: 3905MB (1279MB used)
Operating System: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Date/Time		: Sun 20 Nov 2016 13:24:41 AEDT

Resolution		: 1680x1050 pixels
OpenGL Renderer	: Gallium 0.4 on NVA5
X11 Vendor		: The X.Org Foundation

Audio Adapter	: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel MID
Audio Adapter	: HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia

-Input Devices-
Lid Switch
Power Button
Sleep Button
Power Button
Video Bus
Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
Microsoft Microsoft 3-Button Mouse with IntelliEye(TM)
Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver
HDA Intel MID Line
HDA Intel MID Headphone
HDA NVidia HDMI/DP,pcm		: 3=
HDA NVidia HDMI/DP,pcm		: 7=
HDA NVidia HDMI/DP,pcm		: 8=
HDA NVidia HDMI/DP,pcm		: 9=
Built-in iSight

-Printers (CUPS)-
HP-LaserJet-4050		: <i>Default</i>

-SCSI Disks-
ATA Hitachi HTS54503
APPLE SD Card Reader

Date		: 12/09/11
Vendor		: Apple Inc. (www.apple.com)
Version		: MBP61.88Z.0057.B0F.1112091028

Name		: Mac-F22586C8
Vendor		: Apple Inc. (www.apple.com)

I formatted the hard drive down to no partitions at all and Boot option ON and everything went relatively smoothly. I live booted from a Cruzer8G stick with 64bit ISO and the rest is plain sailing. HoweverI have had problems with the nm-applet Notification icon disappearing, but no loss of network connectivity. I believe ATM that is due to having two users and there are conflicting permissions somewhere in the systemthat removes it. I am yet to feel I have conquered it (though I do have a work around- Copy /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop into /home/USER/.config/autostart/nm-applet.desktop for each user and in their profile "User Settings-UserPriviledges- " use the Advanced Settings and click on “Connect to Wireless and Ethernet networks”). Skype and Hangouts/Chrome worked out of the box!

Hi Rob

Nice job :slight_smile:

You may also want to consider posting here:

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Thanks, link was handy, now done. Rob


I own a 2007 24inch iMac, and I was able to dual boot it with Ubuntu Mate with little issue.
I couldn’t make it install via USB, but UbuntuMate from a DVD was fine ( I literally just used the GUI install from the live dvd like I usually would). The dual boot works reliably & without issue, but I haven’t needed the Mac OS in ages & now planning an SSD upgrade where I’ll just ditch having a mac partition (which is pretty out of date now anyway) and go all UbuntuMate.