Ubuntu Feisty on Intel Mac Mini

Ubuntu LogoIntel Mini MacFeisty Fawn

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Well, this is not that much an How To or something like that… it is much more like a review… that’s because there’s not so much to do to install the latest Ubuntu distribution, Feisty Fawn, in an Intel Mac Mini :)

First of all, hardware specs of the Intel Mac Mini I own and used for this installation:

Intel Mac Mini

  • 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo
  • 512MB memory
  • 60GB hard drive

To install Feisty Fawn on this machine or in the superior one, you need the following software:

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (Intel X86)

BootCamp for OSX

And now let’s start working:

1) Install BootCamp, run it and split your HD in 2 parts. The partition intended for Windows will be the one we’ll use to install Feisty :)

2) Burn Ubuntu Feisty’s iso image (Using the “disk utility” allready present in OSX, Applications –> Utilityes), insert it into the disck drive, reboot and press and keep the alt key pressed the moment you listen the classic Mac booting sound.

3) A booting menù qill appear, choose CD-rom. The Feisty Live CD Menù appears. You’ll probably be unable to use the keyboard in this menù, don’t worry, just wait. After some seconds, Ubuntu Live CD will start loading and you’ll be taken into the Ubuntu Feisty desktop.

4) Wow! Wireless card works with the new restricted pre-installed drivers! The restricted drivers manager warns you about the fact that these drivers are not opensource: do you really care? Personally, I’d love OS drivers to exist for any hardware but it is not like that, so, I prefer productivity over renouncing on the use of restricted drivers. The Intel 3D graphic card, obviously, works out the box with the built in Open Source video driver. Everything is perfect then! Let’s install Ubuntu.

5) Double click on the Install Icon on the desktop and install Ubuntu as normal. Choose to edit the partitions manually. This part is much simpler now than in any precedent Ubuntu version, I’m very glad of that. Locate the fat32 partition, delete it, it will be converted in free space. Now create a new partition from the empty space but remember to leave at least 600 MB of free space that will be used to create the Swap partition. This new partition will be the one used as root, your main Linux partition. Assign to it this simbol “/” and format it as ext3. Now create a new partition from the remaining free space and choose to use it as “swap”. We’re all set. Start Installation and configure it as you wish.

6) Reboot and remember: everytime you whant to run Ubuntu Linux, you’ll have to keep the alt key pressed during boot and choose “Windows” (Yes, really) from the boot menù that opens.

The games are completed, the mini little guide is over and you’ve got Ubuntu installed on your Mac Mini! :) The hardest thing is… that after some days you’ll whant to dedicate the entire Mac disk to Linux!!

Let’s tune it Up:

1) Well, Beryl is in the official repos now, so… let’s get it!!! Run Synaptic, search for Beryl and install all that you wish! I recommend every extra plugin package you find :)

2) System –> Preferences –> Sessions. Click on new: write down Beryl in name and “beryl-manager” (Without quotes) in Command. that’s it.

3) Alt+F2. Enter beryl-manager and press Return. There you go! the Beryl tray Icon appears and Beryl’s allready running! WOW! Aiglx without installing anything new except Beryl? Yes, really. On restarting the system, Beryl will be automatically loaded

4) If you prefer, you can run compiz instead than Beryl. INSTEAD, Man. Don’t try to run Compiz while Beryl’s running. To run Compiz, System –> Preferences –> Desktop Effects. Enable wobble and enable cube and… nothing else? Really? You’ll immediatelly notice the superiority of Beryl from the lack of effects that Compiz offers and also from teh fact that it not configurable at all…. very poor boys.

5) Enjoy your super fast 3D desktop!!!


  1. Thanks for this manual. I worked flawlessly on my minimac. Now the Mac runs Fiesty, and I am having fun

  2. I’m very happy that you found it usefull :) It is allready a miracle that you found it somewhere on the net :)
    To have even more fun with Ubuntu, if you’re new to the Linux world, I suggest you visiting http://www.gnome-look.org and http://www.beryl-themes.org and all the other sites of this kind linked togeter. You’ll find a lot of cool things! 😀

  3. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article o.us poetry, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  4. Daniel, if you tell me what is it that you didn’t get maybe I can help you!

  5. Thank you this worked flawlessly for my intel core duo mac mini.
    However, I wanted to ask you a question. I am about to buy the new core 2 duo mac mini. Will this tutorial work for the core 2 duo mac mini as well?

  6. Hello Tahir, sure it will. The only guess is if the wireless card will work out of the box. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t, in that case you’ll just have to have a look at this page:


    it’s for macbooks but all you’ll care about is the wireless card part :)

  7. I loaded Kubuntu on my Mini but formatted all of the drive in the process removing OSX. I have a Tiger Install disk and I want to reinstall and do it through the bootcamp method you have prescribed. Any thoughts on how I could get the machine to boot from CDROM. I tried everything (holding down C while booting, trying to launch it from within Kubuntu) but basically when I start up, it goes directly to the Kubuntu start up status indicator. If I escape to GRUB, it does not give me an option to boot from CDROM.

    Please help. If you can could you send me the reply to the post on my email as well.



  8. No problem in any case. You have to hold alt from the moment you listen the booting sound. Keep alt pressed with the CD inside the drive and it should work. But you cannot install OSX that way! You have to boot Kubuntu / Ubuntu beore and format th entire drive with fat32 otherwise OSX won’t be able to format the disk and install itself! Tell me if the problem gets solved.

  9. The problem I had was that watching video was really slow when compiz was enabled. To solve I installed a patch for mplayer and installed. So now I can watch videos with mplayer.

    See http://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/unlocking-the-full-video-potential-of-your-video-card/

    for more information.

  10. Hi, I have just followed this tutorial, which is great and easy to follow. However i can’t get seem to get my graphics settings right. I cannot get glxgears to work- i get the error: couldn’t get an RGB, Double-buffered visual.

    I am using the ‘intel’ driver and an LCD monitor and help would be appreciated. Syma

  11. Hi, maybe someting changed in the mac mini specs? Anyway, just ask in the Ubuntu forums, someone will surely be able to help you out. Sorry but since I don’t have the latest Mac mini model available I don’t think I could help you so much 😉

  12. Thanks for explaining properly the methods of installing this operating system.I am sure a lot of people will be benefited with help of your method.

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