Hardware: MacMini4,1 (Mid-2010)
Software: Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit (Natty Narwhal)
The problem: booting with the CD gives bad graphics or a blank screen.
The solution: when booting, hold down alt. Select the “Windows” CD, not the “EFI” CD. This will get you to a blankish purple screen with a fuzzy icon of a keyboard on the bottom. Press F6 (NB: this will not work with an Apple Wireless keyboard. Use a wired keyboard). Pick a language. Press the down key to select “
Install Ubuntu“. Now press F6 again, and select
nomodeset by using the arrow keys and the space bar. Press escape, and the menu should close. Towards the bottom of the screen there’s a boot line and a cursor… use the arrow keys to scroll left until you’re just left of “
quiet” and “
splash” (actually, you can delete those words). Type “
nomodeset xforcevesa“. Press enter to boot. Wait. Keep waiting. Nothing’s happening? Keep waiting. It took about 5 minutes for my Mac Mini to move on, upon which it started whirring and clicking. Hurray!
Post-install: your system won’t boot, unless you edit the boot commands at grub. Add
nomodeset xforcevesa again (press ‘e’ when you’re at grub to edit a boot command). Once it boots, install the NVIDIA proprietary drivers. Edit
/etc/default/grub to add
nomodeset noacpi reboot=acpi in the appropriate place. Save the file, then run
update-grub. Reboot. Your graphics may still suck. Run
nvidia-xconfig and reboot. Are we there yet?