How to create a bootable Ubuntu (12.04 LTS) USB disk/key for Macbook, Working!

boot_usb_macbookAfter searching al over the internet and trying a lot of methodes without getting the results, I finally found a way to make a bootable Ubuntu (12.04 LTS) usb for the Macbook Pro. And it’s more simple then it used to be 🙂

This works for a Macbook that supports 64 bit.

It’s actually really easy to do and consist of 3 steps:
1. Installing Refit or Refind (newer)
2. Download the right Ubuntu iso file
3. Create a bootable USB disk

1. Installing Refit or Refind (newer)

Install refit by downloading a dmg file here:
Link to sourceforge
And get the Mac disk image.

Or you can get the new one, forked following the following steps:
You need to install Refind on the Macbook so, it would be possible to boot Ubuntu on it.
Download from Sourceforge here
After extracting the downloaded files install with

Open terminal by pressing command+spacebar and type in terminal.
Go to the folder where you downloaded and unpacked the files. Usually in:

cd /Users/your username here/Downloads/refind-bin-0.7.1

When you’re in the folder type in to install:

sudo ./

It will ask for your password to install. When there were no errors, you installed Refind!

2. Download the right Ubuntu iso file

The key to create a bootable Ubuntu usb key is the right iso. Using the normal iso file, wont work.
After a long search I saw there is a mac version of the iso file. It’s for booting from UEFI. You can recognize the right ISO file with the following in it:


As you can see it’s for 64bit and it’s Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. You can get here from the official site:
Direct link for download

3. Create a bootable USB disk

Insert your usb disk.
Open a terminal as in step 1, it’s also under Utilities in the Programs folder.

To identify your usb disk number type:

diskutil list

You will see disk0, disk0s1, etc, as in the example below. disk0 is probably your internal hard disk. The s1 behind the disk the parition number. Find the Disk with the same size as your usb and remember the identifier/disk number.


You can also use Disk Utility to see what’s the disk number by selecting the disk and then clicking on the Info button on top of it. There will be something like disk1s2. Remember the right number, or your maybe fucked.
Unmount the usb key first, where N is your number with:

sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN

Then it’s time to copy the iso to USB with:
Change the code:
Change username to your username, or change the whole path where the iso file is.

dev/diskN < - dont forget to change the N to your disknumber!
It will look something like this

sudo dd if=/Users/username/Downloads/ubuntu-12.04.2-desktop-amd64+mac.iso of=/dev/diskN bs=1m

Wait around 10 minutes or so. When it's done Mac OSX won't recognize the usb key, because it's a linux file system. Click eject when it asks.

Reboot and it probably works! When it works you can help me by clicking on the advertisement 🙂