Nvidia Macbook Pro and Linux

I’ve been having quite a bit of trouble booting up an Ubuntu 11.04 installer CD on a Macbook Pro.


  1. Booting from CD/DVD fails, with “Select CD Boot Type” prompt that does nothing.

  2. The machine seemingly hangs; the graphics output is broken


  1. Boot from CD/DVD

To boot from the DVD, hold down Option whilst starting up (not ‘C’ - this will attempt to boot the old DOS style way). When asked between “Windows” (the old DOS style way that PC’s use) or “EFI Boot”, choose the latter.

  1. Edit grub options

You will land at a grub menu. Before you can boot the machine, you have to blacklist the nouveau driver/module. Edit the first menu item (by pressing ‘E’). At the end of the kernel line (before the “--”, after “quiet splash”), add


This will disable the dastardly broken nouveau driver.

Hurray! Now you have a workable bash command line!