Christopher Berner

2 minute read

I skipped 17.04, since it didn’t seem to add much that I was excited about, but 17.10 has switched from Unity back to Gnome3, so I wanted to give it a try. I did a fresh install of 17.10 on my Macbook Pro Retina mid-2012 (rMBP 10,1). It continues to simplify the installation process, and seems quite stable so far.

Improved from 16.10

  1. No longer need to use rEFInd
  2. Hi-DPI scaling!

Now for the directions!

1. Resize OSX Partition

This step is pretty straight-forward. Just open Disk Utility in OSX, and resize your existing OSX partition, so that there’s some free space for Ubuntu. You’ll want to leave the empty space as “free space” (it will get formatted during the Ubuntu installation). There are plenty of guides, if you get stuck on this step, including the Ubuntu wiki.

2. Install Ubuntu

  • Download the Ubuntu 17.10 ISO, and create a bootable USB drive.
  • Insert the USB, and hold ‘option’ key while booting. Select the USB drive to boot from.
  • Select “Try Ubuntu” (not “Install Ubuntu”) from the menu.
  • Once it boots to the Ubuntu Desktop Open the “Install Ubuntu” icon and follow the installation instructions. Note that the wifi won’t work (we’ll fix this in the next step), so don’t try to install updates during the installation process, unless you have a separate usb wifi dongle or ethernet.

3. Install Wifi Drivers

Wifi doesn’t work out of the box, so from another computer (or your OSX install) download the driver and its dependencies (dkms, libc6-dev, linux-libc-dev), then copy them all to a flash drive and boot back into Ubuntu. Install each with:

sudo dpkg -i "the package file you downloaded"

Alternatively, if you have a usb wifi card, you can use that and install the driver with this command:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

4. NVIDIA Drivers (optional)

The nouveau drivers work well, but if you want the proprietary drivers which may give better gaming performance, you’ll need to install them separately. Open “Software & Updates” then go to the “Additional Drivers” tab and select the latest proprietary driver.

5. Other Configuration (optional)

If you’re like me and want the F1-F12 keys to behave as function keys, and not special keys then just follow these steps from the AppleKeyboard guide

echo options hid_apple fnmode=2 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/hid_apple.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u -k all
sudo reboot
Christopher Berner

2 minute read

I did a fresh install of 16.10 on my Macbook Pro Retina mid-2012 (rMBP 10,1). It seems quite stable so far, and brings a bunch of small improvements over 16.04. Improved from 16.04 Startup Disk Creator can be used for creating the ISO Installer works more smoothly Nvidia drivers no longer required for good performance Intel power management works correctly Now for the directions! 1. Resize Partitions This step is pretty straight-forward.

Christopher Berner

3 minute read

I did a fresh install of 16.04 on my Macbook Pro (rMBP). It seems quite stable so far, and brings a number of improvements over 14.04. Improved from 14.04 No more special ISO (works with the default amd64 image) EFI is setup by default now Nvidia driver is automatically configured Now for the directions! 1. Resize Partitions This step is pretty straight-forward. Just open Disk Utility in OSX, and resize your existing OSX partition, so that there’s some free space for Ubuntu.

Christopher Berner

2 minute read

I recently spent a bunch of time investigating why a Java application was spending a significant amount of time paused, even when garbage collection cycles were only taking ~200ms. The issue turned out to be other safepoints. For those that don’t know, the VM uses safepoints to perform a variety of internal operations, and they involve pausing every Java thread. Garbage collection is the most well known, but many other operations such as deoptimization, and revoking biased locks require a safepoint as well.

Christopher Berner

3 minute read

I did an upgrade install of 13.10, so I skipped writing a blog post about it. However, I did a fresh install of 14.04 on my macbook pro (rMBP). It seems quite stable so far, and is mostly the same as 13.10 and 13.04. Improved from 13.04 Better nvidia support (no more need to set kernel options) Now for the directions! 1. Preparation Just follow steps 1 through 3 in my first guide, to get rEFIt installed and prepare to install Ubuntu.