Creating a bootable Ubuntu USB on a MacBook Pro 5,5 Mid-2009

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Ubuntu is a Debian-based Linux operating system, with Unity as its default desktop environment. It is based on free software and named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu, which often is translated as “humanity towards others” or “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”.

Ubuntu logo
Ubuntu logo

The way to install it on a PC is extremely easy. Here I’ll show how to install it on a “MacBook Pro 5,5, 13-inch, Mid-2009”:

  1. Download Ubuntu (easy but important)
  2. Open the Terminal (Applications > Utilities >
  3. Convert the .iso file to .img using the convert option of hdiutil:
     hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/ubuntu.iso
  4. Run diskutil to get the current list of devices:
     $ diskutil list
  5. Insert your flash media.
  6. Run diskutil again and determine the device node assigned to your new flash media (e.g. /dev/disk2):
     $ diskutil list
  7. Run diskutil to unmount the flash media:
     $ unmountDisk /dev/diskN (Replace N with the disk number from the last step)
  8. Execute dd and copy the image to the flash drive:
     $ sudo dd if=path/of/target.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m (Remember replace N)
  9. Run diskutil to eject the drive and remove your flash media when the command completes:
     $ eject /dev/diskN (Remember, the N)
  10. Restart your Mac and press alt/option key while the Mac is restarting to choose the USB stick.

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