Installing KDE Neon on a Macbook Pro

3 minute read

KDE Neon is a new Linux distribution from the makers of the KDE desktop environment. I have always loved KDE for its configurability and its great built-in apps. This is not a review of KDE though, it is just a tutorial for myself and maybe it will help someone else too.

Why Linux on a Macbook Pro? I have always had enjoyed Mac OS X(MacOS) for its roots in Unix via NeXTSTEP operating system. It was a perfect marriage of Unix OS and great UI. The built in applications were pretty good, but there are even better third party apps. If you wanted to run MacOS on a solid laptop you needed to buy a MacBook Pro, but after the launch of the latests MacBook Pros I am done. I will keep my Macbook Pro and run Linux on it until it is time for me to buy new hardware. I degress, now back to installing KDE Neon on my Macbook Pro.

Here are the basic steps:

  • Get Neon Linux installation media and burn it to a usb stick.
  • Make room on your Macbook for Neon Linux.
  • Boot to Neon Linux installation disk.
  • Run Neon Linux Installation program and partition your disk.
  • Finish Neon Linux installation, but don’t reboot.
  • Reboot.
  • Fix wireless card drivers and update kernel.
  • Enjoy your new OS.

Here are the details of each step:

Step 1. Goto https://neon.kde.org/download and download the User Edition Live/Installation Image. While you are there also download the ROSA Image Writer. Install the Rosa Image Writer and run it. Select the Neon image file you downloaded and the USB device you want to make into your Neon installation media and clock write.

Step 2. I like a clean MacOS install to start with so I boot my MacBook while holding ⌘-R. Once I am at the MacOS Utilities menu I select Disk Utility and erase my Apple SSD Drive naming it MacOS. Then I select the drive again and click Partition. In the partition menu I select the new MacOS partition and change the size to 25GB and click apply. This shrinks the MacOS partition and makes room for Linux. Close the Disk Utility window and the Click Reinstall MacOS. You will be walked through the installation of MacOS, just be sure you select the MacOS disk when prompted. Sit back and wait for it to complete.

Step 3. Your Macbook needs to have Internet access via a thunderbolt or USB network card for the installer to complete successfully. Power your Macbook down and insert your newly created Neon installation USB stick. Power your MacBook while holding down the option key. When the option to select a disk comes up select EFI Boot. You can just hit Enter is a grub menu comes up to select Neon. The screen will flash a few times and some stuff may scroll down the screen, but eventually you will be prompted with the KDE Neon desktop.

Step 4. Double-click the Install Neon User Icon and click Continue until you get to the Disk Setup. At the Disk Setup screen select Manual and click Continue. At the next screen you will see all the existing partitions, in my case my linux partition will be /dev/sda4 so I will delete the existing hfs+ partition to make room for my new ext4 partition. Click on the free space and select Add, I added 128MB between the last partition and my new partition because of this explanation by Apple so I took the available space subtracted 128 and that is my new size. I selected “End of this space” so the 128 is before my new partition and made the mount point /. On the boot loader space I selected /dev/sda1 which is the Apple EFI partition.

I do not use swap so I just click continue a couple of times select your time zone, keyboard type and create a user.

Step 5. At the desktop open terminal by typing Konsole and pressing enter. I normally adjust the font size so I can read it under the Settings Menu and Edit the Current Profile. Just find the Appearance tab and raise the font size and click ok.

Step 6. After you login it’s time to update KED Neon and install the correct wireless drivers.
Then update, upgrade and install the wireless drivers.

[email protected]~ $ sudo apt update
[email protected]~ $ sudo apt upgrade
[email protected]~ $ sudo apt-get --reinstall install bcmwl-kernel-source

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