Finally I can make it, Ubuntu on MacBook Air with Wi-Fi enable. Since Ubuntu can not detect Wi-Fi out of the box and MacBook Air has no ethernet port. The process is quite tricky.
Follow these steps if you want to install Ubuntu on MacBook Air. Important Information
- I use MacBook Air 1.6GHz with Apple External Superdrive (need to purchase separately)
- I install Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Alpha 4 (Desktop)
- The good resources are on Ubuntu Wiki: How to install Ubuntu on MacBook and MacBook Santa Rosa. Some methods can be used with MacBook Air
- Prepare you partition by using BootCamp (it's in Application/Utilities). I allocate 5GB for Ubuntu partition.
- Download Ubuntu CD image and burn into actual CD. Disk Utility can do this job.
- Insert CD to external drive, make sure you connect the power cable to MacBook Air. Then, reboot
- Hold down 'C' button at the black screen to boot from CD.
- Follow usual Ubuntu installation step. In keyboard selection screen, choose "macintosh".
- In partitioning screen, choose 'manually edit partition table'.
- Delete the 5GB partition just created from BootCamp. Then create the ext3 partition at the same size. Mount it as '/'.
- Complete the installation process. Then reboot.
Let boot back into the OS X environment which you can access the internet via Wi-Fi. Open up the web browser and download these packages (i386 architecture):
Put all files into 'Public' directory in your home directory.
- Insert Mac OS X Leopard DVD disc 1 (included with MacBook Air) into the external drive.
- Reboot again.
- At the black screen, hold down 'Alt' button until the BootCamp screen shows up.
- Select 'Windows' partition and click the arrow to confirm.
- Ubuntu should boot and show up. At login screen, enter username and password.
- You should see the CD icon on the desktop. Double click on it, go through 'BootCamp' and 'Driver' directory. Copy the directory named 'Broadcom' to the desktop.
- Go to menu 'Places' and 'Computer', select the 'Macintosh HD' from the sidebar. Enter your password for superuser priviledge.
- The 'Macintosh HD' should be mounted. Go to 'Users', your username and then 'Public'. You will see 3 packages you downloaded from the web.
- Double click 'ndiswrapper-common', install the package. Then follow by 'ndiswrapper-utils-1.9' and 'unrar'.
- Now everything is ready for Wi-Fi installation. Open the Terminal from 'Applications', 'Accessories'
- Go to the 'Broadcom' folder and run this command: __unrar x broadcomxpinstaller.exe'
- then run this command: sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
- follow with sudo ndiswrapper -m and sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
- Now the driver is installed, next is to load it everytime on boot process. Run this command sudo gedit /etc/modules
- Add ndiswrapper to the last line.
- Reboot. Hold 'Alt' to boot Ubuntu.
- After login, Wi-Fi indicator should show up on the top-right corner of the screen. Enjoy your Ubuntu session on MacBook Air!
I haven't tried to config other MacBook Air hardware yet. If you have some problems or want to share any howto, this MacBook Air thread at Ubuntu Forums is the best place.
I created MacBook Air page on Ubuntu Wiki.