Ubuntu: When trying to install on Mac: “No mountable file system.”



Question:

I downloaded Ubuntu 14.04.2 - desktop. When I try to open the file, I have the following error message:

NO MOUNTABLE FILE SYSTEM.   

What should I do to solve this problem?


Solution:1

When I try to open the file

This is not an application or software installer and this is not how you install Ubuntu. You need to create a bootable medium, boot it, and then you can install Ubuntu. Macs with up to date firmware should behave like standard UEFI computers with Windows 8 or later, which means just follow the standard instructions. If they work, good for you, if not, follow karel's answer.


Solution:2

First in order to create a bootable USB on mac for Ubuntu you should follow these instructions I took from the Arch Wiki:

To be able to use dd on your USB device on a Mac you have to do some special maneuvers. First of all insert your usb device, OS X will automount it, and in Terminal.app run: diskutil list

Figure out what your USB device is called with mount or sudo dmesg | tail (e.g. /dev/disk1) and unmount the partitions on the device (i.e., /dev/disk1s1) while keeping the device proper (i.e., /dev/disk1):

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1  

Now we can continue in accordance with the instructions above (but, if you are using the OS X dd, use /dev/rdisk instead of /dev/disk, and use bs=1m. rdisk means "raw disk" and is much faster on OS X, and bs=1m indicates a 1 MB block size).

# dd if=image.iso of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=1m    20480+0 records in  20480+0 records out  167772160 bytes transferred in 220.016918 secs (762542 bytes/sec)  

It is probably a good idea to eject your drive before physical removal at this point:

diskutil eject /dev/disk1  

After that install Refind as that should make booting into the USB installation of Ubuntu easy and then reboot your computer and select the USB.


Solution:3

It seems Ubuntu ISOs have some partition map shenanigans that make them unreadable using regular OS X tools. At least that's true for Ubuntu 15.10 and Mac OS X 10.8, but there are reports on the web regarding other versions too.

The only tool I was able to find that can successfully burn a Ubuntu ISO to USB is UNetbootin. Make sure to prepare the USB drive first with Disk Utility, choosing 1 Partition, GUID partition table (in the Options button) and MS-DOS FAT partition type.

I have not tried the resulting USB on my Mac, but it installed cleanly on a Windows PC, while no other method worked, including dd in the Terminal.


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