I have a late 2006 MacBook (MacBook2,1). I downloaded Elementary OS (5.1, Hera) and plunked it on a USB stick. I tried in in "live mode" and all was good. I committed to installing eOS and it was nearly done but died with this error:

Unable to install GRUB in /dev/sda
Executing 'grub-install /dev/sda' failed.
This is a fatal error.

I clicked "OK" and got this: Installer crashed (stuff about auto-filing a bug report)

I clicked "CLOSE" I then got a dialog saying that the installer encountered an "... unrecoverable error" and a desktop session will start so that I may investigate the problem. I clicked "OK" and got a desktop.

When I reboot the machine, I am now presented a grub prompt.

I web searched and web searched and found https://bit.ly/2XcO2Ii and https://bit.ly/3dhpJ1t Both these sites are ostensibly the same.

I followed the magic spell given: I proceed with a "manual boot," i.e.

  • I located (hd0,gpt2)/boot/grub
  • set root=(hd0,gpt2)
  • Got the UUID of the partition
  • Ran linux /boot/vmlinuz...
  • Ran initrd /boot/initrd...
  • Ran boot

The system came up.

Moving on to fixing the EFI partition ...

I ran sudo add-apt-repository ppa:detly/mactel-utils

It failed; turns out I needed to first install "software-properties-common" first ... I did so.

Re-ran sudo add-apt-repository ppa:detly/mactel-utils and got this error:

Err:9 http://ppa.launchpad.net/detly/mactel-utils/ubuntu bionic Release
    404 Not Found [IP: 80]
E: The repository 'http://ppa.launchpad.net/detly/mactel-utils/bionic Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.

I'm now dead in the water. Since I can't install mactel-boot et al. (as per the web page), this whole endeavor is a failure at this point. I'm at a loss as to what to do next.

I've searched SE for solutions but may are outdated, reference Windows/dual booting, or are straight-up contradictory, e.g. same thread: "The solution is to boot to USB and NOT UEFI" v. "You need to install from the UEFI partition on your eOS USB stick"

For the record, I am NOT interested in dual booting. I do NOT care about preserving the HD's previous content or structure. All I want is a fresh, clean eOS install.

1 Answer 1


Macbook2,1 has 32bit EFI.

Normal grub tries to install 64bit efi loader, so

You need to Install grub-efi-ia32 and run grub-install.

Here I have a bookmark which describes the whole installation process on Macbook2,1. https://cloud-infra.engineer/installing-elementary-os-on-my-late-2006-macbook/

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