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Installing Ubuntu on a Retina Macbook Pro - the easy way

Update: If you have Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) installed, then the rEFInd installation needs to be handled differently. Please check the rEFInd website for more details.

In my previous installation guide, I outlined the first way that I found of installing Ubuntu on a Retina Macbook Pro. One of the challenges of the installation was that the boot manager, rEFInd, needed the Linux kernel to be copied from the Linux partition to the Mac OS X partition. This then becomes a painful process that needs to be repeated every time there is a kernel update on Ubuntu. Fortunately, there is a better way! Thanks to a comment on the rEFInd website, I found out that file system drivers can be installed that allow rEFInd to read the Linux partition.

This post outlines the full installation instructions, but if you already followed the previous guide, you can update the rEFInd installation and configuration file. I've included some instructions on that in the post.

1. Partition the Hard DriveThis s…
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Installing Ubuntu on Retina Macbook Pro

There is an update to this post that shows a simpler and more maintainable approach to the installation.

Installing Ubuntu on a Mac tends to be a little trickier than installing on a PC as Macs use EFI instead of BIOS. Now, with the introduction of Apple's Retina Macbook Pro screens we have an additional complication. However, Canonical and the Ubuntu community have been investing some time in getting the Retina Macbooks to play nice with Ubuntu 13.04, so I decided to get the latest, bleeding edge version. The great thing is that there has been an effort to keep the trunk version stable, so I've that getting the pre-release version of Ubuntu 13.04 to be a great solution.

If you search the Internet for information about running Ubuntu on the Retina Macbook Pro, you'll find tales of issues with the screen resolution (running at 2880x1880 with tiny icons and text), and driver issues with WiFi and sound. Well, I'm pleased to say, that Ubuntu 13.04 (with the 3.8.0-6 kernel)…

Web-based IR Remote on the Raspberry Pi

There are many devices that use infrared remote controls - TV's, DVD players, cameras, power sockets. So getting a Raspberry Pi to be able to send remote control signals opens up many possibilities for projects. Combining the GPIO pins with a web server on the Raspberry Pi means that we can create a web UI to control these devices.

Installing LIRC on the Raspberry Pi One of the great things about running a Linux operating system on the Raspberry Pi is that it provides access to a wealth of software projects that can run on the device. One of these is the Linux Infrared Remote Control (LIRC) project that provides a way of receiving and transmitting IR signals from many remote controls. LIRC provides a method of recording signals from a remote control and storing them in a configuration file, so that they can be sent directly from the Raspberry Pi.

Installing LIRC on the Raspberry Pi needs the latest firmware to be on the Raspberry Pi. One of the clearest guides I've found on th…

Controlling the RaspberryPi from a Web Application

The AdaFruit website has an excellent tutorial on connecting a 16x2 LCD display to a Raspberry Pi. That's great, but what if you want to be able to send messages to the display from a web application? In the previous tutorial, we saw how to create a basic Python-based web application using the Flask framework. Let's create a new web application that will interact with the Raspberry Pi.


The Goal Using Flask, we will create a simple web application with with a form that allow a user to send a message to the Raspberry Pi using a web browser. This will allow us to control the Raspberry Pi from a PC, tablet or smart phone. When the form is submitted, it will send the message to the LCD via the device's GPIO ports. All the code, including the web application, is in Python and HTML... with some HTML and JQuery Mobile thrown in (just because we can).

To the Code We'll be using the same circuit and the AdaFruit_CharLCD.py library, so make sure you have everything up-and-running…

Python Web Application Server on the RaspberryPi

One of the great features of the Rev. B RaspberryPi is the built-in Ethernet connection, which opens up many possibilities for web-connected projects. This enables this small device to be able to operate as a web server, ideal for running custom web applications. Since the RaspberryPi can also be connected to a host of other sensors and devices through the GPIO ports, this opens up the possibility of creating web-controlled devices.

Choosing a Web Framework Since Python is the main programming language for controlling the RaspberryPi, I thought that the ideal web server for the device is a Python-based web framework. This means that the code for controlling the RaspberryPi's GPIO could be integrated right into the code for the web server.

There are a number of Python web frameworks available - so that run some heavy-weight Internet websites. However, the ideal solution is a web framework that is:
Easy to installQuick to learnSimple to writeFast and lightweight Even when considerin…