Pop!_OS 22.04 on Mac Pro 5,1

2 August 2023

Brief coverage below of installing Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS on a Mac Pro 5,1 from early 2009; or, more correctly, a Mac Pro 4,1 which has had a firmware upgrade applied such that it now reports as a 5,1.


Installation was a breeze with the usual steps:

  • Add in a fresh SSD1
  • Download image from PopOS website
  • Write to USB with balenaEtcher
  • Power off and remove original drive with MacOS on it
  • Boot from USB by pressing and holding alt on boot until you get the option (UEFI boot or similar)
  • Install Pop!_OS onto new drive
  • Power off, remove USB stick, put original drive with MacOS on it back in
  • Boot from new drive by pressing and holding alt on boot until you get the option

Small issues to sort out


  • Sleep/suspend does not seem to work, as a result I turned this off
    • Settings -> Power -> Automatic suspend: Off

Drivers for older Nvidia graphics cards

  • For old Nvidia cards2, you are likely to get a cheeky message like the below in the kernel ring buffer …
[   50.017989] nvidia-nvlink: Nvlink Core is being initialized, major device number 235
[   50.018002] NVRM: The NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT GPU installed in this system is
               NVRM:  supported through the NVIDIA 340.xx Legacy drivers. Please
               NVRM:  visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html for more
               NVRM:  information.  The 535.86.05 NVIDIA driver will ignore
               NVRM:  this GPU.  Continuing probe...
[   50.020267] NVRM: No NVIDIA GPU found.

… the upshot of which being desktop rendering with no hardware acceleration.

Thankfully there is a PPA we can use to easily get hold of the 340 drivers:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kelebek333/nvidia-legacy
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get purge '*nvidia*'
sudo apt install nvidia-340-updates nvidia-340-updates-dev xorg-modulepath-fix

A quick reboot later and a run of nvidia-settings should then confirm everything is in order, and the display is commensurately snappier.

Shorter password


  1. OWC Mount Pro brackets are nice for this but not necessary because 2.5” SSD drives are so light that you can just push them into the SATA connector and they will stay put.
  2. In this case a GeForce 9500 GT which admittedly was released around 15 years ago. sudo dmesg | less will print the kernel ring buffer.