I watched lines of procedures go by, not that I understood all of it. It successfully reached the point of the environment initialization, appeared to complete, and then nothing. So the install does appear to find a way that it thinks will work... though I know this is of no help to the developers.
Not surpising since the Ubuntu site states my MBP can't run anything past v. 9 (don't remember the codename). Time to try something else, and strangely LM Cinnamon runs on my 8 year old 17" HP notebook. Who knows how many components are in volved in success of failure of either machine, as I have found similar miseries in searches of other mac users.