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Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Calico Jack, Feb 10, 2011.
Is it possible to install Ubuntu on my macbook to replace mac osx?
Use Disk Utility to partition the disk and install rEFIt and dual boot. Best of both worlds.
One of the problems is Macbooks use EFI partitioning scheme and it requires an EFI and HFS+ partition to boot from.
You CAN leave a 20 Meg partition of HFS+ with rEFIt on it and allow that to be the only thing available. That makes it so you see the rEFIt boot screen and then it'll boot into Unbuntu. You have to do this in a round about way, though, if you're really interested.
Is it an Intel Macbook? The versions of Linux that can boot to an Intel Mac natively I think are Sabayon Linux, based on Gentoo Linux and Mepis Linux, based on Debian Linux. I believe these don't require Boot Camp. If it's one of the older PowerPC Macbooks there special versions of Linux for those.
Here's one way to do it.
"rEFit"- an EFI boot menu and tool kit. Their website is: http://refit.sourceforge.net/. You have to partition, format and install the Linux system on the hard drive's free space without touching the mac section.
Now, when the unit boots up the screen shows an apple and a penguin and you just pick one.
This looks like the older way of doing it. I think it may be easier now.
Some info on Mepis Linux.
If it's an Intel Macbook, it should be fairly simple. I know if you want to dual boot Mac OSX and Ubuntu, it's a little different than dual booting w/ Windows(boot camp?)... I've never personally done that, so someone else can guide you if you want a dual boot system.
If you're just wiping OSX and installing Ubuntu, it should be fairly painless.
EFI doesn't acknowledge partitions are bootable unless they have HFS+ filesystem.
Oh, one of the reasons I'm answering is I screwed up my MacBook Pro seeing if I could boot straight to Fedora and found out about the EFI Vs MBR scheme
Even if he completely wiped out OSX? I've never done it.. so I don't know.. I just figured completely removing OSX, you'd remove that problem.
MacBooks don't have a BIOS, they have EFI. Part of that is they are looking for an HFS or HFS+ partition to boot from. They'll wait forever until one comes along.
If you wipe your whole hard drive and then try to boot, wait 5 minutes then connect a bootable OS X external drive, the computer will happily boot from that external drive but won't do anything until it's plugged in.
That's what rEFIt does, it creates a stub bootable piece which then offers you the options of what OS to boot. rEFIt doesn't care if it's NTFS, EXT4 or HFS+, it'll find the bootable partition.
rEFIt link does not work.
Sourceforge is down. Wait a bit.
Okay, Im stuck. I installed rEFIt and then ubuntu. But I all I get when i restarted was the rEFIt screen with mac and no ubuntu.
On the rEFIt screen, arrow down until you get to "disk utilities" or whatever that little disk icon beastie is. Click on it or hit enter when it's highlighted.
You'll see an x-term looking thing that flashes by so fast you cannot read what it says. At the bottom it'll say something like, "Do you want me to sync the MBR and the EFI?" Hit 'y' or type yes or whatever it is you have to do to get the affirmative answer onto the screen.
after you get back to the rEFIt screen, arrow down to the "Shut off computer" and hit enter. You want the power to go off. This allows the EFI to re-read the boot sequences.
There should be a penguin as a boot option now.
I did that but it said it only synced MBR. So i clicked on the Start EFI shell. Now i have a icon that says Boot Legacy OS from HD so i clicked on that and it said missing OS.
You don't want to start the shell. You want to sync the MBR. Then you want to shut down to power off. Then you want to power on.