12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2011 10:56 AM by lhtd
Brymastr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have learned through trial and error (mostly error) that the newest Macbook Pro (early 2011 8,1) has a problem with ubuntu liveCDs and will not boot from them. I want to get Ubuntu running primarily so I can root my android phone. As of now I have Ubuntu 11.10 running on a virtual machine with VirtualBox but virtual machines don't work for rooting purposes. Is there still a way to dual boot a Macbook Pro 8,1 with Ubuntu?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,855 points)

    why not ask in an Ubuntu forum?  You are much more likely to get an answer from people who use it regularly.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,310 points)

    Ubuntu Live CD's are designed for generic PC machines, not Mac's with a GUID Partition Table and EFI.


    Booting and installing Ubuntu on a Mac can brick the machine, as the header on the GPT has a partial MBR like Windows full MBR, so it's mistaken for one and attmepts to install.


    Also Linux requires two partitions, one a swap partition which it mistakes the hidden EFI partiton for that.



    Getting a Lion based Mac to dual boot Linux is much harder than Snow Leopard, as there is a new hidden Lion Recovery Partiiton to deal with, also on the newer 2011 Mac's with recent firmware updates has caused all sorts of headaches for the required rEFIt needed (hasn't been updated) and creating two more partitions that Linux requires.


    If you had a pre 2011 Mac and no Lion, just Snow Leopard, I would say no problem.



    A much better option for you is to get a inexpensive machine and install Linux on it, or buy one already installed, until this Lion buisness settles down and urber geeks tweek Linux on Mac's again, but right now it's appearing Apple has charted a course for a closed operating system like a iPhone/iPad and that doesn't generate a whole lot of interest in running Linux on Mac's.



  • Brymastr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the suggestion. I know the issue is with the hardware because I have used the same liveCD on an older macbook and the hardware is apple so I thought I'd ask here. I have read the Ubuntu forum extensively and found a couple posts similar but with no correct answers. I didnt want to ask again, you know how some people get when re ask a question..

  • Brymastr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow thanks a lot! That makes total sense though, that recoveryHD seems to be the only difference other than minor updates. And the macbook I had Ubuntu running on before was running snow leopard you're right. Nobody on the net seems to know that it simply wont work though thanks for confirming my suspitions. Looks like I'll be using another lappy for my rooting needs.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,310 points)

    And you might want to use Linux Mint instead, it's still based upon Ubuntu, but it gives you more control since Ubuntu inflicted Unity on everyone and a touchscreen OS doesn't work on a desktop machine.


    With Mint you can change the UI, to MacBuntu or Like XP for instance.





  • Brymastr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Right that was next on my list, to look into other distros. You think there would be a better chance of the macbook booting into a different distro, other than ubuntu?

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,310 points)

    Brymastr wrote:


    Right that was next on my list, to look into other distros. You think there would be a better chance of the macbook booting into a different distro, other than ubuntu?




    If your going to mess with Linux you should do so on generic PC hardware first, then on a spare older Mac, then on your main newer Mac after you have resintalled OS X a few times so you know how to get your Mac back.


    Use the virtual machine to play with different distros so you get a feel for what you like.


    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AoVQMDgIPbNfSCLLcQC0jDrsy6IX;_ylv=3 ?qid=20110426202740AAE8z24

  • Brymastr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Alright good to know! Thanks for the links and your help

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,310 points)

    No problem, you just need to learn the computer basics of how a Mac operates that differ from a generic PC, especially EFI, GUID Partition Table, drive formats etc.


    Linux can run on a Mac, it's just the hardest geeky thing to do as a Mac has differences from generic PC's and you need to take in more factors, what Linux requires and so forth to make it all work.


    I've quad booted Lion, Snow Leopard, Ubuntu and Windows on my older Mac (pre 2011) using rEFIt. No easy task.



  • lhtd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's a bit of a shame that the dual boot is not yet avaiable. I just got my professional mbp (late 2011), all shiny and powerful !!... But 80% of the calculations I do go for bio-linux. Indeed I don't want to spend time installing and making the configuration for all the tools I use that work out the box on that distribution (based on ubuntu 10.04).


    If anyone finds out how to dualbool that could be great... because so far this powerful machine will only be usefull to read PDFs and type some reports... so bad.

  • Steve Huetteman Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)

    I run Ubuntu as a guest OS on my Mac Pro Lion using VMware Fusion.  Works great.  Is suggest this approach rather than the dual boot approach or having to find other hardware.  Good luck....

  • lhtd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Steve :-)


    I'm gonna try it right away. I hope that it's not a burden to make calculations and heavy memory usage.