Bootable Linux USB?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by LostSoul80, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,
    I've been trying to get a USB stick (with a live linux distro) to boot from both Windows 7 and OS X SL/Lion with no success. Tried with a few distros, but at this point Ubuntu would be perectly fine too.
    Since I don't want to create confusion or "corrupt" possible answers I'll not post my attempts but will welcome any reasonable help.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. LostSoul80 thread starter macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    So far, no success. When I referred to Windows 7 I actually referred to a PC.
     
  3. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #3
    sounds like you're not setting the memory stick up properly, or haven't set your bios (pc) or mac to boot from USB stick.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
  5. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    You haven't said what machine you are using. if it's a 2011 macbook pro, it won't work, they broke usb booting for BIOS environment.
     
  6. LostSoul80 thread starter macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for the replies.

    Unfortunately I can't find anything pointing at a correct setup.
    The real mess is keeping the MBR from interfering with GPT. How would you do it?

    Thanks for the links. As for rEFIT, yes, I have been using it for some two years now and no problem with it.
    I've already read those pages, but nothing is pointing at a solution. UNetbootin:

    As for the other article, it doesn't refer to a configuration similar to my actual one.

    I have tried on an older MBP and iMac. They should both be fine as for that.
     
  7. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #7
    I'm not aware that this is a new problem. I cannot USB boot Linux via CSM-BIOS, but I can USB boot Linux via EFI. Same behavior on MBP 4,1 and 8,2.

    So you need to see if Ubuntu can EFI boot your model, which isn't assured because it's been quite a challenge getting this to work as Apple's EFI is non-standard. Another possibility is Fedora 17 which has newer kernels and significantly patched GRUB Legacy EFI with Mac support explicitly in mind. Presently Fedora 17 will EFI boot my MBP 4,1 fine. It also boots the MBP 8,2 but there's some wonky stuff going on with video that is not yet fixed in the latest kernels / ati driver support. I suspect hardware with both integrated and discrete graphics will experience this problem.

    ----------

    Also rEFIt is outdated and appears no longer maintained. Currently maintained fork is rEFInd.

    http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/
     
  8. LostSoul80 thread starter macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #8
    I've now updated to rEFInd, thanks for the suggestion.
    I've tried with Fedora too, but while it does boot on a PC machine, it won't be recognized by my iMac. I'm only given th option to boot OS X using Fedora's EFI, nothing more unfortunately.
     
  9. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #9
    What media? How was it created exactly? Are you booting with the option key to bring up the disk selection menu?
     
  10. LostSoul80 thread starter macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    My last attempt, with Fedora 17, was made using a 8 GB USB stick. I've used Fedora's suggested tool for creating the live USB on another Fedora desktop.
    rEFInd gives me the option to boot OS X using Fedora's EFI, while the option key doesn't bring the stick up. I have also tried using diskutil & dd from OS X, no luck unfortunately. Any idea?
     
  11. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #11
    You used dd? Or livecd-tools?

    The option key shows no options at all for the USB stick? No Fedora, EFI Boot, or Windows option?
     
  12. LostSoul80 thread starter macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #12
    I followed this page, https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/

    Yeah, that's strange. Not even the orange Windows icon, nothing.
    Trying the Windows application, even though I'm convinced that won't do anything. The Sticks are MBR, FAT32.
    :confused:
     
  13. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #13
    I would not use that. Use dd on your Mac or the other Fedora machine. The syntax is:

    Code:
    dd if=pathtoiso of=/dev/diskX
    After typing = you can just drag/drop the ISO to Terminal's window and it will fill in the path. And diskX is disk1 or disk2 or disk3 depending on what the OS has assigned it. You can find this using:

    Code:
    diskutil list
    It will completely overwrite the USB stick. The USB stick does not need to be partitioned or formatted, that will happen in the course of using dd.
     

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