Linux USB

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by MacForum55, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. MacForum55 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    I've tried and tried every method I can find about creating a bootable USB drive running Ubuntu (used the Ubuntu website method, downloaded EFI files and put the ISO file as boot.iso on the FAT formatted USB drive, downloaded packages that claimed to be complete, everything I could find) and I still can't figure out anything about how to get this to work right.

    My Specs: Macbook Pro 5,1 8GB RAM, rest factory. Has Lion installed as primary OS and a Ubuntu VM (that I hope to be able to delete and replace with a USB Boot Drive with Persistance Mode) and Downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 64 Bit version. My flashdrive is a 32GB Attaché model.

    Can anyone help me please?

  2. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    I have no idea what you've done based on the description provided. So it's a guess.

    Have you rebooted using the option key to get the startup disk icon menu? And you don't have an EFI Boot option for the stick?

    You could try and see if this rEFIt fork will work for your stick, unmodified. Otherwise, without knowing exactly how to change the NVRAM to point the Mac's EFI to a different boot loader, it will never find GRUB on its own. So you'll need to put the bootloader into a default location so it's found. You can do this from within Mac OS X if you want.

    Mount the stick's EFI System partition. Find the grub.efi bootloader. Make sure a copy of it and its configuration file (if present) is in /EFI/BOOT/ and is renamed to BOOTX64.efi and now try to reboot with the option key at startup chime and see if you see the stick.

    Mind you everyone I know including myself have inordinate problems with EFI booting Linux, mostly VBIOS corruption which results in video problems that look like hard crashes or kernel panics (but they aren't), so you're going down a nasty rabbit hole. If you really want it to just work, just rely on the CSM-BIOS boot mode that Windows uses.
  3. MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    I'm sorry I'm not to experienced at this. I will try what you said but how do I locate the EFI partition of the flash drive?

    Also I'm going to post something I posted on another forum because It has more details in response to questions someone asked me.

    1-2) With some methods I'm getting further than others. For example the one that worked best for me I found online which was to create an efi folder than a boot folder inside and place the iso file as boot.iso and than place some file that the video I found showed which was an ISO EFI file of some sort for the 64 bit version (the download did say it was for 10.10 but I didn't know how to modify it or download this version (although I'd rather 11). In this method the computer recognized it as a boot drive and got me to a screen that said fasten your seat belts linux is booting or something than the screen went blank (not black but slightly lighter than black still like navy gray. It proceded to stay at this screen for many minutes.

    The Ubuntu guide method listed on the comment that you're quoting me from the computer doesn't even recognize it as a drive. From what I've read online that method works very infrequently and most people use other methods because they get the same error I have.

    The other method that I tried listed I think on this site was to create two partitions one Mac Journal Extended that was small with rEFIt installed on it the other a FAT 32 with the sudo dd copy installed on it. This did not have the computer recognize it as a drive to boot from.

    3) I have not gotten an error any step of the process except when I was doing the Ubuntu guide method and was messing around in terminal without having a great amount of expertise in it (I learned a bit along the way and figured it out and got it to work without errors)

    4) I eventually get to the black i guess its a BIOS emulator but I'm not that familiar with that part of the process.

    Unfortunately I do not have an external drive but I might be buying one soon so I'll try that. My flash-drive is a 32GB PNY flash I don't know particularly what that means though.
  4. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    OK you're clearly in the wrong forum. This is Windows on Mac, not Linux on Mac. You need to go to Ubuntu's Apple forums and ask these questions.

    Have you read this?

    It specifically talks about EFI booting being problematic. I have yet to get EFI mode boot of linux on either 2008 or 2011 MBPs to work because of Apple's very unique, and crappy EFI implementation, which varies a LOT from Mac to Mac. You are vastly better off, in my opinion, based on my experienced with Ubuntu and Fedora Linux, to not attempt EFI boot.

    Which means using CSM-BIOS boot instead, which is the "BIOS emulation" used for booting Windows on a Mac. The catch is that CSM-BIOS boot doesn't support booting from USB sticks or disks. You will have to burn CD/DVD Ubuntu install media.

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