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Triple Boot MacBook Pro

February 14, 2012

I've been running rEFIt on my machine for a while to dual boot windows and mac osx. It works beautifully.

Having said that, I wanted to install Ubuntu and triple boot.

I have never installed Ubuntu on a Mac before so I checked some tutorials such as:
lifehacker and made sure what kind of tools and information I'd need before diving in.
After partitioning my drive with the disk utility:

installing rEFIt, I was ready for Ubuntu.
I downloaded the latest version (Ubuntu 11.10) and burned it to a CD using disk utility again.
To restart the computer from the iso CD, I held down the 'c' key. Ubuntu installation loaded fine. Installation
went smoothly.
I didn't bother partitioning the drive trusting Ubuntu's detection of other operating systems since I have
installed linux distros next to Windows before.
Turns out, Ubuntu doesn't get along with Mac's. OSX would boot up fine from rEFIt but windows was dead.
The worst part was, my partitions were partitioned in a way that Disk Utility couldn't touch them, resize them,
rename them or even format them. I loaded back the Ubuntu CD to re-format partitions, that didn't help.
I turned to windows CD to format them but that didn't work out either. My only option was to re-install OSX.

Now that I had a clean OSX installation, I partitioned the drives exactly as in the tutorial, installed rEFIt,
then windows and got back my system. However, I decided to try one more time. This time I followed
the tutorial step by step. Partitioned the drives properly and installed the Ubuntu bootloader on the drive
the Ubuntu OS is installed on. And I ended up with a corrupt windows installation again.

Looking into Ubuntu, airport wasn't detected as well as some other hardware. Seeing this, I decided to not
triple boot my Mac. After all, OSX is a superclass of Ubuntu.
Here is another tutorial explaining how to triple boot with Ubuntu 8.04 (warning: much older than 11.10).
I haven't tried this tutorial because I don't want to corrupt my system again but it seems this one is also talking
about installing the GRUB on the same partition as Ubuntu. So, I don't think this will be a good solution either
but if you feel like giving it a try, feel free to add a informative comment below. Most programs that run on Ubuntu can run on OSX.
Sure OSX is not equal to Ubuntu but I found an interesting solution to running linux software on my Mac.

It is called Fink.
Also here is a great tutorial explaining how to run linux software on mac osx: tutorial.

If I could recommend anything, don't try to triple boot the new macbook pro (osx snow leopard) with the new
Ubuntu release (11.10). If you will anyways, make sure to BACK UP your system :)

Hope this was useful.
Take Care,


Add Comment:


bob wrote on February 14, 2012:

I like Fink but it's not Linux :)

kaan wrote on February 14, 2012:

I know Bob. If you know a good tutorial to install the
latest ubuntu side by side with Windows on a Mac, please

kaanie wrote on March 15, 2012:

Testing internet explorer

kaanie wrote on March 15, 2012: