My Triple Boot on MacBook Pro 7,1

Ingredients:
This article was created using a 7,1 MacBook Pro running Max OS X 10.5, Windows XP SP2 and Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric. Also you’ll need a disk with a Mac OS X (shipping with a macbook) and additional Bootcamp drivers.

Another important software:

  1. rEFIt
  2. Gparted Live CD
  3. Of course, linux distro (amd64-version). For instance Kubuntu 11.10 Live CD.

Important notes:
The way is a little bit tricky, so the first thing to do is a full backup of your data. The next point you are to follow these links:
http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Triple_Boot_Mac_OS,_XP,_and_Linux_on_a_Mac
http://mac.linux.be/content/problems-refit-and-grub-after-installation
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBook/TripleBoot
The last article was a source for this post, but this one has a several important improvements that did my system working properly.

Presteps:
It is highly recommended to update your mac to the latest version.

Install rEFIt:
rEFIt is a boot menu and maintenance toolkit for EFI-based machines like the Intel Macs. You can use it to boot multiple operating systems easily, including triple-boot setups with Boot Camp. It also provides an easy way to enter and explore the EFI pre-boot environment.

Disk Utility:
You need to create three partitions for your operation systems. The only tool to do this is a disk utility in the good-old-school-command-style-way. I would recommend to use the diskutility from Mac OS X installation disk, but I think it isn’t so important.

diskutil list

/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *249.1 Gi   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         200.0 Mi   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Mac-OS                  248.7 Gi   disk0s2

So we need to create new layout for our needs:

sudo diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 45G "JHFS+" "Linux" 174G "JHFS+" "Windows" 31G

Started resizing on disk disk0s2 Mac-OS
Verifying
Resizing Volume
Adjusting Partitions
Formatting new partitions
Formatting disk0s3 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name Linux
Formatting disk0s4 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name Windows
[ + 0%..10%..20%..30%..40%..50%..60%..70%..80%..90%..100% ] 
Finished resizing on disk disk0
/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *250.1 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Mac-OS                  45.0 GB    disk0s2
   3:                  Apple_HFS Linux                   173.9 GB    disk0s3
   4:                  Apple_HFS WINDOWS                 30.7 GB    disk0s4

At this step you should carefully think how much place you’ll need for each OS (there is no currently any successful attepmt to resize hard disk with 3 systems). Note that 4 partitions is the limit (EFI, MacOS, Ubuntu, Windows) unless you want to do tricky stuff. Also note that your Windows partition will need to be the last one, otherwise you will probably get strange errors halfway through your Windows installation (at least with Windows XP).

GParted:
You need to load with GParted Live CD and create unformatted partion instead of the last one. Remember that you should leave 128 Mb space interval before unformatted partition. Don’t permit any formatting actions from gparted tool, only creating unformatted volume instead of last partition!

GPTsync:
Short, but very important step: now do gptsync command in the rEFIt shell.

Windows Install:

Put your Windows Install-CD in the drive and reboot your Mac. Select to boot from the Windows-CD from the rEFIt menu. Press a key on the keyboard when prompted to really boot from the CD and the Windows-Installer should be started from your CD.

Things to watch out for:

  • Make sure your partition tables are in sync to start out with. You can check this from the rEFIt menu.
  • Make sure you’re installing Windows to the unformatted partition. (Don’t install Windows in partition 2!!!)
  • Do not fool around with deleting and making new partitions from within the Windows installer. This is bound to screw up something as Windows (at least Windows XP) doesn’t know about your hybrid (GPT/MBR) partition table.

  • Install Windows onto what it believes to be «drive C:» — this should be selected by default.
  • Have Windows (re-) format the partition to make sure that it will be bootable.

From experience: Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to work at first. We’ll need to install it again))).

Linux Install:
Put your Kubuntu Install-CD in the drive and reboot your Mac. Select to boot from the Linux-CD from the rEFIt menu, and start the Kubuntu installer.

Things to watch out for:

  • Make sure your partition tables are in sync to start out with. You can check this from the rEFIt menu.
  • Play it safe: Don’t delete and create partitions within the Ubuntu installer.
  • Make sure you’re installing Kubuntu to the correct partition.
  • Don’t worry if the installer is unhappy about the missing swap partition. You can always create a swapfile later on.
  • Make sure to install the bootloader GRUB to your Ubuntu partition (sda3 in above the example) and not the master boot record (MBR).
  • Disable any automatic updates during installation. Put yourself on the safe side: it’s better to update your working system after install process.

With current Ubuntu versions you can basically let the graphical installer run through without problems. There are two step where you need to pay attention to though:

  • You need to manually select the right partition for your Kubuntu installation.
  • You need to make sure that the boot loader gets installed to your Ubuntu partition and not the master boot record (MBR).

Again Windows Install:
If there some problem with windows boot occured, just simply reinstall it through step Windows Install. Then you need to update your system from SP2 to SP3 and after successful update insert the Mac OS X installation disc and install all Bootcamp drivers. Now you get full-function WinXP.

Optional Tuning:
Visit these pages for tuning your Kubuntu system:

Time Machine Backup Restoration:
No need to explain.

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One comment on “My Triple Boot on MacBook Pro 7,1

  1. […] компьютера фирмы Apple. Дело в том, что установка Linux на Mac дело в общем-то несложное. Отсутствие многих удобных и популярных программ (Adobe […]

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