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Will Ubuntu 10.10 run out of the box on my MacBook 7,1?

What steps must I follow to get Ubuntu 10.10 running as a dual/triple boot with Mac OS/ Windows?

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best guide for triple-booting that I have read is at Lifehacker.com. Basic steps:

  1. Use Disk Utility in OS X to partition your drive.
  2. Install Windows. Quite straightforward. Install the Boot Camp drivers afterwards.
  3. Install Linux. Make sure to install bootloader on the Ubuntu partition (i.e. /dev/sda4/, and not on /dev/sda.

I've done it this way without trouble for both Ubuntu and Fedora.

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LifeHacker guide is good. –  Moshe Dec 6 '10 at 17:11
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The easiest way to install Linux is to burn yourself an Ubuntu boot disk, or, if your hardware supports it, an Ubuntu boot USB stick. You can install from the boot disk if you can get it to work. See the BurningIsoHowto.

The trouble is, that this way of installing will allow you to create a volume that installs Linux and Windows (note that Windows demands that it places constraints on where it may be put in the boot disk's FAT).

Using Boot Camp allows you to construct a disk that will allow you to boot to Mac Os and either Windows or Linux (with Linux, by overwriting the Windows partition), but I understood that it won't allow you to make a triple boot disk (but see fideli's post, who has had success with this). For that you need REFIT, as Oktosite described: see Triple Boot via BootCamp.

There are alternatives. Not useful for a Macbook, but some Macs, like Mac Mini Server, have two hard disks, so you can have each disk be a single or double boot disk. Or if one of the OSs is one you use rarely, you can boot into that from an external medium, i.e., CD ROM or USB stick as described above: Linux is by far the accommodating for this treatment.

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Using Boot Camp and rEFIt.

Since the Mac is now an Intel platform, the procedure of installing Ubuntu on one is not at all dissimilar to installing Windows on one.

You should probably have a look here and here. Although information on your exact model is not yet available, I would expect the procedure to be similar.

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You could run it in a VM such as Virtual Box or use rEFit to have the Mac boot into it.

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