This is a somewhat general issue that I've been running into while trying to install Linux onto my late 2008 Macbook Pro.
I've tried the following distros:
- Linux Mint 10
- Linux Mint 14
- Ubuntu 12.10
- Fedora 17
What's happening is that at some point during the boot process, something the Macbook Pro doesn't like is crashing it. I think it is related to the gpu drivers, but I can't tell for sure. What happens is the system totally freezes and the top one-third of the screen is all corrupted.
I tried changing the runlevel to 3 so that X does not start while I was attempting to boot Fedora 17's live install, but a few seconds after getting the initial login prompt, it went all corrupted. Up to that point however, everything was fine.
It also does not seem to make a difference if I run the "windows" boot loader (which is a low-res shell) or the EFI boot loader (which is a high-res shell). Both exhibit the same behavior.
I did somehow manage to get Linux Mint to boot to a desktop on ONE occasion, however it froze shortly afterwards.
FWIW, Mac OS X 10.6 works perfectly fine on this machine. I also tried installing rEFIt, but that did not help at all.