Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dual-Booting Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on a MacBook

The following explains how to dual-boot Mac OS X and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on an (Intel Core Duo) Macbook. This post will only deal with installation, post-installation setup will be dealt with in a later post.

Software Update.
  1. Update Mac OS X.
    Apple Menu -> Software Update...
  2. Update Firmware if needed. See the following webpage.

Install the rEFIt Boot Menu.
  1. Download from
  2. Mount the image.
  3. Double-click on the "rEFIt.mpkg" icon.
  4. Reboot to make sure rEFIt is installed.

Resize Hard Drive.

I have a 74G hard drive, which I will partition in half. From the output of the mount command, look for the disk mounted on /. In my case it is disk0s2. Change the following command accordingly.
diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 37G

Install Ubuntu 7.10.
  1. Download and burn the Ubuntu CD image (i386 Desktop) from
  2. Put it in your computer and reboot.
  3. Select the penguin from the rEFIt menu. (Or hold down C while booting.)
  4. Select "Check CD for defects". It takes a while, but is good to do.
  5. Reboot.
  6. Select the penguin from the rEFIt menu.
  7. Select "Start or install Ubuntu". The Ubuntu desktop will load.
  8. Click the Install icon.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions. Some notes:
    • Make sure to select the US English -- Macintosh keyboard layout.
    • Choose to manually edit the partition table.
    • Make sure that EFI GPT partition is not mounted.
    • I created: 2G swap; 10G for /; 25G for /home.
    • Also make sure that your partitions are mounted in the correct spots (swap, /home, /).
  10. Reboot.
  11. Select "Start Partitioning Tool" at the rEFIt menu. It might ask you to sync the MBR GPT maps. Select yes.
  12. Reboot.
  13. Select the Penguin at the rEFIt menu.