How To: Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Here is an alternative method to run Ubuntu 10.04 on a Mac without actually installing it on your internal hard disk.

The idea is to install Ubuntu on your USB flash disk, instead of installing it on your internal hard drive. I'm talking about a full disk installation. It won't be treated as a persistent USB, but as a real internal hard disk. For my previous article on the same topic, see Part 1.

Requirements:

  • Windows PC
  • Intel based Mac
  • 16GB USB Sandisk Cruzer Blade flash disk
  • rEFIt
  • A persistent Ubuntu 10.04 USB

Step 1 Boot Ubuntu on Your PC

For this method, I'm using a 2.0 GHz Dell Optiplex SX260 with 625mb Ram.ubu.

Insert the persistent USB. Enter setup by pressing F2, F10 or F12 to change your boot settings (the specific key depends on your PC).

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Choose to boot from the USB HD or USB FDD.

Step 2 Install Ubuntu

Usually, there's an icon on your desktop to install Ubuntu. If not, go to System > Administration > Install RELEASE.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Step 3 Select Region, Keyboard Settings, Input User Name, etc.

This should be self-explanatory, right? You'll need to unmount all partitions.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Input your region.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Select your keyboard layout.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Unmount partitions.

Step 4 Partition the Hard Drive

Under "Prepare Disk Space," choose the USB flash (sdb, sdc etc.), and then erase and use the entire hard disk. Note that I used two different USBs so as not to mistake one for the other.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Choose your target USB.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Input your username, host, and password.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Now click "Install".

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

  • Wait until it's finished.

Step 5 Install rEFIt on Mac

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Using your Mac, google and download rEFIt.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Double click the .dmg file and install. Note that rEFIt needs to be blessed so that it can automatically run everytime you boot your Mac. 

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Tip

  • Activate the program by typing sudo sh /efi/refit/enable.sh on the terminal.

Step 6 Boot Ubuntu USB on Mac

Now we're ready to run Ubuntu on your Mac. Give it a try!

Just connect to the internet to install additional hardware drivers. Go to: System> Administration> Hardware Drivers.

How to Boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Using a USB, Part 2

Note: This will not boot on a regular PC.

1 Comment

If you create a separate MS-Dos partition on your macbook's hd, sharing files to a non-mac compatible external hd is possible. I used 10.04.1LTS on another usb flash drive.

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