It took me quite a while to get a well working linux dualboot on my Mac Mini (version 4.1, the mid 2010 edition), and wanted to make it easier for others. Most of this should apply to other distributions of Linux, as well as other Intel-based Mac machines.
The instructions are a bit rough (didn't plan on this, but turned out to be difficult enough to warrant writing this), but this is roughly how it goes:
- In Mac OS X, use Boot Camp Assistant to divide your disk space between what you want for Mac OS X and what you want for the other OS, you could format it with the Disk Utility to a Windows file system for more easy detection later on.
- Install rEFIt
- They say you should reboot at least twice after this to confirm it works
- It is probably a good idea to tell rEFIt to sync the partition tables at this point
- I used the Mageia 2 .ISO for network install with extra drivers (I doubt the networking would work without it)
- It should be possible to do USB boot from the .ISOs, I didn't do it, so can't tell you how .. shouldn't be too difficult to Google for instructions though
- Please note that Mageia 2 required NO additional boot options
- If you see a partition marked as HFS+, it's the one with Mac OS X, if you formatted the spare partition for Windows, it should be the one that says FAT or NTFS
- This setting was behind some advanced settings button in my Mageia 2 installer
- In Mageia 2, I had to find the Mageia Control Center, go to Hardware -> Browse and configure hardware, then to Videocard -> GT216 [GeForce 320M] and click "Run config tool" .. Click on the button beside "Graphic Card" and select "nv" X server, and find the "GeForce 6100 to 360" or so driver. Configure your monitor settings, save, and reboot.
Some notes from my experience that might be useful in other cases:
- I bumped into some issues with UUIDs at a few points, I found it more safe to change the UUIDs in /etc/fstab and Grub config to /dev/sda3 .. if you find your system non-bootable, try and boot into rescue mode or similar, then:
- Edit /etc/fstab, change "UUID=...." on the line for "/" to "/dev/sda3"
- Edit your Grub config (usually in /etc/defaults/grub or /boot/grub/menu.lst) and:
- Forgot what to edit in /etc/defaults/grub, but it should be pretty easy to add any additional boot parameters here
- In /boot/grub/menu.lst replace "root=UUID=...." with "root=/dev/sda3"
- Depending on your distribution and Grub version, you might need to run one or more of the following:
- grub-install /dev/sda
If you find any other useful tips for installing Linux/*BSD/similar on your Macs, let me know and I might consider adding them here.