I'm a long-time Mac user and I really want to give Linux a try. For the past few days, I have been trying to install Ubuntu alongside OSX by making a Live USB. I have been searching pretty hard, and have tried several methods. I tried the instructions on the ubuntu website (converting the .iso to an .img using the command line) and I have tried using a method that uses something called syslinux to allow unebootin to create a live usb bootable on the mac. And of course I have tried the Mac Linux USB Installer. Nothing seems to work. I installed rEFIt, and when I restart with my live USB in, I get a bunch of things to the right of the apple, instead of just one 'boot from [my flash drive]' option. if i click on one, it will either give me an error message (alloc magic is broken, etc) or a black screen that simply states 'No bootable device detected -- insert boot disk'. Or, sometimes, I will actually manage to get an option to start ubuntu. After a glitchy loading screen appears, it appears to work ok, but when i try to install, the internet disconnects and it can't detect that there is OSX on this computer, and the default option is to erase the disk. So I quit the installation and try to shut down, and then my computer freezes on the same glitchy screen from start up. By now, my computer is probably plotting a terrible vengeance upon me after all the hard resets.

I really don't want to buy a pack of black CDs just for this, because I will never use the rest of them. And, I plan on building a computer soon that won't have an optical drive, and it would be really helpful to know how to do this. And, I am a very stubborn person and I just must get this to work! I have seen many blog posts of people getting this to work, so I know it is possible.

I would really appreciate any help in figuring out what is preventing Linux from installing smoothly. I hope this made any sense. If it doesn't, I can provide pictures, specific links, error messages, etc. Thanks so much!