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Thread: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    I spent days getting my Mac Pro to be able to triple boot Mac OS X 10.5, Windows XP (Vista would work fine), and 64-bit Ubuntu. I called Apple no less than 5 times. Here's my experience and how to do it yourself.

    I am using an 8-core Mac Pro. I splurged for the extra RAID card. It was in the way, and here's how I finally took it out. If you don't have RAID, you can skip down.

    To remove the RAID card, I had to remove much of the inside of the case. DOING IT YOURSELF might violate your warranty. Poster is not liable for anything you do to your Mac. Follow the instructions on how to install a the Mac Pro Raid card here:

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Mac...stallation.pdf

    Basically, pretend you are installing it, until you get to step 13. Then disconnect the iPass cable and connect it to the original spot on the logic board. Taking all of those pieces out was just to be able to get this plugged back in. Take the RAID card out of the PCI slot, and put it all back together.

    Very important!!! After removing the RAID card, you have to reset the parameter RAM to get the drives showing up. Boot while holding down option-command and p and r.


    Yes, I know this is crap, that we can't use our $1000 RAID card. If you would like to get it working with RAID, see FakeRaid. Much luck to you, because BootCamp (still!) doesn't support RAID. If you get it working PLEASE respond below.

    With the card out and one big 750GB SATA drive in Bay 1, we are ready to install.

    Boot off of the OS X disk. Before installing, open Utilities -> Disk Utility and make 3 partitions. Format the 3rd on MS-DOS (FAT32) for windows, and name it BOOTCAMP or something. The second partition we are making is for Ubuntu.

    Resume the installation, and install Mac OS X on the first partition. I am using 10.5. After the installation reboot, install rEFIt. It's a boot manager for the Mac, which will allow us to choose the boot drive when we power on the machine or restart. Insert the Windows CD and restart, holding down "c" to boot from the CD.

    To install Windows, use the partition it suggests, which should be FAT32 and given the C: drive letter. Format it with NTFS for best results. Not sure what happens if you leave it FAT32.

    Important!!! Do not do any partitioning of the drives here. It will hose things and then you can start over.

    After installing Windows (rebooting to finish install) insert the Ubuntu Feisty 64-bit Live CD. Download it here.

    Install from the CD. When you get to the disk partitioning page of the wizard, choose Manual. It will give you a list of current partitions. You should be able to recognize the BOOTCAMP (msdos) partition, the Mac OSX partition (the first hfs+) and the Ubuntu blank partition in between. Click on it, and remember its disk name for the last page of the wizard. (e.g. sda3). Click Edit Partition, choose 'ext3' for the file system and '/' for the mount point. Yes, format the partition.

    Important!!! Don't just click off the end of the wizard. On Step 6, Finalizing the Installation (or something), there is an Advanced button. Make sure to click on it, and install the boot loader on the correct partition (remember from earlier). Finish the wizard, remove the CD after installing, and reboot.

    You're done! No manual partitioning, no shell scripts or commands. Apple Disk Utility did all the fun stuff, and now you can boot any of the 3 OSes! Enjoy!

    If anyone has additional information about getting this to work with RAID, please follow up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    6

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. My one question would be when you partition your HD, you state for windows to use DOS FAT 32 and name it Bootcamp, what about the linux partition how would one format that partition? Or at least which format other than DOS FAT?

    I'm going to use this technique on my second HD by partitioning it in half, one for windows the other for linux. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    When partitioning on the Mac, go ahead and leave that drive as HFS+. You will reformat it later during the Ubuntu install, into the 'ext3' filesystem. So when you are installing Ubuntu, you will be choosing a partition labeled 'hfs+', just make sure it's the correct one (not your Mac OS).

    When I did my install I put all 3 partitions on the same disk, because there is something wonky about booting on the Mac, at least off of external drives. I will be very interested to hear if you get this to work on 2 separate internal drives.

    FWIW, a couple of guys at Apple suggested this as a good solution. So I discourage using an EXTERNAL drive, but another internal should work just as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    60

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    The usual format for Ubuntu is ext3, but you can't do that with OS X Disk Utility. If you feel comfortable, just make the Windows partition DOS Fat 32 and the same for the Ubuntu partition. Then, on the Ubuntu install, you can format the partition to ext3, but make sure you are formatting the right partition! You don't want to format the partition with your windows installation and wipe it out.

    Also, on your Windows install, I'd recommend NTFS over Dos Fat 32 because Fat 32 has a file size limit of 4 GB, whereas NTFS has no file size limits. However, if you use NTFS, it's much trickier to access files from your other OS's. You can pick a format for your Windows partition during the Windows install.

    EDIT: Whoops, 2 minutes late; I must have spent a long time typing.
    "My enemies think before they act. I act before I think. It gives me an advantage."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    6

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    Thanks again for the tips. I have successfully installed Ubuntu on the second (internal drive) were as REfit handles the boot menu. My mac is on the first HD, but my issue lies on the 2nd HD. When I go to install windows the installer says it cannot install into the partition. This is why I want to wipe the 2nd HD clean and repartition it one as DOS FAT32 and the other as HFS then install again. I just cant find a solution on getting the windows to recognize the partition.


    So now I will leave HD 1 as Mac OS X leopard, and Wipe HD 2 to create 2 partitions. then partition A will be hfs and partion B will DOS FAT 32. Does it matter the order?
    Last edited by wubi; June 27th, 2008 at 11:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    What if i required a /boot and a swap partition apart from the /(root) partition. Should i create 5 partitions? and on "Advanced" should i choose the /boot partition to install grub?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Beans
    7,526
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathna View Post
    What if i required a /boot and a swap partition apart from the /(root) partition. Should i create 5 partitions? and on "Advanced" should i choose the /boot partition to install grub?
    yes as long as /boot is in the first 4 you are fine. and yes install grub to the boot partition

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    Err...I have been trying it all weekend and today and I got "No bootable devices....", so I tried this link, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=767677, and my display froze with the tux image.

    I performed a manual shutdown and tried choosing my linux partition again. this time it went past the tux image but came back with "GRUB Loading stage2...". The display hangs in there. I found another relevant thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=638752.

    Anyway I have no idea what mint is, I've been trying only ubuntu.

    Right now, OSX and Windows works just fine.

    Could someone please help me. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Beans
    7,526
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    please give output of
    Code:
    sudo parted /dev/sda print
    and
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda
    If you have multiple drives there maybe other issues at work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: Mac Pro: Triple Boot Explained. The Easy Way.

    No, I have only one drive.
    HTML Code:
    <pre>
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo parted /dev/sda print
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 120GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
    Partition Table: gpt
    
    Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name                  Flags
     1      20.5kB  210MB   210MB   fat32        EFI System Partition  boot 
     2      210MB   75.2GB  75.0GB  hfs+         Untitled                   
     3      75.2GB  75.4GB  128MB   ext2                                    
     5      75.4GB  79.5GB  4096MB  linux-swap                              
     6      79.5GB  97.9GB  18.5GB  ext3                                    
     4      97.9GB  120GB   22.1GB  ntfs         Untitled                   
    Information: Don't forget to update /etc/fstab, if necessary.
    
    
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda
    
    WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x2cd72cd6
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1               1          26      204819+  ee  EFI GPT
    /dev/sda2              26        9148    73269248   af  Unknown
    /dev/sda3   *        9148        9163      125000+   c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda4           11905       14594    21595568    7  HPFS/NTFS
    </pre>
    Thank you cyberdork for looking into my query.
    Last edited by rathna; July 29th, 2008 at 06:34 AM.

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