BCD, MacOSX, Win7, Ubuntu


I have a MacBook Pro with OS/X and Win7 set up as dual boot on the machine using BootCamp and it works fine. What I'm trying to do is get a an installation of Ubuntu which is on a flash drive to boot using BCD from the Win7 boot manager. I can't do it from boot camp as the Mac will only see GPT partitions with EFI and I haven't found a way to creat one of those animals for Ubuntu. If I use either Legacy GRUB or GRUB2 as the option in the boot menu it either doesn't boot at all (legacy grub) or boots to a grub shell (GRUB2) and stops.

If I stick the flash drive into a non EFI based machine (regular laptop) and boot to USB it boots just fine.

Any ideas?
How To Create A Portable Ubuntu Installation USB On The Mac

The link below may help you out. Otherwise you might post this question on the two forums below. Apple nova is a good site for mackintosh type questions and Ubuntu forums is a big site for Ubuntu.

How To Create A Portable Ubuntu Installation USB On The Mac

AppleNova Forums

Ubuntu Forums

What version of MacOS X are you running? 10.6 snow leopard? I did some reading around the net and it looks like this booting Ubuntu from a USB stick on Macintosh systems used to work but hasn’t worked recently. If you get a working please post back.


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Thanks. I've tried that. That was on a netbook, not a Mac, and they simply create the install from a Mac for a non EFI aware netbook. As someone in that forum notes, unless you can trick the EFI bootoader into booting Ubuntu without a EFI partition, it doesn't work. At least not on Snow Leopard.

The reason I posted here is maybe BCD has (and I'm just not doing something right) a way of transferring the boot process to Linux from the Win7 boot process as I can't boot direct to Ubuntu without it as the Mac "sees" Windows because of Bootcamp but can't see Ubuntu on the flash drive. Until Ubuntu builds an EFI aware bootloader for Linux, I don't think it will be booting directly on a Mac anytime soon.
I’m not sure what Easy BCD can do for you. Perhaps someone else can speak to that issue. But check out the links below.

EFI aware bootloader for Linux

ELILO: EFI Linux Boot Loader by fleischli


elilo - install EFI boot loader 3.7


Finally a solution to USB-booting ubuntu on a mac :wink:
"Hey guys and gals, I've been doing some research to boot a linux distro by USB, and I thought it would be nice to share what I found out with you all. I've done it using a mac mini (Core 2 Duo, 1.8 Ghz type) and tested both Ubuntu and Debian successfully.

So, how is it achieved ? By booting Linux from EFI instead of BIOS.

Using grub2-efi and a kernel with EFI support, I was able to boot a Ubuntu distribution entirely from USB, nothing else needed. The main back draw : the agp isn't working yet, so no hardware acceleration (I didn't mind about this, depends on what you need to do). From what I've read, I'm not sure there are graphic drivers that work under EFI-booted linux. ANYWAYS, I haven't toyed much with that, I leave it to someone who needs the hardware accel

What I did was partition a USB-key with 2 principal partitions, one HFS+ partition (couple MBs) that would contain the grub2-efi and one partition ext2 containing Linux. The grub2-efi partition needs to be blessed using OSX so it can be seen without rEFIt. It is imperative you use a kernel 2.6.25 or higher, because the older kernels don't seem to work too well with efi boot.

Basically you can just follow this tutorial here and instead of using rEFIt (unless you don't have access to an OSX installation, in which case you should perhaps try using rEFIt), do the blessing part as explained here.

This method really doesn't need anything that comes from the hard drive, I actually opened the mac mini and removed the hard drive to be sure that it still works."