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#1 2013-02-17 20:09:17

brarch
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 1

Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Hey guys,

I'm trying to get a triple boot installation going on my macbook. I'm kinda stuck now so I had to reach out here for help.

Currently my macbook has 5 partitions.

sda1 = mac boot
sda2 = mac os
sda3 = mac recover
sda4 = partition I created with mac os disc utility for ArchLinux
sda5 = windows partition that was working created with bootcamp

I read over the wiki:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/MacBook

I created sda4, and originally I tried to create three more partitions out of sda4 using cgdisk. The extra partitions I created would never show up so I couldn't mount them... finally I just decided to mount and install /dev/sda4 without a boot or swap partition. I went through the installation as normal.

I also installed refit.

At this point I think i have arch successfully installed on sda4, I just can't boot to it. Refit doesn't recognize the linux partition, it sees the windows, but windows won't boot either, I can only boot to my mac osx parition.

What should I do at this point? what logs and command outputs do you guys need to help me get this working.

Last edited by brarch (2013-02-17 20:11:55)

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#2 2013-02-17 20:13:38

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 1,486
Website

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

I'm sorry, did you say you don't have a boot partition? Do you at least have a /boot on sda4 with a bootloader installed, and the partition marked as active?

Also, I'm not positive of this, but I think Macs can only boot to hfs(+) partitions, even with refit/find. I'm not positive of that, but I'm fairly sure that's the case.

All the best,

-HG

Last edited by HalosGhost (2013-02-17 20:14:47)


"All errors are ᴘᴇʙᴋᴀᴄ errors—It's just a matter of narrowing down which keyboard and chair." -Trilby
\ldots

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#3 2013-02-17 20:52:30

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
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Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

HalosGhost wrote:

Also, I'm not positive of this, but I think Macs can only boot to hfs(+) partitions, even with refit/find. I'm not positive of that, but I'm fairly sure that's the case.

No, you're mistaken on that. HFS+ does have some advantages (you can get boot loaders on HFS+ to show up in Apple's boot manager, for instance), but it's not a requirement.

The Windows boot problem is most likely a result of the fact that Windows requires a hybrid MBR entry, but chances are that entry has been lost and not re-created. Given the partition layout, you'll need to use gdisk to re-create this entry. See the gdisk documentation (to which I just linked) for details.

For Linux, a boot loader is required, and it's not at all clear what boot loader is installed, if any. It's possible to boot Linux on Macs in either BIOS mode or EFI mode. IMHO, EFI mode is superior if it's possible, but it poses problems on some models, so you may need to use BIOS mode. The details of how to get it working depend on which mode you use, and there are multiple boot loader options for each mode. It looks like the wiki covers both modes, with an emphasis on rEFIt and GRUB, but I've not read the whole thing. IMHO, rEFInd is superior to rEFIt, but I'm biased (I'm the one who forked rEFInd from rEFIt). If you install rEFInd and a filesystem driver for whatever filesystem you used for your Arch partition, you should be able to boot Arch directly from rEFInd. You'll need to adjust the boot parameters manually the first time you boot, though, and create a refind_linux.conf file to bypass that need on future boots.

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#4 2013-02-17 21:06:57

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 1,486
Website

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

srs5694, that's very helpful to know actually.

All the best,

-HG


"All errors are ᴘᴇʙᴋᴀᴄ errors—It's just a matter of narrowing down which keyboard and chair." -Trilby
\ldots

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#5 2013-02-18 22:50:11

horho77
Member
Registered: 2012-09-11
Posts: 5

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Hi, this is what I usually do on my macbook retina:
- install osx
- get rid of the recovery partition
http://mac.tutsplus.com/tutorials/secur … remove-it/
- install windows using boot camp
- resize osx partition using disk utility in osx and create space "in between" HFS+ and windows partition
- under osx install rEFInd
- install arch into empty space between osx and windows (I use only one partition)
So you will have:
sda1 EFI
sda2 osx (HFS+)
sda3 arch (ext4)
sda4 windows (NTFS)

Arch:
- format sda3 to ext4 and mount it ( e.g. under /mnt)
- create folder /mnt/boot/efi (mount your sda1 - EFI partition  under there)
- create home folder /mnt/home
Pretty much continue following the arch beginners wiki.

For boot loader I use EFISTUB:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/UEFI_Bootloaders
See section "Setting up EFISTUB"

Basically:
- copy your "boot" files into /mnt/boot/efi/EFI/arch/
- already have refind, so don't have to install "refind-efi"
- create refind config file in: /mnt/boot/efi/EFI/arch/refind_linux.conf
There is an example in the same wiki as mentioned above.

- later when I can boot I set up the systemd update script (same wiki)

That works for me smile

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#6 2014-10-09 15:56:20

ArchieGolightly
Member
Registered: 2013-08-17
Posts: 13

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread but I'm trying to do this too, albeit on a second HDD in my optical bay.

Does anyone know if rEFInd is strictly necessary or can I just use GRUB in all instances? Based on my reading, I get the feeling if I format /boot with an HFS+ filesystem I can boot from it using Apple's boot manager?

I'm hitting dead ends here, but I feel intuitively that I'm on the right path.

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#7 2014-10-09 16:16:36

Spider.007
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Registered: 2004-06-20
Posts: 1,142
Website

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

The Apple boot-manager supports UEFI just fine; no need for a HFS+ partition. Did you read https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Macbook ? It depends on the exact hardware; what do you have?

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#8 2014-10-09 17:13:02

ArchieGolightly
Member
Registered: 2013-08-17
Posts: 13

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Thanks for your quick reply!

From your link:

It is advisable to host GRUB on either a FAT32 or HFS+ partition, but ext2 or ext3 may also work.

I have a mid 2012 15" MacBook Pro with an nVidia 650m. I want to install Arch on my 750GB mechanical HDD and keep Windows and OS X on my SSD. Arch, for me, is so fast that it doesn't need an SSD to get the most out of it whereas Windows and OS X are so bloated I need an SSD to keep my productivity on par with previous generations of OSes.

It's incredibly confusing, I don't really like rEFInd because it gets overwritten every update, and also there's a bit of a delay to load the boot manager, then to load the bootloader, then finally to boot into the kernel. I'd rather have the builtin OS X boot manager get the ball rolling and save myself a few steps.

Edit: Just to add, the mechanical drive had an installation of OS X already and I can boot into that, or Windows 7 (which was my previous configuration). I'd like to erase that entire drive and have Arch on it; diskutil list gives me this:

/dev/disk1
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk1
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         472.5 GB   disk1s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk1s3
   4:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP                276.0 GB   disk1s4

Hopefully this clarifies something

Last edited by ArchieGolightly (2014-10-09 17:22:24)

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#9 2014-10-10 17:01:09

Spider.007
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Registered: 2004-06-20
Posts: 1,142
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Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

How does reFIND get overwritten btw? You shouldn't really need it; but it should be the simplest method of booting linux. I also noticed the hard-drive has core-storage enabled; this means you can't simply erase it since osX will fall over. You could have a look at https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/IMac_Fusion if you want to disable the CoreStorage volume but it will wipe all your data (including osX)

If you hold left-alt when booting, does it show your Arch install?

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#10 2014-10-10 19:00:24

ArchieGolightly
Member
Registered: 2013-08-17
Posts: 13

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

This is apocryphal but from what I've read every time you update the OS /boot is overwritten and restored to the Apple default. I want to stick GRUB in /boot and then bless it in OS X which should be permanent. Every time I've updated OS X my Windows boot hasn't been  borked.

I haven't installed Arch yet, I've installed it and used it very happily for a year in a VM. Since I've bought an SSD and have replaced my DVD drive with an HDD I felt now would be a good time to install it on actual hardware; problem is, I didn't realise Macs were such a PITA.

Also, when I upgrade to Yosemite (OS X 10.10) I understand the filesystem structure is altered still further.

EDIT: just to say, I don't really care if I have to zero the drive, I always format and install every major system upgrade (eg from 10.9 to 10.10 I would format the disk and reinstall the entire OS). But I want to install Arch all by itself on its own HDD with no other system, Windows and OS X would be on my 1TB SSD.

Last edited by ArchieGolightly (2014-10-10 19:58:34)

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#11 2014-10-11 09:03:45

Spider.007
Member
Registered: 2004-06-20
Posts: 1,142
Website

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Okay; so assuming you have backups; simply follow the IMac_Fusion wiki; boot into a recovery OSX install to get rid of the CoreStorage setup. The wiki assumes you want to install Arch to the ssd; but you can easily switch the ssd & hdd parts. Then tell us how far you got and if/where you got stuck. Installing grub to UEFI should give you a separate boot-option in the mac's bootloader (left-alt); blessing is only required if you want to change the default option. If OSX updates messes with the default option (maybe it will, maybe it won't) you won't be able to prevent that anyway, so why would that hold you back?

You shouldn't care about OSX updates and their file-structure; the boot/UEFI partition will always be fat32 and OSX's booting logic will always be magic...

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#12 2014-10-12 09:14:11

ArchieGolightly
Member
Registered: 2013-08-17
Posts: 13

Re: Triple Boot on 2012 MacBook Pro

Great, thanks, I'll wait for Yosemite to launch and then I'll attempt this project.

I really appreciate your help! I'll be sure to, if I'm successful, keep a log of everything and update the relevant wikis so that others may benefit from my experimentation.

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