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How do I get my Mac to boot from an Ubuntu USB key?

I know this has been discussed over and over but I still cannot run Ubuntu on a USB stick.

Here's the step I followed:

1. I downloaded Ubuntu 12.10 (ubuntu-12.10-desktop-i386.iso) from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop which I renamed 'ubuntu.iso'. I bought my Mac mid-2010, it has an Intel processor.

2. I formated my 16GB USB stick with HFS+ File System following this tutorial: http://www.switchingtomac.com/tutorials/how-to-format-a-drive-or-partition-with-the-hfs-file-system

3. I opened a terminal and typed: hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/Downloads/ubuntu.img ~/Downloads/ubuntu.iso

It created ubuntu.iso.dmg

4. I ran 'diskutil list' and identified the device node assigned to the USB.

5. I unmounted it: diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

6. Then, I entered the command: sudo dd if=~/Downloads/ubuntu.img.dmg of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m. It seemed to work. A Mac message poped up saying that the system doesn't recognized the disk, I pressed 'ignore'.

7. I ejected the USB using diskutil eject /dev/disk2, then removed the USB.

8. I rebooted the computer, plugged the USB key, pressed ALT.I could see my Macintosh partition and my Windows partition, but couldn't see my USB stick.

Any help will be very appreciated :)

  • Victor
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Possible duplicate of askubuntu.com/q/28495/43660 –  Chan-Ho Suh Nov 21 '12 at 2:49
    
Thanks for the feedback Chan-Ho, I saw this post but didn't try. I'll follow the steps tomorrow. Thanks a lot for your help. Is the Ubuntu USB key will be bootable and usable on any computer (except MacBook Air)? –  user109513 Nov 21 '12 at 3:55
    
To the OP: Although this has been closed, if it turns out it'll need to be repoened, we can do so. =) –  hexafraction Nov 21 '12 at 14:16
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marked as duplicate by Chan-Ho Suh, Stephen Myall, hhlp, Mik, hexafraction Nov 21 '12 at 14:15

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1 Answer

What I see here is several unnecessary and complicated steps. All you need to do is format the flash drive using the FAT32 file system (it is compatible with all systems and so will always work) and then use UNETBOOTIN or a similar utility to place the iso file onto the flash drive. Also, if you're running Mountain Lion on an Intel processor, then you should be able to use the 64-bit version of Ubuntu (link takes you to download page), which should give you some small performance increases. Then just boot from the flash drive in your BIOS boot menu and from there the live USB session should guide you through trying and/or installing Ubuntu.

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Hello Josh, thanks for your message. UNetbootin is available for Mac OS X but unfortunately you cannot make USB key bootable on a MacBook Pro but only for PC computers. I already tried that. Actually, I tested my USB key and I can boot on it from a PC, but not from my MacBook Pro. –  user109513 Nov 21 '12 at 2:39
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