I hope you can help me with an answer.

I run Mac OSX 10.9.5 on my late macbook and want to switch to Ubuntu - once I am more familiar with it.

I downloaded a live USB image of Kubuntu19.10 and created an iso on one USB stick.

I put in another USB stick and installed the Kubuntu 19.10 on that non-iso stick according to the instructions I found using ubuntu-prepare -installation. I used the KDE partition manager. First I created a 500mb Fat32 partition, then a 116 GB ext4 partition and a 4 GB swap partition.

I then formatted the fat32, a 48 GB and a68 GB home partition.

Then I was hoping to boot into the Kubuntu system using the Mac option -key on bootup - which didn't happen at all.

I then installed the rEFInd utility and now at least I am able to boot my Mac OSX again.

But no chance to boot into Kubuntu - although two icons show up. Maybe a USB stick can't be configured to work as a second hard disk?

  • 3
    You should be able to use the USB as a disk. Check the USB's EFI partition, it's probably empty. See bug 1396379. Copy the hard disk's EFI files to the stick's EFI. – ubfan1 Oct 21 '19 at 19:52
  • 1
    Thank you - but how do I do that? I can't check anything on the USB stick using Mac OSX... – Mona Oct 21 '19 at 19:53
  • 2
    @Mona support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/… shows how to use the Disk Utility; or, choose a different tool, such as one of these igeeksblog.com/best-partition-manager-for-mac – K7AAY Oct 21 '19 at 20:08

Live, persistent live and installed systems in USB drives

  • It can work to install an Ubuntu based system like into an internal drive but into a USB drive, and I have done it many times, but only with PC computers. I have no Mac computer, so I don't know the details how to do that.

  • You can make a live drive work in a Mac computer, and you should also be able to make a persistent live drive work.

    • Try with mkusb installed temporarily into your current Kubuntu live drive), or
    • try with a simpler method that works with Kubuntu 19.10 using mkusb-minp.

Suggested method for installed system to work from USB in a Mac

It should also be possible to make an installed system in a USB drive like you tried to do it, maybe with some minor modification. But it is more likely to work with the boot system of mkusb to make an installed Kubuntu system work from USB as described by C.S.Cameron. So I suggest to

  • boot into the Kubuntu live drive
  • install mkusb and have the iso file available (in a mounted partition)
  • use mkusb to create a persistent live drive in another drive, the 'target USB'
  • continue with gparted according to the method described by C.S.Cameron in the last link (which is an answer to another question here at AskUbuntu).

See the following links

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