I'm trying to dual boot Ubuntu 12.04 on my MacBook (which is a Mid 2007 model with Intel Core 2 dual and currently running Lion).

I've burned the Ubuntu desktop ISO file to a 4.7GB DVD, installed rEFIt, and partitioned my hard disk to make room for Ubuntu, but when I put in the DVD and then reboot, the rEFIt menu shows only the "boot from Mac OS X" option instead of asking me whether to boot from CD. Holding down the key "C" or the option key doesn't help either.

Could you explain how to fix this problem and get the laptop to boot from the DVD properly?

  • have you tried to refresh the list after the disk was inserted? – raven myers Aug 18 '13 at 20:32

My understanding is that the standard Ubuntu install disc has problems booting on Macs. The easiest solution is to try a Mac-specific variant, which ironically only boots in BIOS mode. (Intel-based Macs use EFI firmware with a BIOS emulation layer, and Linux has long supported EFI booting.) The result will be an installation that will have to boot in BIOS mode unless and until you change that.

Another option is to force the issue by fiddling around with boot managers and boot loaders. It's possible that installing the ISO-9660 driver from rEFInd so that rEFIt can read it will do the trick; in theory, that should make Ubuntu's on-CD boot loader visible to rEFIt. (You could optionally replace rEFIt with rEFInd, too, but that's not required.) If this doesn't work, then forcing an EFI-mode boot is likely to be much more complicated, and I don't have step-by-step instructions handy.

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