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I am using Refind to boot into Ubuntu 13.04 on a Macbook Pro (8,2). However, I seem to have messed up my install to the point where Ubuntu no longer boots (I get a flashing underscore but no text entry abilities after a brief flash of the Ubuntu graphic splash screen).

Anyway, I'd like to boot into the console or recovery mode or something in order to diagnose/fix the issue. But with Refind, the only options I am given do not seem to work. Low Graphics mode almost works, except I don't have a mouse and no keyboard controls seem to work, so I can't click through options.

The other options never actually drop me at a prompt.

(I tagged the question with Refit, but I am actually using Refind).

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If you're booting kernels directly with rEFInd, you can hit F2 or Insert to see a list of boot options laid out in the /boot/refind_linux.conf file. If none of them work, you can highlight one and hit F2 or Insert again to open a line editor that enables you to edit the options passed to the kernel.

If you're booting from rEFInd into another boot loader, such as GRUB, you'll need to use that boot loader to pass options to the kernel. In GRUB, you'd do this by selecting the kernel from the menu and hitting the "e" key to edit the options.

Either way, I can't say precisely what options you should pass, because it's not clear what's wrong with your system or what options might help. As a starting point, single will boot into single-user mode, which should disable the GUI and enable you to fix things if you're sufficiently skilled with text-mode commands. (This is one of the options that rEFInd will probably provide by default, although this depends on the /boot/refind_linux.conf file.) The nomodeset option will get past some common video problems.

If you need more help, I recommend you post more details, such as precisely what is and is not working.

  • I wish I could add more details, but all I can say is that it's failing to boot. If I were to boot a livecd, is there a way I can get a boot logs on the Ubuntu partition? – Charles Randall Dec 12 '13 at 3:04
  • Figured out how to do that. Alas, they offer no hint of what is going on. I will start another thread with logs. – Charles Randall Dec 12 '13 at 13:01

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