After installing ubuntu to a 32 GB. flash drive from a live usb, i attempted to boot the flash drive on my mac using target disk mode, but the mac cannot find it. After this, i booted my mac from the live usb, and i looked at the partitions on the flash drive, and everything was the way i had set it up. i also looked at the flash drive using mac disk utility, and everything looked fine. I was wondering why my mac cannot see the flash drive in target disk mode?


system info:

Mac = macbook air 11" (2013 model)

OS X = 10.9 Mavericks

Ubuntu OS = 14.04.1 LTS

External Hard Drive = Sandisk Cruzer 32 GB

  • are you sure you set the bootloader installation location during install to be on the usb? – sbergeron Sep 27 '14 at 15:33
  • It was set up so that the bootloader info was on the flash drive.should it go to the efi boot partition? – user3803057 Sep 27 '14 at 17:47
  • did you set up the efi partition though? – sbergeron Sep 27 '14 at 23:05
  • i did set up the efi boot partition. should it be a certain size or location? right now it is set up as the first partition with 1 GB – user3803057 Sep 27 '14 at 23:25
  • I don't think it needs to be over 300mb, but did you set it up during the install and make sure that uefi mode is enabled? when you boot the live media, does it come up with a screen that asks you to choose an option instead of a screen with a man=keyboard icon at the bottom of a maroon/purple screen? – sbergeron Sep 27 '14 at 23:32

This is tricky, and it took me a good long while to solve. As you found, it's not a simple matter of holding down the option key, as many will tell you.

After the installation (with the EFI partition) the way I found to get it working was using rEFInd as the boot loader, and fiddling with the boot record.

For more information, I asked, and answered, this question here: The answer contains a recipe to get it working: How to boot Ubuntu on a mac from external USB storage?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.