I've been trying to dual boot Ubuntu on my Macbook pro with an ISO disk.

I installed the ISO onto the disk successfully, partitioned my main drive and set as FAT32 format, I restarted the computer with the disk in the drive and it launched and walked me through the installation process and then it said "please restart" which I did. I booted from my windows partition and it said "missing operating system" but I know everything got installed so what is the issue? I've tried twice and I'm not sure what's causing this error, any help would be appreciated.

Oh and each time I installed it, I installed it to "/dev/sda3" and the next time I installed it to "/dev/sda4" there was also an option to save to "/dev/sda1" should I have done that? Do I need to have a swap partition in order to boot linux? I only created one partition and that was for the OS.

  • Dont know. Another signs of this is a blinking underscore. Also, i think the boot files are in the "root" folder. Can you try that? – user375014 Feb 3 '15 at 10:39

Ok..U have 1 harddisk (/dev/sda) and this harddisk is partitioned in 2 partions: /dev/sda1 & /dev/sda2. There is also unallocated space present. OSX is probably located in /sda2 because I can see an hfs+ filesystem on sda2. Ubuntu needs another filesystem like ext4 (there are others). But you can't install Ubuntu on an hfs+ filesystem. So..the best you can do is install Ubuntu in the unallocated space. The installer will see this space and offers you the possibiltiy to use this space. The installer will create all the partions you need. The bootloader should be pointed at /dev/sda1 ( I think, because I have no knowledge about OSX)


Boot the live cd/usb stick. Open gparted (its on the disk) and inspect the harddrive. How many partitions does is have? If you have 1 HDD than I suggest using sda for boot. It should integrate Ubuntu with OSX in the bootloader.


There are some things that look weird. First: Your screenshot shows two partitions (EFI FAT32 200MB boot; hfs+ 166GB) and 66GB unpartitioned space. Are you really using Windows, as its default file system is NTFS and afaik can not properly access (or even boot from) hfs+ volumes.

And where do you exactly get the message "missing operating system"?

About the swap partition: Yes, you need it (or a swap file), at least it is strongly recommended. Give it about as much space as you have RAM built into your PC, maybe 1-8GB or so.

And the last paragraph about installing to /dev/sda3 etc... This is where you want to install the GRUB bootloader. If you want to replace the "Windows"(?) bootloader with GRUB (recommended, because GRUB usually autodetects all other OS and doesn't need further configuration), you have to select /dev/sda (without number!), to install it to the MBR (Master Boot Record) of your disk, instead of any partition.

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