Today I decide to put a Linux in dual boot on my MacBook 7.1 I parted the HDD with GParted like this :

refit / MacOSX / boot / root / home

I installed Arch successfully, following the tutorial about the MacBook specific install. When it ends with the bootloader install screen I get an issue: I simply can't select the boot(/dev/sda3) partition to install GRUB in it - it only propose sda.

Then I reboot, try to sync the partition table with REfit but it says it's OK. Sounds weird but OK, I put a Ubuntu Live CD in my MacBook and reboot with it. Try to install Grub this way but it doesn't work too :

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/4d63602e-5572-4279-bee8-026a94932e91 /dev/sda3

/usr/sbin/grub-setup: warn: Attempting to install GRUB to a partitionless disk or to a partition.  This is a BAD idea..
/usr/sbin/grub-setup: warn: Embedding is not possible.  GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists.  However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged..
/usr/sbin/grub-setup: error: will not proceed with blocklists.


I'm pretty out of ideas to solve this, what else can I try?

  • As I understand it, and I may be quite wrong, you don't need grub on a Mac. rEFIt should do it all. – bahamat Jul 4 '12 at 7:23
  • No, i need to install GRUB or another bootloader i think. Wel, booting on the other part with REFIt returns : Missing Operating System – x_vi_r Jul 4 '12 at 8:24

There are two ways you can install GRUB.

  1. You can actually install GRUB to the MBR, since the EFIish system just ignores it. reFIT will detect the MBR bootloader and offer it as a boot option (although possibly mislabled as "Windows").
  2. You can force GRUB to install to /dev/sda3 using blocklists, but as the message says, this is can be unreliable. Add the --force option to grub-install to force it to continue.
  • Woo - are you sure about install GRUB on the MBR ? In the arch wiki it says : Warning: Do not install GRUB onto /dev/sda !!! Doing so is likely to lead to an unstable post-environment. – x_vi_r Jul 5 '12 at 7:17
  • @xXx I've done that on my Macbook and it still works ;-) The Ubuntu wiki also says to install to the partition though, so try option 2. – mgorven Jul 5 '12 at 17:05
  • Well, i install GRUB on sda3 but when i boot on it it display only the grub prompt... – x_vi_r Aug 11 '12 at 10:37

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