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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Mac OS X Boot Ubuntu from Usb thumb drive. Help please.


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Alexandermag89

 
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Hi, I wanted to try out ubuntu using my Macbook Pro. To do this you must install Ubuntu from the website. It is a .iso file and this cannot be used on a thumb drive. I had to use the terminal command "hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/ubuntu.iso" to convert the 'ubuntu 10.10.iso' file into 'ubuntu10.10.img.dmg'. I then had to run "diskutil unmountDisk dev/diskN" (N being the node for the disk.) Then I ran "sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m". Finally i ran "diskutil eject/dev/diskN". I did everything correctly, I followed the instructions down to a T from the website "http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download". When I restarted my computer and held down option, the only disk that appeared was the regular Mac Hd. Can anybody help me? I just want to keep Ubuntu on my thumb drive, not install it on my Mac. Do I have to delete the .dmg off of the file to just have .img? Do I need to install Ubuntu on my thumb drive instead of just leaving all of the files as they are? Do I need to have a different format for my thumb drive (I currently have it as Mac os extended (journaled) )? Should I use a Fat 32 or something? Please help as I am new to using terminal.
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Grab VirtualBox for OS X and create a new VM and point it to the ISO file you downloaded, start it up and have it install normally and whenever you want to play with Ubuntu, just load up the VM..

For trying things out, this is the fastest since you're not rebooting in and out of OS X..

Regards
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It's not only the fastest way .... it's also the safest way -_-

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Alexandermag89

 
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Thanks for the info, but which do I download? I only see windows, linux and an intel mac thing. Is my mac intel? Late 2009 Macbook pro. the one that came out before the june 2010 version
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I agree, Parallels desktop will do the same thing if you have it

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Alexandermag89

 
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Thank you! I have it up and running. It took about 5 minutes. I am impressed.
edit: can I install it completely inside of the virtual box or do I have to leave it like it is?
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See..isn't that easier..and you might've though that I was lying..

Regards
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandermag89 View Post
edit: can I install it completely inside of the virtual box or do I have to leave it like it is?
How do you mean leave it like this? When you boot ubuntu disk (depending on which edition and version you have) it should give you two options 1: Try ubuntu or 2: Install Ubuntu, if it dosnt give you the options and just boots into ubuntu there should be an icon on the desktop to install the OS


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If you choose not to install Ubuntu inside the VM, you're basically running it Live from the ISO image and as such you won't get any persistence of your data/settings..so you'd want to install it inside the VM and then you can unmount the ISO and just boot the VM and use the system like a normal Linux installation..

Regards
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SpawnHappyJake

 
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I understand that a virtual machine is easy and is good practice for installing Linux, but when you really want to use Linux, you should move on to a real dual boot.
Does anyone else here feel like a virtual machine is just a cute toy?
To me, a Linux virtual machine defeats many of the reasons for having Linux, unless you are just experimenting or making a server or testing something on a virtual network.

Let's look at some reasons for having Linux and how a virtual machine defeats them:
1. Linux is free, and you are running it in an operating system that costs money. I know that most purchased assembled computers come with an OS that costs money so this is mostly a moot point, but it is still good to have in mind.

2. Linux boots fast. If you are running it in a virtual machine, you have to wait for the host OS to boot, then for VirtualBox to load, then for the virtual machine to boot into Linux.

3. Linux is very stable. If the host operating system crashes, then this reason for having Linux is defeated.

4. Linux is very fast (as in actual operation, aside from boot-up time). It will be significantly slowed down because you only give it at most half of your RAM and processing power in a virtual machine, not to mention that the hardware is already very preoccupied by running the host operating system.

5. You can still boot your computer into something if the other operating system gets corrupt.

If you really get into Linux, please "invest" in a dual boot.

I know that there is the argument in the case of a Mac OS X host and Windows guest that there is a benefit to not doing a dual boot, but rather a virtual machine so that both operating systems can be ran at the same time. So if you want to run a Windows program while in Mac OS X, you just open Windows and do so.

But with Linux, usually all the programs you use with it (at least the ones that run natively in Linux without WINE) are open source which usually means that they can be compiled for any operating system. Meaning it would be a rare day for you to say "I need to go into Linux to run a Linux program," because you can have that program compiled for Mac OS X or Windows or whatever.

You can just have a FAT32 partition, a filesystem that both Mac OS X and Linux are very good at writing to and reading from, as a medium between the two. When you are in Linux and want to put a file where Mac can use it, just put it on that partition, and visa versa. You can use that file with the same open source program in both Mac and Linux.

I'm not saying that virtual machines are bad, I just want people to have the best experience. Part of that is getting the full Linux experience, which requires a "real" installation of it.

Cheers,
Jake
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SpawnHappyJake

 
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I figured this deserves a separate post from my last one.

Another option is a hybrid between having a dual boot and a virtual machine. If you have Linux on a separate hard drive from Mac OS X, you can have a dual boot between the two...

And you can use that Linux hard drive with VirtualBox in Mac OS X in a virtual machine.

You can go to terminal and use a feature of VirtualBox only available from commandline: create a vmdk file. A vmdk file is like a shortcut for VirtualBox that links it to a hard drive. When you make the virtual machine in VirtualBox, you tell it to use an existing virtual hard disk instead of creating a new one. Then you select the vmdk file as if it were a virtual hard disk file.

You may have to run VirtualBox with administrative rights for it to have raw access to the hard drive. You can just go to terminal and run "sudo virtualbox" to do that.

You could probably even install VirtualBox in Linux, create a vmdk file referring to your Mac OS X hard drive, and boot Mac OS X from within Linux. How's that for turning your world inside-out!
To do that you may have to have VirtualBox emulate EFI. Also, you may want to have GRUB2 help you out. You can make a virtual hard disk in VirtualBox and attach it as a second hard disk in the virtual machine that uses the Mac OS X drive. Then install GRUB2 to this virtual hard disk, and give it a menuentry that boots Mac OS X off the other (the real one) drive. Go back into settings and make the GRUB2 drive master and the Mac OS X shortcut slave.

Cheers,
Jake
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SpawnHappyJake

 
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As far as how to make something bootable (even on a Mac), some base knowledge might be helpful: Bootable Thumb Drive on Mac - Pastebin.com.

Booting from a USB-stick
Cheers,
Jake
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