Saturday, December 8, 2007

Leopard Ubuntu Dual Boot Success

With a little help from Pete, I am now running my MacBook as a dual boot machine, 1/2 OSX Leopard and 1/2 Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon". For those of you unfamiliar, Ubuntu is a "flavor" of linux and it lets me use all the freeware in linux much easier than trying to figure out how the hell to get it running in Leopard.

Here is a really brief outline of how to do it:
1. Make sure Leopard is up to date, then use Boot Camp to partition your hard drive. This essentially is only for OSX, you'll do the other partition with the Ubuntu disk.
2. Install rEFIt, its free from sourceforge. This allows you to choose your operating system when you load (although I thought Boot Camp was supposed to do this, but it didn't work without).
3. Insert your Ubuntu disk and restart, ideally rEFIt will give you the option of loading OSX or Ubuntu from the cd. Choose the latter.
4. Ubuntu will load from CD, and you'll see an install icon on the desktop. Click it, repartition your space, and Ubuntu will be copied over.
5. Restart again, and hopefully Ubuntu will load (from rEFIt).

All my drivers seem to work including video, sound, and even the screen brightness and volume controls. It was pretty painless.

Ubuntu is essentially just like Leopard, except its easier to get free programming software installed and working. It took me about 2 minutes to get Python, fortran, emacs, and everything else installed and running. I must say I'm very impressed, my next computer may be pure Ubuntu, although that'll be some years down the road.

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