Mac USB booting Linux

Does anyone know if the Apple MacBook Pro can boot from the USB port into Linux on a memory stick? I am new to Linux, but notice some files seem to be versions for the Apple Mac rather than Intel platform.

It CAN be done but I haven’t personally done it, so all I can do is give you somewhere start.

Intel-based Apple computers (Intel Macs) have limitations when booting from USB devices – while the Extensible Firmware interface (EFI) firmware can recognize and boot from USB drives, it can only do this in EFI mode – when the firmware switches to “legacy” BIOS mode, it no longer recognizes USB drives

From what I gather you need to create a LiveUSB key and replace the grub bootloader with grub-efi-ia32 or grub-efi-amd64 (depending on whether you are installing 32bit or 64bit Linux)
Both of these are available from the package manager (synaptic) at least in Ubuntu, Mint, and Debian

Or you may be able to use rEFIt to boot grub(2) directly from the USB Key without the need to change the bootloader at all

There may be extra steps needed, so start your research here:

other pages to look at

There are also other options, like a bootable CDROM that redirects booting to a USB key… Slax do such a disk… check out the Slax Forum

Many thanks for the advice. It seems complicated, but an interesting challenge. I like Linux, but at times need software not ported to the platform. I need something to run this software other than the wretched Windows. Thanks again.

Mmm, unfortunately Mac’s were designed to run OS/X and to an extent, specifically designed not to run Linux. Although a group of people have ‘bent’ a version of Linux so that it will run on a Mac, you are using the Mac hardware for something other than the use intended by the manufacturer.

You will find the same sorts of problems running Linux on XBOX, Sony PS3 etc … (!)

I would be inclined to recommend you stick your hardware on eBay and sell it to some unsuspecting Apple fanboi, then buy yourself some decent PC kit with the proceeds … :wink: