My system is a MacBookPro5,2. I've set-up a triple-boot using rEFIt, booting into OSX, Windows, and Linux Mint.There are many guides for this online, so I'm not going to describe how to do it fully, but some of the guides didn't quite work for me so I thought I'd post my workarounds here.
- Install Windows using Bootcamp (Pretty easy, I think all the guides have it)
- Install rEFIt and enable it (A functional and powerful bootloader)
- Use Disk Utility to shrink your OS X partition.
Note: I found it crashed if I attempted to create a new partition in the empty space at the same time.
My partition table was unharmed, but for peace of mind's sake I'd just re-size at this stage and use Linux to create its own partition
- Boot from the Linux Mint CD (All boots fine, it even has wireless support!)
- I used custom partitioning to create a single file-system in the free space, later creating a swap file under Linux.
I think the default is to install into the free space and take some of the space from windows to create a swap partition. Some of the guides advised me I had to keep Windows as the last partition on the drive to ensure it was Bootcamp compatible, and some said rEFIt made it fine. I don't know, but I hear Swap Files work fine under Linux nowadays, so I decided to keep my partition table simple and use a swap file.
Now Linux Mint has installed, it should be fairly usable. Note that you'll still need to install a few specifics, for the multitouch gestures, sound, and so on. Note that one stage involves downloading some source and applying a patch, so just to be sure you don't miss a step (as I did the first time, just copying and pasting lines without checking they ran properly ) be sure to run:
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sudo apt-get install patch
So, what specifics to install? Well, I found that 80% of the Ubuntu MacBookPro 5,1 + 5,2 guide here was applicable. Do note, however:
- That guide is for 5,1 and 5,2 models, Ubuntu has other guides for different models here.
- I didn't need the "Kernel Boot" section (Linux Mint does use a kernel that can boot out of the box)
- The trackpad section suggests adding a blacklist for "usbhid". I found this to work the first time, but not after my second boot, so I used Todd's alternate solution, adding the following before the 'exit 0' line in /etc/rc.local
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rmmod bcm5974 && rmmod usbhid && modprobe bcm5974 ; modprobe usbhid
- For sound, it's important to note switching to 6-channels in alsamixer. (alsamixer in console, right until you get to Channel Mode, up arrow to set to 6 from 2)
- As I used rEFIt, I didn't need to use elilo or grub2.
Once I'd done all of the steps on the guide, rebooting as instructed, I found that everything was working perfectly (IMHO). Compiz is great, although I turn it off when I'm not connected to a power source to save the laptop from powering-up the second GPU and toasting my knees. I even boot into Linux Mint in preference over OS X for web browsing if I have no external mouse, as I prefer being able to do a 3-finger middle-click to open a new tab to having to use option-click.
So, all in all, I'm pretty happy with my MintBook . I can happily declare this my best ever Linux experience, having probably done more than 20 installs in my time. I would highly recommend Linux Mint to anyone wondering which Distro to get, for MacBook or otherwise.