[HOWTO] Triple Boot Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Windows XP on MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo (Part 3)

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Out of the three parts, this is the part where I stumble upon the most “unexpected” issues. First of all, Live CD does not work on my 2nd-gen Macbook Pro (MBP). There seems to be some problem with the ATI drivers on the Live CD that prevents X from starting up. I have to use the Alternate CD with the text-based-installer. Also, GRUB will not install. Fortunately LILO will be offered and it installs just fine. Finally X will not work after the reboot and you need to install some drivers before it will work.

As a start, put in the CD, choose the CD installer from rEFIt then follow the instructions below:

  1. Proceed with the installation regularly until the HDD partitioning portion
  2. Choose to install on /dev/sda3 and format as “reiserfs” with mount point “/”
  3. After disk is formated, go to shell by pressing “Ctrl+Alt+F2”
  4. Run the following commands:
    mkdir /mnt/ubuntu
    mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/ubuntu
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/ubuntu/swap bs=1024 count=2097152
    swapon /mnt/ubuntu/swap
  5. When asked for screen resolution, only press spacebar on 1440×900 or lower
  6. Continue until GRUB installation fails. Ignore the failure and install LILO when prompted.
  7. Installation should complete and you should be able to boot into Ubuntu, without X Windows.
  8. Login the run the following commands:
    sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-$(uname -r) linux-kernel-headers
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    NOTE: If you don’t know your kernel version number, run the command

    echo $(uname -r)
  9. Reboot then run the following commands:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
    sudo depmod -a
    sudo aticonfig --initial
    sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv
    /etc/init.d/gdm restart
  10. If you don’t hear a login sound, it means your speaker might not be enabled


  1. Some warning popup because there is no swap partition / swapon doesn’t work
    Ignore it and it will work just fine
  2. There are no sound coming from speaker, but sound is coming from the headphone jack
    run the command


    from the terminal and un-mute the speaker. This is done by using the arrow keys to reach the Speakers and press M.

  3. If rEFIt suddenly becomes disabled and not working, boot into OS X and reinstalls it

Extra Step to Enhance Linux-Macbook Pro

This section will discuss issues like GLX on MBP, Wireless drivers, etc, to make Linux on MBP experience seems more natural.

Installing Wifi Driver

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install build-essential
  3. sudo apt-get install module-assistant
  4. m-a prepare
  5. sudo apt-get install subversion
  6. svn checkout http://svn.madwifi.org/trunk madwifi
  7. cd madwifi
  8. make clean
  9. make
  10. sudo make install
  11. sudo modprobe ath_pci

Enabling Fn F-Key Combo

  • Run from terminal:
    sudo apt-get install pommed
  • To enforce using hardware key only with Fn key combination, modify /etc/pommed.conf from fnmode = 1 to fnmode = 2
  • Restart pommed by running the command:
    /etc/init.d/pommed restart

Fix Suspend Issue

  • Open /etc/default/acpi-support using text editor then set: POST_VIDEO=false

Fix iSight Issue

sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo
sudo mv /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/uvcvideo.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/uvcvideo.ko.original
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4 libusb-dev linux-headers-$(uname -r)
wget http://files.i-nz.net/projects/linux-kernel/isight/uvcvideo-isight.tar.gz
tar -xzvf uvcvideo-isight.tar.gz
cd against-revision-100
sudo make
sudo make install
sudo modprobe uvcvideo

Enable XGL

  1. sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl
  2. sudo echo 'Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:pbuffer &
    cookie="$(xauth -i nextract - :0 | cut -d ' ' -f 9)"
    xauth -i add :1 . "$cookie"
    exec dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session' > /usr/bin/startxgl
  3. sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/startxgl
  4. sudo echo '[Desktop Entry]
    Comment=Start an Xgl Session
    Type=Application' > /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

Two Finger Scroll Touchpad and More
This is my current xorg.conf setting for my touchpad. Sensitivity is set to medium and two finger scroll is working. Right click is emulated by using three-fingers-tap

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver          "synaptics"
Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
Option          "Device"        "/dev/psaux"
Option          "Protocol"      "auto-dev"
Option "LeftEdge" "150"
Option "RightEdge" "1070"
Option "TopEdge" "100"
Option "BottomEdge" "310"
Option "FingerLow" "17"
Option "FingerHigh" "22"
Option "MaxTapTime" "120"
Option "MaxTapMove" "220"
Option "MaxDoubleTapTime" "180"
Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"
Option "VertEdgeScroll" "0"
Option "TapButton1" "1"
Option "TapButton2" "2"
Option "TapButton3" "3"
Option "LockedDrags" "off"
Option "VertScrollDelta" "20"
Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "1"
Option "MinSpeed" "1.10"
Option "MaxSpeed" "1.30"
Option "AccelFactor" "0.08"
Option "SHMConfig" "on"

Installing Compiz-Fusion

  • Add the following repositories:
    deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy-amd64
    deb-src http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy-amd64
  • Add the following key:
    sudo wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb/DD800CD9.gpg  -O- | sudo apt-key add -
  • Run the following at terminal:
    sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-gnome compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra libcompizconfig-backend-gconf beryl-manager
  • Run the command:
  • Right click the “diamond” icon on the system tray and set “Rendering Path” to “Copy”
  • Test Compiz-Fusion by running the following command:
    compiz --replace&
  • If everything is good, you can remove beryl-manager by issuing the command
    sudo apt-get --purge remove beryl-manager
  • And once everything is perfect, you can add the following entries to System -> Preferences -> Sessions
    Name: Compiz Fusion
    Command: compiz --replace -c emerald

    Name: Emerald
    Command: emerald --replace
  • Caps Lock Light and Num Lock Key Failuer
    Run the command:

    sudo apt-get remove mouseemu


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