Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Whenever I try to boot up from a live cd, it starts to boot and then it tells me:

No bootable file system available.

It's an Early 2011 MacBook Pro 13" 8,1 with the 2.3 GHz Core i5.

What's going on?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

Macs use the EFI Firmware (BIOS for Windows).

You need to download a special Mac ISO that allows to boot on both BIOS and EFI Systems.

  • For Ubuntu 11.10 you can download the specific Mac image here:
    64-bit Mac (AMD64) desktop CD
  • By experience I know that the following distros allow to boot on EFI systems using the "standard" ISO: Debian, Fedora, Linux Mint

Your questions is related to this here on askubuntu.

share|improve this answer
    
That's interesting because I was trying to boot the latest Fedora release. If I were to want to build arch on a new partition using that computer would it also cause me problems with EFI? –  cafhacker Dec 20 '11 at 19:16
add comment

You'll probably want to take a look at rEFIt

That's how I booted and installed Linux on my Mac. It's a very nice piece of software.

share|improve this answer
    
rEFIt will not make the iso bootable. It's only a 'butler' to make multi-booting more convenient. It will not help him, if the CD already doesn't boot even though he is holding . However, one should use rEFIt to sync partition tables after a linux installation. –  gentmatt Dec 19 '11 at 9:08
    
rEFIt isn't maintained anymore. rEFInd is a fork that is still actively maintained (as of Nov 2013) –  Nathan Wallace Dec 1 '13 at 23:57
add comment

I installed the rEFIt on my late 2011 Macbook Pro and it messed up the whole startup and login. I never got refit screen after startup which should appear after a few restarts. The opposite, after a few restarts I was not able to login in on the startup screen. The password was still workin, so I could login into the computer using ssh on another computer. Weird. I finally solved it with TimeMachine. Stay away from fEFIt if you're having the latest Macbook Pro with Lion.

share|improve this answer
add comment

What other commenters have not made plain is that virtually all Linux live boot CDs presume that you'll be using them on a computer that uses BIOS (that's basically all PCs designed for Windows). BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) is computer software in the firmware of the motherboard itself that is the first thing to run at bootup of a PC.

Macs do not use BIOS at all. They use a completely different method of booting the computer, called EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface).

So you need to see if your preferred distribution of Linux has a live boot CD that will work with EFI and not BIOS.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.