I have a challenge for you.
I've been doing lots of research, and I've found quite a few questions here left unanswered. I know this is possible, I'm interested in hearing from people who have actually done it and learn from their direct experience.
Currently, I'm running Snow Leopard, dual booting 10.6.8 and Win7 x64 on a MacBook Pro with a single internal HD using Boot Camp. For software development, I need to run linux on the metal (not through VMware or the like) so that I can use Linux KVM. I know I need to repartition and upgrade to 10.7 in the process, but I'm struggling with the best/easiest process to do so.
I have one of the very first aluminum uni-body macs from late 2008.
- Model Name: MacBook Pro
- Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1
- Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
- Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
- Number Of Processors: 1
- Total Number Of Cores: 2
- L2 Cache: 6 MB
- Memory: 4 GB
- Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
- Boot ROM Version: MBP51.007E.B05
- SMC Version (system): 1.33f8
$ sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 DTES64 MON DSCPL VMX SMX EST TM2 SSSE3 CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1
- My internal superdrive is old and shot, no read or write
- 4gb of ram is not enough and I frequently run out with the programs I run like Xcode, Eclipse, Visual Studio 2010, etc
- My primary hd is damn near completely out of space
- I've tried booting both Fedora 16 and CentOS 5 live cd's from an external firewire BD-R to no avail.
- With the external BD-R I have successfully booted a SL install DVD, so I know it's bootable at least with that one DVD
- I have iDefrag and have successfully used it to re-organize the data toward the front of the disk so that I could shrink the primary HFS+ volume.
- I have an external 3TB drive that's completely HFS+ that I can use to dump files on from OSX. There is important data on this disk and it cannot be lost.
- I also have an external 256GB usb hd that's currently formatted NTFS with some windows stuff on it but could be easily formatted for whatever purpose.
- I love me some hot terminal action ;)
I found this guide which is a bit outdated, but I think the fundamentals should still apply.
After reading this guide, my plan was to get 2 4GB sticks of ram, a new SSD, install that as the primary drive and load Lion onto it. Exactly how, TBD, you tell me the easiest way. I would then move the current internal HD to an opti-bay expansion like this one (but maybe not exactly this one) and have two internal disks.
With the new hardware in place, the SSD would be one partition, guid partition table (EFI), osx 10.7 only. Then, if I understand things correctly, I could partition the second HD with MBR and install Linux on one half and Win7 on the other half. Presumably, I would need to use rEFIt to see all three in the menu. This guide also talks about Windows having to be the final partition on the disk, I don't know if that still applies if it's the second drive?
Any extra space I could mount from external disks after getting the environments booted, but it's my understanding that you have to boot from internal drives. So far any attempt I've made to boot from external linux usb sticks and live cds have all failed, but it could be to me not blessing or formatting things properly. I honestly think I did things correctly, but I'm not perfect and I could have done something wrong or missed a step. I've tried Apple's own Disk Utility, PenDrive and unetbootin. I've also burned Fedora 16 and CentOS 5 live cds and had no success booting either. Both of them dump me into my existing Windows (oh the irony) when I boot with C or use option and select the cd.
Now, if this is even possible, and you've done this, I have a ton of questions for you. Primarily, how would you suggest a plan of action / order of things I should do so I have a checklist I can run through to get the installations going. However, I'd also like to know more information about any snags you ran into, drivers needed, kernel modules, x11 configs, distro hacks, or anything else you've run into with linux on your macbook. I've read some horror stories about high-pitched speaker squeal and things like that. Everything from precisely what distribution you used to what window manager, no detail is too small.
Over the weekend I got my internal SuperDrive to read, not write. Don't ask me how or why please. I'm not quite sure what I did, I just jacked around with different CD-R DVD-R media. I'm guessing it's still on it's last leg, but it is having an easier time with this new media.