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I've just bought a new Macbook Air (running Yosemite) and I am trying to create a partition from my Macintosh HD SSD for dual-booting Ubuntu. However when I try to create a partition in Disk Utilities, I keep getting the error "This Core Storage operation is not allowed on a sparse logical volume group." I have tried restarting the system in Recovery Mode and verifying and repairing the disk, but it did not work. What can I do to partition? (I would prefer to not format the SSD.)

disk utilities screenshot

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You have to boot from another device or to Internet Recovery Mode and then use the command line to modify the CoreStorage volume.

Preparation:

  • Backup your data.
  • Detach any external drive (especially your external Time Machine backup drive).
  • Restart to Internet Recovery Mode by pressing alt cmd R at startup.
    The prerequisites are the latest firmware update installed, either ethernet or WLAN (WPA/WPA2) and a router with DHCP activated.
    On a 50 Mbps-line it takes about 4 min (presenting a small animated globe) to boot to a recovery netboot image which usually is loaded from an apple/akamai server.

    I recommend ethernet because it's more reliable. If you are restricted to WIFI and the boot process fails, just restart your Mac until you succeed booting.

    Alternatively you may start from a bootable installer thumb drive (Mavericks or Yosemite) or a thumb drive containing a full system (Mavericks or Yosemite).

Modify CoreStorage:

  • Open in the menubar Utilities/Terminal
  • Enter diskutil cs list
  • Enter diskutil cs resizeStack LVUUID size with LVUUID: UUID of the logical volume and size: the final size of your Macintosh HD
    Example: diskutil cs resizeStack DC2473AF-0833-4DBD-BF8F-D5D60063554A 200g
  • Enter exit and quit Terminal.
  • Reboot to your main volume.
  • Start installing Ubuntu to the now unallocated disk space.

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