I recently tried to install rEFInd onto my Mac but it could not boot into the Ubuntu disk. To uninstall It I formatted my drive and reinstalled OS X along with my backup.

To avoid this issue again I would like to install it onto another partition. How would I do this?

Here is my disk layout

   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *251.0 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            217.9 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
   4:       Microsoft Basic Data LINUX                   15.0 GB    disk0s4
   5:                  Apple_HFS rEFInd                  17.1 GB    disk0s5

I would like to install rEFInd onto disk0s5 and linux ubuntu on disk0s4 if this helps


  • In your example the command would be ./install.sh --alldrivers --ownhfs /dev/disk0s5. I assume disk0s5 has been formatted "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I don't think I would use a 17.1 GB partition. Commented May 23, 2015 at 16:54
  • What model Mac do you have? If it is close to one a have, I might install Ubuntu just to document how. Commented May 23, 2015 at 16:56
  • @DavidAnderson I have the 2015 MBP. Also I think when I created the disks disk utility must have changed the size to 17.1GB because I set it to 1GB. Thanks for pointing that out for me! Could I also use rdisk instead of disk?
    – iProgram
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 18:28
  • @DavidAnderson Remember you can make your first comment as an answer since this works.
    – iProgram
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 10:25

1 Answer 1


This answer applies to Yosemite (OS X 10.10). If you are using El Capitan (OS X 10.11), then you would be better of installing rEFInd in a EFI partition.

In your example, the command would be as shown below.

./install.sh  --alldrivers  --ownhfs  /dev/disk0s5.

I assume disk0s5 has been formatted "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I don't think I would use a 17.1 GB partition. The rEFInd partition on my Mac is 134 MB in size.

If you need to write to disk0s5 while booted to Ubuntu, you may have to disable journaling. This usually happens when you need to modify refind.conf.

To turn journaling off, do the following using the Disk Utility application.

  1. Highlight the partition.
  2. Press and hold the "alt/option" key.
  3. From the menu bar select "File->Disable Journaling"
  4. Release the "alt/option" key.
  5. You may have to quit and reopen the Disk Utility to see the change.

To turn journaling on, you need to highlight the partition and click on the "Enable Journaling" button. To see the change, you may have to quit and reopen the Disk Utility application.

  • When doing this, I get a safety warning. Is it meant to be any concern?
    – Manchineel
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 17:55
  • @alex2003super: Most of what is written here no longer applies since El Capitan (OS 10.11) was released. 1) Rod Smith recommends you do not install all drivers (--alldrivers). 2) El Capitan will not allow rEFInd (installed to a hfs volume) to be selected from Start Up pane of System Preferences. 3) In practice, disabling Journaling (to allow writing to a hfs volume) does not work very well. In the end, you are better off installing rEFInd to a FAT formatted EFI partition. Optionally, you can copy rEFInd files to the /EFI/BOOT folder. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 18:16
  • @alex2003super: FYI, iProgram did not create a swap partition for Ubuntu. Which may have also been a reason Ubuntu did not boot. If you are still getting a safety warning, could post the content of the warning? Also, if you post a rEFInd question at Super User or Ask Ubuntu and tag it refit or refind, there is a good chance Rod Smith will answer your question himself. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 18:45

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