I am looking for the most straightforward way (both in initial setup and in maintenance) to set up a second partition on an OS X machine for (either) Debian or Ubuntu. I won't be running any other OSes so the ability to triple boot is of no interest to me.
Most articles suggest installing a third-party bootloader, either Refit or Refind, as one of the first steps. Is this really necessary? In the past, I've just partitioned some empty space with Disk Utility and let the Ubuntu installer format and install to it however it pleases. Is there something wrong with this approach?