Installing Suse on OS X 10.6.6

Hi, can you guys help me. I want to have two operating system installed on my imac. At the moment I have obviously installed OS X 10.6.6 and I want to add Linux Suse. I have tried to do it using bootcamp and everything went fine until I got confused with linux partitions.
I don’t know, maybe this subject was already discussed over here, but I couldn’t find it, anyway can anybody give me very simple guidance how can I do it.

I do not know about mac but of course you can install two operating systems in pc with dual booting. You must set grub to have dual boot but I do not know if this pc accept linux so it is better to read this Dual Boot Mac Os X And Suse. If yes I will tell how set your grub for dual boot.

Yes it was already highly discussed and explained in details in the forum. There must also be a openSUSE howto which is still usable. You should use only one partition for linux and therefore use a swapfile, NEVER install GRUB in MBR but in the Linux partition and boot with rEFIT. There might be other methods (particularly in combination with Ubuntu’s Grub2 which should be able to handle GPT partitions), but this method is working well with openSUSE. I described it in several “old” posts … but I’m not very good at finding posts - among other things.

Some links about OSX/openSUSE dualboot:

I had heared that mac book are not acceptable with linux. Is it true?

Not at all. Also here’s a link in french about some Mac Book Pro 6.2 specific issues, mostly details (KB mapping and backlighting): Luminosité écran. We finally got everything to work.

OK guys, let me explain the situation and ask you specific questions.
Right now I have OSx 10.6.6 running, I have only one partition on HHD which is entirely dedicated for osx. Now, should I (using Disk Utility) create second partition for Linux which I am going to install later, or should I run Boot Camp Assistant and partition the disk during Suse installation process? I hope you know what I mean.
And now, if I should make partitions before I start using Boot Camp to install Suse what type of partition should I create (MacOSExtended, MS-DOS FAT, ExFAT)?

Boot Camp is designed to set up a dualboot environnment for OSx and Windows (only). You should resize your OSx partition with disk Utility and create a new partition for Linux. Which type you choose doesn’t matter. You will change the type later in Linux while formating the partition in ext4. Take MS-DOS FAT. I don’t know what they mean with ExFAT. But what you have to do absolutely is to install rEFIT. rEFIT will become your boot manager, not Grub! And rEFIT will emulate the MBR and synchronize it with the GPT partition used on Mac hardware.

In openSUSE setup, choose the last of the three options: “Create partition setup” and nothing else! The other two options will just screw up everything. Under openSUSE, never use partitioning tools. Even in setup, if you use the last option, you won’t partitionate anything (not rewriting the partition table) because on a Mac, the MBR is just a faked. If you write in it, it won’t match the GPT partition anymore. Similarly you should NOT install Grub in MBR but in the bootsector of the Linux partition. See advanced boot options / Grub options - I don’t remember exactly - during setup.

You won’t have a swap partition during installation but you should not need one. When you’re done, you should create a swap file.

There might be other methods nowadays (which consist of not using the MBR partitioning scheme at all under Linux). It’ s probably better but I didn’t try it because - as far as I know - the Legacy Grub version used under openSUSE cannot boot from a GPT partition - also the kernel could read it. Thus, if you were using Ubuntu, you wouldn’t need rEFIT. I haven’t tried though.

  • Actually, since you’re dualbooting and not triplebooting ( OSx + Linux + Windows is possible too) - you might be able to create and use 2 partitions for Linux. I haven’t done that, but it should work too. In that case, you could use a swap partition or a separate /home or whatever (even another Linux distro).

It is all going well… however, after I choose Create partition setup I have two options:

  1. IDE Disk, 931.51 GB, dev/sda, SAMSUNG-HD103SJ
    Custom Partitioning (for experts).

I think that the first option may delete my osx??

Choose : Custom Partitioning (for experts)!
Did you install rEFIT?

And take care of 2 things:

  • Not to install Grub in MBR
  • Not to write generic bootcode in MBR (that’s a killer!)

If one of these options is checked … UNCHECK IT !

yes I did.
Now I have a window called Expert Partitioner

Available storage on linux:
/dev/sda 931.51 GB SAMSUNG
/dev/sda1 2.01 GB Linux swap
/dev/sda2 653.17 GB Apple_HFS
/dev/sda3 92.65 GB Win95 FAT32 LBA
/dev/sda4 20GB Linux native Ext4 /
/dev/sda5 163.36 GB Linux native Ext4 /home

Is that correct?

and when I pressed Accept, I went back to the previous screen:

Suggested Partitioning
Delete partition /dev/sda1 (200MB)
Shrink Windows part. /devsda3 to 92.65GB
Create swap volume /dev/sda1 (2BG)
Create root volume /dev/sda4 (20GB) with ext4
Create volume /dev/sda5 (163GB) for /home with ext4

Below two options to tick

Partition Based or LVM Based.

No. Unless things have changed since the last time I installed it (it’s possible).
I don’t know why you’re having all these partitions. Why do you have that swap partition on sda1? Why do you have that Win95 partition? An why don’t you have a GPT partition? It looks too “normal” for a Mac. Can you tell me what you did exactly before running Linux setup? I find it interesting too.

for comparison, here’s the output of fdisk -l on my iMac:

uhura:/srv/news/download # fdisk -l

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00002652

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1          26      204819+  ee  GPT
/dev/sda2              26       21941   176029696   af  HFS / HFS+
/dev/sda3   *       21957       30385    67701904   83  Linux

Before running Linux setup I have divided my HDD into two partitions, one 700GB for OSX and about 300GB for linux, then I installed rEFIT, then put the CD with openSUSE, then restart, then boot from the CD, then I had a screen 6 options: boot from HDD, Installation, rescue system, check installation media, firmware test, memory test; so I choose Installation. Next, loading linux kernel, welcome screen with language to choose, then select mode: new instal or update (use automatic config ticked), next desktop selection (gnome, kde, other) and here we come to me favourite screen called suggested partitioning.

Sorry to confuse you, it is probably me doing something wrong. Thanks for you patience. :slight_smile:

Hmmm … So if you had 2 partitions when you left disk utility under OSX, you should see two partitions at this point. Something happened in your back here. The setup must have created those paritions … but why this Win95?! I would cancel - not write anything - and see if you can boot OSX. Then look in disk utility if there are still 2 partitions. If it looks right, run openSUSE setup again and unchek everything which has “automatic” in its name. The setup should not have created any partition for you in expert mode, but other options would. Also Do not confuse “Edit partition setup” with “Create partition setup”. It’s tricky.

I should add that this setup is not completely absurd … It might work on true GTP system (with Ubuntu and Grub2). That’s why I was asking myself if something had changed since the last time I installed it. But in no way you should have these partitions without having created them - unless the setup did it for you, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid here.

I Have to get out. Will be back in about 1/2 hour.

Two things, one good, other bad.
Good one, I did it, all is working fine, just like I wanted.
Bad one, I have no bloody idea how did I do it.
Anyway, thanks for trying to help me.

It’s a bummer. You’re not the first one who manages to install Linux on a Mac and is incapable to explain how he did. It makes it very difficult to deduce a method. (as Mac hardware is not really something one can afford to buy just for testing or writing tutorials).

Anyway, congrats.