I have Ubuntu starting when I select Windoze at startup… Are there any traps or tricks to adding a further partition containing Suse?
So Ubuntu uses Grub2 and openSUSE 12.1 uses Grub Legacy. Normally I would suggest you load openSUSE first and Ubuntu second. You can search on and find some examples going either way. I point you to our resident expert here: swerdna
You surely need to know how the two different grub boot loaders work to not mess up the two installs and you must decide which will be the primary boot loader. openSUSE 12.2 will include a usable Grub 2 and in the future should make the issue less of a problem on our next major release of openSUSE.
That leads nowhere on EFI hardware with OS X Lion.
This sounds like it’s going to be a challenge…
I don’t know how you installed Ubuntu on your MacBook, but since you said that it starts when you select Windows, it sounds like you used bootcamp to create a partition for Linux. If so, that was wrong. Bootcamp creates a hybrid MBR which can have 4 primary partitions (just like a classical MBR). However it’s not possible to create logical partitions … well, maybe there are two or three people in the world who did it but, as Rod Smith - the author of GPT fdisk - said in his excellent article about hybrid MBRs (Hybrid MBRs: The Good, the Bad, and the So Ugly You’ll Tear Your Eyes Out)
To the best of my knowledge, no utility will create a hybrid MBR that includes logical partitions
Unlike Leopard and Snow Leopard, OSX Lion uses 2 partitions, which take 2 out of 4 available entries in the hybrid MBR. The EFI system partition also takes 1 entry. That leaves only one partition for another OS.
Example of an Hybrid MBR (Lion + openSUSE):
# 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, total 488397168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 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 409639 204819+ ee GPT /dev/sda2 409640 351461631 175525996 af HFS / HFS+ /dev/sda3 351461632 352731175 634772 ab Darwin boot /dev/sda4 * 352731176 488134983 67701904 83 Linux
You can run
sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
under Ubuntu and watch the output. On a true GPT system (with protective an not hybrid MBR), fdisk should see only the EFI partition. Here’s an example on a UEFI system (not a Mac though):
fdisk -l WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted. Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes 256 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14536 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x9080940a Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 1 4294967295 2147483647+ ee GPT
If you see something like the example above, you should be able to create more GUID partitions (up to 128) and install other Linux distros which have a UEFI setup. I suggest waiting for openSUSE 12.2 (which includes grub2-efi in its setup). If on the other hand you see 4 partitions, you’ll have to get rid of the hybrid MBR, install Linux with true GUID partitioning anb boot it with grub2-efi. I cannot tell you more as I never did it on Mac hardware (I’m still using hybrid MBRs on Leopard triple boot and Lion dualboot - shame on me!). Actually those bootcamp tricks were never needed for Linux, but many people (including me) use hybrid MBR and rEFIt to boot openSUSE with Legacy Grub. One should not use this method anymore nowadays.