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How To Triple Boot Mountain Lion, Windows 8, Linux Ubuntu on a SEPARATE DISK

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Clayf700,

I'm hoping you can help me with my triple-boot issue. I've been on forums for days and have tried many combinations of reinstalls, Terminal commands, and general troubleshooting methods. I have worked as a network technician and built many computers, and my degree is in MIS, so this is very frustrating.

During my time on various forums, I've found my problem seems to be a recurring and necessary one, so it surprises me there isn't more comprehensive literature on exactly how to solve it. You can probably guess what's wrong already. I've successfully installed Mavericks and 8.1 Pro, and I can boot to both with Chimera 2.2.1 (they're on the same SSD). However, when I want to boot Ubuntu 13.10 from my secondary drive (HDD), the option in Chimera is not there.

I've designated Grub2 to be on the same ex4 partition as Ubuntu during installation (/dev/sdb1). I've run sudo grub-install /dev/sdb1 --force in Terminal on Ubuntu. I've reinstalled Chimera from within OS X. I think I've tried just about every supposed solution on the Internet, but nothing works. I still have to go through my boot priorities to load Ubuntu from an arbitrary boot device it seems to have created in the UEFI/BIOS. I'm not one to normally ask a forum for help; I usually shake my head at the people who don't do their research.

I can provide screenshots and more detailed information if necessary and if you'll help me... I'd really appreciate it. I just don't know where to go from here.
 

Going Bald

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Clayf700,

I'm hoping you can help me with my triple-boot issue. I've been on forums for days and have tried many combinations of reinstalls, Terminal commands, and general troubleshooting methods. I have worked as a network technician and built many computers, and my degree is in MIS, so this is very frustrating.

During my time on various forums, I've found my problem seems to be a recurring and necessary one, so it surprises me there isn't more comprehensive literature on exactly how to solve it. You can probably guess what's wrong already. I've successfully installed Mavericks and 8.1 Pro, and I can boot to both with Chimera 2.2.1 (they're on the same SSD). However, when I want to boot Ubuntu 13.10 from my secondary drive (HDD), the option in Chimera is not there.

I've designated Grub2 to be on the same ex4 partition as Ubuntu during installation (/dev/sdb1). I've run sudo grub-install /dev/sdb1 --force in Terminal on Ubuntu. I've reinstalled Chimera from within OS X. I think I've tried just about every supposed solution on the Internet, but nothing works. I still have to go through my boot priorities to load Ubuntu from an arbitrary boot device it seems to have created in the UEFI/BIOS. I'm not one to normally ask a forum for help; I usually shake my head at the people who don't do their research.

I can provide screenshots and more detailed information if necessary and if you'll help me... I'd really appreciate it. I just don't know where to go from here.
Suggestion for you is to use OS X disk utility to create a 200Mb partition formatted GUID / MSDOS FAT named Boot and leave the rest of the HDD free space.
When installing Ubuntu, select something else at the first screen and set up your partitions, sizing them how you want. When it comes time to select a place to put Grub, select the small /Boot partition.
 
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Going Bald,

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I tried your suggestion, and I'm able to see Windows FAT32 in Chimera now (before and after Ubuntu installation). I created a small FAT32 partition and named it BOOT from Disk Utility in OS X, and I created an ext4 partition for Ubuntu during its installation. I installed Ubuntu there (ext4 partition) and Grub on the BOOT partition (FAT32 partition). However, I am still unable to see Ubuntu in Chimera.

I tried to force install using Terminal in Ubuntu (sudo grub-install /dev/sdb1 --force), but this did not work. Do you have any other suggestions? I appreciate your help so far; I can provide more details if necessary. I just want to get this working.
 

Going Bald

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Do you have any other suggestions? I appreciate your help so far; I can provide more details if necessary. I just want to get this working.

I don't understand what the problem is here. If I understand correctly, you have 3 drives and an OS installed on each drive, yes? Did you ever install Ubuntu on the drive with the default erase and install selection?
run this command to find where you put grub:

sudo grub-probe -t device /boot/grub

If it is listed in more than one place or listed in /dev/sdX where X is any of your drives, then it is in the wrong place and you need to remove it with

sudo apt-get purge grub-common

and re-install it. I would really recommend if you used the erase and install option when installing to reformat the drive and install with the something else option and create a /boot partition as the first partition in the formatand make sure to installl grub there. See section 3 of http://www.tonymacx86.com/snow-leop...multibooting-novice-updated-3-12-see-log.html
 
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Currently, I have Mavericks and 8.1 Pro installed on one SSD successfully, and I want to install Ubuntu 13.10 on my HDD if I can get Chimera to list it as a boot option (along with the other two). I tried your suggestions, but these did not work. Because I want to put Ubuntu on my HDD, I have the luxury of unlimited install/reformat trial and error (as this will not affect my SSD).

After clicking "Something Else" during the Ubuntu installation, I created and formatted both an ext4 boot partition (/boot) on the HDD and an ext4 root partition (/) on the HDD. I installed Grub on the /boot partition and double-checked after the installation that it was not elsewhere or duplicated. The rest of the Ubuntu installation went to the root. However, after reorganizing my UEFI/BIOS boot priorities with my SSD first (since Ubuntu puts itself first after each installation), Linux was nowhere to be seen in Chimera.

I started over. After reformatting the previous partitions on my HDD, I then followed Step 3 of your guide line-by-line and created the various partitions manually (/, swap, /home, /usr). I made sure to install Grub to the root directory (/). But again, Linux was not visible in Chimera.

Installing Ubuntu such that Chimera can see Grub seems so conceptually simple, which is why I'm frustrated and confused. I'm using a Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H. Would the UEFI/BIOS have anything to do with why I can't seem to get Linux to appear in Chimera? When I hit F12 during boot, there's literally an "ubuntu" boot device alongside my "Samsung 840 Pro" and my HDD and BD-ROM, and it stays there even when I format my HDD and erase Ubuntu. Of course, it won't boot to anything without Ubuntu on the HDD, but the boot device is still there nonetheless.

Everything I've read online about getting Ubuntu to appear in Chimera stresses installing Grub to the root directory (/) and not the HDD itself. I feel like I've done many variations of this principle, but nothing works. Do you have any other suggestions or need any additional information?
 

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Currently, I have Mavericks and 8.1 Pro installed on one SSD successfully, and I want to install Ubuntu 13.10 on my HDD if I can get Chimera to list it as a boot option (along with the other two). I tried your suggestions, but these did not work. Because I want to put Ubuntu on my HDD, I have the luxury of unlimited install/reformat trial and error (as this will not affect my SSD).

After clicking "Something Else" during the Ubuntu installation, I created and formatted both an ext4 boot partition (/boot) on the HDD and an ext4 root partition (/) on the HDD. I installed Grub on the /boot partition and double-checked after the installation that it was not elsewhere or duplicated. The rest of the Ubuntu installation went to the root. However, after reorganizing my UEFI/BIOS boot priorities with my SSD first (since Ubuntu puts itself first after each installation), Linux was nowhere to be seen in Chimera.

I started over. After reformatting the previous partitions on my HDD, I then followed Step 3 of your guide line-by-line and created the various partitions manually (/, swap, /home, /usr). I made sure to install Grub to the root directory (/). But again, Linux was not visible in Chimera.

Installing Ubuntu such that Chimera can see Grub seems so conceptually simple, which is why I'm frustrated and confused. I'm using a Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H. Would the UEFI/BIOS have anything to do with why I can't seem to get Linux to appear in Chimera? When I hit F12 during boot, there's literally an "ubuntu" boot device alongside my "Samsung 840 Pro" and my HDD and BD-ROM, and it stays there even when I format my HDD and erase Ubuntu. Of course, it won't boot to anything without Ubuntu on the HDD, but the boot device is still there nonetheless.

Everything I've read online about getting Ubuntu to appear in Chimera stresses installing Grub to the root directory (/) and not the HDD itself. I feel like I've done many variations of this principle, but nothing works. Do you have any other suggestions or need any additional information?

It sounds as if you're doing a UEFI install of Ubuntu. Make sure you do a legacy install instead (disable UEFI boot if necessary).
 
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It sounds as if you're doing a UEFI install of Ubuntu. Make sure you do a legacy install instead (disable UEFI boot if necessary).

RehabMan, thanks for your reply.

So I tried a few things. I tried to perform a Legacy install of Ubuntu by selecting the BD-ROM boot device to load the DVD, and I selected English as my language. When I selected to install, the Ubuntu logo appeared with the loading dots beneath, but my screen lost its signal after a few moments. For about a minute, I could still hear my computer reading data from the DVD, so I expected the installer to reappear. However, it did not, and the DVD stopped spinning. I was receiving no video out. My screen was not simply displaying a black image; there was no signal at all. I was met with the same result when I created a bootable USB and tried installing from it. My UEFI/BIOS is set to Legacy only.

I tried to do an EFI installation and then convert Ubuntu into Legacy mode, but this did not work either. I've tried creating a separate ext4 /boot partition for GRUB and installing it there, but I wonder if I need to install GRUB to a biosgrub partition? Do you know why my Legacy installer hangs and won't load (and loses video output)? I have a GTX 780 Classified. I feel like I'd be able to solve this problem of Chimera not displaying Linux if I could just do a Legacy install. Maybe you know of a way to force a Legacy install.

I was scanning other forum pages, and I see you've encountered UEFI vs. Legacy issues before. I'm going to try to reset my BIOS to remove the "ubuntu" boot device and then install with Legacy only. Hopefully this will fix the "blank screen" syndrome. Have you ever heard of this before?
 
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It sounds as if you're doing a UEFI install of Ubuntu. Make sure you do a legacy install instead (disable UEFI boot if necessary).

RehabMan,

I've made some progress. In my UEFI/BIOS settings, I switched my Initial Display from PCIe 1 to Internal, and this solved the "blank screen" syndrome I described in my last reply. So now, I am able to successfully perform a Legacy install of Ubuntu 13.10. It should be known that setting a GTX 780 on a Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H as the Initial Display can (and did) cause HDMI output to disappear and indirectly "prevent" a Legacy installation. I would have been saved many hours if I'd realized Chimera does not support a UEFI installation of Ubuntu and that something as simple as the Initial Display could prevent forward progress. I guess that's why they call it trial and error.

So, I created a GUID/FAT32 partition on my HDD within OS X Disk Utility (from my SSD), which defaulted to 1.07 GB. When I booted my Ubuntu installer off my USB, I designated GRUB to install there. I received a warning about needing to create a Reserved BIOS partition, but I hadn't had any luck with this in the past (in terms of getting Chimera to display Linux). I also created an ext4 partition on the root directory (/) for Ubuntu itself, and I created a 16 GB swap area (to match my RAM). The installation completed successfully, but Chimera lists WINFAT32 rather than Linux alongside my OS X and Windows options. Finally, it can find GRUB, but it just says the wrong thing.

:banghead:

Is there a different installation process I can try that will allow Chimera to detect Linux itself and display the proper Penguin icon? I really appreciate the help I've received from professionals such as yourself that volunteer their time to help others. I feel like I'm nearly there.
 

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RehabMan,

I've made some progress. In my UEFI/BIOS settings, I switched my Initial Display from PCIe 1 to Internal, and this solved the "blank screen" syndrome I described in my last reply. So now, I am able to successfully perform a Legacy install of Ubuntu 13.10. It should be known that setting a GTX 780 on a Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H as the Initial Display can (and did) cause HDMI output to disappear and indirectly "prevent" a Legacy installation. I would have been saved many hours if I'd realized Chimera does not support a UEFI installation of Ubuntu and that something as simple as the Initial Display could prevent forward progress. I guess that's why they call it trial and error.

So, I created a GUID/FAT32 partition on my HDD within OS X Disk Utility (from my SSD), which defaulted to 1.07 GB. When I booted my Ubuntu installer off my USB, I designated GRUB to install there. I received a warning about needing to create a Reserved BIOS partition, but I hadn't had any luck with this in the past (in terms of getting Chimera to display Linux). I also created an ext4 partition on the root directory (/) for Ubuntu itself, and I created a 16 GB swap area (to match my RAM). The installation completed successfully, but Chimera lists WINFAT32 rather than Linux alongside my OS X and Windows options. Finally, it can find GRUB, but it just says the wrong thing.

:banghead:

Is there a different installation process I can try that will allow Chimera to detect Linux itself and display the proper Penguin icon? I really appreciate the help I've received from professionals such as yourself that volunteer their time to help others. I feel like I'm nearly there.

I always just install grub to the same partition used for root.
 
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I always just install grub to the same partition used for root.

RehabMan,

I formatted a 50 GB ext4 partition on my HDD (/dev/sdb1) and mounted it to the root (/) for the Ubuntu 13.10 installation, and I specified to install GRUB there as well. However, I do not see the Penguin icon for Linux in Chimera. I made sure to install what seemed like a Legacy installation of Ubuntu off my USB.

Do you have any other suggestions for getting the Linux icon to appear in Chimera? Again, I appreciate the help. I also created a swap area on my HDD as well (/dev/sdb2). Previously, I managed to get a Windows FAT32 partition to appear in Chimera that would load GRUB, but the icon for this partition was not the familiar and coveted Penguin logo.
 
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