Booting Ubuntu on a Mac from external SSD

  • #1
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Hi PF!

I am trying to boot Ubuntu 14 from an external SSD on a new macbook pro. I formatted a thumbdrive following these instructions. I then attempted to boot the SSD following these instructions. In part 2, step 5 of the latter link, after selecting EFI Boot, I am prompted with "A software update is required to use this startup disk", so I select update, the computer does it's thing, and restarts. Then at boot-up I select EFI boot, where I'm prompted with the same error. The process repeats.

Can anyone help? I'm using a USB-A flash drive, if that matters. I also enabled WIFI.

Thanks so much!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Has these directions been vetted and confirmed by other users?

Apple also has tricky hardware with extra features for security that often trip up third party software.

My suggestion is to ask on the forum that posted the instructions or on a Linux / Apple forum where the readers are more familiar with the problem. I know hackitoshes solved it for Macos software on Apple cloned hardware.
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50
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Also, using a 4 year old release is sure to cause even more problems.
 
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  • #4
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Thanks for your help! Unfortunately I've no clue how to do this external boot; nothing's working.

Instead I dual booted on a different machine which runs Ubuntu 18. At startup I'm unsure how to select Ubuntu 14 instead of Ubuntu 18. At startup I get this screen:
IMG_3573.jpg

I select Ubuntu. Then I get this screen:
IMG_3574.jpg

If I select Ubuntu it automatically starts Ubuntu 18. If I select Advanced options I get this screen:
IMG_3575.jpg

What do I do? I know Ubuntu 14 was correctly installed, and when in Ubuntu 18 I can actually see the partitioning for Ubuntu 14.
 
  • #5
pbuk
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What do I do? I know Ubuntu 14 was correctly installed, and when in Ubuntu 18 I can actually see the partitioning for Ubuntu 14.
You need to tell the grub boot loader about the Ubuntu 14 installation. To do this, boot into Ubuntu 18 and run sudo update-grub and it should detect both Ubuntu installs as well as the Windows install and reconfigure the grub menu (the first purple screen image you posted) appropriately. Then reboot and grub should present you with two 'Ubuntu' options: the second will be Ubuntu 14.

But why do you want this old version anyway?
 
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  • #6
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Hey thanks, that did the trick!

I'm using an older version of Ubuntu because a computational software our lab uses only runs on 14.04...or so it was. Turns out it's been updated, and evidently compatible on Ubuntu 18.04! Thank goodness, because I couldn't get the graphics drivers for 14.04: talk about an eye-sore! I'm installing the software now, and hopefully the codes work and I can reformat the SSD and dump 14.04 forever!
 
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  • #7
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Okay, after lots of work the software runs great on 18.04! I still appreciate all your replies: I learned something new.

That being said, how do I remove Ubuntu 14.04, so that the SSD is solely devoted to 18.04? I can make a new post if I should, but if it's a simple solution maybe it's okay here?
 
  • #8
pbuk
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You can remove the 14.04 partition using the utility gparted. You can do this from Ubuntu 18.04 (you may have to install it with sudo apt install gparted). This will free up the space, but in order to extend the 18.04 partition to use the extra space you will need to boot from a different partition. I would create a live usb (may as well go for the current LTS 20.04) and boot from that, you can then extend the 18.04 partition into the empty space. This will only work if the empty space is contiguous with the 18.04 partition.

Edit: it won't solely be for 18.04 because you still have the Windows install on it, unless you delete that too.

Also, don't forget to run sudo update-grub when you are done so the menu entries for deleted partitions are removed.
 
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  • #9
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Thanks! I'll do this tonight. I think it will only be Ubuntu though (I have a separate SSD for windows, though it is the same model SSD as for Ubuntu, which is why it looks like I had a dual boot). And I would update to the latest Ubuntu, but I've modified my computational tools a ton, and I'm afraid to upgrade Ubuntu until our results publish (you know how academics are, updates are a scary business. As they say "no one's an atheist when updating the OS" lol

Thanks for this though! I'll make the changes!
 
  • #10
pbuk
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And I would update to the latest Ubuntu, but I've modified my computational tools a ton, and I'm afraid to upgrade Ubuntu until our results publish (you know how academics are, updates are a scary business. As they say "no one's an atheist when updating the OS" lol
I was only suggesting 20.04 for the Live USB to run gparted, if 18.04 is working for your important stuff then yes of course stick with it. And if you still have the USB you installed 18.04 from then just use that to resize the SSD partition anyway.
 
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  • #11
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I was only suggesting 20.04 for the Live USB to run gparted, if 18.04 is working for your important stuff then yes of course stick with it. And if you still have the USB you installed 18.04 from then just use that to resize the SSD partition anyway.
So don't worry about gparted? Just insert the USB 18.04, and at boot-up select the USB? Sorry, I'm getting a little confused
 
  • #12
pbuk
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Sorry, I'm getting a little confused
My fault, in summary:
  1. Boot into 18.04.
  2. Back up everything important in case anything goes wrong.
  3. Run sudo gparted (you may have to install it first with sudo apt install gparted).
  4. Delete the 14.04 partition (there is a built in failsafe here: you won't be able to delete the 18.04 partition because it is mounted).
  5. Get hold of a Live USB (either 18.04 or 20.04 will do if you have one handy, if not then best to create 20.04).
  6. Boot from the Live USB and run sudo gparted (I don't think you will have to install it because it is included in Live USB images).
  7. Extend the 18.04 partition into the now empty partition cleared in step 3.
  8. Boot into 18.04.
  9. Run sudo update-grub.
 
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