Recovering Ubuntu after an OS X Lion upgrade

I updated my Macbook to OS X Lion over the weekend and had a nasty scare. I could not boot back to Ubuntu, nor could I see my Ubuntu partition. That is the moment where you think, “Is everything baked up? What will I loose?”. I remember that I switched from Evolution to Thunderbird last month; my email was lost. The truth is that everything was okay, and if this happens to you, you can fix this in a few minutes like I did.

I do not know what the OS X installer did. Maybe it resized the partitions. rEFIt did not report an issue. It verified that the the partition tables were synced. Grub did not know about Ubuntu though. I saw the grub prompt (grub>) instead of a message about the selected partition. I followed ubuntu mactel instructions to install Ubuntu, so I know Ubuntu should be on located on hd0,3. I typed:

grub> root (hd0,3)

grub> find /boot/grub/stage1

Find will report if it finds the boot information. If it does not find stage1, then you can try an alternate disk and partition, such as root (hd1,1) or root (hd0,4). When you find stage1 you can configure grub to fix boot:

grub setup (hd0,3)

I restarted and Ubuntu booted correctly. No data was lost.

The reason that OS X could not see my Ubuntu partition was because MacFuse was compiled for 32bit. Lion is 64bit. I installed the 64bit version of MacFuse to see Ubuntu and my data.

4 thoughts on “Recovering Ubuntu after an OS X Lion upgrade

  1. j.c.

    What do you use with macfuse to see your ubuntu partition from os x? I’m using 64bit macfuse, and saw some posts directing me to fuse-ext2, but that fails spectacularly to actually do anything. Here I assume you’re ubuntu partition is ext4, which could very well be erroneous.

  2. curtis Post author

    May partition is ext3. I am using fuse-ext2 which is compatible with ext3. macfuse+ext4 support looks gloomy. I think it will be a few months before it will be available.

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