I spent my last night trying to install BackTrack linux distro to my spare MacBook (Core 2 Duo, black). As it took way too long and the web was full of ambiguous information about the subject I’m writing this short post of my experiences. If you got to this by googling “How to install BackTrack to Mac” reading this will hopefully save you some time.
First of all the the fact is that it’s impossible (or at least I couldn’t get it to work) to install BackTrack from USB flash drive to the MacBook so that it would boot natively from its own HD to BackTrack. I managed to boot Ubuntu from USB and could have probably even installed it – didn’t try though.
After trying many different combinations of rEFIt and a USB with BackTrack on it I managed to get the computer to see the BackTrack USB drive as a bootable disk. The rEFIt started to load BackTrack from a single .iso file from the USB drive but froze every time to the “Loading kernel” screen.
I tried this in-place-installable-efi-loader method with a Ubuntu (32 bit) .iso and it booted nicely after a while of crunching. The in-place efi method needs the distribution to support loopback. I checked the BackTrack .iso but couldn’t find a loopback.cfg or a loop.cfg file so it probably won’t support loopback and thus won’t be able to boot using the in-place efi loader.
After many hours of trial and error I gave up and installed VirtualBox. With VirtualBox I got the BacTrack running in no time. It would have been nice to have the MacBook to boot to BackTrack natively but using a virtualized environment isn’t a bad option at all. It’s very clean, simple and easily configurable option compared to native installation. I’d suggest going the VirtualBox way. Save your nerves and money – VirtualBox is free. This way you can spend all the time you’d loose trying to install BackTrack to your MacBook to learning to do cool stuff with the BackTrack distro itself.
Here’s some links I’d suggest checking out if you’re interested in the subject: