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sync GPT and MBR on MacBook (mactel)

Feature state

Rejected Information
Rejected Information


on multiboot setups on MacBooks and other mactel machines, using a combination of GPT and MBR is pretty common (and necessary if you either want to use grub or are also using Windows)

for installation on these machines we need to offer a way to sync the GPT to the MBR whenever a change to the GPT is made.

There exists a patch for parted to do just this (see Bug #220839) and also the sources of refit (refit.sourceforge.net, tool gptsync).



  • First try to install openSuse 11.2 on a macbook
  • At the end of the Installation the GTP table should be synchronized with the MBR, otherwise opensuse probably will not boot.
  • If you have a running system, try to make chances with gparted on the GTP table and check if it will be synced
  • After changes on the GTP table, try to boot MacOSX/Windows and check the Partitontable, the changes that were made by gparted should appear there too


icons/user_comment.png S. K. wrote: (7 years ago)

sounds like a dataloss we should fix for 10.3 too

icons/user_comment.png E. P. wrote: (7 years ago)

We need to find out more about what actually needs to be done, before we can consider making an attempt for 10.3 despite the approaching deadline.

icons/user_comment.png E. P. wrote: (7 years ago)

There's not enough time left, please reject for 10.3.

icons/user_comment.png R. O. wrote: (6 years ago)

for reference, the patch for parted is in Bug #220839.
This patch adds the method "map_gpt_to_msdos" to parted and was
written by Olaf Hering and discussed on the parted mailing list
in May 2007.

icons/user_comment.png D. M. wrote: (6 years ago)

Olaf, you wrote the patch, can you please describe us what is exactly needed so YaST makes this kind of configuration to work?

There is little knowledge about this situation and we imagine adding the patch to parted is not the only required step. Some additional code in YaST and while setting up the bootloader might be required. Do you know about it?

icons/user_comment.png O. H. wrote: (6 years ago)

There are comments in the patch.
Once the GPT partitioning is done, map one GPT partition to a primary msdos partition. yast2-storage knows what the boot partition is, so it can force the mapping.

icons/user_comment.png A. S. wrote: (6 years ago)

Duncan asked me to summarise the task for implementation:

  1. Include parted patch "parted.msdos-on-gpt.patch". Thomas saw the risk of
    breaking parted by this. Issue for parted maintainer (we have none).
  2. Add new calls to parted to establish the mapping from GPT to MSDOS
    disk labels. Issue for yast2-bootloader and/or yast2-storage.
  3. Fix bootloader config to not call "parted ... boot on" when it's already
    on. Should fix the update problem Rudi has. Issue for yast2-bootloader.
    AFAIS not required with patched parted.
icons/user_comment.png D. M. wrote: (6 years ago)

Coolo, points 1 and 3 call for reject until bootloader situation and parted one is better.

icons/user_comment.png J. P. wrote: (6 years ago)

michl@ : AFAIK The MacBooks are to date not handled as a supported platform.
But they should be last but not least due to there pretty wide spread of that thingy.
Please check, define and prioritize. Thanks. BTW there are some booting issues involved

icons/user_comment.png M. L. wrote: (6 years ago)

That's a clear "nice to have" feature. Needed ressources and involved risks need to be low.

icons/user_comment.png S. K. wrote: (6 years ago)

I'm not so sure about this. Depending on what market you look at, you get a market share of 10 - 50 percentage. I didn't fail to notice that Saturn F├╝rth's laptop departement is basically built around macbooks.

icons/user_comment.png D. M. wrote: (6 years ago)

Please reject for 11.0. All resources allocated with mandatory features already.

icons/user_comment.png D. M. wrote: (6 years ago)

meant SLE11/openSUSE11.1

icons/user_comment.png A. G. wrote: (5 years ago)

For openSUSE 11.1 / SLES11 it's done already. I checked in a patch for parted a while ago.

icons/user_comment.png S. K. wrote: (5 years ago)

opening to openfate to have a link

icons/user_comment.png L. V. wrote: (5 years ago)

For me it doesn't look like "done already".

I've a MacBook Pro here and tried to install openSUSE 11.1 without success. FYI: I'm using rEFIt as "bootloader" here - and after each installation, rEFit tells me that the MBR and GPT is out of sync and can't be repared.

With the older openSUSE (10.3) it works with this workaround:
http://en.opensuse.org/Installation_on_MacBook_Pro_Intel_(x86 )
<-- grub is not installed

Sadly I need the MacBook for my work, but if you can't find another one, I can run a backup and reproduce my problems for you.

icons/user_comment.png E. F. wrote: (5 years ago)

I can verify that I'm still having the issue here with openSuSE 11.1 and 11.2 Milestone 1. I've got the MacBook Pro 2,2 (late 2006) model. I tried to configure the partitions (just a swap and ext3 partition, nothing special) with gParted and was able to successfully sync the GPT and MBR tables. Then I installed openSuSE and even though I didn't even have it format or recreate the partitions my MBR was destroyed; I could no longer sync the GPT and MBR tables.

If there is a clear, definitive guide on what needs to be done to work around this issue I would love to see it... I haven't run into anything that has helped (including the guide that Lars linked to) and I would really love to see openSuSE running on my MacBook Pro. I don't want to give up!

Thank you for all your hard work, guys (and gals)!

icons/user_comment.png N. S. wrote: (5 years ago)

Same problem here on my MacBook Pro - switched to Ubuntu for now, but I would really love to go back to OpenSUSE. Please consider for the next release.

Last change: 4 years ago
Score: 6
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  • Neutral: 0
  • Positive: 6
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