Today has been a personal bug-squashing day for little things related to my MacBook. I am teaching a class this week that calls for quite a bit of lab time from the students so I took the time to look into some of the bugs. The first on the list was activating the keyboard lighting on the macbook, which was simple enough. The second, and basis for this quick tutorial, is setting Ubuntu to be the primary boot within the rEFIt boot loader.
To update your boot loader so that Ubuntu will boot first you’ll need to boot into OS X to edit a config file. (note: I did not try any method of mounting the OS X partition to make the changes, is that possible?).
UPDATE: after typing the above I actually took the time to *try* and it’s already default mounted on my machine. Nothing special there. …what you find when you actually take the time to look huh :). It is mounted read-only however.
Once booted into OS X you’ll want to edit the file “/efi/refit/refit.conf” and update a line near the bottom of the file from:
(yes, just uncommenting that line)
At this point the rEFIt boot loader will boot Ubuntu as your primary and OS X as your secondary. I notice the rEFIt config file is oddly similar to a grub.conf. I also update the timeout from 20 to 5. Who wants to wait 20 seconds for it to make a choice? Enjoy.