some success here -- I'm expecting a Mini 9 from the UPS soon, and I want a dual boot w/o the Chameleon thing if possible (discrete, inconspicuous, etc) so I'm experimenting on my GA-EP45-UD3r and a spare HD to see what might be possible (if anything).
I'm using a 32 bit Ubuntu minimal install CD (like 12 mb or something), then building it up manually -- with Windowmaker, gdm, and some basic stuff -- Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Open Office, Xmms2 w/ Promoe or something, VLC, mplayer, etc... I'm looking at a Linux install of -- well, I'm going to try to reserve 2.5 gigs including swap -- my Linux build is up to 1.8 Gigs of hard drive utilization or so and is only bound to grow as I continue to add a little bit of stuff here and there -- but it's really only mostly for show so I don't really need the space I just want to have the dual boot so that I'm not showing off the OS X all the time -- plus the hfsplus package gives me read/write on the hfs+ partition anyway -- so maybe 2.25 gigs + 250megs swap or something? -- for my roll-your-own Ubuntu, the rest of the 16GB SSD will go to OS X.
So here's what my weekend of experimentation has taught me. GRUB2 (technically 1.97 beta 4 in Ubuntu 9.10 karmic) does in fact boot the hfs+ partition w/o the apple logo. But can I do it with the GUID partition? MBR is no problem, BTW, but you might need an iPC or something along those lines, retail seems to be easier with the GUID, so I'd rather do retail with GUID. That's the plan, anyway.
I install Leopard (not Snow) with a GUID partition table -- basically, fire up the install method, plop in the install disk, and when it comes to interrupting the process to go to Disk Utility, I "partition" with 3 partitions -- one for the Linux, one for the swap, and one for the hfs+. I left the swap and Linux parts (the hfs+ is the tail end of the disk) as empty space. Install as normal, options says GUID, name the one partition whatever, install to it when you exit out of Disk Utility.
Install proceeds as normal, reboot, registration screen, etc. I install Chameleon, and it works just fine, all I need now is kexts for the sound card and maybe another thing or two. Worry about that later.
So I reboot and it's working on its own, I plop in the Ubuntu minimal install CD, and reboot. If you're not familiar with the "cli" -- command line install, well, anyway, I've used Linux for about a decade, that's another post for another time.
I partition manually, and there's all these partitions (like 6 of them or something, a few small GUID ones or whatever). I leave the hfs+ partition and a 130 something megabyte partition on the far side of (end of the disk) that says empty space, but I delete everything else in front of it, leaving the swap. Now I have empty space, swap, and hfs+, and a 130 something megabyte partition on the other side of the hfs+ which I just left there (think it said empty space). I re-create the Linux (I chose xfs) partition, make it bootable, leaving the swap intact. Now the xfs partition is #1, the hfs+ partition is #2, and the swap is partition #4 (I deleted a EFI partition in there somewhere). Just leave the hfs+ intact -- it's the only thing I left intact -- and don't worry -- GRUB2 will boot it up for you, right?
Now the one thing -- I delete the swap 'cause it's #4 and not #3, recreate the swap, and now it's partition #3.
Then I install Ubuntu -- it's a quick process, it downloads the basic system (about 10-15 mins) and asks you time zones and things like that. Where it kept failing for me was on the GRUB install -- the command line interfaces asks you to specify where you want to install GRUB, and I used GRUB terminology -- (hd0), then I tried (hd0,1), etc... to no avail. But the installer also lets you use the /dev thing, so I tried specifying /dev/sda and it worked! Or was that /dev/sda1 -- I don't remember 100% -- I was trying all sorts of things over and over (I'm pretty sure it was /dev/sda though) Installed grub2 to /dev/sda and completed the Linux install process -- reboot, and voila -- there it is -- Grub's menu says "Mac OS X (on /dev/sda2)" as a selection, select it and I'm in. No messing with the menu.lst, it's automatically detected.
So that's it -- use a distro that uses Grub2, and at least with Ubuntu's command line installer (which is actually quite a cinch if you asked me) specify the "dev/sdx" format, not the (hdx,x) grub format on the command line install when it asks you towards the end, and when you partition near the start of the process, basically delete all the partitions except the hfs+ -- clean that disk up -- keep the one OS X partition, non-blessed, perhaps, and GRUB should detect it, list it, and boot it up for you. Of course, YMMV.
URL's that were important to me throughout this whole process:
Ubuntu minimal install: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD
Install on Low Memory Systems (may be relevant, may by not): https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installat...owMemorySystems
Grub2 Title Tweaks: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1287602
Anyway, it's working now on my Gigabyte board. Disk utility still says GUID Partition table, I'm assuming that Chameleon is gone or inaccessible -- I don't think it's actually possible to get to it at all even if it isn't gone, it would probably would need to be reinstalled and GRUB removed or something, but I'd rather have grub in this particular instance anyway, which was the whole point of this exercise for me -- doing it with grub.
Anyway, will have to wait and see if it works on the Mini 9, but it works just 100% great on the Gigabyte board, flawlessly. If only it was my main computer and not a testbed I'd be totally psyched.