Content tagged apple

Linux on Intel Macs
posted on 2013-05-21 16:30:00

Every. Single. Time.

Installing linux on a Mac never manages to be pleasant. I always remember, "Oh, yeah. I got this to work before." and dive in cheerily only to shortly recoil at what a fucking nightmare it is.

These days I use crunchbang, a very clean Debian-based distro. It's hard to even know who to be mad at. You'd think the installer would just detect the EFI/GPT stuff and "do the right thing" by now. Or be able to resize HFS+ partitions.

Out of Desperation

For whatever reason, I had to resort to this:

  1. Resize OS X with Disk Utility to 50% of the current partition size.

  2. Install rEFInd as rEFIt is now deprecated/unmaintained.

  3. Burn a CD (!!!) since EFI doesn't want to boot from unrecognized USB drives.

  4. Boot from the CD and install linux to the freespace.

  5. When prompted to install the bootloader, install it on the linux partition, not the disk!

  6. Do whatever it takes to get a linux command prompt, rescue disk, whatever. Mount the new install at /target.

  7. Run:

    mount -o bind /dev /target/dev
    mount -o bind /sys /target/sys
    mount -o bind /proc /target/proc
    chroot /target
    

    Now you can actually do useful things, like fix the broken fucking bootloader! Note that you may need to ifconfig eth0 up && dhclient eth0 for network access.

  8. Install and use gptsync on the drive with the linux partition:

    apt-get update && apt-get install gptsync && gptsync /dev/sda
    
  9. Reboot and pray.

In Conclusion

Now your glorious Linux distro should boot on your "is-it-designed-not-to-work-with-a-single-fucking-Open-Source-thing?" Mac. Of course, you may need to apt-get remove the busted radeon drivers and add xforcevesa to the linux invocation in your /boot/grub/grub.cfg and remember to always gptsync after any future update-grub operations but...yeah, fuck all these goddamned computers.

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