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Fastest Route to Single Booting Linux on the new 2009 Mac Mini

Posted: March 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Linux, Mac, Tech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

See IMPORTANT NOTES section below… there’s currently a catch with rebooting….
If you find a fix for the reboot issue, please leave a comment (that will email me)..

Special thanks to Victor Costan http://blog.costan.us

Step 1 – Get your linux on the HD
-Power On / Insert Linux Install Disk With Kernel 2.6.26 or higher / Power Off
-Power On / Wait 4 Seconds / Hold “c” key to boot from DVD drive
-I couldn’t get linux to work after deleting the EFI partition, so don’t.
-Get to your distro’s partitioning utility and delete the main MAC partition
-After deleting the big partition, create your linux partitions
-If you delete the EFI partition on accident, the Leopard install will fix it
-Direct the installer to put GRUB on the first sector of your /boot partition
-Install whatever other options you want and let installer run
-Remove Linux Install Disk / Insert MAC OSX Install Disk / Reboot

Step 2 – Tell MAC‘s Open Firmware What To Do
-Power On / Wait 4 Seconds / Hold “c” key to boot from DVD drive
-Get to “Terminal” under “Utilities” on MAC Installation Setup
-Type the following command to determine how your /boot partition was identified
diskutil list
-Type the following command to set that partition as bootable (mine was disk0s2)
bless –device /dev/disk0s2 –setboot –legacy –verbose

IMPORTANT NOTES
-After these steps, linux will boots fine but when trying to reload it will hangs (more likely the shutdown process hangs).  It appears to require a hard reset at this time…bummer.
-Earlier Kernels (Such as 2.6.18 in Centos 5.2 and lower) may install successfully but do not properly load drivers for all the hardware once installed.

WINDOWS KEYBOARD NOTES
Hold “c” key to boot from DVD drive
Hold “F12″ key to eject the DVD drive
Hold “ALT” to emulate the option key (not used in this procedure)

SOURCES

Debian Success Documented here (by Thomas Glanzmann): http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0903.1/01828.html

Discussion and bless command from Veiho in Ubuntuforums :  http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-493393.html

Status on reload problem being worked by ubuntu developers: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux