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Re: Booting 64-bit Linux on a Macbook5,2

From: Patrick Doyle
Subject: Re: Booting 64-bit Linux on a Macbook5,2
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:16:56 -0400

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 4:48 PM, Colin Watson <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 12:06:37PM -0400, Patrick Doyle wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 10:01 AM, Colin Watson <address@hidden> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 09:47:44AM -0400, Patrick Doyle wrote:
> You don't need to explicitly remove grub-pc, since grub-efi-amd64
> already conflicts with it.  grub-install will only work on 10.10, and on
> EFI it doesn't take a device argument - instead it creates a grub.efi
> image (there are a few possible names) and puts it in a particular
> place.  On 10.04, you'll have to look up the documentation on
>  I strongly suggest looking through that documentation
> anyway to orient yourself.
I've looked through the TestingOnEFI and TestingOnMacbook pages and
found them somewhat confusing (more on that later).  Are there other
pages I should be looking at?

I'm surprised to learn that grub-install wouldn't take a device
argument -- how would the bootstrap environment know where to find to
find grub.efi if it didn't know to look in magic places on the device?
 I would be very surprised to learn that EFI was capable of reading
ext4 filesystems.  OTOH, it does seem to be capable of reading the
HFS+ filesystem on my Macbook, but Apple has a vested interest in
making that happen.

Well, I see elsewhere in the wiki that EFI can boot from ext2/ext3
filesystems, so perhaps ext4 isn't so far off.

Regardless, when I look at the wiki page for grub-install, it says the
argument is /dev/hda, which can be shortened to (hd0), which can be
shortened to hd0.  That sounds like grub-install does take a device
argument.  Is the wiki page out of date?

> If you're already expecting to place an image in /efi/grub on your OS X
> file system, then you might be better off following the wiki
> instructions anyway ...

I have to say that I found the wiki instructions somewhat confusing...
On the TestingOnMacbook page, there is a section that says:

"First, you need to decide whether to use a bios dump. Bios dump is
necessary for certain drivers, as they need to scan the video
rom for important data structure such as DDC table. Some driver even
calls INT 10 to locate VESA BIOS, so the IVT for INT10 needs to be set
properly as well.

To get the bios dump, you need to boot into pc mode, then use these
commands to generate dump files:

How would I make the decision whether I need to use a bios dump or not?
If I'm using the proprietary NVIDIA driver, does that imply that it is
NOT one of the "certain" drivers?
What does it mean "to boot into pc mode"?

Later in the page, under the "Troubleshooting" section (that one
caught my eye!), it says to boot Linux into BIOS mode so that the
keyboard backlight is on.

How does one boot Linux into BIOS mode?
Ummm... My Macbkook eson't seem to have a keyboard backlight, is there
something else I should look for?

Thanks for reading this far.  I really appreciate it :-)


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