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Re: [gNewSense-users] MacBook

From: Stuart Baker
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] MacBook
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2008 14:42:52 +1300

Hi Koh Choon Lin

> Anyone has any luck with gNS on MacBook, single boot?
> Some time ago, there exists a problem with this configuration -- waiting a 
> minute
> during booting while it searches for the boot record, and I wonder if
> this was solved now so I can procure one during Christmas.

Before I begin, I know this solution isn't really ideal, as it
involves installing and keeping Mac OS X on your system.
I am only putting what I know forward, you are under no obligation to
follow these directions if you think that having to
essentially run a non-Free OS to run a Free one is a bad idea. :D
(Well obviously, if your reading the gNewSense mailing list you do

I have a MacBook Pro and have successfully been able to dual boot. I
know this is not what you are asking but I will mention it anyway.
Currently the only way to get around the dreaded 20sec - 1min boot
wait time that I know of is using rEFIt.

How to go about it:

Install OS X, during installation there is an option to de-select
packages to be installed. You can shave about 6GB off the default
installation by doing this and removing things like unused languages,
printer drivers etc ...

This brings OS X down to about 9GB if i remember correctly. Leave this
installation on a partition just a bit larger then the default

Head over to <> and grab the dmg Mac disk
image. You can use the package installer to automatically set it up.
There's a script that should be run, from memory it's something like
"". The rEFIt documentation will help here.
This will ensure rEFIt always boots. Also have a read of the config
file, it's very well commented. Should be easy enough to understand.

You may need to reboot twice for rEFIt to display.
Insert the gNewSense live CD and select it from the rEFIt menu.
Proceed with the installation as normal with the one exception:
Ensure you specify GRUB to install on the partition you are installing
gNewSense to, not the first partition as the installer likes to

Once you are done, reboot, when you find yourself back at the rEFIt
menu, before you do anything else select the partitioning tool (aka
Shutdown from the rEFIt menu. Start up again and you should now be
able to select the Linux entry, which will in turn load grub and then

If you want, customise the rEFIt config file, if you ran the
enable-always script and changed the timeout option to 1 second you
can effectively run a "pseudo single boot". This option also allows
you to boot into OS X every 6 months or so to check for firmware
updates, again not ideal for the Free software activist but it's an

Hope I have helped. (Or maybe even convinced you to buy a notebook
more Free software friendly. :D)

Stuart Baker

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