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Booting Linux on Apple Laptop Hardware With a USB Key


cryptomule
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Hi Guys,


I'm seeking help and would like to have a discussion about booting Linux on Apple hardware using an EFI boot loader. Probably not going to be a popular suggestion considering one of your sponsors is System76 but I thought I'd give it a try regardless.



I came across a great tool called "Mac Linux USB Loader" which is still under heavy development. "This is the Mac Linux USB Loader, a tool allowing you to take an ISO of a Linux distribution and make it boot using EFI."



http://sevenbits.github.io/Mac-Linux-USB-Loader/


https://github.com/SevenBits/Mac-Linux-USB-Loader



I spoke to "SevenBits" the developer and there's an unresolved problem he hasn't been able to fix, which affects myself and others who use older Macbook Pro hardware (late 2008 4,1 and others).



"I actually have an early 2008 MacBook Pro which also fails to boot Linux. I test the bootable drives my tool creates on a newer, separate machine. I believe with 90% certainty that the reason for this problem is the lack of Linux kernel mode setting (KMS) support in Apple's EFI firmware, which is required for nVidia video drivers to function properly. Disabling KMS in the boot options of most distros actually causes the splash screen to show up, but then X (the graphical windowing system used to provide a desktop) can't start because KMS is disabled, and so you are dropped into the terminal with a bash shell. If you like command line Ubuntu, this is fine, you can just connect to the web via Ethernet (and even install WiFi drivers) and go, but for 90% of us, this is an inadequate solution."



Have you, or anyone you know had success finding a solution to this problem?



Thanks,


cryptomule


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I installed rEFIT on my macbook from 2011 and installed backtrack through a live cd.

Just for fun I added windows xp as well so I had a macbook with tripleboot :p

Haven't tried over usb since I've been told that apple are morons when it comes to booting OS's over usb.

Edited by spazi
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I installed rEFIT on my macbook from 2011 and installed backtrack through a live cd.

Just for fun I added windows xp as well so I had a macbook with tripleboot :P

Haven't tried over usb since I've been told that apple are morons when it comes to booting OS's over usb.

Heh, I used to keep os9 installed on a usb thumb drive when I supported a school district.

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I was able to successfully do a live boot from USB from an .iso image using dd utility



1. Formatted USB Drive as MS-DOS (FAT)


2. Unmounted the drive (in this case mine was disk1): diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk1


3. Using dd utility, put iso on USB Drive: sudo dd if=linux.iso of=/dev/disk1 bs=512 conv=noerror,sync



USB Drive is labeled as Windows in the Startup Manager


Boot was successful, Drivers are a different story...



Drive created on Mac OS X 10.9 (13A524d)


Test System: MacBook Air "Core i7" 1.7 13-Inch (Mid-2013/Haswell)


Distro: Kali Linux 1.0.4 amd64


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I was able to successfully do a live boot from USB from an .iso image using dd utility

1. Formatted USB Drive as MS-DOS (FAT)

2. Unmounted the drive (in this case mine was disk1): diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk1

3. Using dd utility, put iso on USB Drive: sudo dd if=linux.iso of=/dev/disk1 bs=512 conv=noerror,sync

USB Drive is labeled as Windows in the Startup Manager

Boot was successful, Drivers are a different story...

Drive created on Mac OS X 10.9 (13A524d)

Test System: MacBook Air "Core i7" 1.7 13-Inch (Mid-2013/Haswell)

Distro: Kali Linux 1.0.4 amd64

Formatting the USB as FAT is worthless because you are blasting over the file system with the ISO data. Just FYI.

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Formatting the USB as FAT is worthless because you are blasting over the file system with the ISO data. Just FYI.

Tried doing it when it was formatted as HFS+ and it dd utility didn't like it for some reason and it didn't work. Not sure why...

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