Gentoo Archives: gentoo-user

From: Marc Joliet <marcec@×××.de>
To: gentoo-user@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-user] OT: installing Gentoo on a 2007 Macbook
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013 22:15:26
Message-Id: 20130820001508.2d6ec87b@marcec
1 Hi all,
3 For the duration of my MSc thesis (and for my job) I have lent a laptop from my
4 university. This laptop happens to be a 2007 model Macbook (plus a new SSD,
5 since somebody else has the original drive because his data is still on there),
6 and chances are slim that I will be able to lend a different one for this long a
7 time period (6+ months), since the laptops are mainly there for conferences and
8 such. So I suspect I need to get *this* laptop to work.
10 Now since I am productive with it, I wanted to install Gentoo on it but have
11 thus far failed. So here are my overall goals:
13 - install Gentoo
14 - ideally ditch OS X
15 - boot using EFI instead of in BIOS compatibility mode (e.g., I read that this
16 is a requirement for getting suspend to work)
18 So far, I have followed almost all steps of the installation guide (right
19 before restarting the system), supplemented with Macbook-specific steps I found
20 spread around the internet (see below), which boils down to setting up a GPT
21 partitioned disk with an ESP (EFI System Partition) and setting up GRUB2. The
22 problem seems to be to get the laptops firmware to find the ESP on the SSD.
23 Note that I did this *without* a prior OS X installation.
25 I tried blessing the bootloader with an Apple USB stick (10.4) I also got from
26 the university, but that doesn't do anything (i.e., the installation doesn't
27 show up in the boot menu). Using efibootmgr also does not seem to work.
29 I also tried formatting the ESP as HFS+ instead of FAT32 (it turns out parted
30 can do that). After a lack of results, the Apple "Disk Utility" then
31 reformatted back to FAT32, so I guess that wasn't the problem :) .
33 Now I decided to try installing OS X and see if I can get it to work with
34 rEFInd, the fork of rEFIt (I set up some free space at the end of the SSD and
35 formated it as HFS+ from the OS X installation disk), but the installation of
36 OS X (10.7) is failing somewhat randomly. Sometimes it doesn't find the SSD,
37 sometimes it hangs during the installation (the progress bar stops and activity
38 from the DVD drive ceases). The farthest I got so far is to the end of the
39 installation, right before it should reboot, but then the ETA starts going
40 negative.
42 *sigh*
44 My search results on Google show that a lot of people just waited it out and
45 that it eventually finished installing (after it got to -20 minutes or -2
46 hours) , but I just waited at least 10 hours in total. It then hung up after
47 I tried to reboot after it reported -12 hours :( .
49 Before installing Gentoo I also tried installing OS X 10.4 from the
50 aforementioned USB disk, but the installation hung up after the reboot and
51 now every time I boot from it it gives me an "installation failed" message,
52 followed by the ever so helpful hint of "try restarting the installation", which
53 can't work, because quitting the installer reboots the system.
55 So... that's a lot of semi-coherent narrative to take in, sorry :) .
57 Right now I'm thinking that this really *should* work, I mean, the
58 firmware finds the System Rescue CD, which boots perfectly fine in EFI mode, so
59 why shouldn't my installation?
61 Also, if anybody has any tips on getting this to work without an intermediate
62 layer like rEFInd, please speak up!
64 So now the links I took my steps from:
66 - This series of blog posts:
69 - (referenced above), without
70 step 2 because SysRescueCD boots in EFI mode
72 - I tried the grub2-install line from
75 - tells me that I
76 most likely can in fact ditch OS X.
78 - shows
79 that I probably do need to install OS X first and have it set up an EFI
80 System Partition for me in order boot directly to GRUB2, and not just if I
81 want to install rEFInd.
83 - I tried the grub2-install steps from
84, but they
85 didn't work either
87 - I also tried the steps for setting up the ESP here:
90 - I tried installing rEFInd in the fassion explained here:
93 Well, hmm, after going through my sources I found a bit of information on
94 the Arch Linux wiki (see my sources below) that says that I need an EFI system
95 partition set up by the OS X installer in order to be able to boot into GRUB2
96 directly. If that is correct, then what I need to do is get the OS X
97 installation working.
99 I also want to apologise for the... complexity and perhaps lack of coherence of
100 this email but I'm sort of pressed for time (wasting time on the laptop instead
101 of working) and thought maybe somebody might have a reply while I'm sleeping ;)
102 (it's past midnight here).
104 Greetings
105 --
106 Marc Joliet
107 --
108 "People who think they know everything really annoy those of us who know we
109 don't" - Bjarne Stroustrup


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Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-user] OT: installing Gentoo on a 2007 Macbook "Marc A. Kastner" <linux@×××××.org>
Re: [gentoo-user] OT: installing Gentoo on a 2007 Macbook Keith Dart <keith@×××××××××.biz>
[DONE] Re: [gentoo-user] OT: installing Gentoo on a 2007 Macbook Marc Joliet <marcec@×××.de>