LinuxMint on Macbook

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LinuxMint on Macbook

Postby helge_karl » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:50 pm

LinuxMints 2.2 Bianca on the Macbook
Since I have not found an installation guide for installing LinuxMint on Macbook here, I thought it would be interesting to others how I got LM Bianca up and running. The Macbook has a intel core duo 2.0 ghz processor and the purpose of my install was to have a dual boot setup with Mac OS X and Linux Mint 2.2 Bianca (latest stable release at present)

The installation method for getting LM 2.2. Bianca up and running is the same as with Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft. The installation method described here worked for me. I will go through the installation steps here as well for the unclickables.

1 Update your Mac OS system via Software Update
2 Install rEFIt.
3 Install Boot Camp from Apple. With Boot Camp you will shrink your Mac OS X startup volume (Presumably called Macintosh HD) and asign the new free space to new windows partition. This new windows partition will be reformated later on when we install LinuxMint. I have replaced the original drive with a Samsung 120GB, and free-ed up 12 GB of these in Boot Champ, but you may better double it.
4 Get LinuxMint and burn yourself a cd.
5 When booting up you'll get to a menu where you can select your keyboard language and other options before loading the Live Linux Mint 2.2 Bianca. I changed the boot parameters in F6 accordingly:

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To prevent a kernel panic which might occasionally occur, press F6 and enter one of the following parameters at the boot: prompt:
lpj=8000000 (for 2 GHz MacBook) or lpj=7330000 (for 1.83 GHz MacBook)
N.B.: It will automatically be applied to the installed system so you won't have to enter it manually ever again!
CopyPasted from Ubuntu Comunity help.
6Download and install the refit debian package, it works with double click to start the gdebi installer. (Because of a tricky 802.1X protected lan at home I had to download it to my iPod while being in Mac OS X. The iPod mounts automagically under LinuxMint).
7 Start the installer, you'll find it on the desktop. You may chose the partition setup manually or choose the biggest free space, DO NOT ERASE THE WHOLE DISK. When you reach step 6 W A I T B E F O R E P R E S E D I N G !
8 Type into terminal the following code without pressing enter.

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sudo gptsync /dev/sda && sudo sfdisk -c /dev/sda 3 83
CopyPasted from Ubuntu Comunity help.
9Shift back to the installer and prosede from step 6 in the installer. Before you reach 94% in the installer you have to turn back to your terminal window where you wrote your "sudo gptsync ..." command and press enter. The installer is writing partitions and crusual files in the beginning so I recomend to do as I did and wait until it reaches 90% before entering/executing the comand in the terminal.
10 Shut down your system and boot it up again. Choose Linux from Harddrive in the rEFIt boot meny.
11 Log in to your system
Your system is now working. But we would like to get a few things in order first.
Take a look at the ubuntu comunity help page for information on resolution, Backlight, mouse key emulation, iSight, extended desktop / video mirroring, etc.

To change right Apple to Alt gr is possible through Linux MINT control center, though mouse key emulation also should be possible to setup there as well.

I've gotten iSight camera to work, but mic is not reqognized on my system, I'll post a solution if I come over it. iSight camera works with the ekiga sip-phone software with Bonjour/ZeroConf Chatting support as well. Gaim is not installed with bonjour support in LinuxMint. To get Bonjour support in Gaim you have to add the

Code: Select all

deb edgy multiverse
repocitory to your repositories list. It is done so LinuxMint Bianca menu -> Control Center -> Administration -> Software Sources -> Third Parties -> add.

I'll do some more comprehensive testing and get back to this post later with updates.

Edit: added Cassandra to subject description.
Last edited by helge_karl on Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LinuxMint on Macbook

Postby tommyr » Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:43 pm

helge_karl wrote:LinuxMints 2.2 Bianca on the Macbook

Thanks for that but the whole process makes me very nervous! Do you REALLY have to go through all of that?

I run it in LiveCD mode right now and it works great but naturally the CD drive spins all the time in Live CD mode and I fear I'll wear out that drive MUCH faster that way...


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Mint on iBook?

Postby egelner » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:09 pm

This does sound complicated! I had been hoping to buy an old iBook (the original clamshell design) and throw Mint on it. Does anyone know if this can be done easily?

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Linux Mint on Non Pentium PowerBook??

Postby fiftyone » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:07 pm

Howdy, I was just wondering if it were possible to install Mint Linux on a Mac Powerbook 12"... I love my Mac but I would Looooooove to put Linux mint on it.

Thanks alot.


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Postby helge_karl » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:36 am

Hello, sorry for the late reply.

Linux Mint and PPC based macs
Linux Mint does not offer PPC(mac) spesific distros. If you plan to put Linux on a iBook or Powerbook than you need install cd for PPC computers. I belive you have to be an linux expert to mhack a ubuntu installation on your PPC based macs to become an Linux Mint. For time beeing PPC based mac owners looking for an easy to use distro should go for Ubuntu, Debian, Yellow Dog Linux, OpenSuse, gentoo, CentOS, Fedora or Crux. There are surely more distros that can work on PPC systems.

Than about the hard installation process for installing ubuntubased distros on the new macbooks.
The new macs comes with EFI, an improved BIOS system plus more. Windows (inkluded Vista) does not support EFI, therefore are the other computers not coming with EFI but with old fashioned BIOS. This means that you need a special program on your mac, in Mac OS X and in your Linux distro to keep partition tables in sync between the systems. This may become easier by time as Linux get better support for EFI.

I have not tested out if some of the steps outlined above is no longer needed with Linux Mint 3.0 Cassandra. The new kernel should allready support graphics cards and iSight in your mac. I am not a linux developer, however happy to get Linux Mint to work on my mac and will post info about what steps are needed for installing the latest version of Linux Mint on the Macbook.

Keep in mind that a few components have changed between the different revisions, most notably the wifi card.

After all, the installation process I have written down is the simplest I could figure out based on what others have managed to work. If it becomes to difficult, than go for vmware fusion or parrallels while waiting for easier instructions and run it in virtualisation for the time beeing. With 1GB Ram or more you may be happy that way too.

Running distro from live cd
You can off course run the distro easily from the install cd. In fact there are no problems in running it from the cd. However your settings and files may not be kept after you shut down your live cd session. Yoy may save your work on a usb stick or whatever you may get to work. Running Linux Mint from the live/install cd will give you a taste of how it works but if you plan to use Linux Mint extensively you'd prefer running installed on your harddrive.

Helge Nyhamn

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Installing Cassandra on the Macbook

Postby helge_karl » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:27 pm

LinuxMint 3.0 Cassandra on Macbook

For those that found the installation procedure on getting bianca installed on the Macbook hard, there is good news.

The LinuxMint 3.0, code named Cassandra, comes with a much newer kernel. This means that your sleek and beautiful Macbook is better supported. Also EFI compatibility is improved.

Please note that my instructions are for having a dual boot system. If someone have installed LinuxMint on a Macbook as a single OS installation please be kind to share the exact procedure either here or in a separate tread.

The good news mean that step 5 to 9 can be skipped. Your Mac drives may mount automagically and should be unmounted before running the installer.

Installation works perfectly and no hickups. Booting into Linux or Mac OS X is working fine after installation both before syncing refit and after as well. Syncing within Linuxmint seams not necsessary any more.

Support for HFS+ drives is improved and no problem working with hfs+ (mac formated) iPod in either Amarok or Banshee which I put in place instead of amarok (you find banshee in synaptic). LinuxMint comes now with avahi. Pidgin, formely known as Gaim, has now support for ZeroConf also known as Bonjour.

Gizmoproject also supply a possibility to install Bonjour on their web page. I do not know if it is necsessary or not to install it alongside avahi, it is thoug very easy to install both gizmoproject and bonjour by choosing the .deb files provided by them on their website.

Support for iSight is still not included so you need to add that yourself.

Overall the installation process is now easy enough that anyone should be able to get their system up and running without trouble. In my case I repartitioned the linux partitions and installed a clean new system on top of it. I recommend other bianca users to upgrade to a new pristine system if they plan to advance to the Cassandra era.

For the effect maniacs: Beryl works 8)

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