[SOLVED] Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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Pinokkio
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[SOLVED] Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:57 am

Hello , my first post... I managed to install Linuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64b on an old Vaio i3 , works fine .
Now i try to make a live CD or Live Usb for my old Macs , to try this out before installing .
I don't speak terminal , so have to copy/paste commands .
and followed this link : https://www.computersnyou.com/2803/crea ... linux-mac/

Not even shure if the iso to img conversion was succesfull .Anyway I'am now at this point ( and unable to type or paste a password ) :

sudo dd if=linuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64bit.img of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=1mlinuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64bit

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

Password:
Sorry, try again.
Password:

Please some help ( maybe from scratch ) to install on this USB or CD .

Note : Live Cd for windows doesn't boot on the Mac
Last edited by Pinokkio on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:14 am

Hi,
first you need to specify which mac model you are speaking about.
The oldest models are power-pc instead of intel, and Mint will not work on this I think. Ubuntu has versions built for PPC.
Models after that are intel. Among them, old models are 32-bit, so you need a 32-bit Mint version.
Less old models, but still old, are a mix between 32 and 64 bit : CPU is 64-bit but EFI is 32-bit. Simplest is to use a 32-bit Mint version.
Current models are 64-bit.
Please specify your model by giving the corresponding specification page on http://www.everymac.com. Be careful it's exactly your model, some look very close but have differences which are important for the following. You can get info about your hardware from "About this Mac" in OSX.

Also, do you want to single boot Mint or dual-boot with OSX ? That changes the situation.

You will find many different guides on the internet to put linux on a mac ; some will be recent, some older, and you will always get conflicting information because there are different possible approaches (booting in Legacy or EFI mode ; with refit or refind or grub ; with the bootloader in the MBR or on the ESP or on a dedicated hfs+ partition...). Dont try to mix different guides, that's a recipe for disaster.
Best to ask question when you are unsure what to do or dont understand fully instructions. There are several forum members here which have experience with Macs (e.g. I'm writing this from a MacBookPro7,1 and have also installed Mint on an older 32-bit MacBook).

To burn the iso to a USB, one simple solution from OSX is to use unetbootin.
But if you have access to windows, you would better use Rufus which is more reliable.
And if you already have a Mint, you can use the built-in utility mintstick, available in the mint menu, or you can install usb-creator-gtk from the software manager.

By the way, if you Mac is 64-bit, you should be able to boot the CD by inserting it, shutting down the Mac and restarting it pressing C during boot. Or press Alt and select the CD in the Apple boot manager.
If that's not working, it may be the indication that your Mac is 32-bit (at least the firmware) and you made a 64-bit CD. Or the machine is old enough that it boots only in certain modes.

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:54 pm

First TX for your extensive reply ! I've tried unetbootin ==> did crash .Rufus installed a lot on the stick , but the USB-stick didn't want to boot .Then I tried Mintstick , but the mac couldn't even mount the disk .In " About this Mac" I could see that the most of my programs are in Intel 64bit . Any idea ? Terminal commands ?

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:06 pm

Go to About this Mac > More Info / System report > Hardware and find the model identifier, as in the third image on this Apple page : https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201581
Report the identifier here.

What did you try to boot the USB stick ? You have to insert it and press alt during boot.
Mintstick only works from linux, so I dont understand "but the mac couldn't even mount the disk". If you dont have yet linux installed on the mac, you surely cant use mintstick from the mac.

A good first step : install refind. Then reboot just to check it works and can boot your OSX.
Refind will make it easier already to boot the USB stick, and you can use it later as a boot manager for your dual-boot (if you want to dual-boot, o you ? you never said so)
Note: if your OSX is 10.11 (El Capitan) or 10.12 (Sierra), you will need to disable System Integrity Protection to install refind, see this page.
Also after install go in the refind info screen (blue (i) icon) and find whether your EFI is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Once refind is installed, booting a USB stick will be as easy as plugging the USB (with the machine shut down), booting and getting in the refind menu, and choosing the entry to boot the USB stick.

Jaydemir
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Jaydemir » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:25 am

I have a 2006 MacBook (white plastic shell) that gave me a hard time installing anything.

a. Nothing boots from USB
b. I burnt cd images, and the only thing that booted was Mint 13 XFCE. Anything newer refused to work.

What I ended up doing to get Mint 18.1 on this macbook was actually popping out the hard drive, installing it on another desktop, then putting it back into the Macbook. (Of course, I didn't have Mac OS this whole time because it was an old hard drive that was practically dead). Unlike Windoze, Linux Mint will actually check the hardware upon boot, not just during install. I wrote Mint to the hard drive on a quad core AMD rig, and this mac is running a core2duo. Worked just fine.

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:38 am

Ok I find out that I'am on 32bit : $ ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi
| | "firmware-abi" = <"EFI32">
I installed " rEFIt " using the Installer Package ( mkg ) : rEFIt-0.14.dmg disk image.

rEFIt works and i'am able to choose the Linux icon instead of the apple icon .

I marked in the system preference : open in 32bit mode .

But if i want to start from the Live DVD ( 32 bit ) still the message appears : no bootable device insert a bootable ...etc .

What step do I still miss ?

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:11 am

More info :


*** Report for internal hard disk ***

Current GPT partition table:
# Start LBA End LBA Type
1 40 409639 EFI System (FAT)
2 409640 976510983 Mac OS X HFS+

Current MBR partition table:
# A Start LBA End LBA Type
1 1 976773160 ee EFI Protective

MBR contents:
Boot Code: None

Partition at LBA 40:
Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message)
File System: FAT32
Listed in GPT as partition 1, type EFI System (FAT)

Partition at LBA 409640:
Boot Code: None
File System: HFS Extended (HFS+)
Listed in GPT as partition 2, type Mac OS X HFS+

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:50 am

You never answered : in the end do you want to dual-boot or single boot linux ?
And what's the exact Mac model ?

refind works for 32-bit and is more up to date than refit.
Mint 32-bit ISO only boot in Legacy/BIOS mode. Macs natively boot in EFI mode instead (in principle they can also boot Legacy mode, but old models may refuse to do so from external media).

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:35 pm

In the first place I want start the Live CD for testing .
Then I hope to install a dual boot to start with .
And in the end I think I will leave the Mac OS all togheter , and go for a single Linux boot .

On the Sony Vaio the dual boot works perfect ( and gave me the possibility to both try the RUFUS-way , as well as the Mint-stick to try getting Linux working on this Mac ) .

My system :

Hardwareoverzicht:

Modelnaam: MacBook Pro
Modelaanduiding: MacBookPro2,1
Processornaam: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processorsnelheid: 2,33 GHz
Aantal processors: 1
Totaal aantal cores: 2
L2-cache: 4 MB
Geheugen: 3 GB
Bussnelheid: 667 MHz
Opstart-ROM-versie: MBP21.00A5.B08
SMC-versie (systeem): 1.14f5
Serienummer (systeem): W87120CAW0M
Hardware-UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0017F2D8DC92
Sudden Motion Sensor:
Status: Ingeschakeld

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:16 am

Ok, it's one of those models which has a 64-bit processor but a 32-bit EFI. Simplest is to make a 32-bit install.
If you dont succeed to boot the CD/DVD, we will have to do with a USB stick. Only detail is that Mint 32-bit ISO do not ship with a EFI bootloader so we have to correct this. I have done this successfully on a 2004 MacBook in the past.

Steps :
- from OSX, install refind instead of refit
(- reboot to OSX just to check it works)
- burn the 32-bit ISO to a USB stick with whatever you want (from OSX use unetbootin, from windows use Rufus, from Mint use mintstick)
- unplug, replug the USB and mount it. Find or compile grubia32.efi (see e.g. here)
- copy the bootloader to the fallback location on the stick : EFI/BOOT/bootia32.efi (you will need to create the directory EFI/ at the root of the USB, and BOOT/ inside it)
- eject the USB, shutdown, plug it back, boot and get to refind screen
- in refind there should be an entry called something like "Boot fallback bootloader from EFI" with a linux icon (either the generic penguin, or an ubuntu or mint icon, most probably the generic penguin), and an external disk badge at the bottom right of the icon.
Boot that
- you should now be booting Mint.

References :
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=204961
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=234032
https://mattgadient.com/2016/07/11/linu ... 06-models/
https://github.com/jfwells/linux-asus-t ... aster/boot

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:07 am

Ok ...I tried with mintstick ,that was read only , and I could not manage to make it read and write .
Then I used Rufus , so now I could write and made a directory " EFI "
Copied the file " bootia32.efi " and pasted it in the boot directory . ( I used the " executable file 607 KB , not the script)
Then placed the boot directory in to the EFI directory .

Started up :

Grub >

typed exit and the refind Menu opened .

So now I had the choice : OSX or Bootfallback or Linux Mint .
When I tried the Bootfallback or the Linux Mint ( the following appeared ):
Minimal bash-like line editing supported for the first word TAB lists possible command competions anywhere else TAB lists possible device or file competions
grub >

Did I oversee something or made a mistake ?

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:46 pm

Hmm...
you are getting to grub, so we are progressing. At least we are able to boot something from the USB.
Now what happens (if I understand correctly), is that grub is not finding its config file which tells it what linux kernel to boot etc.
Mount the USB stick, there should be only one partition, the one containing the EFI/Boot/bootia32.efi that you have put.
In the root of that partition, do you have boot/grub/ ? This should be a directory containing several grub files in particular grub.cfg. Do you have it ?

Pinokkio
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:50 am

I have one patition on this stick .

I made a new diretory "boot" ( root of the USB stick ) containing :
dir : grub containing 2 files ==> " grub.cfg " and " loopback.cfg "

Then I also have root : dir " EFI " containing ==> dir " boot " containing ==> bootia32.efi

Now with startup I fall in a non graphical menu ( like on the VAIO ) :

1) Linux mint start up ==> giving me a black screen in the end ; the stick stops flashing .
2) Linux mint compatibility ==> gave me a long list information about my system , I could not understand everything
3) Linux OEM manufacturers installer ==> did not try that
4) integrity check ( or something ) gave me a black screen
? There was no choice to start in OSX ( while on the Vaio , in this menu I can choose to start Win7 or Win 7 secure )

In one of the cases I had a warning core duo reaches it's treshold ( something to do with overheating )

I have also to mention that prior to above changes (when I fell in the graphical menu of refind ) and choose the Linux Mint instead of the Bootfallback .

The following message appeared :
The firmware refused to boot from the selected volume. Note that external hard drives are not well supported bu Apple's firmware for legacy booting .

Second remark : In the system preferences of OSX ==> startup disk there is no " refind " symbol nor the USB disk showing to startup from, exept the Mac HD and/or network to startup from .

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:09 am

The firmware refused to boot from the selected volume. Note that external hard drives are not well supported by Apple's firmware for legacy booting.
It means this old model is not able to boot a USB stick (or an external HD) in Legacy mode. (I got this also on a 2004 MacBook). Via USB, you have to boot in EFI mode.
Second remark : In the system preferences of OSX ==> startup disk there is no " refind " symbol nor the USB disk showing to startup from, exept the Mac HD and/or network to startup from.
That's normal. I get the same thing on my MacBookPro.
(to be fair, in principle it's possible to install refind in a manner that it appears in this preference pane, but I have never tried it. Bootable USB, be they for windows or Linux, will never appear in this pane however.)
1) Linux mint start up ==> giving me a black screen in the end ; the stick stops flashing .
before getting a black screen, did you get a splash screen with the green linux mint logo in the center ?
With 18.1 you may have five white/green dots below the logo.

I think linux is trying to boot, but fails towards the end, when wanting to start the X server (i.e. getting in graphical mode).
It's possible that cinnamon is a bit too much for this machine, or that it can't communicate with your graphic card for some reason. Try the Mate (or even lighter Xfce) desktop version.
I made a new diretory "boot" ( root of the USB stick ) containing :
dir : grub containing 2 files ==> " grub.cfg " and " loopback.cfg "
So they were not there originally ? Where did you get these files from ? The best is to take the whole boot/ directory from the live ISO (e.g. from Mint it's simple to mount the ISO to visualise the files inside, just double-clicking the ISO should open the archive manager which will give you the possibility to extract the files where you want). Also normally boot/grub contain other files other than the .cfg ones, they may be necessary.

I must say it's usually much easier to install Mint.

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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Pinokkio » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:11 pm

I tried the Mate ...did the integrity check and started all over .
Same result .
I fall in the grub and there it says something about TAB.
Whatever I typed no command possible for completion .

The boot/grub only shows 2 files :" grub.cfg " and " loopback.cfg "

How could I install it directly to the HD ... and would that help ?
Popping out the HD as Jaydemir suggested is a bridge to far for me .

Can a firewire HD do the thing ?

Quote : " I must say it's usually much easier to install Mint. " ==> indeed on the Vaio it was easy as a wistle !

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:52 am

Hum, this is becoming difficult indeed

When you get to a grub> prompt, the following guide can be useful :
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2 ... #grub.3E-1
i.e. enter the following command and press enter

Code: Select all

configfile /boot/grub/grub.cfg
(there is also the option to search manually for the root filesystem, but the examples given in the link are when linux is already installed on the hard drive, I'm not sure how that works for a live USB)

But anyway you are able to get to the grub menu on some occasions, if I understand well. So the problem is to boot the system afterwards.

The other options I see are :
- using a live DVD, but you say it doesnt work
- extracting the hard drive, putting it in a USB enclosure, installing linux on it from another computer (use the "something else" option in the installer to specify manually the partitions) without any driver, then putting the drive back in.
This guide explains how to replace the hard drive (if I'm not mistaken about your model) : https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pr ... cement/319

Indeed it's possible to start the machine in "target mode" (I think you need to connect to another machine via firewire and hold T during boot), i.e. as if it was a external hard drive. Maybe it's possible to use this to install from another machine, but I have never tried this, no guarantee.

Note that you need to make space on the hard drive for the linux install, and you need to do that from OSX, because last time I looked, linux tools are not able to resize hfs+ (the OSX filesystem) partitions.

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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:39 am

Recently someone on the forum posted this solution which would allow you to boot via CD/DVD :
https://mattgadient.com/2016/07/11/linu ... 06-models/
basically you remove the EFI part of the 64-bit ISO so that the CD/DVD is sure to boot in Legacy/BIOS mode. You can either directly download the LM18.1 ISO from that site (if you trust it), or run the C program provided on the ISO of your choice to generate a new one (scroll to the section "Converting the ISO" towards the end of the page).

The added advantage is that you will be able to run a 64-bit distro instead of 32-bit.
The disadvantage is that you will install in Legacy mode, so dual booting with OSX is trickier (single-boot is no problem, just format the hard drive in MBR). I have never done that, but read it works ok by using refind (or refit in the past) as your boot manager, and setting up the partitions for the linux install via Apple's bootcamp.

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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by nonkel » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:06 am

On a MacBook Pro i5 type: 8,1 13inch, early 2011, I managed to install Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon 64bit using Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/) on an USB-stick. Yumi (https://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-mult ... b-creator/) didn't work (MacBook seems to need an EFI). Use Windows to create both kinds of sticks.
Don't forget to press and hold the alt-key during start-up with USB stick in place.
You than get the choice to start up from the USB (with EFI).
Hope this might help someone.

fabien85
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by fabien85 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:56 am

Modern models like the MBP8,1 have a 64-bit EFI, so there is no particular problem in booting a linux live USB. On the contrary, the MBP2,1 of the op has a 32-bit EFI, which is not supported bootable by default with a linux live USB. That's what is making the difficulties of this thread.
e.g. you can compare the "EFI architecture" line in the specs of both models :
MBP2,1 : http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/m ... specs.html
MBP8,1 : http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/m ... specs.html

Rufus is indeed the program the most often recommended to burn a USB.

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Re: Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on Macbook Pro & Macbook

Post by Tomgin5 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:00 pm

Here is an option if your MacBook is an early one. I have resurrected several of the old white ones. This is one.

Code: Select all

oem@oem-MacBook2 ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: oem-MacBook2 Kernel: 3.19.0-32-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.2)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 2.8.8 (Gtk 3.10.8~8+qiana) Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: Apple product: MacBook2 1 v: 1.0
           Mobo: Apple model: Mac-F4208CAA v: PVT Bios: Apple v: MB21.88Z.00A5.B07.0706270922 date: 06/27/07
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core2 T7400 (-MCP-) cache: 4096 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 8644 
           clock speeds: max: 2167 MHz 1: 2000 MHz 2: 1000 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 945GM/GMS 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.17.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1280x800@59.9hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 945GM GLX Version: 1.4 Mesa 10.5.9 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.19.0-32-generic
Network:   Card-1: Marvell 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: sky2 v: 1.30 port: 1000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: eth1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR5418 Wireless Network Adapter [AR5008E 802.11(a)bgn] (PCI-Express)
           driver: ath9k bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlan1 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 160.0GB (4.6% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST9160412ASG size: 160.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 145G used: 5.1G (4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-0
           ID-2: /boot size: 236M used: 49M (22%) fs: ext2 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 2.01GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-1
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 68.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 158 Uptime: 29 min Memory: 687.4/1970.1MB Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28 
oem@oem-MacBook2 ~ $ 

What I did was insert the SATA drive into another (non apple) laptop, boot to a live USB LM 17.3 or 18,1 cinnamon 64 and do the basic install and change the computer type in the install.
When I turned off the computer for the reboot I left it off and moved the SATA drive to the MacBook and booted it. Connected to the wired on line router and continued the install.
You still need to push the alt/option button and select the hard drive on boot. :mrgreen:

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