Installing Linux on the MacBook Pro 8,2
This looks like it's going to be fun. The bad kind.
LiveCD on a USB stick won't boot on a MacBook Pro 8,2 - my thread on
the Fedora forum
- Apparently partitions want to be aligned to 512-sector boundaries on a Sandforce-controlled SSD.
What i did (pass 1):
- Used Boot Camp Assistant to partition the disk; i allocated half to
OS X and half to 'Windows'. I declined to actually install Windows once
the partitioning was done.
- Downloaded Fedora-15-x86_64-Live-Desktop.iso
to an existing Fedora (13) machine.
- Installed the livecd-tools
package on the Fedora machine.
- Put a suitable USB stick in the Fedora machine (it came up as
/dev/sdc1) and reformatted it with
mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdc1.
The reformatting probably wasn't necessary, in hindsight.
- Installed the LiveCD image on the stick with
livecd-iso-to-disk --mactel --format
/path/to/Fedora-15-x86_64-Live-Desktop.iso /dev/sdc (sdc rather
than sdc1 this time).
- Observed that the resulting stick was not mounted by either OS X or
Linux. Presumably, Linux doesn't like the lack of an MBR partition
table, and OS X is just being snotty.
- Plugged the stick into the Mac, and rebooted with option held down
to enter the boot manager.
The consensus seems to be that the steps are:
- Repartition the disk with Boot Camp (or Disk Utility - is there a
difference in the outcome?), creating a FAT32 partition.
- Use a Linux installer to destroy the FAT32 partition and create
something sensible (probably an ext4 root partition, and an LVM
partition for everything else)
- Install Linux
- Use rEFIt to sync the MBR and GPT (whatever that means)
Somewhere in there you install rEFIt.
I think it might actually be possible to do this more simply. The
important outcomes are (a) there are four partitions, viz EFI System
Partition (FAT32, actually), OS X (HFS+), /boot (ext4), / (LVM); (b)
that the disk has a valid hybrid GPT/MBR; (c) that there is some
software somewhere that can choose between OS X and /boot. Apparently,
the modern version of OS X's Disk Utility (and Boot Camp Assistant) will
create a proper hybrid GPT/MBR, and are capable of creating the
partitions. They presumably won't format them correctly, not knowing
about LVM and so on. So, you can do the partitioning and partition table
incantations in OS X, and then just install Linux (including
reformatting the partitions) onto them. As long as you don't repartition
from Linux, the Disk Utility-created GPT/MBR will be valid. The Mac's
normal firmware boot manager will then be able to find and start OS X
and Linux. Although apparently Linux will have a Windows icon. rEFIt
provides an alternative boot manager, but it's not necessary. At least,
that's my theory.
Mount everything noatime. Put /tmp on a tmpfs somehow.