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Progress report on CodeFestAkihabara, macbook Debian installation experience


> Worst case: You have to abuse the firmware update released to facilitate 
> Boot camp, and have that boot normal lilo.
> Perhaps not as nice as having EFI boot a bootload, or running a bootloader 
> as an EFI application, but
> I think that is what most people are currently doing.

I've tried actual installation and have a functional setup.

Here is the current situation:

0. you can reduce the MacOSX partition size using Mac OSX "diskutil"

$ sudo diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 20G

1. you can mostly install your system using debian-installer.  cdrom
   boot is possible by holding down "C" key.

2. Installing the bootloader in d-i will fail.  Current choice is
  elilo, grub and lilo, out of which they all fail after you have
  modified GPT partition, since it'll go out of sync with MBR.

  We probably need a phase to sync GPT->MBR here in d-i.

  Current work around is to reboot into rEFIt and run gptsync, and
  then run d-i from CDROM, and then configure the bootloader.

3. gptsync(rEFIt) seems to create paritions that look like FAT (I
  don't know why this has to be the case), and will only create up to
  4 paritions due to obvious constraints.  (you can check with fdisk

for /proc/partitions:
major minor  #blocks  name

   8     0   78150744 sda
   8     1     204800 sda1
   8     2   20971520 sda2
   8     3     976563 sda3
   8     4   19531250 sda4
   8     5    2929688 sda5

# fdisk -l  (MBR) will see:
Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1          26      204819+  ee  EFI GPT
/dev/sda2              26        2637    20971520   af  Unknown
/dev/sda3   *        2637        2758      976563   ef  EFI (FAT-12/16/32)
/dev/sda4            2758        5190    19531250+  ef  EFI (FAT-12/16/32)

4. However hard I tried I have not yet gotten elilo to work. It
doesn't seem to be able to load the kernel; it seems to stop after
starting to try loading the kernel.

5. grub doesn't seem to want to work. It probably is due to the fact
   that the MBR partition table claims partition type is all FAT, and
   grub is confused about it.

6. installing lilo to partition will work. Installing lilo to MBR is
   most probably not going to work.

7. If you have rEFIt, you can boot from USB devices etc. If you chose
   that way things are really simple since you can use FAT
   partitioning, which our existing tools (grub/lilo) function
   properly with.

8. to get rEFIt to work, you will need to locate the files and "bless"
  it with "bless" command in MacOSX. The command doesn't seem to
  affect the nvram parameters, so it's most probably changing
  something in the hfsplus filesystem.

9. The current working bootloading procedure is:
  rEFIt -> lilo -> linux kernel
  rEFIt -> MacOSX

10. It is possible to use rEFIt on CDROM, which is useful for rescue

I'm feeling quite stuck since it is impossible to install Debian
without either an external storage or a MacOSX installation.

dancer@{debian.org,netfort.gr.jp}   Debian Project

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