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Re: Installing debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso on a partition of a Macbook 5,2

On 21.01.2014 04:34, Alexandros Drymonitis wrote:
> Hi,
> New to this list and Debian (and rather new to Linux as well). I'm on a
> Macbook 5,2 with a partitioned hard drive with OS X and (now) free
> space. I used to have Ubuntu 12.04 installed but I want to switch to
> Debian. I tried to install Debian wheezy 7.2 from a liveCD but the
> graphical installed couldn't install Grub on any partition of the hard
> drive, not even the MBR.

Usually graphical installers cater for the common case or the most
common exceptions. Even though the computers from Apple are quite
popular nowadays they are by no means the easiest of environments to get
a GNU/Linux system set up. If the graphical installer doesn't cover your
use case you might have to opt for command line tools.

That said, I myself have a Macbook 5,1 with rEFInd (a fork of rEFIt) a
hybrid GPT/MBR partition table and GRUB 2 installed to the partition
with the GNU/Linux system. The particular system I have now is not
Debian but I had that too previously.

> From the Pure Data list I was 'advised' to try Debian-testing from here
> <http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/daily-builds/daily/arch-latest/amd64/iso-cd/>,
> but during installation I was asked to specify a place for EFI. I have
> installed rEFIt <http://refit.sourceforge.net/> on my laptop as I
> followed this
> <http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/08/how-to-dual-boot-linux-on-your-mac/>
> tutorial on dual booting a Mac with Linux, so I thought that the
> partition where rEFIt lies should be the one to install EFI, but I'm
> really not sure if this is the right thing to do, so thought of asking here.
> Another thing is that even though in the Disk Utility app I've deleted
> all partitions except from the Macintosh and the Recovery HD, the
> graphical installer of Debian sees the following partitions:
> sda1: EFI
> sda2: Macintosh
> sda3: Recovery HD
> sda4: some ext4 I think
> sda5: free space for Debian
> sda6: swap area

What's on sda4? It shouldn't be anything Mac OS X is using at least. Is
that leftovers from the previous Ubuntu install? You mentioned that you
have a MBR which would imply that you ran the tool included with rEFIt
to create a hybrid GPT/MBR partition table. The MBR is limited to four
primary partitions, so that is one possible reason why you couldn't
install GRUB in sda5, if you tried that.

> Since sda1 is EFI, I guess that's where I should install it, but thought
> of asking before I give it a try, since I don't know that much about
> computers and I don't want to mess up my laptop completely.

From what I've read, you should be able to boot a GNU/Linux system with
EFI, but I don't have any personal experience with that, so I can't
really help you with that.

Overall, if you have some specific error messages you got, sharing those
would be most helpfull. Also could you reiterate step by step what you
tried, and at which points something different from what you expected
happened (again including the error messages).

Daniel Landau

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