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Re: Installing Linux on a Mac Mini without OSX

On Thu, Dec 04, 2014 at 01:25:37PM -0500, Brian Sammon wrote:
> I was recently given a Mac Mini (Intel Mid 2007) that had been wiped.
> I tried to install Debian (Wheezy) on it, and the installer reported success, but 
> when it came time to eject and reboot, Debian didn't boot from the hard drive.
> Googling finds me various pages about installing Linux where one of the steps is something like "Boot into OSX"
> Is there a way to install Debian/Linux on this machine that doesn't involve buying or borrowing (or "borrowing") a copy of OSX?  Is it easier to install linux on a USB disk and run it off of that?
> Two particular subtasks that I may need to do that seem to require OSX:
> 1) "Blessing" a partition
> 2) Checking what version of firmware it has (some versions have BIOS
>    compatibility)
> Any pointers/suggestions?

I saw similar behavior installing on more recent Mac Minis.  There, the issue
was that the Mac firmware's idea of the boot sequence didn't match Debian's.

I wound up solving this by installing rEFInd (from
) , though not always the same way.  You'd presumably need to install it
to the EFI partition if you don't have a Mac partition.  I think it's also
possible to get Grub or even the Linux Kernel set up to boot as the EFI
loader, but I stopped trying that after I got booting to work reliably.

It should be possible to boot the Debian installer in rescue mode, get a
shell, and do the install from there.

Jon Leonard

> I'm also looking into PureDarwin as a possible solution.
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