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Re: Installing a bootloader on a Mac Mini without OSX

On Thu, 4 Dec 2014 13:25:37 -0500
Brian Sammon <debian-users-list@brisammon.fastmail.fm> wrote:

> 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?

Status report:
I've tried the i386 install (v7.7) CD multiple times and I've tried having it put GRUB on the MBR and on the partition and neither way resulted in a bootable install.
The Wheezy 7.7 amd64 install CD doesn't boot at all.  Appears to be the same issue as bug #744959:
I found a Lenny amd64 install CD, and it boots, but with no better results than the Wheezy i386 install CD.
Ubuntu has IntelMac-specific ISOs, I'll probably try one of those soon.

> Two particular subtasks that I may need to do that seem to require OSX:
> 1) "Blessing" a partition

Still learning about this, but it appears that there are non-OSX options

> 2) Checking what version of firmware it has (some versions have BIOS
>    compatibility)

I've been playing with a rEFInd (http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/) boot CD and it has a function for reporting your firmware version.
Also, Apple's website doesn't list any firmware updates for my 2007 Mac Mini, so this is a moot point in my case.

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