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  #1  
Old 23rd November 2011, 10:32 AM
Soulstorm Offline
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macossafari
Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

I must say, I love Fedora. I have Fedora since 14, and dual booted in my MacBook pro and recently iMac. Problems arose when tried to install Fedora 16.

Preupgrade failed, and resulted in an unbootable disk. Tried reinstalling 2 times, both from a Live CD and an installation DVD, and in both machines an error about installing the boot loader appeared at the end of the installation.

Been messing with this problem following advice from other Mac users that have this problem for hours, with no result. I ended up completely destroying my EFI partition on my laptop (which doesn't exist anymore!!), and now I will do a complete format and install OS X from scratch (praise Apple and Time machine, I won't lose my work!).

However, I am determined to install Fedora 16. I really need dual boot for OS X and Fedora for my work, and I don't want to be forced to install Ubuntu (which, btw installs just fine on both my machines, without problem) because I don't like it at all for many reasons.

I'm going for a complete format on my HD, so if there is anyone who can help me overcome this boot loader problem by doing anything during reformat and reinstall OS X and Fedora 16, I would appreciate it. Are the Fedora folks aware of this problem and intend to release an installation media at a later date that will resolve this problem? I have seen that bugzilla is filled with Mac users reporting the same thing when trying to dual boot OS X and Fedora.

My laptop is a MacBookPro5,5 and Lion. I use rEFIt.

Last edited by Soulstorm; 23rd November 2011 at 10:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 23rd November 2011, 07:59 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

Most likely problem and later in the bug is a test case for a work around that you can adapt to your situation:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=746901



Additional problem if you received an error installing bootloader during installation:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=746885

The work around for this is in another thread on this forum, I'll see if I can find it and update.

---------- Post added at 11:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:48 AM ----------

http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...26504#poststop

The first part of this related to getting the hybrid MBR sorted out. rEFIt has a gptsync option which might be able to do this for you instead of gdisk but because hybrid MBRs are dangerous, I prefer using gdisk and don't use rEFIt at all anymore.

The second part is how you fix the "error installing the bootloader" problem, by reinstalling the bootloader.

---------- Post added at 11:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:54 AM ----------

Also, if you are going to reinstall Mac OS X anyway, my suggestion is that you use Disk Utility from a Mac OS X install DVD to partition the disk with two partitions. The first partition will be how much space to dedicate to Mac OS, and the 2nd partition for Fedora which you get set to Free Space instead of a particular volume format.

There is no advantage to using Bootcamp to do this for you.

When installing Fedora you can then use the "Use Free Space" option, which will find the free partition and create its default partitions: BIOS Boot, linux boot, linux root.
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  #3  
Old 24th November 2011, 02:57 PM
makuz Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

I would second what Chris said about partitioning with Disk Utility and forget BootCamp and rEFIt.

The only thing I was not able to do with this setup is booting up automatically the linux partition. With the rEFIt method this could be done by selecting the partition in Startup Disk in OS X, but with this setup OS X cannot see this partition for some reason.
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  #4  
Old 24th November 2011, 09:52 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

Quote:
Originally Posted by makuz View Post
With the rEFIt method this could be done by selecting the partition in Startup Disk in OS X, but with this setup OS X cannot see this partition for some reason.
When you say "Startup Disk" are you referring to the option-key at poweron menu? Or do you mean the System Preferences>Startup Disk panel? I have never seen, with or without rEFIt, an option for any linux distro, in the latter.

Without rEFIt, at startup using the option key, I get a menu with two disk icons. One is labeled the same as my Mac OS X volume name. The other is labeled "Windows". That label is code for two utterly confusing things for Mac users: 1.) That the resulting boot will be CSM/BIOS based, not pure EFI. And 2.) it's a gateway to your chosen bootloader: in my case that's GRUB2. Once I'm in GRUB2 I can boot multiple instances of linux or Windows if they are installed, as grub2-mkconfig by default uses an os-prober that will find any installed OS's that it supports and add them to your grub.cfg so they appear in the Grub menu.

That said, I'm pretty pissed off about booting in general. It's way too complicated. And it's only getting worse as we have four kinds of firmware now to understand: EFI, UEFI, (U)EFI+CSM/BIOS (emulation), and legacy BIOS. And Apple has made this difficult by having a non-standard proprietary EFI implementation that really only Mac OS X supports. And as our other option for foreign OS's is a weak CSM/BIOS implementation that cripples the hardware (piss poor battery life, no USB booting) even if it is the most compatible option at present.

Every instance of these firmwares will produce different booting behaviors, and versions within them even can cause different boot behavior. Adding partitioning scheme madness and it's just excessive even for advanced users.
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  #5  
Old 25th November 2011, 12:35 PM
makuz Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismurphy View Post
When you say "Startup Disk" are you referring to the option-key at poweron menu? Or do you mean the System Preferences>Startup Disk panel? I have never seen, with or without rEFIt, an option for any linux distro, in the latter.
I was referring to the System Preferences->Startup Disk panel. I have seen the linux partition showing up there on machines in the past. This might be because they were installed with BootCamp. So you think it is not possible to set the default startup disk to linux with this setup?
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  #6  
Old 25th November 2011, 08:45 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

I don't know I haven't even attempted it. It might be possible to do this with the bless command pointed to grub.efi (renamed to BOOTX64.efi and placed on the EFI System Partition in EFI/BOOT/) but I haven't tried this.

A cop out answer, but one I have little doubt Apple would propose, is why would you want any OS other than Mac OS to be the default? They haven't exactly made it easy to support foreign OS's on their hardware. Note how with 10.6.6 they entirely dropped XP and Vista support. You have to have Windows 7 now with Boot Camp. Some might call it constrained to what they want to support, I consider it hostile to foreign OS's. Apple isn't some dinky company.

---------- Post added at 04:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 AM ----------

And just to avoid confusion, grub.efi would mean figuring out how to do a pure EFI boot on Apple hardware. I've only managed to get this working in text only mode, on one of two Macbook Pros (a 4,1). Chances are you're using the CSM/BIOS, and I don't know of a way to make that kind of boot mode default unless it's the only operating system available.

---------- Post added at 12:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:41 AM ----------

OK so I just installed Windows on a 2008 MacbookPro 4,1 and without me having done anything to change the default startup is now Windows. I did not prepare the drive in advance with bootcamp, instead I used gdisk to produce 7 partitions (I'm attempting a triple boot test setup). So somehow the Windows installer asked BIOS to set a startup disk? And then through the CSM, Apple's EFI changes the startup disk to Windows by default?

If I hold down the option key at startup, the highlighted disk icon is Windows.

If I choose the Mac OS icon, and go into System Preferences > Startup Disk, again Windows is the selected disk.

So it is possible.
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  #7  
Old 29th November 2011, 05:35 PM
whiphubley Offline
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

Glad to hear people are discussing this at last.

I had the exact same issue - have been dual-booting OS X and Fedora on MacBookPro5,5 for a number of versions and updating via PreUpgrade. But the jump to F16 failed and a fresh install just ended with the "boot loader was not installed" error and GRUB appearing in a loop each time I tried to boot.

I tried everything I could to get it to work (I'm a reasonably adept Linux user) but to no avail - in fact I've switched to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for now as it "just works".

This is a shame as I'd very much like to be running Fedora but for now I have no choice.

I'll be reading the posts noted in this thread and hopefully get it sorted at some point.

Let's keep this updated and provide a definitive solution for others out there if possible.

---------- Post added at 04:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:17 PM ----------

I notice that at no point either here or in the bugzilla solution is it mentioned where to choose to install the bootloader - the MBR of the disk or the first sector of the root partition.

Can someone please advise ?
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  #8  
Old 29th November 2011, 08:52 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Macbook and Intel iMac 2011 both non-bootable

If you check the 2nd post I list how to deal with the bootloader was not installed problem, and also how to create a hybrid MBR so that Apple hardware will honor booting.

Ubuntu is probably creating a hybrid MBR automatically. Since I don't use it, I'm not sure if they're doing this in every case, or just with Apple hardware.

Regarding where to install GRUB2, in any installation on Apple hardware that I have done, the installer creates a BIOS Boot partition of 1MB. If you install the bootloader to a whole disk, i.e. /dev/sda, not a partition, i.e. /dev/sda1, then only a tiny bit of code is placed in the first ~440 bytes of the disk (in the MBR) and the rest automatically is placed in BIOS Boot. This is the most reliable.

I read many people having boot problems when they are installing the bootloader in the first sector of the boot partition. It never seemed like a good idea to me.
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