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Howto: Install tinycore linux on a mac mini

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The harder Apple try to discourage or dare I say prevent anyone from booting Linux on their pc's. the harder we try to   foil them..

64 bit version of tc might boot easier from what I read


--- Quote from: Juanito on March 31, 2012, 10:58:12 AM ---I don't have a macbook pro, but as far as I know, you cannot boot a mac mini from usb stick

--- End quote ---

Just discovered I was wrong - I left a tc usb stick inserted and on (re)boot I must have tabbed to the wrong rEFIt icon and it booted.

The usb stick was one of my standard extlinux ext2 boot ones and had not been modified in any way for mac.

But rEFIt was installed..?  which can boot a fat partition?

rEFIt was not installed on the usb stick and the usb stick was formatted as a single ext2 partition. rEFIt is installed on an hfs+ partition (the second of the three partitions created by the mac os x installation).

Edit: and, for the purpose of clarity, I had not installed grub2-efi at the time I discovered rEFIt would boot tinycore from a usb stick.

One of the usb sticks I tried shows in rEFIt as a linux installation, the other as "legacy os" - perhaps this is connected with the version of syslinux used to set up the extlinux boot.

I gave grub-efi a try (via rEFIt) and it will boot tinycore, but the usb keyboard will not work.

Since the mac mini uses 64-bit efi, grub2 needs to be compiled like this:
--- Code: ---$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --with-platform=efi --target=x86_64
--- End code ---

..and then make grub-efi as follows:
--- Code: ---$ x86_64-grub-mkimage -O x86_64-efi -d /usr/local/lib/x86_64-grub/x86_64-efi -o grub.efi -p "" part_gpt part_msdos hfsplus fat ext2 normal chain boot configfile linux multiboot pci lspci setpci usb_keyboard efi_gop ohci uhci usb video
--- End code ---

To access the efi partition on the mac mini, I was obliged to borrow hfsprogs from debian in order to be able to mount the journalled hfs+ partition, then:
--- Code: ---$ sudo mount -o force /dev/sda2
$ sudo mkdir /mnt/sda2/efi/grub
$ sudo cp grub.efi /mnt/sda2/efi/grub
$ sudo cp /usr/local/lib/x86_64-grub/x86_64-efi/*.mod /mnt/sda2/efi/grub
$ sudo cp /usr/local/lib/x86_64-grub/x86_64-efi/*.lst /mnt/sda2/efi/grub
--- End code ---

..and then copied this grub.cfg to /mnt/sda2/efi/grub:
--- Code: ---menuentry "core64" {
  search --file --no-floppy --set=root /boot/vmlinuz64
  setpci -s 00:1f.2 90.b=60 [suggestion from coreplayer2 to enable ahci mode for the hd]
  linux /boot/vmlinuz64 root=/dev/sda4 quiet noswap tce=sda4 tz=GMT-4 host=macminitc syslog blacklist=bcma blacklist=ssb blacklist=b43 text
  initrd /boot/core64.gz
--- End code ---

..after all this, on reboot a new "3 coloured boxes" icon appears in rEFIt for grub2 and the mac mini boots but with a dead usb keyboard and the following error:
--- Code: ---udevadm settle - timeout of 5 seconds reached, the event queue contains:
--- End code ---

The hd interface is very quick in ahci mode, I wonder if this might be the problem


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