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  #1  
Old 12th September 2012, 02:10 PM
esok Offline
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Posts: 30
linuxfedorafirefox
Fedora 17 on Mac Mini 5,1?

I have been trying to boot the Fedora 17 installer on my 2011 Mac Mini (model MacMini5,1) without success. Has anyone else attempted this? I am using the network installer, I downloaded the iso and copied it to a USB drive. The boot begins but then hangs partway through the installation. Many messages are shown, and although the exact messages vary from boot to boot here are the last messages I usually see:

Starting Remount Root FS...
Started Remount Root FS
Starting Configure read-only root support...
Starting Tell Plymouth To Write Out Runtime Data...
Starting Load Random Seed...
Started Import network configuration from initramfs
Started Tell Plymouth To Write Out Runtime Data
Started Load Random Seed
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  #2  
Old 13th September 2012, 01:43 AM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora 17 on Mac Mini 5,1?

At the startup chime, hold the option key so you get the boot selection menu. Your USB stick should have several options. Don't choose the Windows option. The correct option is either labeled EFI Boot, or Fedora Media. You should get GRUB Legacy (EFI) as the bootloader.

If you edit the GRUB menu entry to boot Fedora, and delete quiet and rhgb, you may see more information that tells you what it's getting hung up on. You may need to experiment with various kernel parameters. Try noapic for starters.
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  #3  
Old 13th September 2012, 06:19 PM
esok Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 17 on Mac Mini 5,1?

I have tried a few more things and have gotten further.

I tried to boot the x86_64 Live Fedora 17 distribution from EFI and was able to get that to work. When I installed Fedora on the hard drive this way, I was able to get a completely working system, including the accelerated proprietary ATI driver from rpmfusion. However, this method is pretty labor-intense, and I need to install on 40+ machines.

I next tried to boot the x86_64 Net Installer from a DVD instead of USB. There are three icons to choose from, "Fedora Media" with the fedora logo, "Windows" with a generic logo, and "EFI boot" with a generic disk logo. I suspected that I would get further using the "Windows" boot, forcing the use of BIOS emulation instead of EFI, and it boots and installs, but I get something wacky when trying to install the proprietary catalyst drivers from RPMfusion. The screen comes up blank, but if I switch to an alternate console with ctrl-alt-F2 and back again with ctrl-alt-F1, I get a blank screen with a mouse pointer. No errors were reported in the log file. It also looks like the frame buffer is detected incorrectly since the virtual consoles start about 20% to the right and below the actual corner of the screen. Uninstalling the catalyst driver gets it back to normal. For my application I really need the accelerated driver.

I will next try to install using the Fedora Media icon and the other one from the CD.

One thing common to many of the attempts I'm making is that after Fedora installs I have to fix the MBR using gdisk, creating a hybrid GPT/MBR partition table with just the important Linux partitions in the MBR part.

Edit:

I tried using the "noapic" command but the behavior is worse, I get lots of Call Trace messages and no booting. I also tried the other images on the Fedora 17 netinstall DVD and USB drive without success.

Last edited by esok; 13th September 2012 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Further tests
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  #4  
Old 13th September 2012, 09:10 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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Posts: 970
macoschrome
Re: Fedora 17 on Mac Mini 5,1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by esok View Post
However, this method is pretty labor-intense, and I need to install on 40+ machines.
Sounds like a job for your own kickstart. I think this is easier to do in F18 because you can configure anaconda the way you want, and cause it to export a kickstart file, I think. But I haven't tried it myself. Of course F18 is not yet alpha.

Quote:
I suspected that I would get further using the "Windows" boot, forcing the use of BIOS emulation instead of EFI, and it boots and installs, but I get something wacky when trying to install the proprietary catalyst drivers from RPMfusion.
Plus this relies on a hybrid MBR, which is a PITA.

Quote:
I will next try to install using the Fedora Media icon and the other one from the CD.
Fedora Media uses EFI boot. And EFI Boot also is EFI boot. If one doesn't work try the other. By "doesn't work" I mean, you'll know it right away, you don't even have to do an installation. If you get to anaconda, it worked.

Quote:
One thing common to many of the attempts I'm making is that after Fedora installs I have to fix the MBR using gdisk, creating a hybrid GPT/MBR partition table with just the important Linux partitions in the MBR part.
Yes. PITA. Flakey.


Quote:
I tried using the "noapic" command but the behavior is worse, I get lots of Call Trace messages and no booting. I also tried the other images on the Fedora 17 netinstall DVD and USB drive without success.
You might go to the Fedora Devel mailing list and search for mac mini. I vaguely recall someone testing a mini during testing, there might be other kernel parameters suggestions in the archives.

If not... you're bleeding edge as it is because Apple hardware isn't supported by the Fedora Project. But they are actively working in improving support by getting native EFI boot working so that we don't have the net worse situation of depending on the CSM and hybrid MBR. So you could consider testing Fedora 18 once alpha or beta are released and provide detailed feedback on the devel list if you're willing to test builds every few days.
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