Discussion:
Looking for Debian unofficial install for mac with firmware...
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Rick Thomas
2020-02-10 11:40:02 UTC
Permalink
For a friend...

Does there exist a Buster Debian amd64 installer for mac with non-free firmware?

He has a been given a 2006 vintage quad core MacPro1,1
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/specs/mac-pro-quad-3.0-specs.html
That he'd like to get Linux running on.

A live image for the same would be nice too!

Thanks in advance,
Rick
Rick Thomas
2020-02-10 11:40:02 UTC
Permalink
I notice that the webpage at
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.3.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-cd/
mentions a mac image as if it *should* be there, but it's not in the list of files. Is that an oversight, or was there a conscious decision to drop "mac" support with 10.3 ?
Post by Rick Thomas
For a friend...
Does there exist a Buster Debian amd64 installer for mac with non-free firmware?
He has a been given a 2006 vintage quad core MacPro1,1
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/specs/mac-pro-quad-3.0-specs.html
That he'd like to get Linux running on.
A live image for the same would be nice too!
Thanks in advance,
Rick
Thomas Schmitt
2020-02-10 12:40:01 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Rick Thomas
I notice that the webpage at
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmw
are/10.3.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-cd/
mentions a mac image as if it *should* be there, but it's not in the list of
files.
As that text says, the "mac" ISOs do/did not contain anything extra
but rather lack/lacked of UEFI boot entry points and of any UEFI boot
software.
Some MAC firmwares are said to take offense from UEFI bootable ISOs.
Simply try whether yours is among them.
If any mentioning of "Debian" appears, then your machine needs no "mac" ISO.

If the Mac does not recognize the medium with the Debian "firmware" ISO,
then you could try whether
https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-cd/debian-mac-10.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso
at least gets to some "Debian" screen.

If so, then next step would to convert
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.3.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-cd/firmware-10.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso
into a "mac" variant.

The UEFI boot entry points of Debian amd64 ISOs are:

- For USB stick a partition of type 0xef in an MBR partition table
The partition table entry can be deleted on USB stick by a partition
editor.
(Unless the partition editor problems of Jon Magee appear ...)

- For CD/DVD an El Torito catalog entry.
We could try questionable surgery on byte level, or you could repack
the ISO according to the example in

https://wiki.debian.org/RepackBootableISO#Determine_those_options_which_need_to_be_adapted_on_amd64_or_i386

but with the mount point of firmware-10.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso as content
of variable new_files:

orig_iso="$HOME"/firmware-10.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso
sudo mkdir /mnt/iso
sudo mount "$orig_iso" /mnt/iso
new_files=/mnt/iso
new_iso="$HOME"/firmware-mac-10.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso

and without the xorriso options which create the UEFI boot entry points:

-eltorito-alt-boot \
-e boot/grub/efi.img \
-no-emul-boot -isohybrid-gpt-basdat -isohybrid-apm-hfsplus \


Have a nice day :)

Thomas
Stefan Monnier
2020-02-10 14:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Schmitt
As that text says, the "mac" ISOs do/did not contain anything extra
but rather lack/lacked of UEFI boot entry points and of any UEFI boot
software. Some MAC firmwares are said to take offense from UEFI
bootable ISOs. Simply try whether yours is among them. If any
mentioning of "Debian" appears, then your machine needs no "mac" ISO.
I suspect that if you use something like `refit`, you can select the
"BIOS" aka "windows" aka "BootCamp" boot option which will should obey
the old MBR-based boot.

So just take a standard Debian install image (on USB or CD or HDD) and
if that fails to work, try it again by booting via refit.


Stefan
Steve McIntyre
2020-02-10 13:00:01 UTC
Permalink
Hi Rick,
Post by Rick Thomas
For a friend...
Does there exist a Buster Debian amd64 installer for mac with non-free firmware?
He has a been given a 2006 vintage quad core MacPro1,1
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/specs/mac-pro-quad-3.0-specs.html
That he'd like to get Linux running on.
Sorry, we've never made a firmware-included version of the
Mac-specific installer image.

Does that machine actually *need* that particular combination? The
mac-specific image is only there for a small number of macs whose
firmware can't cope with both BIOS and UEFI boot machinery in the same
image. It's worth testing with a normal image first. We try *not* to
build a complete matrix of every possible image type with all options,
purely for logistical reasons.
Post by Rick Thomas
A live image for the same would be nice too!
Again, that's a lot of effort for a tiny number of possible users at
this point. Sorry.
Post by Rick Thomas
I notice that the webpage at
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.3.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-cd/
mentions a mac image as if it *should* be there, but it's not in the
list of files. Is that an oversight, or was there a conscious
decision to drop "mac" support with 10.3 ?
Oops, no. I think that's a bug in the code that generates that web
page. I'll fix that now.
--
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK. ***@einval.com
"I can't ever sleep on planes ... call it irrational if you like, but I'm
afraid I'll miss my stop" -- Vivek Das Mohapatra
Yvan Masson
2020-02-11 07:30:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rick Thomas
For a friend...
Does there exist a Buster Debian amd64 installer for mac with non-free firmware?
He has a been given a 2006 vintage quad core MacPro1,1
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/specs/mac-pro-quad-3.0-specs.html
That he'd like to get Linux running on.
A live image for the same would be nice too!
Thanks in advance,
Rick
Another solution that might be easier (I already had to do it once,
maybe for the exact same Mac model that did'nt want to boot the installer):
- remove the hard drive from the Mac
- put it in another computer
- install Debian as usual
- put the hard drive back in the Mac
- boot!

Yvan

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