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#1 2013-05-14 16:36:32

rwsChris
#! Member
From: Stamford, CT, US
Registered: 2012-12-31
Posts: 61

Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

I noticed most of my searches here about installing a dualboot Crunchbang on a Macbook Pro involve rEFIt. I had a terrible time getting that to work. So I used rEFInd instead. This guide about Ubuntu gave me the general guidelines to sort out what I needed to do. The takeaways: Skip GRUB during #! install; using a live session, copy Kernel and RAM Disk Image files from /boot to Dropbox or flashdrive; copy the files to /EFI in OS X; configure rEFInd in OS X. The details are in the guide.

I hope this helps anyone else trying to sort out similar Macbook Pro dualboot issues.

(By the way I was sorting this out on my MBP 7,1. So it works on more than just the Retina in the guide.)

###
Update from 2014/11/14

If your MBP is running Yosemite, you may have some bootloader problems. See the rEFInd website.

You may also like to see some installation pointers on the Debian wiki for the following MBP models 11-1, 10-2, 9-2, 9-1, 7-1, 5-5, 5-3, and 5-1.

###

Update from down thread on 2014/05/17:

epar wrote:

For future reference.

I had a bit of a fight installing #! with Refind on an old iMac today. Most of the guides online use Refit, but just as the OP I decided that I really wanted to go with Refind since Refit isn't being maintained anymore and Refind should be able to do native EFI booting. It took me a while, but following the instructions in the OP's post I got OS X and #! to dual boot without the need for GRUB.

It's gotten even easier than when this was originally posted. Basically follow steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 from the updated post OP linked to (http://randomtutor.blogspot.com/2014/01 … ro_19.html). Make sure to install Refind with the --alldrivers option, and substitute all the Ubuntu stuff for #!. Install #! without GRUB and restart your computer and Refind should automagically find #! and recognize it as a Debian distro!

I'm testing #! now, but everything seems to be working perfectly.

###
Update from 2015/01/19

nwjlyons posts about a rEFInd theme:

nwjlyons wrote:

If you're dual booting using rEFInd I recommend installing this minimal theme http://evanpurkhiser.com/rEFInd-minimal/. Looks so much nicer than the default one.

Last edited by rwsChris (2015-01-19 13:48:55)

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#2 2013-05-28 17:26:25

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Strange, I can report that my install went relatively smooth. I didn’t notice anything specific that crunchbang waldorf required. Here is a short write-up of what I did to get to a dual boot, including a few hiccups along the way:

1 - Making room for crunchbang
I shrinked my Mac partition to about 75GB with about 175GB available for a new crunchbang install. Relatively easy to do by booting into OS X and shrinking the OS X partition using the OS X disc tool.
I was off to a bad start here. I’m not sure why but I actually had my Macbook hang at the end of the operation leaving a bit of a mess. Running disk repair from OS X didn’t help. I had to reboot via the Mac install CD and run disk repair after which everything was as it should be. My guess is this is a glitch in the OS X disk utility: not pleasant but not related to crunchbang.

2 - Install an EFI bootloader
The boot process of the Mac is quite specific, you need a specific bootloader to boot something else than OS X. I went with rEFIt. Download and install it while in OS X. Afterward you’ll notice a shiny new menu while booting. It is a while ago but I can't remember any difficulty setting this up.
(sorry rwsChris :-) not a terrible time for me, one tricky bit after the install of Grub, check below)

3 - Install Walldorf
Get the latest Waldorf image and burn it to a disc. Convincing the MacBook to boot from cd is easy by holding the ‘c’ key during the boot process. Go through the installation, there is two things to pay attention to

  • Go for manual partitioning: I used 12GB for /, 4GB for swap and then about 50GB for home. On the partition for / I set the bootable flag to on.

  • Installing Grub: After installing #! the installer will ask where to install Grub. I installed it on /dev/sda which is the master boot of the disc.

4 Reboot, run rEFIt partition tool & reboot
You’ll notice that refit now shows you a nice tux pinguin next to the OS X apple. If you try booting the new Walldorf install you will run into an error. My machine said “No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key” Oops :-)
Not to worry, reboot the system and in the refit menu select the option “Start Partitioning Tool” this enables rEFIt to properly detect the newly installed crunchbang system. It will propose to rewrite the MBR partition table, hit “y” to accept. At this point reboot your system again (rEFIt needs to reload the partition table).
Select our friend tux again and you should see a Grub loading screen which will boot you into crunchBang.

You should now have a dual boot system.

Edit: a few posts lower you'll find some pointers by rwsChris on how to set up Nvidia drivers.

Last edited by Frostlock (2013-06-17 17:50:26)

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#3 2013-05-29 17:14:47

Poohblah
Member
Registered: 2013-05-29
Posts: 13

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

I have to say that my experience was on par with Frostlock's. Install was pretty straightforward after I installed an EFI bootloader. I used rEFInd rather than rEFIt though.

But since I also have a Windows partition, I needed to edit the MBR a little more heavily than is possible with rEFIt, since Windows seems to lean rather heavily on MBR tables. To accomplish this, I used a tool called "GPT fdisk". The only "gotcha" is that I have to run this tool everytime I re-format a partition on the drive (which, after I get things properly set up, should be a rare event).

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#4 2013-05-30 10:42:15

silince
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-07-22
Posts: 166

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

How does it cope with fonts/peripherals etc? Any screenshots?

Last edited by silince (2013-05-30 10:42:31)


Debian Wheezy on VeryPC Low Energy Desktop | Elementary on Lenovo Thinkpad SL510 | #! on Lenovo Ideapad S205 | Raspbmc on Pi | Linux Mint 17 XFCE on Lenovo W530.

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#5 2013-05-30 14:49:05

rwsChris
#! Member
From: Stamford, CT, US
Registered: 2012-12-31
Posts: 61

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Thanks for your notes, Frostshock and Poohblah. Part of the reason I went along with rEFInd is that it is currently maintained, whereas, I think, rEFIt is no longer maintained. At any rate, perhaps that shouldn't be a factor in deciding whether to use it.

Everything runs smoothly. However, I cannot update the nVidia proprietarty driver, as evidently it requires something from BIOS and I'm afraid I'm too much of a novice to fix it. Apparently, nVidia does not play nice with EFI in any distro. Nouveau works fine, but it's a big drain on battery. I get about half the battery life in #! as I do on OS X.

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#6 2013-05-30 15:50:12

Poohblah
Member
Registered: 2013-05-29
Posts: 13

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

rwsChris, I don't see why nVidia drivers should have any issue with the bootloader you're using. Graphics drivers can be a pain, but I think you should be able to get them working. I would offer to try to help, but I don't have experience with graphics drivers myself (here at work, we use nVidia drivers on Linux boxes, but we also have the drivers auto-updated by a custom script that is run during bootup so that we avoid touching them as much as possible big_smile ).

Also, I'm not surprised that your battery life is lower while using Linux than OS X. This is my experience as well and it seems to be a common theme with Linux builds on Apple laptops (according to what I've gathered from the Internet). I suspect the reason is that Apple, with its near-infinite resources, is able to build a kernel that works much more smoothly with its hardware than the Linux kernel ever could.

silince wrote:

How does it cope with fonts/peripherals etc? Any screenshots?

The touchpad works pretty well. Out of the box, it's super sensitive, but the synclient and synaptics tools that come with #! are pretty flexible and I was able to enable tap-to-click and dial down the sensitivity. The only thing missing that I wish I had are three-finger drag and four-finger workspace switching like you can enable in OS X. The three-finger middle click, however, is wonderful and a great improvement over OS X where there is no middle click support on the trackpad. It makes copypasta way easier with the trackpad big_smile Thunderbolt (as near as I can tell) is not supported. The thunderbolt to ethernet adapter that I attempted to use two days ago did jack squat. USB peripherals work out of the box without any problems. There don't seem to be any issues with fonts, though I haven't yet installed my own, only switched around from the defaults. Openbox works perfectly with my Air's keyboard layout (i.e. the backlight, volume, power, etc. buttons work as expected), i3 requires some tweaking. I don't have any peripherals to test besides an external CD drive, so that's about all I can offer for the moment. I may get some screenshots up but I have other things to focus on right now. Like work  wink

Last edited by Poohblah (2013-05-30 16:04:23)

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#7 2013-05-30 19:28:42

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

silince wrote:

How does it cope with fonts/peripherals etc? Any screenshots?

Concerning fonts, I have no complaints, but I have no special requests/usage either. I haven’t added any fonts but I find the texts of the interface crisp and easy to read. Did you have anything specific in mind you wanted to test?

For the peripherals
Screen and graphics card, I haven’t put the effort into installing the NVIDIA drivers yet. The out-of-the-box graphics and resolution are good enough for me. I’ll probably try to do this at some point but nothing to report yet.
Webcam and integrated microphone work (tested using Skype)
Scanning and printing works easily with my HP multi-functional. I remember this causing a bit more trouble with Statler. On Waldorf the included printer drivers cover my device.
Audio is fine.
Network connectivity and applet are working smoothly
Battery applet is functional as well, although I have a suspicion that crunchbang drains my battery faster than OS X. Looking at the other comments above there appears to be some truth to this.
I don’t use an external mouse, the touchpad works fine for me. I guess it would be interesting to see if a bluetooth magic mouse is easy to get up and running. My wife has one, I should try this some time.
Keyboard needed a bit of tuning: Main keys are ok (Belgian keyboard layout for me) but I did tweak the special keys a bit:

  • Inverted the usage of the Fn key

  • I got the keyboard backlight working (check this post)

  • Hooked up my audio player to the audio keys

There are still some details concerning special keys, the keymap doesn’t fit 100% with the physical keyboard. For example the @ is mapped under numeric key 3 but the physical MacBook keyboard shows it under the first top left key. I haven’t looked into changing this yet. I mostly type blind and I’m actually enjoying the fact that now all my keyboards have the same keymap. Before I had to switch mentally between regular keyboard and MacBook keyboard. :-)

I only have one big complaint! The only thing I haven’t found a solution for yet is the shiny apple logo on the lid.
Wish I could replace that one with a  #! logo! cool

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#8 2013-05-30 19:31:36

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

rwsChris wrote:

Part of the reason I went along with rEFInd is that it is currently maintained, whereas, I think, rEFIt is no longer maintained. At any rate, perhaps that shouldn't be a factor in deciding whether to use it.

Good point, would indeed be better to use the maintained one. I did not pay attention to this, rEFIt was the first one I got my hands on :-D

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#9 2013-05-30 19:48:09

Poohblah
Member
Registered: 2013-05-29
Posts: 13

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Thanks for sharing, Frostlock!

Frostlock wrote:

I only have one big complaint! The only thing I haven’t found a solution for yet is the shiny apple logo on the lid.
Wish I could replace that one with a  #! logo! cool

You can.

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#10 2013-05-30 20:27:14

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Poohblah wrote:
Frostlock wrote:

I only have one big complaint! The only thing I haven’t found a solution for yet is the shiny apple logo on the lid.
Wish I could replace that one with a  #! logo! cool

You can.

Lol, maybe I should get out the cutter and have a go at it :-)

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#11 2013-06-16 15:40:06

rwsChris
#! Member
From: Stamford, CT, US
Registered: 2012-12-31
Posts: 61

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Wanted to update.

I tested Frostlock's instructions for rEFIt and it does work nicely (Thank you!). The advantage of rEFIT is that the proprietary nVidia drivers install and work beautifully, as a result my Macbook Pro doesn't feel like it's going to melt through the table. There are, evidently, difficulties with the nVidia proprietary drivers and EFI. I think you can probably configure rEFInd to run GRUB in just the same way rEFIt does it, but I don't have the technical facility for it.

After installing the proprietary drivers, however, the brightness keys stop working. So add the following to /etc/X11/xorg.conf under the Device section.

# Brightness hotkeys
	Option		   "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

After configure the CPU governor (see this post), I get roughly 4 hours battery from a full charge. I have about 6 to 7 on OS X with the same charge.

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#12 2013-06-17 17:49:13

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Thanks for updating Chris!
I just installed the nvidia drivers myself and I bet your immediate pointer to enable brightness hotkeys saved me some searching and frustration. Much appreciated :-)
I'll edit first post above to point to your post!

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#13 2013-07-24 13:29:42

rmcellig
#! Die Hard
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: 2012-11-15
Posts: 624
Website

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!

Going into the Refit partioning tool and selecting y worked. Now I am going to try something that only seemed to work with Mint. If it doesn't work, I will open a seperate thread. smile smile


Cheers Randy
www.mcran.com - my web site
www.chuo.fm - My radio show Sundays  noon-2pm EST or 89.1 fM

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#14 2013-08-19 03:42:38

nathan_m
New Member
Registered: 2013-08-19
Posts: 2

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

thank you Frostlock, I have been trying to install for two days now, and your solution was so simple. up and running in less than an hour. so far so good.

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#15 2013-10-06 09:51:54

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Macbook Pro Retina 2012 15 inch

Ok, so now I am able to boot, but the display is definitely not working correctly. Theres just a bundle of different colours, and I can barely make out the login screen.

So one step further, but new problems arise.

To get it to boot, I removed refind and refit, reset the mac MBR to boot from mac HD.

I then got the crunchbang image to an USB stick by using unetbootin, rebooted, ALT pressed to boot from USB, went straight to install, installed normally on free allocated space, no fancy stuff, just easiest install.

Rebooted in to OS X, installed refit, ran partion tool after reboot. THEN it booted to crunchbang, and were at the current problem. Display.

Last edited by aenemic (2013-10-06 11:43:11)

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#16 2013-10-06 19:35:03

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Strange result, but the good news is you got the dual boot part working. hmm Crunchbang is running but it looks like there is an issue with the graphical X11 environment. If you hit Ctr-Alt-F1 you should be able to fall back to a command line prompt in which you can login. (the troublesome graphical login should be located on Ctrl-Alt-F7)

Next step would be to try and solve the trouble of the login screen. Unfortunately I don't have any immediate ideas to what could be going wrong. Can you describe in a bit more detail what you are seeing?
A few other things to try/check

  • The problem might be linked to the login environment and not the X11 environment. To check this, log in via commandline (Crtl-Alt-F1 on the login screen) and then run this instruction:

    startx -- :2

    This should start a new X11 session (on Ctr-Alt-F8) bypassing the graphical login screen.

  • If that goes wrong, check the X11 log, you should find it here: /var/log/Xorg.0.log

  • Additional question: Did you try to install the nvidia drivers already?
    Switching to nvidia drivers might resolve the graphical issues. I'm not convinced this would be an ideal solution as the vanilla driver should at least work before trying to "upgrade" to nividia but it might be worth a try. Check out this post (as mentioned a few posts above)

Short list but this is all I can think of at the moment. I'm not an X11 specialist. :-/

-Frost

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#17 2013-10-07 09:10:54

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Hey!

Thanks for the reply.

It seems to happen during load after GRUB. The first page of lines is all fine and dandy, then the resolution changes and thats when the distortion also happens. Seems likely that it is when loading the graphical drivers.

I can log in no problem, but its all diffused. Vertical lines starting from the left, with different color-theme so to say every inch or so. Some less diffuse than others. I am able to see the desktop, but barely. Making out text is very difficult.

So even if I boot to single  user (recovery) I get the garbled graphics. It starts before login screen during kernel load.

I am definitely no expert. Its a fun and frustrating project though.

Ubuntu was so easy, but not very exciting.

I wonder if I should try to put a debian testing live cd on my USB to see if the testing version works. Or maybe do a kernel upgrade?

Could i download a kernel upgrade to OSX, copy to USB, boot to #! and do the upgrade from USB stick?

If so, is there a way for me to build crunchbang over the testing version of debian? That is not to crazy complex?

Thanks for the reply by the way, will test later!

Last edited by aenemic (2013-10-07 09:21:31)

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#18 2013-10-07 09:26:32

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

That really sounds like an issue with the video drivers or X11 config. I see two options:
Fix the default X11 configuration, can't provide a link immediatly (I'm at work neutral ) but Google is your friend ;-)
Try to make it work with the Nvidia drivers (see link provided in the previous post).

Keep us posted on your findings and we'll try to help!

-Frost

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#19 2013-10-07 14:51:28

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Alright. I am one step further and one step backwards.

I managed to connect to wifi, and run an update/upgrade. Then rebooted to single user/non GUI to install the nvidia drivers. Did so, reboot. Now it wont launch X. says fatal error : no screen found.

If I purge nvidia it boots back to scrambled graphics again.

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#20 2013-10-07 19:47:24

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

That sounds like an X11 config problem. Did you manually create an X config?
Mine is all in one file located here:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf

With the following contents in the file

Section "Device"
	Identifier "My GPU"
	Driver "nvidia"
	Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
EndSection

The Option line is optional, it enables brightness controls to properly work on my machine.

Hang in there, you are making progress!

-Frost

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#21 2013-10-07 21:37:10

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

I did not manually make one, I ran "sudo nvidia-xconfig"

How do I edit my x11 config? Babysteps here so I am sure I am doing it right. gedit is not installed here I reckon? And Ill have to do this from commandline.

Edit:
OK, went in with nano and it says device0 and screen0 on display and device. I wasnt able to copy the entire file. But under identifier it said device0 or screen0 on the respective ones.

Second edit:

when running startx, I get this error:


Could not open device file /dev/nvidia0 (input/output error)

Fatal server error
no screens found

Last edited by aenemic (2013-10-07 22:19:03)

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#22 2013-10-07 23:35:00

rwsChris
#! Member
From: Stamford, CT, US
Registered: 2012-12-31
Posts: 61

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

aenemic,

I installed #! on MBP 7,1, but I can show you what edits I made to /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
# Disables Nvidia logo
    Option         " NoLogo" "true"
# Fix Large fonts
    Option         "DPI" "96 x 96"
# Power saving setting for Nvidia drivers
    Option         "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "1"
# Enables overclocking gui
    Option         "Coolbits" "1"
# Brightness hotkeys
	Option		   "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
EndSection

--Chris

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#23 2013-10-08 12:49:22

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Tried a upgrade to Jessie, now i get Kernel Panic: Cant mount root fs.

It does however recogniez that I am on a macbook pro 10,1 during kernel load. So that seems positive. Someone told me that Ubuntu might be running on a Jessie port, and thats why Ubuntu runs without problem on my MBP.

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#24 2013-10-08 15:17:07

aenemic
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 10

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Ok, did a full reinstall, then first thing after i booted into scrambled graphics, i connected to wifi (works and able to make it out enough + practice in virtualbox). Then opened termianl, added testing repos, did a distro-upgrade. Reboot. Boom there we go, graphics are looking really nice on this display.

New problems arise though, now no wifi.

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#25 2013-10-08 17:55:40

Frostlock
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 34

Re: Crunchbang on Macbook Pro

Thats good news on the graphics  smile
I can't offer a lot of help on the wifi issue, for me that has always worked out of the box. It might actually be worth creating a new thread for that in the support section with wifi in the subject to attract some help.

-Frost

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