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Old 07-03-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
ag2231
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Question Linux and the Mac Pro


First of all I am very new to Linux though I have been working with the Mac and Windows platforms for a few decades now. I am hoping this forum can help me with a particular problem I have been having. I have a late edition Mac Pro and need to install Linux (RedHat, CentOS, or Ubuntu) to run a particular piece of software. The computer itself is a 12 Core system with 24GB RAM and has one SSD drive (512GB) and two standard SATA 1TB drives, so there is plenty of workspace. The trouble I have been having is with the bootloader, I think. After having completed the Linux OS installation on the computer, trying different Linux flavors, it refuses to boot into Linux. I have tried making the Linux OS the only operating system on the computer and it still refuses to boot. I have also tried using the boot manager “rEFit” and as I have also tried what I found from some sites, (link to one example) ([URL="http://consultancy.edvoncken.net/index.php/HOWTO_Install_CentOS_on_a_MacBook_Pro") to use the “Linux Rescue” to redirect the loader using the following commands;
1) Command 1: chroot /mnt/sysimage
2) Command 2: grub-install /dev/sda3

And it still will not boot. The result I sometimes receive on the screen is the word “GRUB” display and nothing else. I have to do a ‘cold start’ in order to gain access again. I can only boot to the Linux CD's.

I am at a loss and cannot figure out why I cannot get Linux install and work properly on a Mac Pro. Any ideas would be very appreciated.
 
Old 07-03-2011, 06:41 PM   #2
John VV
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most distros have install instructions and a fix for this very common install mix up

a very common issue for say fedora is if you have a windows7 hidden "recovery" partition on the mbr/sda1
anaconda has a "custom" setting for you to change were grub is installed

also there is a LOT of documentation on the net for fixing grub and for making a partition bootable or not

I like to let MS win7 have the MBR ( makes life way nicer ) . Then put grub on the FIRST Linux partition or first partition of the SECOND drive ( win7 on first)

with xp and vista ( no "recovery" partition form OEM's ) anaconda most of the time will find windows and auto set grub
with win7 and this "recovery" partition this messes things up and sets win7 as the WRONG partition
a manual resetting in menu.lis fixes this

examples like the fedora install guide
http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/...ide/index.html
http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/...bootloader-adv
"Chapter 9. Troubleshooting Installation on an Intel or AMD System"
http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/....html#id729122

Last edited by John VV; 07-03-2011 at 06:50 PM.
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
ag2231
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I appreciate your reply but I do not see how this will help with my issue try to do the installation on a MAC Pro. As I mentioned I can not even get any of the 'distros' to boot. Is there really a problem with all flavors of Linux that they require the boot loader be repaired for every installation?
 
Old 07-03-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
John VV
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where are you putting grub or lilo ?
mac is normally not an issue but windows can cause problems

what is your partition layout ?
and are you using apples bootloader to boot all 3 or grub ?

the auto setting of the "other" os's can be thrown off by win 7 and by having two other os's installed
you NEED to but the correct partitions into the grub.lis if the auto setup fails
the correct locations for where YOU installed grub where you put the linux os and where windows is and where mac is


i use Gparted to format drives so when you boot into gparted what is your layout
how have you set up the partitions ?
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
rahulkya
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With such configuration (a 12 Core system with 24GB RAM and one SSD drive (512GB) and two standard SATA 1TB drives) . I recommend you to install linux virtually to get your work done without hassle. You can use virtual box or Vmware workstation. Give them as much space and RAM according to your need...

Getting the work done is more important. As I have the same problem with my acer laptop. I failed to install any version of windows in it. So went virtually, now I have win7 and Xp running virtually for windows specific tasks.

you can give almost 12 GB of RAM to your LINUX , this much RAM should be enough for any linux specific work ( I think so)..
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
ag2231
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Hi John VV, Rahulkya

At first I tried setting up a "BootCamp" install, this is where Apple using its own utility and partitions the main drive or a another and formats in FAT16 to make it viewable for a Windows installer. The Linux CD sees this partition and formats it according to its needs. So the Linux installer then reformats the partition/second drive again into three separate volumes, the /boot volume, /the swap/ volume, and the main volume for the OS.

Since this did not work regardless of the flavor of the OS (CentOS, REdHat, or Ubuntu), I tried formatting the volumes manually and this did not work. In both instances I tried repairing the bootloader using the command I mentioned in my original post;
1) Command 1: chroot /mnt/sysimage
2) Command 2: grub-install /dev/sda3


We can not want to use a virtual environment to do this because the application we need to run does not work in a virtual environment.
 
Old 07-03-2011, 11:39 PM   #7
John VV
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Quote:
or a another and formats in FAT16
linux will not install on fat16 ??
what are you using that still uses fat16 a copy of windows 95 on floppy

i am not even sure that win7 can run on fat16


A manual formatting will need to be done

but

with your system specs why not VM the whole thing
mac as the base install and run windows7 and a version of Linux in VMware ( suse11.4)



for a manual set up
-- with your hardware OpenSUSE 11.4 64 bit would be a good choice --
let see 1 ssd 512 and two 1Tb drives ( 2.5 Tb total )on 3 drives

assuming you want the ssd to be used as a common swap and temp drive
and Apple is your MAIN os with win7 second

manualy format sdc ( third drive ( one of the 1 Tb ) so that about 1/2 is "ext3 "
and install OpenSUSE on that "ext3" partition

bootcamp should have no problem with that
or let "suse11.4" set things up and boot from the sdc1 partition

suse should have no problems reading and writing to Apple's mac HFS or windows NTFS



For more help we will need to know what your system layout for the drives are .
what is on what
the output of say partimage would help

Last edited by John VV; 07-03-2011 at 11:43 PM.
 
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
frieza
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i read somewhere about early 2006 models of macs needing a firmware upgrade, not sure if your machine falls into that category or not

@John VV, how many times does the OP have to tell you he's using a mac? windows 7 is irrelevant because he's not using windows 7 he's using a mac, stop posting about windows bleeping 7 it's not helping.

Last edited by frieza; 07-04-2011 at 12:10 AM.
 
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:21 AM   #9
ag2231
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Thank you for your suggestions John, though I think I did mention something about the Linux installer auto-formatting the chosen volume, as well as reformatting manually already. Also I can only use either RedHat, CentOS, or Ubuntu, as per the manufacturer of the software we are trying to run in the Linux environment. These OS's are the only ones that have been tested to work properly with it.
 
Old 07-04-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
ag2231
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Hi Frieza, This Mac Pro is from 2010 and I do not see anything on the Apple site mentioning a firmware upgrade. Thanks though.
 
Old 07-04-2011, 03:10 AM   #11
Knightron
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Hello ag2231, Do you still have refit installed, if you don't, install it again. On Os X Manually partition the disc with the program 'Disk Utility'. It's located in the applications folder, and then in the utilities folder. You need to highlight you're hard drive (not just a partition on the hard drive), it should be at the very top of the list. Then select the partition tab, and you can figure out how to partition in there, it's pretty simple. Create a partition for your linux, and then don't forget to create a small one for your swap. format both as fat32. insert the linux disc and restart the computer and start the installation disc. use the advance partition option on the installer. format the linux partition you created earlier as either ext3, or ext4, and select the mount point as "/". For the swap partition, make sure you select the mount point as swap. Lastly for the bootloader, (and this is probably the most important part too), install that on the partition you install linux on NOT THE MBR. And that should work. When you restart after the installation, refit will show it's icons, select the penguin (if it doesn't just try restarting the computer, and the penguin might be there then), and then it'll boot the grub bootloader and there will be a bunch of os's you have installed, at the top should be the linux you want to use. I hope this helps
 
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:19 AM   #12
John VV
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red hat and Ubuntu are VERY VERY different
so different it is a " apples and oranges " comparison

red hat what ??
The current is RHEL6.1 ,but the older 5.6 is supported and also the very old 4.9

what exactly is this software
and for what version of RHEL ?

red hat is NOT considered a "new to linux" OS
red hat assumes that you WILL have YEARS of red hat experience

in contrast Ubuntu is VERY "new to linux "friendly
and assumes that you WILL have very little experience

RHEL is DESIGNED for a headless server first and foremost.
Ubuntu is DESIGNED for a home desktop .
" apples and oranges "



from your first post you said you were getting the
Code:
GRUB>
at boot
the fix it in the docs , i posted , and is to manually edit the grub.conf to point to the /boot partition

fedora is very similar to RHEL
 
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:58 AM   #13
ag2231
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Hi Knightron, Thank you for taking the time you did to write out the instruction for formatting a hard drive on a Mac. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts in this tread I had formatted the volume (Both the SSD and regular SATA drive, as I was not sure if my troubles had anything to do with the SSD volume) using both the installer CD's utility and the Mac's 'disk utility' to format the drive. I believe I also mentioned how I split up the partitioning, I had created the /Swap, the /root, and the /Bootloader. I have installed and reinstalled the rEFit boot manager several times but Linux on the Mac Pro refuses to boot. I am open to another suggestion.

Last edited by ag2231; 07-05-2011 at 02:22 AM.
 
Old 07-04-2011, 05:10 AM   #14
ag2231
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Hi John VV, I have tried the three flavors I mentioned RedHat EL 5.6, CentOS 5.6 and Ubuntu 10.04, also none are the Server version. From what I understand these are all stable and supported releases. The software we will be installing is a combination of applications used with in a package called, "Schrodinger Suite".

You mentioned at the end of your last post;
"from your first post you said you were getting the
Code:

GRUB>

at boot
the fix it in the docs , i posted , and is to manually edit the grub.conf to point to the /boot partition"

but you do not explain how, could you provide me with the steps, as long as they are not the same steps I have already tried and mentioned in my earlier postings in this thread. Thank you for your advice.

Fedore is not one of the support OS's for the software package we are building the system for.

Last edited by ag2231; 07-04-2011 at 08:00 PM.
 
Old 07-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #15
Knightron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ag2231 View Post
I had created the /Swap, the /root, and the /Bootloader. I have installed and reinstalled the rEFit boot manager several times but Linux on the Mac Pro refuses to boot.
Does refit even start? refit should start on reboot regardless of if linux is installed or not. Also you didn't say if you were also formatting the partitions in the installer to either ext3, or ext4. Lastly, did you make 3 separate partitions for linux, one for root, one for swap, and one bootloader? Because, if you did, the boot loader should have gone on the the root partition, "/".

(At this point, i think i should just say that i've never tried red hat enterprise linux/cent os.)
 
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