Quick notes on triple-booting Snow Leopard, Debian and GNU/Linux on a mac - 08/02/2010, 05:16

(Addressed to self)



  1. Install rEFIt and set it to boot always (run /efi/enable-always.sh as r00t) .

  2. Use carbon copy cloner to make a backup of the mac system to an external HDD with sufficient space.

  3. After the backup is done, boot from the external drive; fiddle with the partitions all you need to get them to the right size.

  4. Clone the backup into the new partition

  5. (re)Install refit. Re-enable to boot always.

  6. Get gparted and create an ext2 partition for Debian (ext2 is compatible with more tools than ext3/4; for instance macfuse and ext2fs for fuse )

  7. Create Windows' NTFS partition as well. Set the boot flag to it, in order to clear the weird msftres flag (with the msftres flag the installer won't recognise it)

  8. Reboot and run Partition Tool from the rEFIt bootloader.

  9. Install Debian (I recommend Stable to myself, with the occasional package from Testing, otherwise it'll pester you with a lot of updates that bring nothing but brokenness and no interesting functionality. Remember the latest nvidia/Xorg dispute? Yeah, I didn't like that either.)

  10. Install Windows.

  11. Boot gparted again.

  12. Using a terminal, mount the linux partition (mine is /dev/sda3) at /mnt : mount /dev/yourLinuxPartition /mnt

  13. cd / ; ln -s /mnt/boot

  14. cp /mnt/etc/apt/sources.lst /etc/apt/sources.lst

  15. Modify /etc/apt/sources.lst to only have your normal repo line activated (dev-src is not necessary and all the others will only take a bit more time) and point it to testing: mine is deb http://ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions/Debian testing main

  16. run apt-get update

  17. apt-get install grub2

  18. grub-install --force /dev/yourLinuxPartition (mine is /dev/sda3)

  19. nano /boot/grub/grub.cfg ; Add line maxcpus=1 to the kernel loading line

  20. Reboot (Shut down; rebooting from any linux currently hangs the computer)

  21. Start GNU/Linux; remove grub from your installed packages using synaptics. Package updates to grub usually screw everything up in macs. At least in mine did.

  22. Reboot (Shut down; rebooting from any linux currently hangs the computer)

  23. Do not touch anything in the damn partition table _ever_ again. Do not allow anything to even threaten to touch the partition/bootloader/blah configuration. Do not upgrade grub. :D or the kernel :D




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