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TunaSnax
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: The Macbook Pro EFI Issue! Reply with quote

I bought a Macbook Pro Retina three days ago. You can't beat that resolution, right?

First thing I did was install rEFInd. I ran the install.sh for refind but forgot to include the --esp option to install it to the efi partition. Reran the install command with that option and thought all was well. I installed Gentoo through the Ubuntu live cd and it went well. I used this guide: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Apple_Macbook_Pro_Retina

I reboot and get the white screen - nothing else. REFInd had installed to the EFI partition (the files were there in the 200mb part at the front of the disk) but I guess my reboot tests were still l looking at the MacOS partition that I originally installed refind to without the --esp option.

So, multiple reboots to my Ubuntu liveusb and chrooting to the gentoo install to try the install,sh and manual installation of refind through there and I'm stuck. Multiple attempts to get refind to work and it still won't present me with refind when Ireboot.

Currently I am reinstalling MacOS(after resetting the NVRAM) through the internet recovery to reattempt the esp install from there. Wipe the HFS partition, redo the gentoo install and try again.


What I'm getting at is this: can I boot gentoo without rEFInd? Following the kernel setup from the install link I pasted above, what if Ijust rename my kernel to "bootx64.efi" and pop it into /boot/efi/ ? Will it get picked up and boot from it? I won't have multiple installs on this machine.

Thanks. Anything that you can provide will be helpful, in sure. I refuse to leave 20gb of space to OSX just to have refind installed and working.
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srs5694
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend you do this:


  1. Uninstall rEFInd from both the ESP and the OS X root partition. Just delete all the files.
  2. Install rEFInd to the OS X partition. (It's more reliable that way than on the ESP.)
  3. Do not install EFI filesystem drivers, and make sure that none are installed accidentally.


If it works at this point, you can try installing an EFI filesystem driver for your Linux root (/) or /boot partition. If that causes a failure, remove the driver. If the presence of even just one driver causes this failure, then you can still use rEFInd, but you may need to either mount the ESP at /boot or use unjournaled HFS+ as a Linux /boot partition. The latter seems odd, but it actually works fine.

If rEFInd itself is causing the failure, then you can use something else to manage the boot process. Both gummiboot and GRUB 2 can do the job, although you'll need to install gummiboot on the OS X root partition and store your Linux kernels there to use gummiboot.
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TunaSnax
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Srs5694,
Thanks for the reply. I really wanted to avoid installing rEFInd to the OSX partition because I want to remove OSX completely (128gb SSD. That space is valuable).

I guess I'll go the Grub2 route, but can you clarify one thing for me? When using Grub2, I will not need rEFInd at all? (It was my bunderstanding that rEFInd was required to boot the Macbook into andthing besides OSX/Bootcamp)


Thanks you.
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srs5694
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're removing OS X entirely, I recommend doing a BIOS-mode installation. You'll need to wipe the partition table and create a fresh MBR partition table (or use gdisk to convert GPT to MBR). You can then install the BIOS version of GRUB, or any other BIOS-mode boot loader you like. This configuration tends to be easier to configure and maintain when there's no OS X in the picture.

That said, if you want to stick with EFI-mode booting, it can be done without rEFInd; you can use gummiboot, GRUB, or any other EFI-mode boot loader for Linux. The trick is that Linux's "efibootmgr" utility isn't reliable on Macs. There is a Linux port of "bless," but I've never used it myself, and I'm not even sure if it's in the Gentoo repository. You might want to read this blog post, which outlines one method of installing an arbitrary boot loader so that the Mac firmware will detect it.
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TunaSnax
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Srs,

Thanks again for your reponse. I haven't had time to install with Grub2 using UEFI. With your latest information Iwill skip it and use legacy-BIOS boot. its something I'm definately more familiar with. I didn't know the newest Macs had the hybrid UEFI/BIOS thing going on.


I should have time tonight and tomorrow to run through it. I'll let you know of the results.

side request: (I could find out via google search but am on my phone :S - maybe you'll reply before I get to a desktop), is there anything I need to do besides wipe the disk and switch to MBR (easily done via my Ubuntu live cd) in order to enable BIOS boot?

Thanks!
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Akkara
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to note: I have a older macbook with a MBR install. When powering up, it sits and waits 30 seconds before deciding to boot. With a GPT disk in there (dual-boot), it booted right up.

I don't know if the newer ones are still like that but now you know in case you don't get an immediate response, it might be this.
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makukasutota
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can fix the 30 seconds wait at boot by using Apples bless command. The command is available on the OS X install disc and used like this:

Code:
bless –device /dev/bootpartition –setBoot –legacy

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TunaSnax
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SRS and Akkara,

Thanks for your help! I've got the system booting - kind of - I misconfigured something somewhere and it thinks my root partition is at /dev/sda3, when it's actually on /dev/sda2. Kernel Panic :S That's an easy fix that I should be able to locate once I have a bit more free time to look into it. At least it's getting that far! Thanks again to your two for getting me there.

makukasutota,

I did encounter the 30-seconds-to-boot issue and will try out your solution as soon as I fix the kernel panic. Thank you for replying, I'll let you know of the results once I give it a try.
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