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Is Install more complex than SuSe, LILO & firmware?
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Richard Moss

Joined: 25 Apr 2002
Posts: 2
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 6:03 am    Post subject: Is Install more complex than SuSe, LILO & firmware? Reply with quote

Perhaps being timid but is there any consensus on complexity of installing Gentoo? I kind of successfully installed SuSe 7.1 fall 01, but MacOS 10.1.x kept crashing & at some point Apple tech had me zero the internal drive.

Today I reread Linux on Mac; whether it's SuSe or Gentoo, I'm worried about LILO rewriting to firmware (assuming Gentoo uses LILO to manage booting; in SuSe Apple's firmware is modified, which I'd be more willing to do after all this term's papers are in.)

Also, I've seen a warning about creating too many partitions, How do you avoid doing so, if you need at least 1 HFS for MacOS 9.2.x, an HFS for SuSe (or Gentoo) boot, an A/UX for Gentoo root & Gentoo swap?

Right now Apple's disk formatter doesn't see an IDE drive at 0; would I be better off with Intech or FWB formatting utility?
Many thanks,

Richard Moss
School of Law, Uni District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Av NW
Washington DC USA
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Joined: 02 May 2002
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Install isn't as easy as other distros, though if you have problems, you are more likely to be able to find the answer, since the steps in the install process aren't hidden behind an installer program. Basically you do it all yourself.

Apple's disk utility should be fine, so long as you don't mind installing everything (inc. your Mac systems) from scratch. If you don't want to wipe the disk, and you don't have free space for gentoo, then you need something that can shrink your mac partitions. I don't know what that would be - FWB perhaps, but the one time I tried it it almost rendered my iMac unbootable.
Shared partitions may be an issue. I had a lot of trouble with OSX crashing (daily) with LinuxPPC installed. I had one small HFS (plain) partition that I mounted in both Linux and Mac, and when I installed Gentoo I scrapped it. OSX has crashed only once since then (a month or two). Number of partitions may also be an issue; but there's no need to create a separate /boot partition. Just keep /boot on your main linux partition, and take out that line from /etc/fstab. I also have OS9 and OSX partitions, and the Mac side has been very stable since the switch to Gentoo.

As for lilo (or rather yaboot - SUSE renames it to the pc equivalent, which is a strange thing to do, to say the least), it shouldn't hurt your firmware. If your bootstrap partition is not the first non-driver partition, you'll need to go into OF yourself to reset the boot device, but even that is no big deal, and it can be easily changed back.

Our install guide is at .

BTW, it is a bad idea (on principle) to reformat your hard drive or mess with firmware if a) you don't have crucial data backed up, and b) you have important work to do that can't wait while you reinstall and recover from said backup ;-)

The only way Gentoo has affected my Mac systems at all has been that after running MOL (Mac-on-Linux) OSX can't find classic - I have to open up the classic pref pane and reset the location. No big deal.
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