Linux based booting and such

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tech198, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Hi all..

    With Intel having switched over to x86 now, you would think that all x86 software that even boots from cd would now work, (with exceptions for I/O, keyboard, trackpad) etc.. that Apple controls, unless u have UEFI support like Windows 7.

    however, i can't say many times, this just did not work...

    If Apple have crossed over to x86 architecture, why don't allot of x86 boot tools like Ultimate Boot CD work in all its glory on Mac ? So, many times on Mac, I've seen hangs or halt errors from reasons i dunno why early in the boot process of Linux based media. with certain tools.

    I could see the lack of BIOS would tools like dealing with erasing hard drives could potentially interfere, but apart from that its x86 code..

    I would have though any Linux based media would just work as well as it would on PC without any hassle

    Why not ?
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Because security :)

    To be honest, even Apple's implementation of EFI is fairly different from the UEFI standard. Haswell and later Macs fully comply with the UEFI standard, but contain some additional stuff as well that isn't part of the UEFI specification.

    And besides, Apple's implementation of BIOS is very basic. Read here for more:

    So this is why it's so hard to do what you want to do.
  3. alex0002, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    Perhaps things have changed, but the last time I used Ultimate Boot CD, it had a lot of programs that needed PC-BIOS compatibility. For example, when grub uses linux16 in the kernel definition, or syslinux uses memdisk to load a 16 bit FreeDOS image, that requires a PC-BIOS boot mode or some sort of BIOS emulation.

    EFI (and UEFI) is for booting 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems, not for booting 16-bit MS-DOS and FreeDOS.

    I suspect that the problems with the Ultimate Boot CD, have got little or nothing to do with linux, which uses a 32 or 16 bit kernel (even though some patches exist to port linux to 16 bit platforms).

    I've been booting my linux desktop in UEFI for several years and the cMBP boots fine using GRUB-EFI.

    One example here:

    If you follow the instructions and use vmlinuz and core.gz from MicroCore linux 6.0 or later, the Mac should boot and the keyboard should be usable (at least on the cMBP). I've not had the chance to try this on a newer Mac

    Of course if you want X-windows support for retina displays and other less common hardware, you might need the right parameters and the right drivers. But the same is true for porting Linux to any new hardware.

    EDIT: I'm wondering if you were thinking that SYSLINUX is some part of Linux?

    Just to be clear... SYSLINUX is a bootloader that was originally designed for booting Linux from floppy disks and later on used for other media that uses FAT file systems, such as USB flash drives. There is no requirement to use SYSLINUX or ISOLINUX to boot Linux and problems with SYSLINUX should not be considered to be anything to do with Linux compatibility.

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