Trying to understand how MacBook Pro boots

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daigo, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. daigo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #1
    I recently got a brand new MacBook Pro earlier this year as a gift, and I'm trying to understand how it boots because it does not have a BIOS like I'm used to. I used a Linux LiveCD to format the entire HDD because I was not aware of this, and so everything that was on it such as the EFI partition is now gone because I wanted to install Linux over the entire thing like I do with my other computers.

    But it's a hassle to install distros because even though the default install settings work fine with all of my other machines, but after I install on my MacBook Pro and try to boot it up, it rarely works. Is it just the way the boot partition is read in order by the motherboard or something? Or is it something else different entirely about MacBooks?
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    Why use a macbook pro for linux is beyond me, Mac OS X is also unix based and just as stable.

    Anyhow, since you deleted the EFI partition, I think you could potentially solve it by putting the OS X disc that came with the computer in the drive, booting while holding the option(alt) key, and booting from the disc. Reinstall OS X and then partition the disc using the bootcamp utility and install linux on the partition you just created. That'd be a safer and more viable way to go about it.
     
  3. daigo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2009
    #3
    But I am wondering why I would have to go about doing that instead of just being able to wipe the hard drive and install anything on it like I would with a non-Mac computer.
     
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Because mac computers use EFI, that's the only reason.
     
  5. ouimetnick macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

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    #5
    Why would you use a MBP just for Linux? A cheap PC could run linux fine too.
     
  6. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #6
    Macs use EFI where PC's use BIOS.. Personally, why you would want to use a MBP for linux is beyond me, you could have gotten a better spec'd computer more suited for linux for half the price. Also, if you delete your EFI partition, 1) your a noob and 2) you can restore it by reinstalling OS X.

    protip: mac = unix, use a pc for linux
     
  7. daigo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the help. I guess it's not so bad then...is it possible to just have the EFI partition but not have OSX installed at all?

    I was actually considering trading this in for someone who'd want a MacBook. I just didn't know about this so I can't really sell it at retail price because I already opened the box and used it
     
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #8
    Before junking os X straight off the bat, why don't you give it a whirl over the holidays? Having used both I still prefer OS X.
     
  9. daigo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2009
    #10
    Yea, I think I'll just leave OSX on it regardless. Because my friend who used to work for Apple explained to me every PC maker except Apple uses SMbus, some semi-autonomous electronics to do low level hardware management and Apple doesn't and they use something called SMC instead which forces the OS to do the low level stuff and only OSX (and Windows BootCamp) have the right drivers for the SMC to handle CPU Vcore which would mean that any other OS besides OSX is actually destroying the CPU
     
  10. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    You can install rEFIt to make dual booting easier.
     
  11. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #12
    Actually.... that's not true at all.

    Using bootcamp (dunno about a clean HDD, without the EFI partition) to emulate the BIOS, Linux and Windows can throttle down the CPU (controlling its speed) without any special support from Apple. If Apple also undervolts the CPU, that's news to me, but it would explain why OS X generally gets about 2x runtime as Windows.
     
  12. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
  13. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #14
    Because you do have a Mac !
    The reason to buy a Macbook Pro and use it without Mac Osx is way beyond me, but this is a totally different issue ...
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #15
    Check out the ubuntu forum, they're quite active and lively. They can help you with loading Linux onto your MBP. My recommendation install OSX minimally, Install rEFIt on the osx partition and then create a bootcamp with a large partition that you want for Linux.

    Boot up with the livecd and install linux I was able to install ubuntu and fedora using these steps and I believe that you should be ok, provided the livecd you're using has the drivers for the MBP. For instance, I had to boot up with nomodeset and xdriver=vesa for fedora because the delivered drivers wouldn't boot.

    Finally after installing linux you may need to go into the rEFIt console and run gptsync (I had to do that for fedora) otherwise the linux partition won't be bootable.

    Edit: you can return the MBP to where you purchased it, you will have to pay a restocking fee. I suspect even with the restocking fee, you'll get more from that return the selling it. You only have 14 days however so don't dilly dally on this.
     
  15. dennis123123 macrumors member

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    Aug 30, 2009
    #16
    I bought a MBP with the intention of only running linux on it. I gave OSX a week and hated it. its far too restrictive for my liking. The macbook pro hardware however is very nice, and nothing "PC" side of things comes close to its looks or overall features, there was always something missing (N wireless, backlit keyboard, dvi capability, firewire, nvidia gfx) from any that I found. Price wise, with student discount it is hardly any different from other 13" laptops.

    Like the others have said though, use refit and disk utility to make a hybrid gpt/mbr disk and it will run fine.
     
  16. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #17
    there is nothing you can do in Linux that you can't in Mac OSX, but we're going off topic ...
     
  17. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

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    Location:
    Gloucester, UK
    #18
    ... but while we're off-topic, there's also a lot you can do in OS X that you can't do in linux.

    ... and for the times when you really do need linux, there's VirtualBox.
     
  18. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2009
    #19
    Wow that's quite a fanboi statement to make!! Actually, there's plenty that Linux can do while OSX cannot. OSX has most, but not all, of the UNIX utilities included, and many of them are poorly implemented when compared to a more mature UNIX OS.

    But to the OP, you're an EFI noob!! EFI requires a partition on your boot drive. This is how *all* EFI machines work, it's not an "Apple thing". The $300,000 HP-UX servers I have here at work use intel Itanium2 CPU's and EFI - and they have an EFI boot partition on the internal drives that you cannot erase; same as the Mac.
     
  19. dennis123123 macrumors member

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    Aug 30, 2009
    #20
    haha ok then. set up a tiling WM and change the interface fonts to non-antialiased.

    cant? oh dear. fanboy.
     
  20. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #21
    VirtualBox for MacOS X, Windows, and Linux to run Windows and Linux
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #22
    Keep your skirts on, ladies. What I'm sure he meant was that MacOS X can run Linux applications simply by using X11, as well as UNIX programs. As a matter of fact there are a lot of UNIX-Exectable files laying around my mac that are essential :p

    It's NEARLY as flexible as Linux, as well. However the tweaks and effects you can freely apply to your Linux distros are not officially supported by Apple, that's the difference. As well, since using OS X, I haven't had to type a single command, whereas with Linux...*pukes* the flashbacks! Sudo apt-get, Sudo rm, Su Su Sudio!

    Personally, MacOS X appears to be the most thought-out and completed OS I've used. That's saying a lot considering I was once a fanboy and tried EVERY means of avoiding using MacOS. I used Windows since back when it was just a plugin for DOS up to Vista and now 7, and every distro of Linux and every version of every "buntu" up to Hardy Heron.

    As a final note, don't forget that Linux is just UNIX-LIKE! It is not UNIX BASED! MacOS version 10.5 and up is 100% UNIX compliant.
     
  22. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #23
    or maybe YOU are the fanboys ...

    correct ;)
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    Wow, the fanboys really get their undies in a bind when someone wants run an OS other then OSX on their Mac.

    Who cares if the OP spent a lot of money on a mac only to run Linux. Its his money and his choice. I think the OP has enough info to get what he wants done without the need to bash him, or Linux.

    for the record, I've had both Ubuntu and fedora on my Mac and while I love Linux, I found I was chasing problems more then I was working, especially with fedora which is bleeding edge. I still have a fedora and ubuntu vm on my mac, but I've given up using it full time over OSX because the software isn't there.
     

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