Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fedora on the Mac Pro, Partitioning with Leopard

Having recently gotten the success of installing Fedora 8 on a triboot MacBook Pro, I thought I would plunge in and get it installed on the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is my workstation that I use to create images, manage servers, and organize my classroom material, so it's pretty important that I have a working Mac partition after this adventure. Luckily, I had already installed Leopard, so making the partitions were easy. ^_^

Bootcamp Built Into leopard
Those of you who have been using Linux for a while may laugh at this (Joseph did when I told him), but I was excited to find out that creating new partitions in Disk Utility for Leopard doesn't automatically delete the information in the original partition. It just resizes it! This is huge, since I have spent a lot of time creating partitions and installing multiple OSes for 22 lab machines. It also means that creating my partitions for my Windows and Linux installs were relatively painless. I just needed to be sure that the information on the original partition was small enough to resize without error.

It seems that the partition can't be larger than about 75 to 80 GB when using Disk Utility. So, it meant having to delete my Parallels virtual hard drives. That's fine though, I can easily replace them without any trouble. Once cleared, I could create the new partitions, and get started.

Tribooting again
Just like all my previous experiences, I started with installing Windows XP, and setting it up with all the relevant software and drivers. Once done, I removed the disk, inserted the Fedora 8 install disk, and rebooted.

Fedora 8 Install on the Mac Pro
The install was pretty clean, working just as one would expect. The installation didn't take long, and then I rebooted into Windows (I'm still paranoid about that). Everything looked great, so I rebooted again into Fedora.

Then a problem: I couldn't get past the udev module. It would just hang, eventually telling me that it would try to run it in the background. Well, this was a problem that I didn't expect. So, off to Google and the boards to see if there was another person with a similar issue.

Luckily, there was this posting for Fedora 7, with a fix:

In /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist add:

blacklist b43
blacklist sbs
blacklist mac80211
blacklist cfg80211

In /etc/modprobe.conf add

alias b43 off
alias sbs off
alias mac80211 off
alias cfg80211 off

Of course, this means I needed to get to a command line. With a Mac, it's easy, just boot up with Command - S to get to single user mode. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that in Fedora. So, I booted up with a Ubuntu Live CD, and used Terminal to get to the Fedora partition. There, I made the edits with pico, saved, and rebooted.

The next thing I know, I am in Fedora making the final setup entries. ^_^ It's nice to play with Linux again, and I am really happy with Gnome. I was a KDE user back in the day, but Gnome has become more user friendly, if just because it is slightly like the Mac interface. Within a few minutes, I had Evolution Mail set up, Pidgin set up for AIM and Jabber, and I'm all set! I will still use the Mac for most of my work, but it's nice to know that when I need Linux, I have it.

1 comment:

AntonTakk said...

to boot to single user mode in linux - add "single" (w/o the quotes) to the boot options for the kernel, this can be done fron the menu in grub or the prompt in lilo, and does not persist.

grub example from Fedora 8:
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.23.14-115.fc8 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet single