spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

STICKY: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:49 pm

As mentioned in the original blog posting, we've found that the live image doesn't appear as a boot option on some Macs. I've found a method which fixes this on my 2011 Mac mini, which suffered from this problem - if you are trying to boot the image from USB on Mac and finding that it doesn't work, you might want to try the following. It'd be helpful if you could comment below if this does or doesn't work for you!

First, download the Enterprise bootloader from http://blog.sevenbits.io/Enterprise/.

Format your USB stick as FAT32 with MBR - you can do this in Disk Utility on the Mac.

Create a folder called "efi" in the root of the stick, and then create a subfolder called "boot"

From the Enterprise bootloader, copy the two files boot.efi and bootX64.efi into the /efi/boot/ directory on the stick.

Copy the PIXEL-x86 ISO file into the /efi/boot/ directory, and rename it "boot.iso"

Finally, create a file called "enterprise.cfg" in the /efi/boot/ directory, with the following contents:

Code: Select all

autoboot 0
entry Debian
family Debian
initrd /live/initrd1.img
kernel /live/vmlinuz1 findiso=/efi/boot/boot.iso boot=live config live-config quiet splash
So you should have a USB stick with the following files on it:

/efi/boot/boot.efi
/efi/boot/bootX64.efi
/efi/boot/enterprise.cfg
/efi/boot/boot.iso

Reboot your Mac with the stick inserted, holding down Alt. When the boot menu appears, there should be an option "EFI Boot" - select that and see what happens. With any luck, Debian with PIXEL will appear.

This mechanism does not enable persistence; to do that, a more complicated procedure will be required to partition the stick, which I haven't tested yet - bear with me...

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:15 pm

OK, having now tested it - if you want to enable persistence, you'll need to do a bit of hackery to the stick on a Linux machine - a Pi works fine.

After the steps above, you'll need to use gparted to resize the FAT32 partition on the USB stick. Put the stick into your Pi, unmount the drive and then use gparted to shrink the FAT32 partition to leave some free space at the end of the device. (I'm not going into any more detail about this - it is very easy to mess things up hugely on a Pi with gparted, so if you don't already know what you're doing, don't try this!)

Use gparted to create an ext4 partition in the free space, with the name "persistence".

Create the file "persistence.conf" in the root of the new partition, with the contents

Code: Select all

/ union
In the FAT32 partition, modify /efi/boot/enterprise.cfg by adding the word "persistence" to the end of the "kernel" line - the file should look like this:

Code: Select all

autoboot 0
entry Debian
family Debian
initrd /live/initrd1.img
kernel /live/vmlinuz1 findiso=/efi/boot/boot.iso boot=live config live-config quiet splash persistence
Remove the stick from the Pi, put it in the Mac, hold down Alt and boot as before; you should then have persistence enabled on that stick and will be able to save changes.

gisley
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 9:47 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:15 pm

I tried the above method on my 2006 duo 2 iMac and only got the hard drive and recovery drive listed on reboot. I copied and pasted the enterprise.cfg file. I do not know if that would make a difference.

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:46 pm

gisley wrote:I tried the above method on my 2006 duo 2 iMac and only got the hard drive and recovery drive listed on reboot. I copied and pasted the enterprise.cfg file. I do not know if that would make a difference.
I think Macs that old have a different set of issues! Someone suggested this site on the blog comments which specifically mentions 2006 Macs - might be worth a try - https://mattgadient.com/2016/07/11/linu ... 06-models/

Edit: Yes, reading that site, it seems that the fix I've suggested above - which is to modify the EFI boot process - will do entirely the wrong thing for a 2006 Mac, which requires the boot process to be BIOS-only, with no EFI code at all.

HappyKozac
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:40 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:05 pm

hello
My mac is a PPC 7400 titanium 500 new world with 768 Mo of Ram. I could never install any distro Linux on. Only tried on usb stick. Tried, yaboot, efi, you put in your install, nothing works. I am not good in Linux, i try but it's hard.
Why don't using yaboot, vmlinux for those ppc.
I would try YellowDog when I got a dvd.
Maybe can't boot on usb sticks on those macs??
Happy New Year From South of France ;-)

Ivan

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:33 pm

HappyKozac wrote:hello
My mac is a PPC 7400 titanium 500 new world with 768 Mo of Ram. I could never install any distro Linux on. Only tried on usb stick. Tried, yaboot, efi, you put in your install, nothing works. I am not good in Linux, i try but it's hard.
Why don't using yaboot, vmlinux for those ppc.
I would try YellowDog when I got a dvd.
Maybe can't boot on usb sticks on those macs??
Happy New Year From South of France ;-)

Ivan
Sorry, Ivan - the image is for x86-based machines only, so it won't work on your PowerPC-based Mac.

Threspil
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:33 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:46 pm

For persistence, you can also hold down the control key after you use the left or right arrow key to highlight the efi boot volume, then click the circle that replaces the arrow beneath the volume icon.

I haven't been successful booting from the USB drive. I can successfully boot from a VMware Fusion VM built using the iso image. However, when using the instructions to make and boot from the USB drive, I see several screens that appear and disappear rapidly, then the message "Loading Please Wait", but then the screen goes black and nothing else happens until I press my start button to shut down, then press it again to start back up. The problem I have with the VM is that I haven't yet found a successful way to install the VMWare tools.

mspohr
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:27 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:11 pm

Followed these instructions and successfully booted Pixel on my MacBook Air (3,1) !
I'm using an SD card in a USB adapter. In spite of the slow USB disk, my Mac hasn't been this fast in years.
Tried to get persistence by holding down Ctrl key when booting but no luck.
I'll try adding the persistence files to the memory card and see if that works.

Followed the instructions for adding an ext4 partition and persistence file mods but unfortunately, still no persistence.

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:04 pm

mspohr wrote:Followed these instructions and successfully booted Pixel on my MacBook Air (3,1) !
I'm using an SD card in a USB adapter. In spite of the slow USB disk, my Mac hasn't been this fast in years.
Tried to get persistence by holding down Ctrl key when booting but no luck.
I'll try adding the persistence files to the memory card and see if that works.

Followed the instructions for adding an ext4 partition and persistence file mods but unfortunately, still no persistence.
It's very useful to know that it worked for someone else, so thank you for letting us know! Interesting that persistence didn't work for you - I'll have a look at that.

I've got a prototype image with EFI boot built-in that works (somewhat imperfectly) on my Mac mini - we'll do some more work on this early next year and see if we can get a proper fix.

fmpanico
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:14 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:49 am

I just would like to say thanks for every one making this possible. PIXEL is such a great project and making this available for a wider public trough letting it run on an existent base of PC and Mac is a gorgeous idea.

Following the instructions from the 2 posts from spl23, I was able to boot PIXEL into my Late 2007 Black Macbook (macbook 3,1) with persistence -- tested and working fine.

Everything seems to work alright, no issues. Just regular tweeks needed to make extraordinary things work, such as right-click mouse and midia buttons (volume, brightness keys, etc.).

If I could suggest an easier way to create a live USB with persistence for Mac, instead of shrinking the fat partition, I would suggest to start out creating two partitions, (i) one for the system (FAT) (I've used 2Gb but maybe 1,4Gb is enough if not additional software is installed) and (ii) another one for the persistence (ext4). By making this one could avoid problems with the process of shrinking the FAT partition -- me, myself, I had my share of troubles while trying this on elementaryOS (gparted would crash without completing the task).

Thank you once again and keep up the excellent work!

baronne
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:46 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:51 pm

Hi, not sure if this is of any use to anyone but I struggled on my 2006 macbook (white unibody) to get it to boot any ISO images. Basically on USB you can forget it - the only way I managed was to burn DVD's. Old skool or what?!? ;)
Anyway this handy little tool I found on https://mattgadient.com/2016/07/11/linu ... 06-models/ uses a script that converts the image and magically makes the Mac EFI boot or whatevs handle the iso image better...

stuzog
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:10 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:38 am

I managed to get a PIXEL persistence USB install running on my iMac 7,1 6GB RAM, OS X 10.11.6, but the menu bar did not appear on first boot; it appeared for a while only on the second boot. I made the first partition about 6GB -- is there any minimum PIXEL needs for the Linux partition?

I was trying to install

Code: Select all

macsfanctld
so that the fans in the iMac would work, which they did, but by then the menu bar had disappeared. It would really help to have a Mac-compatible fan daemon pre-installed on the PIXEL.iso to protect the processor.

Thanks for extending PIXEL to the desktop. Now, if only the menu bar would stay put...

vladimirgluten
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:17 am

I've got a 2009 17" MBP. I followed the instructions and can get it to boot from the USB, but then I get the following errors:

Error: can't find configuration file
Error: configuration file parsing error
cannot continue because core files are missing or damaged

Any advice on what to do next?

Zap Pow
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:18 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:21 pm

Same problem as Vladimirgluten, but with an iMac (early 2008).

miketr3
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:02 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:09 am

iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)

Thanks for your solution.

Booted ok, but cannot get bluetooth mouse & keyboard to work; when the “searching for devices” window is active, the keyboard shows briefly then dissapears, and keeps repeating.

Not a big issue, but thought I’d mention it.

Footnote
When I then boot the Mac, I have to go through the Bluetooth setup procedure for mouse & keyboard.

Footnote 2
Every time I now boot the Mac, Bluetooth Setup Assistant runs before I log in.

Welsh Legend
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:12 pm

Hi spl23 (Engineer)

I have followed your excellent instructions and I now have an efi.boot orange drive icon when booting up whilst holding down the Alt/Opt key. When I select it my Macbook Pro Early 2015 starts to boot into Pixel but stops with the following error message in red .....

Error: Couldn't get linux distribution boot settings.

The files on my USB memory stick in /efi/boot are .....

boot.efi
bootX64.efi
enterprise.cfg
boot.iso

The iso file is the 2016-12-13-pixel-x86-jessie renamed to boot.iso

It seems that I am now the closest I have been thanks to your instructions of getting Debian Pixel to work. Can you please suggest what I can do to correct this? It was suggested to me by another member that a 4GB memory stick might be too small? Would this be causing the error maybe?

Thanks for your valuable time

Lonnie Risckle
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:48 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:00 am

I got the red messages as well. It turned out I'd created the enterprise.cfg file in Pages, then saved it as a Pages file instead of exporting to a text file. (You also have to make sure that it hasn't saved it as enterprise.cfg.txt)

Correcting that got a bit further, but then the boot process complained that it couldn't find a file called 'applesetos', and hung with a small Pixel screen displayed.

Welsh Legend
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:24 am

Hi Lonnie

I will look at what you said

Any chance of some instructions how you got that far?

I am normally fairly good at getting stuff to work but I am struggling with this for some reason

I know Macs after 2015 changed in regards to setting up Windows 10 boot camp using USB so maybe that's why I can't get Debian pixel to boot from USB?

ANYONE Managed To Get A 2015 MacBook Pro To Work With Debian Pixel ???

chillywillycd
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:34 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:57 pm

so it took me some trying and some research but i managed to get persistence working on my 2010 MacBook. what it took was making sure that my ext4 partition had a label of "persistence" set on it.

i was even able to do this within my x86 PIXEL live boot. my persistence partition was on /dev/sdb2 so i ran

Code: Select all

sudo e2label /dev/sdb2 persistence
upon reboot i STILL wasn't getting persistence properly configured, so i double checked the contents of the persistence.conf file (the persistence partition was auto-mounted at /media/pi/persistence i think). i found that whatever i'd created them with in the 1st place ended up being read by PIXEL as mess of garbage. i re-edited that file (from PIXEL)

Code: Select all

sudo echo '/ union' > persistence.conf
and with a reboot now my persistence was successful!

dcgao2004
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:41 pm

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi spl23 (engineer),
I followed up with your instructions and tried on my old MacBook Pro 3,1 without luck until I added the "nomodeset" at the end of your kernel line in the file (/efi/boot/enterprice.cfg).

Thanks so much and my MBP now breaths a free air and seems a lot happier...so am I :D

-DC

ejwjohn
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:14 am

Re: Fixing booting of the x86 image on Macs

Mon May 22, 2017 10:04 am

Hello,

I have tried both methods of booting from a USB stick with Pixel and i am afraid without success, I cannot even get my old Mac Pro 1.1 to recognise that there is another boot media connected to the system. I have reset NVRAM..no difference. I think my old Mac Pro is going to be a challenge. but i am no expert... i have a Mac that is 64 bit CPU and a 32 bit EFI and i have been advised that that config could be a challenge????

Thank You.

But would love to prove the doubters wrong....

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