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#1 2013-03-19 19:36:27

Kopkins
Member
Registered: 2012-07-01
Posts: 189

[SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

Hello,

I've been using Linux now for a little over a year and have had my fill of Ubuntu. While it was easy to get going, I find it pretty restricting as far as linux goes. I installed arch out of curiosity in a VM then to restore and old computer installed it on an old lenovo. I finally backed up all my files on my Ubuntu install and am ready to switch to Arch. Everything is so much better here. But I'm having trouble finding how exactly to do it. I have a fresh install of OS X with the partitions already arranged, but I can't figure out how to install rEFInd.

As far as I know, it needs to be compiled from source using linux tools. So I have to boot into linux, compile the source, get those files to OSX and then install them? I can't find any documentation of how to install it on OSX other than run install.sh. But when I do it reports that I'm missing the binaries. Then to get those I have to compile them on linux? but I'm not allowed (or shouldn't) install them from linux.

I guess I'm just a little confused and want a bit of guidance.

Thank you for any help,

Kopkins

Last edited by Kopkins (2013-03-20 17:23:37)

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#2 2013-03-19 21:46:41

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

Go to the rEFInd download page, download the rEFInd binary .zip package, and run install.sh from that package under OS X. If that gives you error messages, cut-and-paste what you typed and the messages install.sh produced so that I can see them. (I'm rEFInd's maintainer.) There's no need to build rEFInd from source code, although you can if you want to. I've even seen reports of people doing it in OS X, although the package's build files don't officially support that. (See this page for one such set of instructions -- but as I don't support this method of building, you're on your own if you want to try it.)

If you want to use a /boot partition with a Linux filesystem, or not have a separate /boot partition, you should also install the EFI drivers for whatever filesystem you intend to use (ext2/3, ext4, or ReiserFS). You'll need to do this manually when installing from OS X. (Installing from Linux on a Mac won't quite work because of the Mac's weird EFI implementation.)

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#3 2013-03-19 22:17:02

Kopkins
Member
Registered: 2012-07-01
Posts: 189

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

Okay I feel pretty stupid, I downloaded the src.zip instead of the bin.zip. I think everything is good to go now.

Thank you

Kopkins

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#4 2013-03-20 02:41:27

Kopkins
Member
Registered: 2012-07-01
Posts: 189

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

Should I mount the EFI system partition during install at `/mnt/boot/efi'?

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#5 2013-03-20 02:45:02

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

If I remember correctly, one option is to use the ESP as the home for rEFInd.  But you can also put it in the /efi directory of your OSX partition and simply "bless" that instead.  UEFI firmware typically only reads FAT filesystems, but Macs read hfs+ as well.  They are funny machines, and unfortunately they do not fully comply with the UEFI specs.

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#6 2013-03-20 03:15:45

srs5694
Member
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

WonderWoofy is correct; you can install rEFInd on the OS X root partition (or any other FAT or HFS+ partition, for that matter, although the install.sh script supports only the OS X root partition and the ESP). In fact, using the OS X root partition seems to produce fewer problems, so that's what I recommend unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise. Such reasons might include using full-disk encryption or some other technology that prevents the EFI from reading the OS X root partition.

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#7 2013-03-20 04:22:22

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

When I used a Macbook and refit (refind wasn't yet in existence), I tried using the ESP, as it seemed like a "cleaner" option.  It worked just fine, but had a bit of a delay even if I blessed it then reblessed it and blessed it some more.  It was one of the more religious experiences I have ever had smile

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#8 2013-03-20 17:23:17

Kopkins
Member
Registered: 2012-07-01
Posts: 189

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

Hey guys, thanks for the help. I've got everything running well with a full arch install now. It took me long enough to get arch on my macbook. I've been wanting to for a while now, but it seemed more challanging than on most other laptops. It was worth it though. Now it's an ArchBook!

Kopkins

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#9 2013-03-20 17:31:22

srs5694
Member
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

WonderWoofy wrote:

When I used a Macbook and refit (refind wasn't yet in existence), I tried using the ESP, as it seemed like a "cleaner" option.  It worked just fine, but had a bit of a delay even if I blessed it then reblessed it and blessed it some more.  It was one of the more religious experiences I have ever had smile

Yup, that's the problem that keeps cropping up. Most users who have such a problem report a ~30-second delay before rEFInd appears, and the problem usually goes away when it's re-installed to the OS X root partition. I've never been able to reproduce the problem on my one Intel-based Mac, though, so I've been unable to study it in depth.

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#10 2013-03-20 22:27:15

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] Installing Arch/rEFInd on MBP 8.1

It wasn't even close to 30 seconds for me, but it was a noticeable stall for sure.  However, I did get a delay of that magnitude when I was using Linux in bios compatibility mode and forgot to bless before totally removing OSX.  I guess there is already a delay when it switches from its EFI to the compatibility, and when it doesn't immediately know what to do it kind of freaks out.

Edit: I was using compatibility mode because it was a MacBook 2,1 which has a 32-bit EFI.  So In order to run 64-bit Linux, I had to use the compatibility mode.  Interestingly it seemed as though the 32-bit EFI limitation was an artificial one imposed by Apple in refusing to update the firmware on my generation of MacBooks, even though the relevant hardware was seemingly identical to next generation, which was updated.

Last edited by WonderWoofy (2013-03-20 22:29:48)

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