[NBLUG/talk] Concerning Linux compatibility with the new MacBook Pro

Christopher Wagner chrisw at pacaids.com
Mon Jan 16 08:05:37 PST 2006

<lifts rock and peeks out>

Most interesting, I wish I had made it to MacWorld to check out this new
Intel Mac's. :)

I'm more curious about whether the x86 version of OS X can be coerced
into booting on other chipsets (namely, considerably cheaper hardware),
I know they're designing things to *not* work in that fashion, but one
is always curious. :)

- Chris

Lincoln Peters wrote:

>(Just in case anyone's interested...)
>For those of you who have been hiding under a rock since Tuesday, Steve Jobs 
>has unveiled two new Macintosh computers that are powered by Intel 
>processors: a new iMac, and a new line of laptops called the MacBook Pro.  
>Apple's shift to Intel chips has led quite a few people to speculate that the 
>new Macs could dual-boot MacOS X and Windows.  Of course, I'm sure that any 
>Mac fans on this list would only think of dual-booting MacOS X and Linux.
>Anyway, I was at the Macworld Expo this week, and was able to convince one of 
>the Apple representatives to let me try to boot a MacBook Pro from a Knoppix 
>CD (v4.0.2 for PC, burned by myself to a CD-RW the previous day).  While the 
>MacBook Pro recognized the CD when I put in (i.e. it appeared on the 
>desktop), it was unable to boot from it.  I restarted the computer, holding 
>down the 'C' key after it made the start-up chime (which is how you tell a 
>new-world Mac to boot from a CD), and it STILL booted from the hard disk.  
>And unfortunately, there was no indication as to WHY it didn't boot from the 
>CD, although the information I've dug up thus far via Google suggests that 
>it's because the Intel Mac's boot sequence uses EFI 
><http://www.intel.com/technology/efi/> instead of a traditional BIOS.
>Obviously, it's virtually impossible to draw any conclusions from such a 
>simple experiment, but it looks like installing an OS other than MacOS X on 
>one of these Intel Macs is NOT going to be as easy as some people had hoped.  
>It should still be possible, though, as EFI was originally developed for 
>Intel's IA-32 processor, and Linux does support the IA-32.  We'll probably 
>learn more once these new Macs start shipping next month.

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