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SDB:Installation on a mac mini Intel x86

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Suse Linux on a Mac Mini 2011 <- It is possible !!

This tutorial will describe precisely and step by step what you need to do to install suse Linux on an apple Mac mini 2011. You will have a dual boot Linux-MacOS, which will allow you to use the both operating systems. I currently use it on my machine, and everything works correctly.

===== Be sure that all your data is saved!! =====

You will even have the possibility to make a triple boot with windows seven.

->My hardware configuration:

o Mac mini 2011:

  2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 
  4GB memory 
  500GB hard drive1 
  AMD Radeon HD 6630M 
  OS X Lion 

o 22’’ screen with DVI connection
o USB mouse and keyboard


->Preparation: what you need:

 A mac mini 2011
 An internet connexion
 A super drive (an external dvd player does not allow the proper installation!!)
 A Ubuntu installation DVD (live DVD)
 A Suse Linux DVD: for me: SLES11_SP1.


o 1st step: Update
It is really important to install all the Mac OS updates before doing anything. So, on your Mac desktop, click on the apple, and then on Software Update. Restart your Mac to be sure everything is installed, and be certain that no more updates are available.


o 2nd step: Repartitioning
It’s time now to repartition your Hard disk. For that, boot on the Ubuntu liveDVD, and use Gparted to create a Swap Partition (type: Linux Swap, 20Go for me), and a ext3 partition (300Go for me).


o 3rd step: rEFIT installation
rEFIT is a boot manager, which will allow you to choose between Mac OS and Linux after a reboot: http://refit.sourceforge.net/. Download the rEFIT-*.dmg file, extract it and install it on your Mac by launching the rEFIT.mpkg file. Then restart your Mac, you will maybe have to do it twice before seeing the Refit menu which will propose you to select to boot on Mac OS or other possibilities.

rEFIT menu will now be launched every time you will restart you mac.

rEFIt includes a useful tool to synchronize the GPT and MBR partition details. You should run this after any change to your partitioning scheme either in Mac, Linux or Windows. From the rEFIt initial boot screen, choose "Start Partitioning Tool", carefully read the output, and type 'y' to confirm. Be aware that rEFIt assumes an American keyboard layout.


o 4th step: Installation
Boot on your installation DVD. When you are on the rEFIT menu, launch the installation.


Choose the text mode to avoid graphical issues, and launch the installation. Then, do NOT install grub. You can allow the installer to create the grub configurations files, but do not install it. uncheck: Boot from boot partition in Boot loader installation menu of the boot menu. Use the partitions made with the Ubuntu liveDVD. Then finish the installation.

When you mac will restart, enter in the partitioning tool menu of refit, and make the modifications purposed if necessary.


o 5th step: Grub installation
Boot on the Ubuntu liveDVD. Install grub if he is not : sudo apt-get install grub. Now, launch Gparted to see the names of all your partitions, it’s important for the following. Look for the name of your partition with linux (e.g.: sda3). Now, we are going to install grub: In a terminal, enter:

 #grub
 grub> root (hd0,2)
grub> setup (hd0,2)
grub> quit

(hd0,2) mean the third partition (the first is 0) of your first hard disk (hd0). Be sure that nothing has fail, you may have some warnings.


o 6th step : Grub configuration
Once grub is installed, you have to configure it. Mount the linux partition in/mnt:

 mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

Now edit the menu.lst configuration file as following : If this file is already created, do not change it. Just verify if everything seems correct. sudo gedit /mnt/boot/grub/menu.lst

 default 0
 timeout 10
 title    openSUSE
 root     (hd0,2)
 kernel   /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda3
 initrd   /boot/initrd

Be careful to be sure of the name of your linux partition (for me sda3)!


o 7th step : Delete recovery partition !
If you restart your Mac, and launch the Linux partition, you will have the following message: No bootable device

To solve this problem, you have to delete the recovery partition. Boot on the Ubuntu LiveDVD and start GParted. Click on this partition, and delete it.

Then, because of the fact that you made changes on your partition table, lauch the refit synchrining tool.

o 8th step : Enjoy it !
Everything might be correct for grub, reboot your mac, launch the partitioning tool of rEFIT to be sure everything is correct, and everything is installed !

You then might have to install the video driver (for me : I have download it on the ATI website). Before that you should install the gcc package and kernel sources in your Linux.