[clug] Installing debian on a macpro - grub failed

Logan Ryan McLintock u4955237 at anu.edu.au
Mon Dec 16 06:39:39 MST 2013

Hi Scott,

Thanks for you comments, you are right, there is a lot of madness to my method, not much method to my madness lol.

An exhaustive list of steps that I took are shown below (war & peace lol):

********************************************************* iso Download and check sums **************************************************************

Nonfree netinst


netinst (generally 240-290 MB) non-free CD images with firmware


logan at linuxmachine:~$ cd Downloads
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ ls
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ 
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ md5sum firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
f883fbe7bf5fd30a80c1a5ffb3ca5b01  firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ 
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ 
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ sha256sum firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
74a675e7ed4a31c5f95c9fc21f63a5e60cc7ed607055773ffb9605e55c4de4cb  firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
logan at linuxmachine:~/Downloads$ 

f883fbe7bf5fd30a80c1a5ffb3ca5b01  firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso

74a675e7ed4a31c5f95c9fc21f63a5e60cc7ed607055773ffb9605e55c4de4cb  firmware-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso

********************************************************* burn CD on another Debian computer with xfce desktop **************************************************************

Insert blank CD into computer
Applications Menu
Burn Image
Image to burn: Select the debian iso from the Downloads folder
Speed: Slowest
Burn image

********************************************************* GParting the Mac to ext4**************************************************************

MacPro has already had operating system removed
Turn on wait for flashing ? folder
Insert Parted Magic DVD that I got in a linux magazine from the news agency
Make all disks ext4
Turn off computer

********************************************************* Debian Install Start  **************************************************************

Turn on computer hold
command option p r
Let go after second start up sound (clearing nvram)

When ? folder appear, please eject and insert debian firmware netinst
(put in top tray)

Graphical install

Language: English
Country: Australia
Keymap: American English

Some of your hardware needs non-free firmware files to operate.
The firmware can be loaded from removable media, such as USB stick or floppy.
The missing firmware files are:
If you have such media available now, insert it, and continue.

Broadcom B43 wireless driver
Don't need wireless on macpro

Load missing firmware from removable media?

I didn't load the missing firmware as I couldn't find the file "b43-open/ucode16_mimo.fw" and I didn't really know what I was doing.

Primary network interface:
eth0: Intel Corporation 82574L Gigabit Network Connection

Hostname: macpro
Domain name: leave blank
Root password: enter this
Full name for the new user: Logan McLintock
Username for your account: logan
Password for new user: enter this
Time zone: ACT

Partitioning method:
Guided - use entire disk
Select disk to partition: Kingston (this is the SSD, all three HDs used for files only not operating system)
Partitioning scheme: All files in one partition (recommended for new users)
Finish partitioning and write changes to disk
Write the changes to disks? Yes

Debian archive mirror country: Australia
Debian archive mirror: ftp.au.debian.org
HTTP proxy: leave blank

Participate in the package usage survey? No

At the moment, only the core of the system is installed.
To tune the system to your needs, you can choose to install
one or more of the following predefined collections of software.
Choose software to install:

Debian desktop environment  - Yes
Web server
Print server  - Yes
SQL database
DNS Server
File Server
Mail Server
SSH Server
Standard sytem utilities  - Yes

It seems that this new istallation is the only operating system on this computer.
If so, it should be safe to install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record
of your first hard drive.
Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record? Yes

Unable to install GRUB in /dev/sda
Executing 'grub-install /dev/sda' failed.
This is a fatal error.
Continue, continue.

It wouldn't let me continue, and I tried to do GRUB again, so I tried to do the following with no idea what I was doing!!!!!!!

Install the LILO boot loader on a hard disk.
LILO installation target: /dev/sdb: Master Boot Record
Do you want to add the large-memory option? Yes
Do you want to convert boot and root options? Yes
Do you want to run /sbin/lilo now? Yes

Installation complete
The CD will automatically eject. Take the CD and close the tray by hand.

The computer automatically rebooted
The flashing ? folder is shown

Won't boot into anything - just keep getting flashing folder!!!!!

Press power button to turn off computer.

Turn on computer and hold down option key - still nothing - just flashing ? folder.

Logan =)

On 17/12/2013, at 12:12 AM, Scott Ferguson <scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 16/12/13 22:56, Logan Ryan McLintock wrote:
>> Hi Guys,
>> I have a MacPro 5,5 (the box one, not the macbook pro laptop) and I
>> am trying to install Debian. I booted a Partition Magic DVD and use
>> GParted to make all the three hard drives and single SSD ext4 (i.e.
>> erasing the terrible mountain lion).
> Why not use the Debian installer to do that?
> Please expand on the partitioning scheme you used.
>> Then I did the firmware nonfree netinst 
> non-free *and* firmware?  So does "firmware" mean the free-firmware.udeb
> only?
>> whilst connected to the
>> internet (behind a net gear router). Every thing went fine until the
>> Grub failed. I was using
>> debian firmware 7.2.0 amd64 netinst
> I'd suggest you choose Help from the first install screen and type
> "expert" then check Alt+F4 after the GRUB step to see the errors
> followed by choosing to "save the debug logs" (you can choose to save to
> web server on the installer and download the three logs from a browser
> on another machine on the network). Just choose "standard" (not server
> or desktop) from the software selection - you can install a DE etc later
> (tasksel).
>> and I checked sums before burning it.
>> I am trying to install debian as the only operating system (no os x,
>> no rEFIt), booting naturally using efi, not bios emulation. Maybe the
>> grub in the Debian is too old?
> No. Though you don't have the latest Wheezy point release (last weekend).
> Mike Homney's guide to installing on the MacBook Pro (last year):-
> http://glandium.org/blog/?p=2830
> From the wiki (three years ago, needs updating):-
> https://wiki.debian.org/DebianOnIntelMacPro (a little dated).
>> I would really appreciate any help as I am quite unsure what to do. I
>> could probably use ubuntu as I think the installer can do the whole
>> efi grub 2 thing, but I would prefer debian.
>> I am willing to pay for help.
> I'm willing to help you for free via the list, or you can ask on the
> debian-user mailing list.
> If you get stuck and need hands-on email me off-list.
>> PS. Don't but macs
>> Regards, Logan -) cyclops
> Kind regards
> -- 
> linux mailing list
> linux at lists.samba.org
> https://lists.samba.org/mailman/listinfo/linux

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