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Installing Fedora as native OS on Macbook

asked 2012-09-27 15:22:53 -0500

fresca gravatar image

I have a 1st Gen black macbook and I was wondering if it is possible to install Fedora (or any Linux OS) instead of Mac OS X. Right now I have Snow Leopard, though of course my origial system was Tiger. I have the 2.16 GHz processor, 2GB ram and a 320GB hard drive.

Another thing--- I can go no further with upgrades for my macbook! My laptop is simply too old at this point, so I have no issues with formatting my HD and erasing my old OS.

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answered 2012-10-05 16:14:07 -0500

duffy gravatar image

Caveat: I'm no Mac expert. But since your MacBook Pro runs Snow Leopard and isn't a PowerBook, I'm guessing you've got an Intel-based Mac and not a PPC Mac. (You can install Fedora to either, of course :) although the instructions are slightly different between them.)

DVD Install

The easiest way is probably going to be via DVD. You can snag the DVD from this page: http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora-options#formats

I don't know if you're 32-bit or 64-bit. If you're not sure either, 32-bit will work on either type of system.

Live USB Install

If you don't have a DVD burner or a blank DVD handy, you can install via LiveUSB key, although it's a bit trickier.

1) First you should download the LiveMedia iso file. You can get the 64-bit LiveMedia for Fedora 17 here; if you've got 32-bit it's available too, just poke around on that site:

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora

2) Next, you'll need at least a 1 GB USB key. You should format it.

3) Now you'll need to install the ISO to the USB key. You can't simply put the ISO file on the USB key, it has to be written out a certain way. This will involve use of the terminal and the 'dd' command, but 'dd' should be available on your Mac:

http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/17/html/InstallationGuide/MakingUSBMedia-UNIXLinux.html#MakingUSBMedia-UNIXLinux-RHELFedora-dd

One caveat here is that your Mac doesn't use the /dev/sdc style way of referring to disks. It may be something like /dev/rdisk-something.

4) Once the dd operation finishes, make sure the USB key is plugged into the MacBook and reboot it. A menu should come up that shows a Fedora logo - select it, and you should boot into a live Fedora environment. A pop up with a button to install to the hard drive should pop up as soon as the desktop finishes loading.

Hope this works for you! :)

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answered 2014-02-08 13:27:36 -0500

Um... even though this post is was from 2012 (it's 2014 now), I might add a few points from where the previous poster had stopped.

  • The MacBook was mentioned by the OP--anything with a 'Mac' prefix is always an Intel machine, such as the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. The G3 PowerBooks and beyond, the iBook, and the Power Macintoshes will always be PowerPC, unless of course, they're the vintage beige m68k machines that came before the G3 (i.e. the 6500, 9500, etc.)
  • Macs have EFI32 and EFI64, and are 32 or 64-bit based on release year--that is, the Core Duo 2006 models and some 2007s will be 32-bit. Not all Linuxes support booting from a flash drive (or DVD) from EFI32, but rather relegate EFi support to 64-bit, if I am not mistaken. My advice would be to look for Core 2 Duo (64-bit) or 2008+ models for the best compatibility.
  • And whatever you do, try to stay away from Linux on the nVidia GPU or the MacBook Pro! The nVidia chips in some of these can cause havoc, such as blanking at boot--to boot up, choose 'basic graphics mode'--you will have to install the correct driver manually and blacklist the built-in (i.e. Fedora) nVidia module once you install, or some colors will be inverted--such as gold for deep blue, etc.) I speak from experience; after hassling with the graphics without the proper akmod package. I eventually traded it for a HP, as I depend on a solid computer for my software work, and loaded Fedora on it.

I noticed these weren't mentioned before, and so hopefully, these will help somebody.

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Actually, all Power Macintoshes, including the 6500 and 9500, have PowerPC processors, hence the "Power" in their name. I believe the first Power Mac model released was the 6100, but I could be mistaken. I do know that the earliest PowerPC processor that Apple used was the 601. The G3 was the 750, the G4 the 7400 series, and the G5 (64-bit!) the 970 series. 68k Macs did not have the four-digit model number, hence such models as the Performa 575 and 630, while the PowerPC series had the four digits, e.g. the Performa 6200 and the aforementioned Power Macs. Yes, it could be confusing back then.

Altbau gravatar imageAltbau ( 2016-08-14 00:50:03 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-09-27 15:22:53 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 08 '14