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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Booting from a USB-stick


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Saabye

 
Member Since: Jun 19, 2011
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So i have a USB-stick with the Linux Puppy OS on. I would like to boot from the USB without installing the OS.
When i start my machine with the USB in i press the Option key on startup. But i don't see my USB-stick there, only my Macintosh. I'm using a MacBook Air so i can't boot from CD/DVD. What am i doing wrong??

To get the OS i downloaded Linux Puppy, and followed the Ubuntu guide to create a USB drive here:
Download | Ubuntu
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SpawnHappyJake

 
Member Since: Jun 22, 2011
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To prevent you from thinking to yourself "get to the point, SpawnHappy," as you read my response, I'll let you know now that the trick is to have a bootloader tailored for EFI in a FILE, yes, unbelievably, in a FILE, located under /System/Library/CoreServices on the thumb drive named "boot.efi".
However, saying the above is premature. It SHOULD be said AFTER explaining a traditional BIOS to operating system sequence of events, and then an EFI to operating system sequence of events so that anyone who reads this thread will know what the heck I'm talking about and what they are dealing with. Also, I don't know your level of understanding of booting, so it's best to explain the whole thing.

For the whole explaination, go here: Bootable Thumb Drive on Mac - Pastebin.com .

But basically (here's the tail end of what's linked to above), You need an efi bootloader file that has a bootloader that can load what you want AND is compatible for EFI.

GRUB2 can be compiled for EFI and you can obtain a grub2 efi file. GRUB2 can also mimic a BIOS to chainload a bootloader that is written for BIOS and not EFI.
I followed some instructions on the internet one time about how to compile GRUB2 from source for EFI, and it didnít work for me. I got to a GRUB2 command line (on my Macbook), and it didnít see any drives. Clonezilla comes with GRUB2 for EFI already built, so I think Iíll try that build next.

Know that Apple hasnít released to the public, or even to graphics card driver writers, how to use the 3D abilities of a graphics card on their EFI. So if you do boot into something via an EFI bootloader off your thumb drive on your Mac, you wonít be able to use the 3D abilities of the graphics card (unless itís Mac OS X). But if you have GRUB mimic a BIOS or use Appleís BIOS compatibility layer for EFI, then you can use normal BIOS drivers for the graphics card and use the 3D abilities, but you get a slower bootup because you have to wait for the BIOS compatibility layer to load.
I think there is a way you can dump the video BIOS or something with dd and have GRUB2 use those dumps and boot something via EFI without emulating a BIOS and still use the 3D capabilities of the graphics card on the Mac if you use those dumps.

If you use GRUB2 for EFI, then you will need to make a GRUB2 configuration file. Again, you can use the one that comes with Clonezilla as an example (look at their grub.cfg).

You could still install GRUB2 to track0 and have a GRUB2 for EFI efi file so that your thumb drive is bootable on both an EFI computer and a BIOS computer.

Youíre in luck because Linux supports running on top of EFI as well as BIOS.

Hope it helps,
Cheers,
Jake
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SpawnHappyJake

 
Member Since: Jun 22, 2011
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Yeah, tried the build of grub.efi that Clonzilla comes with the other day...nope. Still get to a GRUB2 commandline. Disappointing.

Cheers,
SpawnHappyJake
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