Fedora 17 on Macbook Air

At work we use CentOS and RedHat, therefore we work with and produce RPMs.  I wanted my MacBook Air to be able to build RPMs and also act as a build server for when I need to build servers at a new location.

I had previously installed Ubuntu and Cornice without too many issues.  This post gave me hope that the install would go well.

I firstly created a USB stick to perform the install. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me I must have missed a step. I burnt a live CD and I was away.

Installation went OK. I created a /boot, a swap, a / and a special BIOS partitiion.  The latter I don’t think I need now. I rebooted and refit/refind nor the native Mac boot manager could boot Fedora.

This is the procedure I ended up using to get it to boot, I think these steps can be performed after the installation and before the reboot:-

  1. After install, boot from live CD.  And fire up a terminal (Activities->System Tools->Terminal)
  2. Setup the network connection – wireless worked for me.
  3. In the terminal, su – #to become root
  4. mount /dev/sda7 /mnt # mount the root partition on /mnt, in my case partition 7
  5. mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/boot
  6. mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
  7. mount -t sysfs sysfs /mnt/sys
  8. chroot /mnt  # to go into the installed environment
  9. yum install grub2-efi
  10. mkdir /tmp/macefi
  11. mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/macefi
  12. cd /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi
  13. #Now we need to create a boot image for EFI
  14. grub2-mkimage -O x86_64-efi -d . -o grub.efi -p “” part_gpt part_msdos ntfs ntfscomp hfsplus fat ext2 normal chain boot configfile linux multiboot jpeg png search tga help font echo loadenv
  15. mkdir -p /tmp/macefi/efi/grub
  16. rsync -av grub.efi *.mod *.lst /tmp/macefi/efi/grub/.
  17. # Now we need to setup a grub2 grub.cfg for Fedora
  18. vi /tmp/macefi/efi/grub/grub.cfg
    menuentry "Fedora 17" {
    set gfxpayload=keep
    insmod gzio
    insmod part_gpt
    insmod ext2
    set root='hd0,gpt5'
    if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,gpt5 --hint-efi=hd0,gpt5 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,gpt5 --hint='hd0,gpt5'  6e491a7e-bdae-47d3-96a7-2e4248bf85ce
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 6e491a7e-bdae-47d3-96a7-2e4248bf85ce
    echo    'Loading Linux 3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64 ...'
    linux   /vmlinuz-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64 root=UUID=0ee1899c-2274-4b85-8478-0b69e0a481c2 ro rd.md=0 rd.lvm=0 rd.dm=0 SYSFONT=True  KEYTABLE=us rd.luks=0 LANG=en_US.UTF-8 rhgb quiet
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd  /initramfs-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64.img 

    # you will need to use your /boot partition above instead of gpt5

  19. umount /tmp/macefi
  20. reboot

Upon reboot refit/refin picked up the new boot entry and away Fedora 17 went.

Now to fix up the trackpad, and other settings.

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2 Responses to Fedora 17 on Macbook Air

  1. I would like to know if you fixed the touchpad! I want to use Linux in my macbook but I can’t live without a good touchpad!

    • admin says:

      the touchpad does work, admittedly not as well as in Mac OS X. Two finger scrolling works, but right click does not, or not yet