Install Debian "Wheezy" Linux on MacBook Pro 5,5

I used a wired ethernet connection for this install. I removed the OSX rescue partition to gain some space since I have the stock hard drive. I found out later in the Linux install OSX didn't reclaim the freespace from the rescue partition, yet disk utilty's command line and GUI said otherwise. My Linux partition is only 60GB. May sound low but it works fine for me. I am in the middle or creating a iSCSI server as well for more added space.

Needed for the install USB Jumpdrive 512MB or higher formated to FAT32 A Windows PC with unetbootin (Mac version freaks out after it install syslinux)


Debian Wheezy unoffical firmware netboot install CD image


Install rEFInd onto the mac. Create your partition with Disk Utility. Format the new partition as ExFAT so you can easily identify it in the Linux install. Pop in the USB jump drive, reboot and install.

Partition the system manually and create a single partition for ROOT /. If yo want a swap partition you can delete the rescue partition and use that for swap so Linux can behave. Since my system has 8GB of RAM I don't really need swap space. The installer will complain about no EFI partition found, just continue and ignore it for now.

Select the default Linux kernel and when it asks for the initrd drivers just use the generic: include all available drivers.

When setting up APT select yes on using non-free software. Also besure to enable the updates. For the selection of software I picked the base, laptop and Deskop GUI.

Now that was the simple part. The hard part is getting the system to boot. Since the installer could not find a EFI partition for some silly reason we have to create a new one per'say. Reboot into OSX, open terminal and run "sudo gdisk /dev/disk0".

Do the following in gfdisk

x ,enter o ,enter n, enter o, enter w, enter

resintall rEFInd and after installing it run "bless --info" and make sure the two lines state

Blessed System Folder is /EFI/refind Blessed System File is /EFI/refind/refind_x64.efi

Now we need to edit rEFInd's config file. In terminal type in "sudo nano /EFI/refind/refind.conf"

Find scanfor, remove the hash # and change manual to biosexternal.

Save and exit

I almost forgot, you need to copy the ext4 driver from rEFInd to /EFI/refind/drivers. Unless you're using a older ext2 filesystem then you don't have to. Now you can boot into Linux.

-= If rEFInd doesn't load up run the install script again. =-

Wireless still has firmware issues but can be fixed. nvidia driver has to be installed, i don't like the opensource driver. Touchpad needs tweaking.

-=Wireless fix=- open root terminal and issue apt-get update. Then install firmware-b43-installer via apt apt-get install firmware-b43-installer Simple easy fix and now the wireless will work.

-=Nvidia video=- Issue apt-get install nvidia-glx

default nouveau driver but we can blacklist it with a easy tool called nvidia-xconfig. apt-get install nvidia-xconfig and then run the tool nvidia-xconfig this will blacklist the nouveau driver and enable X11 to use the real nvidia driver. You'll know the nvidia driver works when you reboot bcause it will have a special splash screen before X11 starts.

-=Touch Pad=- Install a simple program called gpointing-device-settings via apt. Run the program in X11, the device will be listed as "bcm5974". Just tweak the settings to your liking.

save and exit then reboot.