Why this page?

Because i want to provide an up to date (December 2015) information/process/hooks for the Installation of iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) model with "Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie)"

Before starting

This hardware can be used with i386 or amd64 architecture.

I have used a USB keyboard and mouse. I do not know if the apple wireless keyboard and trackpad work out of the box, I don't have them and I won't use them anyway...

Get space from others filesystems or OS

With Os X Yosemite version 10.10.5:

  1. Make sure your Hard Disk is decrypted ("Security & Privacy" - "?FileVault")

  2. Use "Disk Utility" to create the needed empty space for the installation

Create a bootable debian USB stick

You should be able to use a netinst image, but because my connection here is not really good, I've preferred to download a full DVD multi-arch snapshot.

Note: this procedure requires that you create an .img file from the .iso file you download. It will also change the filesystem that is on the USB stick to make it bootable, so backup all data before continuing.

  1. Download preferred Debian ISO (as commented I've used a testing image, remember to check with MD5)
  2. Open the Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/ or query Terminal in Spotlight).
  3. Convert the .iso file to .img using the convert option of hdiutil e.g.,  hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/debian.iso  Note: OS X tends to put the .dmg ending on the output file automatically.

  4. Run  diskutil list  to get the current list of devices.

  5. Insert your flash media.
  6. Run  diskutil list  again and determine the device node assigned to your flash media (e.g. /dev/disk2).

  7. Run  diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN  (replace N with the disk number from the last command; in the previous example, N would be 2).

  8. Execute  sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m  (replace /path/to/downloaded.img with the path where the image file is located; for example, ./debian.img or ./debian.dmg). Using /dev/rdisk instead of /dev/disk may be faster. If you see the error dd: Invalid number '1m', you are using GNU dd. Use the same command but replace bs=1m with bs=1M. If you see the error dd: /dev/diskN: Resource busy, make sure the disk is not in use. Start the 'Disk Utility.app' and unmount (don't eject) the drive

  9. Run  diskutil eject /dev/diskN  and remove your flash media when the command completes.

  10. Restart your Mac and press alt/option key while the Mac is restarting to choose the USB stick.


Standard process. When restarted I had a lovely black screen. I've followed the steps in https://wiki.debian.org/AtiHowTo as a summary: 1. Add "contrib" and "non-free" components to /etc/apt/sources.list 2. apt-get update 3. apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree libgl1-mesa-dri xserver-xorg-video-ati (remember I've used Jessie)

After installing


iSight (integrated Webcam)





:~$ lspci | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Blackcomb [Radeon HD 6970M/6990M]

:~$ glxinfo | grep OpenGL
OpenGL vendor string: X.Org
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on AMD BARTS
OpenGL core profile version string: 3.3 (Core Profile) Mesa 10.3.2
OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 3.30
OpenGL core profile context flags: (none)
OpenGL core profile profile mask: core profile
OpenGL core profile extensions:
OpenGL version string: 3.0 Mesa 10.3.2
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.30
OpenGL context flags: (none)
OpenGL extensions:
OpenGL ES profile version string: OpenGL ES 3.0 Mesa 10.3.2
OpenGL ES profile shading language version string: OpenGL ES GLSL ES 3.0
OpenGL ES profile extensions:

:~$  glxinfo  | grep rendering
direct rendering: Yes

:~$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2560 x 1440, maximum 16384 x 16384
eDP connected primary 2560x1440+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 597mm x 336mm
   2560x1440     59.95*+

:~$ glxgears -info
Running synchronized to the vertical refresh.  The framerate should be
approximately the same as the monitor refresh rate.
GL_RENDERER   = Gallium 0.4 on AMD BARTS
GL_VERSION    = 3.0 Mesa 10.3.2
GL_VENDOR     = X.Org
GL_EXTENSIONS = GL_ARB_multisample GL_EXT_abgr GL_EXT_bgra GL_EXT_blend_color GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_blend_subtract GL_EXT_copy_texture GL_EXT_polygon_offset GL_EXT_subtexture GL_EXT_texture_object GL_EXT_vertex_array GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array GL_EXT_texture GL_EXT_texture3D GL_IBM_rasterpos_clip GL_ARB_point_parameters GL_EXT_draw_range_elements GL_EXT_packed_pixels GL_EXT_point_parameters GL_EXT_rescale_normal GL_EXT_separate_specular_color GL_EXT_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap GL_SGIS_texture_border_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_lod GL_ARB_framebuffer_sRGB GL_ARB_multitexture GL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB GL_IBM_multimode_draw_arrays GL_IBM_texture_mirrored_repeat GL_ARB_texture_cube_map GL_ARB_texture_env_add GL_ARB_transpose_matrix GL_EXT_blend_func_separate GL_EXT_fog_coord GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays GL_EXT_secondary_color GL_EXT_texture_env_add GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias GL_INGR_blend_func_separate GL_NV_blend_square GL_NV_light_max_exponent GL_NV_texgen_reflection GL_NV_texture_env_combine4 GL_S3_s3tc GL_SUN_multi_draw_arrays GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp GL_ARB_texture_compression GL_EXT_framebuffer_object GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc GL_EXT_texture_env_combine GL_EXT_texture_env_dot3 GL_MESA_window_pos GL_NV_packed_depth_stencil GL_NV_texture_rectangle GL_ARB_depth_texture GL_ARB_occlusion_query GL_ARB_shadow GL_ARB_texture_env_combine GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3 GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat GL_ARB_window_pos GL_EXT_stencil_two_side GL_EXT_texture_cube_map GL_NV_depth_clamp GL_NV_fog_distance GL_APPLE_packed_pixels GL_APPLE_vertex_array_object GL_ARB_draw_buffers GL_ARB_fragment_program GL_ARB_fragment_shader GL_ARB_shader_objects GL_ARB_vertex_program GL_ARB_vertex_shader GL_ATI_draw_buffers GL_ATI_texture_env_combine3 GL_ATI_texture_float GL_EXT_shadow_funcs GL_EXT_stencil_wrap GL_MESA_pack_invert GL_NV_primitive_restart GL_ARB_depth_clamp GL_ARB_fragment_program_shadow GL_ARB_half_float_pixel GL_ARB_occlusion_query2 GL_ARB_point_sprite GL_ARB_shading_language_100 GL_ARB_sync GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object GL_ATI_blend_equation_separate GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate GL_OES_read_format GL_ARB_color_buffer_float GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object GL_ARB_texture_compression_rgtc GL_ARB_texture_float GL_ARB_texture_rectangle GL_ATI_texture_compression_3dc GL_EXT_packed_float GL_EXT_pixel_buffer_object GL_EXT_texture_compression_dxt1 GL_EXT_texture_compression_rgtc GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp GL_EXT_texture_rectangle GL_EXT_texture_sRGB GL_EXT_texture_shared_exponent GL_ARB_framebuffer_object GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample GL_EXT_packed_depth_stencil GL_ARB_vertex_array_object GL_ATI_separate_stencil GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once GL_EXT_draw_buffers2 GL_EXT_draw_instanced GL_EXT_gpu_program_parameters GL_EXT_texture_array GL_EXT_texture_compression_latc GL_EXT_texture_integer GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode GL_EXT_timer_query GL_OES_EGL_image GL_ARB_copy_buffer GL_ARB_depth_buffer_float GL_ARB_draw_instanced GL_ARB_half_float_vertex GL_ARB_instanced_arrays GL_ARB_map_buffer_range GL_ARB_texture_rg GL_ARB_texture_swizzle GL_ARB_vertex_array_bgra GL_EXT_texture_swizzle GL_EXT_vertex_array_bgra GL_NV_conditional_render GL_AMD_conservative_depth GL_AMD_draw_buffers_blend GL_AMD_seamless_cubemap_per_texture GL_AMD_shader_stencil_export GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility GL_ARB_blend_func_extended GL_ARB_debug_output GL_ARB_draw_buffers_blend GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location GL_ARB_fragment_coord_conventions GL_ARB_provoking_vertex GL_ARB_sampler_objects GL_ARB_seamless_cube_map GL_ARB_shader_stencil_export GL_ARB_shader_texture_lod GL_ARB_texture_cube_map_array GL_ARB_texture_gather GL_ARB_texture_multisample GL_ARB_texture_query_lod GL_ARB_texture_rgb10_a2ui GL_ARB_uniform_buffer_object GL_ARB_vertex_type_2_10_10_10_rev GL_EXT_provoking_vertex GL_EXT_texture_snorm GL_MESA_texture_signed_rgba GL_NV_texture_barrier GL_ARB_get_program_binary GL_ARB_robustness GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects GL_ARB_shader_bit_encoding GL_ARB_texture_compression_bptc GL_ARB_timer_query GL_ARB_transform_feedback2 GL_ARB_transform_feedback3 GL_NV_vdpau_interop GL_ANGLE_texture_compression_dxt3 GL_ANGLE_texture_compression_dxt5 GL_ARB_base_instance GL_ARB_compressed_texture_pixel_storage GL_ARB_conservative_depth GL_ARB_internalformat_query GL_ARB_map_buffer_alignment GL_ARB_shading_language_420pack GL_ARB_shading_language_packing GL_ARB_texture_storage GL_ARB_transform_feedback_instanced GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample_blit_scaled GL_EXT_transform_feedback GL_AMD_shader_trinary_minmax GL_ARB_ES3_compatibility GL_ARB_clear_buffer_object GL_ARB_explicit_uniform_location GL_ARB_invalidate_subdata GL_ARB_stencil_texturing GL_ARB_texture_query_levels GL_ARB_texture_storage_multisample GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_binding GL_KHR_debug GL_ARB_buffer_storage GL_ARB_multi_bind GL_ARB_seamless_cubemap_per_texture GL_ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge GL_ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev GL_EXT_shader_integer_mix GL_ARB_derivative_control GL_ARB_texture_barrier 
VisualID 597, 0x255
302 frames in 5.0 seconds = 60.217 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.837 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.836 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.836 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.837 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.837 FPS
300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.836 FPS
299 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.637 FPS


Screen resolution


Sensors (applesmc module)

Software suspend

Apple Keyboard

See Also