Author Topic: 32 bit EFI installation possible?  (Read 754 times)

Offline tinkerdoc

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32 bit EFI installation possible?
« on: April 15, 2020, 06:29:49 pm »
I want to update my old Macbook 2,1 (or the even older Macbook Pro 2,2) to linux. I thought I might make them more useful for my son to do Google classroom but also actually learn about computers; and get me some experience too. BUT both have 32-bit EFI/64-bit processors and I am having trouble finding an ISO that will boot. I have found info online re Matt Gadient's modifications, but neither Mac will boot from a DVD; and Stefan's instructions for making a USB seem slightly overwhelming (I will likely dive into that if I can't come up with an easier to me solution). In case it isn't clear, I am persistent and careful but completely inexperienced with Linux. I have used Windows but usually use Macs. SO -- are any Peppermint versions bootable to a 32bit EFI system? As background - I have been able to boot Sugar on both, from USB (didn't like it though; too different, not what I'm looking for); Fedora LXDE to the newer Mac; and I can get both to recognize a USB with a modified Peppermint 9 I found in the forum (modified for 32bit EFI PC's with 64bit processors- similar to the Macs I have, but different) as bootable, but neither actually boots. I get to the screen where I choose Try Peppermint and then the Pro goes black with a cursor in top left and stops; the MacBook gets through that and flashes a few times and I'm left with a mostly black screen with slightly colored lines across it. I tried the 32bit version and the USB isn't recognized as a boot device. Any help would be very much appreciated.

I know both machines are slow/old. But Lion is running on the Mac (but so out of date many web pages can't load) so I figure something leaner and newer could be better; and I converted the MacBook into a chromium book a year or so ago, but the camera doesn't work and the cursor shakes like crazy and I was hoping to find something a bit more functional. Maybe I'm dreaming?

Offline clatterfordslim

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Re: 32 bit EFI installation possible?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 07:06:14 am »
Hello Tinkerdoc, here is a ISO that PCNetSpec done for weird computers with 32bit EFI and 64bit processors. I'm also  guessing you cannot upgrade Ram to 4GB to run a 64bit ISO? Because the EFI is 32bit.
https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,7979.msg85605.html#msg85605

I of course had no luck with this ISO with my computer tablet, which has Windows 8 on. Intel made the processor to only run Windows 8 unfortunately. The link above explains more. Kind Regards  ;D Ah did not read all the post you have already tried this sorry.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 07:09:54 am by clatterfordslim »
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But so is this Forum :)

Offline murraymint

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Re: 32 bit EFI installation possible?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 09:26:51 am »
BUT both have 32-bit EFI/64-bit processors and I am having trouble finding an ISO that will boot.

Are you sure the processor is 64-bit? Do you have any model number for the Macs or the processors in them?

Offline tinkerdoc

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Re: 32 bit EFI installation possible?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2020, 10:07:17 am »
Thank you both for responding. murraymint, the MacBook Pro 2,2 is a 2006 model and has a 2.16GHz Core2Duo processor. When I look up the model/year online it says it has a 64-bit processor. The CoreDuo's had only 32bit; but the Core2Duo's are supposed to have 64bit. I know the MacBook also has a 64bit processor (similar to the Pro, it has a Core2Duo processor) -- in part because I was able to run a 64bit Fedora spin on it.

And thank you clatterfordslim -- I appreciate the link; but I couldn't get it boot. It comes up with choice to try it, but then doesn't get further.

At this point I would run a 32bit version if I could, but I tried at least one (Zorin Lite?) and it wouldn't run. I think because mine is a Mac and the 32bit is still EFI??  :-\

Offline murraymint

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Re: 32 bit EFI installation possible?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2020, 10:28:13 am »
Thanks for confirming that. Have you looked at trying rEFInd as a boot manager? It's worth considering for troublesome UEFI situations. If you can get it installed you should be able to boot anything, pretty much. See here (although they actually have a 32-bit Mac with EFI):

https://astrofloyd.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/linux-only-installation-on-2006-macbook-using-refind/

Offline tinkerdoc

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Hi. I have an update. I was able to get the Peppermint 9 spin that PCNetSpec made work from a Live USB! I am having trouble getting the installation to boot, however. I will update what I did that worked, and hope that someone can help with what doesn't!

To get t the USB with the modified Peppermint 9 to boot, I just have to edit grub and add "nomodeset" after quiet splash in the Linux line. Once I do that, the USB live system boots!

After checking how everything was working, it all looked good (no camera, but I expected that), so I installed by choosing the icon in the live system. The installation is noted as being successful. But when I booted, it went to a mostly black and colored line screen and stuck there. I figured out how to get grub to show up (ESC key, keep hitting it) and can see the Grub2 options. I  thought maybe I needed to add 'nomodeset' to the linux line and I tried that. It gets rid of the colorful lines but then I just stick at the textured appearing black only peppermint background. And it never boots.

After re-installing (2 or 3 times), trying boot-rescue (both recommended and then, thinking it was confused about the 32-bit/64-bit, I even tried making a couple of changes using 'Advanced Options') and trying to boot from a recovery option, nothing has worked. I have tried removing many of the lines of the Grub entry, but nothing worked. I was finally able to ?trick the machine into booting by booting to the Live USB Grub, getting a command line, and entering:

Code: [Select]
linux /casper/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2 nomodeset
initrd /casper/initrd.lz
boot

It then boots to the installed system and I can take the USB out. But I don't know how to change the Grub to actually work on its' own. I ran sudo apt-get install grub-efi-ia32-bin and it told me the file already existed and was up to date. I ran sudo update-grub as well. But when I shut down and logged in again, the same problem as before occurred. I again was able to get in using the above commands. I used gksu gedit /etc/default/grub and added nomodeset after quiet splash and then ran update-grub again. I checked the file and it stuck. But it didn't help.

FYI here is what I get with fdisk and blkid:

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
[close]

I think grub either can't find the kernel or there is something else that i can't figure out. I have read that i can set grub to read from an iso file, but it seems like since this is installed there should be some way to figure it out? Thank you anyone for your help. I have been trying to read as much as I can, but I am still woefully inept at this. (PS I haven't tried reFind because I don't really understand what it is or how to do it, but I can go that route if no others work. Thanks!)

Offline murraymint

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(PS I haven't tried reFind because I don't really understand what it is or how to do it, but I can go that route if no others work. Thanks!)

It's an alternative bootloader to GRUB. Your situation is an edge case which we don't support here at Peppermint because it's so tricky. I'm just thinking that rEFInd is more likely to sort out the complications of the 32bit/64bit issue. You already have Peppermint installed and if you can make the bootloader work, your OS will work.