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Linux boots on 17-inch iMac Core Duo

updated 10:50 am EST, Thu February 16, 2006

Linux on iMac Core Duo

Members of the Mactel-Linux effort today announced that they have managed to boot Linux on a 17-inch iMac Core Duo, and devoted special thanks to one user in particular for his efforts. Mactel-Linux is the effort to adapt the GNU/Linux operating system to Intel-based Apple Macintosh hardware, which requires changes or additions to various parts of the Linux operating system. Such parts include the elilo bootloader, the Linux kernel itself, and several device drivers. "Using elilo and a modified Linux kernel, we can boot the kernel and run executables in the initrd on the 17-inch iMac Core Duo. We are using the hacked vesafb driver to inherit the bootloader's video mode, interrupts are up and some drivers work." The team writes on its website that instructions and patches are forthcoming, slated to be made public this weekend.

by MacNN Staff





  1. zachmanx

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm a long time Unix user, and I must say that beyond the general geekery of this accomplishment I think it is altogether pointless. Is the idea here to buy a premium priced piece of hardware, and then strip it of its customized software and load one headache after another? Someone has more time and money than I do. If you want Linux, buy a cheap PC; if you want a holistic consumer solution, buy an iMac with OS X.

  1. alex_kac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very important

    No, the idea is that this allows the community to learn more about how the Core Duo Macs boot for whatever purpose we need to use it for - Windows, Linux and so on.

    And not only that but say that 2-3 years from now a 17'' iMac Core Duo user wants to reuse the machine for another purpose - this allows them to do so.

    Consumer choice is a good thing.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    very UN-important

    This sort of thing will remain a hacker wet-dream. It will never go mainstream, never be supported by the hardware vendor. Each and every new hardware model that comes out will require furious hacking and patching to keep things limping along. No business would ever consider using software that the hardware vendor disavows any knowledge or support thereof. In short Linux/Windows/Whatever on Mac Intel will go nowhere fast accept in the nerd/geek universe. And then it will be used to denigrate the hardware because of poor performance from a hack.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh, right...

    > And not only that but say that 2-3 years from > now a 17'' iMac Core Duo user wants to reuse > the machine for another purpose - this allows > them to do so.

    Oh, right, because in 2-3 years, OS X will have suddenly stopped working - I forgot.

  1. SolarMedia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Short sighted

    This is not necessarily about Linux. It is really about how people are starting to really dig into Macs and their operating system. The more people tinker, play around with things and experiment, the more users will come to the Mac. Then people find themselves challenged, they find inspiration to dig into things and see the possibilities. That drives advancement in many directions. It may not be the stuff that we may find interest in, but it nonetheless brings attention and credibility to the efforts.

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