Linux running inside a the new Mactel..

in macOS edited January 2014
.. I'm new so I'm not sure if this is ok, if it's not MODS please close it and let me know. (edit: heck I'm not sure if I posted this in the right forum.)

Anyway I recieved this in my email about 3 days ago and I was really surprised, I thought that we would see Windows installed on a Mac before we saw Linux, but I guess this is a good surprise.

Here's the news in case anyone doesn't feel like clicking the link..


While we don't know how Edgar 'Gimli' Hucek did it yet, what we do know is that he appears to be the first to get Linux running on a Mactel.

(Click here for larger image. Source: Edgar 'Gimli' Hucek; used with permission.)

It had been expected that porting Linux to a Mactel would happen relatively quickly, unlike, say porting Windows to the same hardware. But, although there were rumors that Red Hat Inc. engineers were working on it, the honor of getting there first goes to Hucek.

The first Linux to make the jump was Gentoo. This doesn't come as much of a surprise, since Gentoo's Portage source-code based software distribution system makes it perhaps the most flexible and configurable of all the major Linux distributions.

To boot up, Hucek had to make modifications to Intel's open-source elilo (extensible firmware interface Linux bootloader), which replaces the BIOS on Mactels, the Linux kernel, and several drivers.

With this, Hucek has been able to "boot from a USB hard disk on the [17-inch] iMac Core Duo. We are using the hacked vesafb driver to inherit the bootloader's framebuffer, keyboard and a USB network card work."

According to the project's Web site, he will be releasing instructions on how he did it along with the appropriate patches this weekend.

Of course, as the first distribution to make the trip, this is far from a complete Linux distribution port at this point. So, no, at this point, you can't use Wine to run Windows programs on Linux on a Mactel.

What Hucek has been able to do is to get Gentoo to boot up to a command line and to compile the Linux kernel.

And, why did he do it? Hucek replied, in the best tradition of hackerdom, "I think the new iMac is a powerful desktop machine and I wanted to have Linux on it and it's a lot of fun."

There can be little doubt that now that he's shown that it's possible, other Linux developers will quickly be following in his pioneering footsteps to create complete Mactel Linux distributions.


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