View Full Version : Booting a Linux CD/DVD burned on Intel/Tiger?

11-04-2007, 12:43 AM
I've searched high and low for a thread on this, so apologies if one already exists, and if so, please direct me to it. I have seen various discussions here addressing bits and pieces of my issue, but I need a direct, comprehensive answer, so here goes:

I want to run a Linux distro on Intel Mac Mini, which has a superdrive and is running 10.4.10. I prefer either Fedora Core 7 or Ubuntu 7.10. From what I've read on the Fedora site about installing on an Intel Mac, Fedora should be the most straightforward of installs, apparently recognizing partitions created by Boot Camp (unlike Ubuntu, which is very tricky in partitioning) (See http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraOnMactel for this description).

But on to my problem: I have tried several times to create a Linux CD or DVD that will boot the Intel Mac Mini. All attempts have failed. I can burn the CD or DVD (I've tried both) and can then access its contents in Mac OS X, but cannot boot the machine with it.

Before trying to boot Linux, of course, I installed Boot Camp beta, which appears to be running normally, then rEFIt, which appears normal too. Following the instructions on the Fedora site above, I used Boot Camp to create a 10 GB Windows partition. I do not yet know, though, whether a Windows partition will work, since I have not succeeded at booting into Fedora yet--I am only following Fedora Project's instructions.

I then downloaded the two Linux distros--Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora Core 7. I burned Ubuntu onto a CD-R, then Fedora onto a DVD-RW. At first, I tried following Fedora's advice of burning the ISO directly to the CD or DVD. After those would not boot, I tried again, this time opening the ISOs and copying their contents onto the CD or DVD, but not the ISOs "packaging" themselves. None of this has worked.

Keep in mind my method here: I have simply dragged the ISOs or their contents onto the empty CD or DVD, then pressed the "burn" button at the top of the CD or DVD window. Am I missing something by doing this??

I have also tested these discs on Parallels. Parallels will not boot from the CDs or DVDs, but it will boot and install from the ISOs.

After failing, oh, about 5 or 6 tries, I decided to go back and test some old Linux distros that I burned a couple of years ago using the same method, but on an old G3 PowerMac. These old distros have been known to boot just fine on Intel PCs. I tried a Puppy Linux, an old Suse 9.1, and an Ubuntu 6.06. All of these booted my Intel Mac Mini just fine. REFIt recognized the CDs and showed a Linux Logo, which I selected, and promptly got loaded.

So, Linux CD's burned on older Mac hardware will boot just fine, while CDs burned on my Intel Mac Mini won't. This leads me to a question: Do Intel Macs have some sort of built in "piracy protection" that would prevent CDs or DVDs burned on that hardware from being used to boot the computer. Or, am I missing something really obvious here? Or, is there a fairly simple--and legal--workaround?

I'm considering finding another computer and burning the discs there--either a pre-Intel Mac or even a PC, but I'll wait for feedback here first.

Thanks, and I hope I've provided enough info.

11-04-2007, 01:51 AM
Your process of burning the ISO images to CD is your problem. The ISO should be that of a bootable disk already. What you need to do is open Disk Utility and drag the ISO file into the left column, under the drives. Select the ISO in the left column and click the Burn button at the upper-left. Disk Utility will then instruct you to insert a CD to burn the image to.

11-04-2007, 01:56 AM
OK, great. I'll try that, and let you know the results. Sounds like it will work.

11-04-2007, 11:29 PM
Yep, all worked out fine. Ubuntu 7.10 now running great on my Mac Mini, in a 10GB partition.

Looks like I just forgot how to do that, cuz it had been a while since I'd burned a bootable install disk. Just needed the refresher. Thanks, Vegas!