install without installing grub?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

install without installing grub?

Postby gmc » 2017-11-09 21:01

I want to install debian testing on a macbook pro (I understand testing is a "rolling distro" in effect) to check it out. I am dualbooting osx and linux mint on it now. I am using refind boot manager so I dont want debian installing grub with the install. How do I prevent this?

Maybe deleting grub-install from the iso before or after I write it to a DVD or USB? Since that looks like the last thing done in the install maybe It wont mess up the install if it stops at that point??
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby bigrigdriver » 2017-11-09 21:45

You will have to install grub somewhere if you want to boot Debian. There are two options: install to the MBR of the hard drive (which you do not want to do) or install the the boot sector of the partition in which you install grub.
When you install Debian, be care when you get to the grub installation part. Specify installing grub to the partition and not the MBR of the hard drive.
You will not be able to boot Debian until you edit your existing bootloader to add Debian to your boot menu, and to hand off the boot process to the Debian partition. At that time grub takes over and boot Debian.
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby gmc » 2017-11-09 22:01

From reading an online instruction of debian install and watching a video of the install, the grub install is to the UEFI partition after the software packages install with no pause for option location selection. I saw no place for chosing alternate location for grub install or no grub install. Where is the option (user control)?
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-11-09 22:10

@OP, I don't know much, and even less about OSX and macbook pro,
but I am doing some searches for you , I don't think you need grub, but
really you need to research this, unless it is some one that know for sure, IE:
some one with hands on experience.
See this : https://wiki.debian.org/MacBookPro
4. Go back to the installer by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F1, and keep doing the installation process up to GRUB or LILO. If you install either GRUB or LILO without syncing first, Linux won't boot. So, do not install any bootloader yet, and follow next step.

But please read it all, the wiki is some what out of date, but there have been
some comments added, like:
(Obsolete with squeeze) Current installer can not install. But you can use Iwamatsu's D-I.

There are additional links in the wiki, I have not yet looked at them, at the moment , I have to run, it is time to feed my birds,... the main point is you need to research this carefully, I am sure you are not the first person wanting to dual boot, on a Macbook pro, with Osx, and Debian, so there should be some accurate details, on how to do the installation correctly. When I get a chance
I will look some more myself.
===== edit===========
https://wiki.debian.org/MacBook#Install_Debian
If you want a more user-friendly boot manager, rEFInd is a boot manager which presents a screen to select which operating system to boot at power on. rEFInd works out-of-the-box after installation with OS X and Linux installs on the machine.

Other boot managers are available such as GRUB and LiLo, which require configuration to boot OS X.

Installing rEFInd

If you will use rEFInd as rEFInd for boot management, disable the GRUB boot manager which Debian configured by resetting the computer's NVRAM (hold Command, Option, P and R when turning on the computer). The Linux kernel doesn't require a separate boot loader since version 3.3, so you can also remove the GRUB boot loader from the EFI partition.

Again, you need to read it all carefully, not just the bits and pieces I quoted.
Good luck.
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Before doing anything, read the Debian documentation:
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2017-11-09 23:05

I'm pretty sure you get the option of where, or if, to install grub at the end of the install.
Maybe that's just with the "advanced" install - havent done a 'basic' one.

Also, testing is not a rolling release - it's a construction zone for the next stable.
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby gmc » 2017-11-10 00:21

hello,
I am booting the macbook pro (osx and linuxmint) using refind. Refind will boot debian if it is installed. However-- the install of debian installs grub on the efi and steps all over the refind manager. Therefore I need to prevent debian installer from installing grub. Therefore my question--how to install debian without installing grub to EFI? I dont need or want grub installed when I install debian. Any body in this debian forum know how to do this?
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby tynman » 2017-11-10 00:41

dilbert-left-nut already gave the answer: If you use the "advanced install", there is an option near the end of the installation process to install grub or not. I have used this numerous times (I also use rEFInd -- not a fan of grub :) ).
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-11-10 00:56

That was what I thought myself, but it has been so long since the last time
I installed Debian, I did not remember for sure, but I think I remember seeing a option to not install grub, at least on older versions of Debian. Not sure about the newest, and "testing" or SID.
Does the "Macbook pro" have a Virtual machine program of some sort,? like VirtualBox, the ideal way to check , before risking messing things up would be
to install it on a VM, and make sure the option is there, etc..
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Re: install without installing grub?

Postby p.H » 2017-11-10 08:19

gmc wrote:the install of debian installs grub on the efi and steps all over the refind manager.

What do you mean by "steps all over" ?
The installation of GRUB EFI does not overwrite any other installed EFI boot loader. It installs in a separate directory on the EFI system partition, registers an EFI boot entry for GRUB and changes the boot order to put the entry in first position. You can change the boot order afterwards to put rEFInd in first position again, with efibootmgr, from the system firmware if it has this option, and probably other tools.

gmc wrote:how to install debian without installing grub to EFI?

Select "expert install" in the Debian installer boot menu. The installer will go back to the main menu after each step, so you can skip the GRUB installation step.
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