Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

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Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-20 09:19

Hi all,
I’m new to Linux - and thought I’d try installing it on an old MacBook Pro I have. It‘s a 2006 model, (MacBookPro 2,2)
It has a Radeon X1600 graphics card and Core 2 Duo processor.

I reportitioned the HD so I can dual boot, and I’ve installed rEFINd and Debian using a USB stick. Installation went well. However, it will not boot into the GUI.

This is where I pretty much fall flat, as this is all very new. So I’ve spent a good chuink of last week Googling pretty much every thing I can find.

So, actually, is DOES boot, but only into the command line. I have to add nomodeset to the parameters in the Grub boot command. I also removed quiet and put in nosplash. Now I can see what it reports as it boots up. I can atleast get to the CLI so I can try stuff out.

I also added the non-free and extra firmware that is recommended. Also disabled Wayland in Gnome as suggested on various pages I found.

So, just plain booting - with no nomoseset causes the boot to stall at this entry:

Code: Select all
fb: switching to radeonrmfm from EFI VGA
scsi host5: ahci


And here starts one of many rabbit holes. I have been typing the commands it stalls on into Google, along with “debian linux boot” to see what I get. It seems that if I add stuff like noapci and noapic to the linux boot in Grub, booting progresses to a stall point further on. Even though I have read background information about what these things mean (and tried variants suggested), I never get to the “Welcome to Buster” message unless nomodeset is included.

So, right now, my boot parameters looks like this:
Code: Select all
ro nosplash noapci noapic hpet=force noefi pci=noaer radeon.dc=0


I have blacklistsed the atiamdgpu module, which seemed to help move things along. However, each stall on the boot produces even more messages that I don’t really understand. The current error where it stalls is either:
Code: Select all
fb: switching to radeonrmfb from EFI VGA


OR

it gets past that, and hangs on
Code: Select all
ata6: DUMMY


OR
Code: Select all
scsi host5: ahci

(which is further along, I think, from the previous one)

It seems that each boot moves along a little, so in typing this my fourth boot now stops at:
Code: Select all
ata2: PATA max UDMA/100 cmd 0x40d0 ctl 0x40e8 bmda 0x40b8 irq 10

(noting that there is a near identical line a few lines up for ata1 - just the hex numbers are slightly different)

Another error it halts on is:
Code: Select all
ehci-pci 0000:00:1d.7: EHCI Host Controller



I really think I need guidance from people who know what they are doing, because I know I’m stabbing in the dark hoping to hit a target.

I know you guys will want to see logs. I have no idea how to get them off the machine - and won’t a successful boot overwrite the previous failed one (whichis what I want)?

I can’t help thinking that the nomodeset is the key here - I believe it does something to halt the graphics system from kicking in, but it seems to do *something* to allow these errors or problems to be bypassed.

I may have left some stuff out - I’ve been plugging away at this for a week now, and it’s been frustrating.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-07-20 16:41

HairyDalek wrote:I know you guys will want to see logs. I have no idea how to get them off the machine - and won’t a successful boot overwrite the previous failed one (whichis what I want)?

The X.Org log will probably give us the clues we need — if you boot to a console (add either 2, 3 or 4 as a kernel command line parameter) without nomodeset (AMD graphics cards require KMS) then log in as your normal user and run the 'startx' command then a log will be generated at ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log that can be piped to a pastebin client:
Code: Select all
curl -F 'f:1=<-' ix.io < ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log

Post the returned URL here.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-20 18:24

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
HairyDalek wrote:I know you guys will want to see logs. I have no idea how to get them off the machine - and won’t a successful boot overwrite the previous failed one (whichis what I want)?

The X.Org log will probably give us the clues we need — if you boot to a console (add either 2, 3 or 4 as a kernel command line parameter) without nomodeset (AMD graphics cards require KMS) then log in as your normal user and run the 'startx' command then a log will be generated at ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log that can be piped to a pastebin client:
Code: Select all
curl -F 'f:1=<-' ix.io < ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log

Post the returned URL here.


Thanks for replying. I have managed to boot using the kernel command (I had to look that one up too), and I had to modify the boot command slightly, or the problem still continues. So my Linux boot command looks like this:
Code: Select all
ro nosplash noapci noapic hpet=force noefi pci=noaer radeon.modeset=0

Watching the boot text scroll past, I noticed that there was a report that radeon doesn’t have a .rc - however, the modeset one is supported, and that lets me through, so I went with that.

So, I ran startx, and then the command you gave (had to sudo apt install curl), and it did its thing. The URL returned is:
http://ix.io/361

Hope this is what you need. Thanks again.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby LE_746F6D617A7A69 » 2020-07-20 18:49

1. Why are You using rEFInd and not just GRUB?
2. You have bug in the kernel parameters: noapci -> should be noacpi, but disabling the ACPI is a really bad idea -> it disables most of the power saving functionalities, making the system unusable on laptop.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-20 19:23

Hi,
LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:1. Why are You using rEFInd and not just GRUB?

Genuine ignorance. I started looking to see how I could get the machine dual booting Linux, and rEFInd was something that I found was necessary. The original intention was Ubuntu, but for the life of me, I could not get the USB Stick to boot. So I decided to try another system, and seeing that Debian was the “parent”, I thought I’d give that a try. So it’s a hangover of my original attempts. I expect I could uninstall it, but right now, I don”t want to change the system too much whole people are helping.

LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:2. You have bug in the kernel parameters: noapci -> should be noacpi, but disabling the ACPI is a really bad idea -> it disables most of the power saving functionalities, making the system unusable on laptop.

Thanks for spotting that. I’ve taken that bit out. I’ve been Googling the various messages that the boot gets stuck on, and trying things that have cropped up in various forums and Reddit posts. So what you see is actually a paper trail of things I have found that *seemed* to be helping.

Current boot parameters is now this:

Code: Select all
ro nosplash noapic hpet=force noefi pci=noaer radeon.modeset=0
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby LE_746F6D617A7A69 » 2020-07-20 21:14

HairyDalek wrote:Hi,
LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:1. Why are You using rEFInd and not just GRUB?

Genuine ignorance. I started looking to see how I could get the machine dual booting Linux, and rEFInd was something that I found was necessary. The original intention was Ubuntu, but for the life of me, I could not get the USB Stick to boot. So I decided to try another system, and seeing that Debian was the “parent”, I thought I’d give that a try. So it’s a hangover of my original attempts. I expect I could uninstall it, but right now, I don”t want to change the system too much whole people are helping.

I've asked this question for a reason -> I've expected an answer that GRUB have failed to boot -> but in this case I would say: re-install the OS with GRUB as the main boot-loader -> it is far more reliable and tested than rEFInd -> and this *can* be a reason for which You get stuck at the "fb: switching to radeonrmfm from EFI VGA" message ...

Regards.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby stevepusser » 2020-07-21 03:49

Just to make sure, what does

Code: Select all
apt policy firmware-amd-graphics
report?
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-07-21 06:13

HairyDalek wrote:So my Linux boot command looks like this:
Code: Select all
ro nosplash noapci noapic hpet=force noefi pci=noaer radeon.modeset=0

The radeon.modeset=0 parameter will prevent the graphical desktop from loading, as I mentioned in my last post.

HairyDalek wrote:The URL returned is:
http://ix.io/361

That's empty, is there a file at ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log?
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-21 06:40

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
HairyDalek wrote:So my Linux boot command looks like this:
Code: Select all
ro nosplash noapci noapic hpet=force noefi pci=noaer radeon.modeset=0

The radeon.modeset=0 parameter will prevent the graphical desktop from loading, as I mentioned in my last post.

HairyDalek wrote:The URL returned is:
http://ix.io/361

That's empty, is there a file at ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log?


No - it's at /var/log/Xorg.0.log, which is what I used in the command you gave. Output from the startx command says where the log is written.

Anyway, A look round ix.io gave me another command to try, which I believe has been successful. Try this:

http://ix.io/1YQn

I used:
Code: Select all
sudo cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log ~ curl -F 'f:1-<-' ix.io


EDIT:
Having to include radeon.modeset=0 in the boot command because otherwise, it stalls as described before. The log does say that modesetting isn’t supported, which is why I mention this.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby LE_746F6D617A7A69 » 2020-07-21 18:16

HairyDalek wrote:Having to include radeon.modeset=0 in the boot command because otherwise, it stalls as described before. The log does say that modesetting isn’t supported, which is why I mention this.
Modesetting can't work in EFI VGA mode, and the kernel was unable to switch the FB ;)
Try GRUB.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-21 18:42

stevepusser wrote:Just to make sure, what does

Code: Select all
apt policy firmware-amd-graphics
report?


Hi, this is what it outputs:

Code: Select all
firmware-and-graphics
  Installed: 20190114-2
  Candidate: 20190114-2
  Version table:
 * * * 20190114-2 500
500 http://deb.debian.org/debian buster/non-free i386 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-21 18:44

LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:
HairyDalek wrote:Having to include radeon.modeset=0 in the boot command because otherwise, it stalls as described before. The log does say that modesetting isn’t supported, which is why I mention this.
Modesetting can't work in EFI VGA mode, and the kernel was unable to switch the FB ;)
Try GRUB.


OK, then. I’ll see what I can do. I’ll try uninstalling rEFInd, and if that fails, I’ll go nuclear and wipe the partition and start again.

Learning as I go, thanks all for your help so far.
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Re: Having problems booting to GUI on MacBook Pro model 2,2

Postby HairyDalek » 2020-07-22 08:12

Hi,
removed rEFInd and the MBP will only boot into GRUB if I hold down the ALT (or Option) key at boot. I can select the partition to boot into and Grub starts from there.

Still no major change in behaviour after that, but I have noticed that after I log in, and type cd / and then ls , the entries are now in colour depending on what the name represents. Using startx still fails, and the machine will stall as described in the OP unless I use nomodeset.
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