Apple (Mac) Hardware Issues

I’m using older Mac hardware, traditionally. Trying to gain some attraction, here!

While the web is full of articles and suggestions to get newer Linux distros working on old Mac hardware, I seem to be running against a constant wall with my older Apple iMac 27-Inch “Core i7” 2.8 (Late 2009).

And, I’m looking for some serious help here, guys!!!

I love the machine and it’s my main computer. It still works wonderfully - running on an older MacOS (10.13.6) - with it’s 16GB of RAM, dual graphics card (Onboard Intel + Radeon HD 4850, 512 MB), 1 TB HDD, etc. - Except that Apple stopped syncing contacts to newer iOS devices anymore, lately! - So… time to enliven old hardware!!

All Linux distro’s do run on VirtualBox without major problems.

However, I can’t get it to boot into any Linux Live distro via USB or DVD!

I managed to get Fedora 36 running on a MacBook Pro 2011, without any issues.
The EnOS-Appollo-ISO did not make it, for reasons unbeknownst to me. The boot always stalled before reaching any graphical interface, even after going through all the hints in the Arch Wiki, regarding those MacBooks.

I would have loved it, instead!

So…

Would there be anyone to help me to get my iMac back, before throwing it away?!

Much love is granted upfront!

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Some of the old macs had 32 bit bios abs 64 bit os. I forgot what it is exactly but there’s something you need to do to get going for that and you may find it works. Try MX or peppermint 32 bit just to see if it works.

I already went down that trail without success. But thanks!

(i.e. create a GPT partition table on a usb thumb-drive and format it as Fat32, and then use Balena Etcher to flash the iso on to the drive…)

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Well, well, well… what can I say? You made me very, very happy today @fbodymechanic !

I followed your advice to try MX 32bit, and it was the first time ever, this old iMac would actually boot from a Linux USB stick!

The installer then threw a warning, that I’d tried to install a 32bit system on a 64bit UEFI machine, but I tried regardless, to no avail.

Then I got courageous enough to try the MX 64bit installer, and what can I say?!

It works!!!

Thank you one hundred times, Derek!

Now I have a working Linux system on this machine, finally!

That is just great, great, great!

:smiley:

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That’s fantastic to hear! There’s not a lot of 32 bit options left unfortunately, but MX isn’t such a bad place to be.

Congrats.

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So I forget how, and I know there’s mention of it on here. But my guess is you have that 32/64 combo. I had a 2008 MacBook with the same thing. I already had donated it off by the time I learned of such a thing. But there should be a way to do that with Endeavour using the arch 32bit bios I think??

Or just run with MX. It’s a quality distro for sure.

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Have you tried booting with nomodeset as a kernel parameter. This doesn’t work on newer amdgpu but this is older Intel with Radeon HD. Maybe it works or not? :man_shrugging:

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@ivanhoe If you still want to give it a try, try the link below. I ran many 64-bit distros on my 2006 MacbookPro with success using that. Although, I thought that your hardware isn’t shipping with such efi boot. But just give it a try.

https://www.ldx.ca/notes/intel-mac-efi32-linux.html

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It works now. I have no idea, what kept me so long… guess I just loved the MacOS enough to stay away from trying to mess it up.

Today, I managed to install Fedora36 alongside yesterday’s MX-Linux installation, alongside my old MacOS 10.13.6… and all systems work fine.

I have yet to figure out the best measures to keep the old Mac hardware from overheating, though!

Installed and configured mbpfan (a Linux pendent to Macs Fan Control) on both Linux systems, perhaps it needs some further tweaking.

TLPUI is installed on MX-Linux, to throttle CPU frequencies…

Any better ideas than this?

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Thank you all for your encouragement, guys, big time!

:pray:

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I did this to keep a Macbook Air from overheating:
If you are going to launch a demanding program, load up a less demanding program first and wait for a while. For exanple I wanted to play Rocket League but if I loaded it up straight temps went to the infinity and beyond. So first I loaded Hearts of Iron IV, started a new game and just scrolled around the map for a few minutes then I closed HoI4. Then I loaded up Rocket League and checked temps. It had created a difference. Well the difference it created was going from 100+ to 95-99 degrees celsius and I said “no this Mac can’t run the game”, end of story for me.
The reason I did this is because that Mac’s fan speed changed VERY slowly so I force it to ramp up while avoiding overheat.

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That’s a unique strategy you have there!

I found this article quite informative (relates to all computers, not only Macs):

Meanwhile, I found my best way to keep my old iMac from overheating on Linux, using mbpfan.

For anyone interested, you can see more details here.

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A general approach towards installing Linux on Macs

First you need to shrink your main MacOS partitions from within MacOS, using ‘disk utility’ to make some space available for Linux.

Then, you need to boot the machine from a prepared Linux USB drive by holding down the option key upon starting up until boot menu appears.

After sucessful installation there remains the main task to keep the Macbook/iMac from overheating, but it can be done, once you learn how. ‘Mbpfan’ is the best tool for that, which I keep using.

:thread:

Adding the following links as bookmarks for further reference:

Dedicated pages on the Arch-Wiki for these models:

If all goes wrong:

How to reinstall MacOS (Apple)

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