What's the status of Linux on the Mac Pro? (the tower, not the Mac
I've had a number of problems getting Debian AMD64 running on my Mac
Pro with an ATI X1900.
Using rEFIt 0.8 (no bootcamp), dual booting, and using LILO installed
to the MBR (other choices did not work).
Debian Etch (testing) AMD64 RC1 uses 2.6.17 kernel, using "expert
irqpoll acpi=force" I was able to install (requires aborting the
installation after partitioning the disk to sync the MBR and GPT
using rEFIt because refit is not available yet for the amd64 linux).
Problem is that I couldn't get the video accelerated, I check frame
rate using planetpenguinracer and also I have to boot using only
"apic" as the kernel parameter, i.e., no irqpoll, to disable the
scanning of the DVD drive (well documented problem). Result is a
very slow boot as well.
Debian Etch (testing) AMD64 daily builds have used 2.6.18 kernel for
months, until recently I could not install using them.
The problem with the Debian 2.6.18 kernel (and others?) is that not
only is you have to disable the scanning for the DVD drive (see
above) but /sbin/lilo freezes (you can't do certain updates or
install kernels without destroying the system beyond my ability to
recover). I was able to use the ATI 8.32.2 to get accelerated video
with the 2.6.18 kernel.
The problem with building a kernel that I encountered is that:
First you have to be running 2.6.17 to install the kernel.
Second even if you start with the Debian config file for 2.6.18 when
building 2.6.19 and 2.6.20 you have to know to change certain
filesystems from modules to built-ins, I figure Debian patches the
kernel so that the choice in their config does not make a difference
(I activated ext2, ext3, and pc bios I think). I think I tried other
posted config files with no success.
Currently I have 2.6.20 running, I assume the DVD drive works but I
have not figured out how to get the eject key to work, and none of
the MacTel patches seem useful for a Mac Pro. I do not yet have
accelerated video, I have not tried all possible combinations of ways
of installing the ATI drivers and the current release is not supposed
to be compatible with the 2.6.20 kernel (expected mid March I believe).
I need to rebuild my kernel because I turned off Intel HD sound and
I'm going to reactivate some more stuff as modules even though I
probably don't need it, but I've been busy and it seems the video
problem will be solved shortly without major work on my end or
dropping back to the 2.6.19 kernel.
The biggest problem from my point of view is that Debian Etch is
going to be released with the 2.6.18 kernel which unless they make
certain patches it will be unusable on the Mac Pro; however, I'm not
wiping my system out yet again to check their status or their final