Tag Archives: grub

Gentoo (and a little Ubuntu) on a MacBook Pro (5,3)

Getting Started

The Google-size summary: I’ve gotten Gentoo working on my MacBook Pro (5,3) again.

I’m going to attempt to recount all the little issues I ran across while installing Gentoo. If you notice I missed something, post it in the comments and I’ll try to figure it out and/or add it here. I also hope to add my findings to the Gentoo wiki, although the wiki is such an outdated mess that I’d almost feel like scratching the whole thing and having the Gentoo+MacBook community write their experiences back in. Continue reading


When you Can’t Compile ‘Em, Virtualize ‘Em (in VirtualBox)

That’s the approach I’m taking when it comes to Gentoo right now. September, my deadline for all computer projects, is my hard deadline, because that’s when college starts, and that’s when I expect my free time will be dramatically shortened, if not entirely consumed, as far as my computer projects are concerned. Because of that, I can’t waste a lot of time patching and hacking. If it doesn’t work in Gentoo Prefix like I want it to, I’ll throw it into VirtualBox’s copy of Gentoo and use the Shared Folders feature to keep data synced in and out of the virtual machine.

First off, don’t even think about doing this if you don’t have x86 virtualization extensions. You may survive the experience, but you won’t be able to stand it for much longer after. On my ol’ 1.8GHz Pentium 4, the speeds were always at least twice as slow. With my new Core 2 Duo processor with VT-x, the virtual machine can let the real processor take on most of the processing needs. If I had a “Core i7” Intel processor, or something else with Nehalem, I would also have Nested Paging which can give as much as a 1/3 increase in speeds.

But never-mind, because VT-x gives me near-native performance, which is absolutely necessary for Gentoo. Another good thing to have is a bigger-than-8G hard-drive. (In other words, the default Linux size is not good enough.) I gave the machine 512M out of my 4G total, which is more than enough for a Linux desktop. I turned on 3D acceleration and gave it 64M of VRAM, because I want to try KDE4.3. Everything else are defaults, pretty much. Continue reading