MiniMyth on Mac Mini?

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Grant_Edwards
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Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:12 pm

MiniMyth on Mac Mini?

Post by Grant_Edwards » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:15 am

I've got a Mac Mini on the way (1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB
RAM, Intel GMA 950 graphics). When it gets here, the plan is
to try to use it as a "diskless" Myth frontend. [The hard
drive will stay in, but I hope to spin it down after booting.]

Any reports of MiniMyth use on a Mac Mini?

There several options for loading the kernel/initrd that look
feasible: 1) boot kernel+initrd from hard-drive using elilo or
grub2 EFI bootloaders; 2) I've read some reports that Linux
live USB flash drives work, so I might be able to use a
standard USB flash install; 3) Network booting using elilo or
grub2 should work as well.

Since I want to spin down the hard-drive after MiniMyth starts,
the plan is to put the config directories on either a tftp
server or on a USB flash drive.

I've got a couple questions:

AFAICT, Linux kernels > 2.6.25 should mostly "just work" on the
Mac Mini. If I do need to tweak the kernel configuration, is
it possible to recompile the MythMini kernel without rebuilding
the whole system from sources? [I presume it's easy enough to
build a MiniMyth kernel outside the GAR build system if I use
the same sources and .config file?]

Would minimyth.pm/start be the right place to spin down the
hard-drive?

If the conf directory is on a USB flash drive, how do I tell
MiniMyth where it is? IOW, how do I tell it what
device/partition to mount as /minimyth?

Grant_Edwards
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: MiniMyth on Mac Mini?

Post by Grant_Edwards » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:04 pm

Grant_Edwards wrote:If the conf directory is on a USB flash drive, how do I tell
MiniMyth where it is? IOW, how do I tell it what
device/partition to mount as /minimyth?
It dawned on me this morning that it's the volume label.

Right?

--
Grant

Grant_Edwards
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:12 pm

Post by Grant_Edwards » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:27 am

It works!

There are still a few issues I'd like to clean up:

First, the graphical splash/startup stuff doesn't work. The
framebuffer console works fine, and X works fine using the
"intel" driver.

Second, there's a 30-second delay before the Mac boot firmware
loads and starts the grub bootloader. I saw the same delay
using lilo. I'm not sure what the Mac firmware is _doing_, but
judging by the USB flash drive LED, it's going out and reading
a fair amount of data off the USB drive every 2 seconds. It
does that 15 times, and then loads the grub bootloader off the
hard-drive. I see a similar delay without the USB flash drive
plugged in.

Third, it takes grub quite a while (15-20 seconds) to load the
initrd image off the hard-drive. That seems awfully slow, and
it just sits there mute while it's doing it. A spinner or some
dots or something would be nice.

[I haven't actually tried to watch a recording yet, but I'm
getting to the front-end menu, and have a working keyboard, so
the rest should be easy enough...]

--
Grant

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