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Old 11-14-09, 11:35 PM   #1
Firstyear
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Default NVIDIA EFI linux support

I have recently purchased a Macbook pro (5,3) to run linux on, and i found there were some heat issues with this. After experimenting it is because it cannot access the 9400 in my laptop and so it runs the 9600gt all the time, also reducing my battery life. After further research i found out that the 9400 cannot be accessed from refit with bios emulation. So of course, i have now configured my laptop to boot using efi from elilo, only to discover that nvidia does not yet support efi access of gfx cards. I have searched it for a small time and cannot find any documentation of whether nvidia plan to or when efi support will become available to nvidia users.
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Old 11-15-09, 12:16 AM   #2
mooninite
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Default Re: NVIDIA EFI linux support

I have no idea why you are attempting to use "elilo" but why don't you download Fedora or Ubuntu and install? Both use grub and grub has EFI support. How do I know? I'm using an EFI motherboard and a 9 series card. Oh, and I'm not using Mac hardware either.

OT: Why would you spend hundreds more on hardware that you arn't going to use OS X on? If you have money to blow feel free to send it my way.
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Old 11-15-09, 01:13 AM   #3
Firstyear
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Default Re: NVIDIA EFI linux support

For starters, my reasoning behind a macbook pro is that i got nearly $1000 off due to student discount, and its a great piece of hardware. Also i never said i am excluding OSX, i am triple booting.

Now i should probably clarify a little more than. I can currently boot gentoo linux with grub-legacy using bios emulation in refit, however this only exposes the 9600gt to udev. I need the 9400 to be exposed to udev as it uses less power, and creates less heat meaning that i can get longer battery life, and i can sit it on my laptop without burning myself. In order to expose the 9400 to the system i need to be using efi rather than bios to boot my operating system. I would use grub2 but i have had issues building it from source. so i am using elilo as it has been supported for sometime. However, the current nvidia linux driver depends on certain bios expsoed elements to run. so im in a situation where i can either boot using bios emu and get nvidia working at the expense of battery and heat, or i can boot efi and have no gfx at all. I would like to know when nvidia will support efi extensions in their linux driver due to the large number of people who have macbooks to run linux on.

Also finnaly, running ubuntu or fedora are still not options as they still suffer from this issue. It is a distro indepedant issue, and you will note that ubuntu and fedora still depend on bios emulation in efi regardless of grub2 support

EDIT - what linux driver are you using on your 9 series card if that is the case? you may be using bios emulation if you are running nvidia-drivers (aka nvidia-glx-new)

Last edited by Firstyear; 11-15-09 at 01:16 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 11-15-09, 05:01 AM   #4
Firstyear
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Default Re: NVIDIA EFI linux support

okay to follow up, it turns out that nvidia 190.42 seems to support efi loading from elilo, i needed to modify xorg.conf to explictly use the 9400 on the pci bus PCI:02:00:00 rather than the autoconf trying to use the 9600, which was not working. how ever this only worked on kernel 2.6.30 , rather than 2.6.32 which i normally boot due to audio support for macbook gen 5 in 2.6.32. my kernel problems, are howere another issue.
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Old 01-03-10, 02:42 PM   #5
alphion
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Default Re: NVIDIA EFI linux support

Firstyear, if you ever have some time to spare, I (and, I am sure, many users of overheated macbook pros) would be grateful for a more detailed account of how you got the 9400 to work. If this is not the appropriate place to elaborate on this, maybe a set of links? In any case, many thanks for your follow-up! Before reading your post I had given up hope, as every other discussion I came across had reached the conclusion that it was impossible to detect the secondary adapter in Linux.

[off topic, mooninite: Speaking for myself if I could get a fully working Linux installation with my apple notebook instead of OS-X I would gladly pay more for it. Apple interface design philosophy boils down to "we know best what is good for you, and you should thank us for giving you little or no choice about it, as we are saving you from you own ill-conceived taste and habits". They may be right, but I beg to differ. That said, I found the unibody macbook pro to be a very nicely built machine with unique design characteristics. My only regret is that I was fooled into thinking I could run Linux on it without relying on a mouse and an external cooling fan]
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Old 11-23-10, 04:12 AM   #6
will824
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Default Re: NVIDIA EFI linux support

This problem also happened to me, up to the point I gave up from installing Linux on my Mac because of these issues and had to put up with MacOS because I do not really use Windows.

It has been already 1 year and I am quite fed up with my system and even regret buying a MacBook, if I had got a normal Laptop I would definitely be very happy running my beloved Gentoo instead of MacOS

MacOS is so restricted that it becomes boring and I feel I am becoming an "average" user.

Next time I will not buy a MacBook, I will go back to Toshiba or even DELL
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