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Old 05-13-12, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default nVidia Linux drivers with Linux on Mac, help?

Hi all!

I managed to get Fedora 16 onto my Mac Book Pro 7,1 laptop just fine (13.3", mid2010 model). While Nouveau works incredibly well, I am currently unable to get the proprietary driver to work (in X) in this setup. I'll summarize my setup process and how did I get Fedora installed:
  1. I started the installation process from a DVD with the x86_64 installation DVD image for Fedora 16, booted the computer with the option key pressed at the startup chime, and chose the EFI boot option, hence booted in EFI mode. This brought up a GRUB 1 screen from which I was able to start the installation process.
  2. The installation process went smoothly, enabling the updates and base repositories, so in the end I got a fully updated installation of Fedora. Problems arose when trying to install the boot loader, as Anaconda (Fedora installer) would claim it succeeded, when it did not. I was able to boot the installed version of Linux from the DVD, but not from the HDD, so I ended up installing rEFInd , the successor of rEFIt, but grub wouldn't load, either grub.efi or the BIOS-based one installed onto a BIOS-boot partition (it would freeze the computer). So I ended up booting with the Linux kernel EFI stub, which is part of Linux 3.3.x
  3. This resulted in "instant success" in terms of being able to boot Linux, and get into a graphical session, where I could see that Nouveau works better than I had anticipated.

Now, here is my gripe: Linux boots, despite what I state in the kernel command line, with some kind of mode setting. Even if removing nouveau from the initramfs, or stating another (2D) driver to use, it will always boot into a 1280x800@32bpp conosle, and in the absence of nouveau, utilizing the nvidia driver instead (as made apparent by both lsmod and lspci -vvv). Booting into X in this state results in a blank screen, booting into text in this state works, but as soon as I try to start X I go into a blank screen, so it would seem as if I required to be able to boot Linux without any graphics mode in order to be able to run X with the nvidia driver (or so is my reasoning), which apparently is impossible to achive in EFI mode, since the graphics payload comes straight from the EFI firmware, which leads me to think that I have to somehow manage to boot into BIOS mode...

Any one has experience on booting Macs into BIOS mode with the nvidia drivers? Or how could I be able to use the nvidia drivers booting in EFI mode?
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