You should use the latest lenny installer CD to perform the installation. The kernel for lenny is the 2.6.26 series, but it is good idea to upgrade your kernel to the backported one (2.6.30 series) for better hardware support.

Pure Debian system by direct EFI bootloaders will leave you without 3D acceleration since they lack capability to enable 3D acceleration. Many issues reported on EFI compatible bootloaders and related packages are being resolved and these packages are in Debian.

Since most people want 3D acceleration, direct EFI boot is not the best choice. For those, chain loading BIOS compatible classic bootloaders via rEFIt installed to MacOS X works well.

Note: refit doesn't support making linux the default boot choice in triple-boot environments, so you might want to look into other options. rEFIt does support making GNU/Linux the default choice when dual-booting. From OS X, edit the /efi/refit/refit.conf file and uncomment/add the line legacyfirst:


sed -e 's/#(legacyfirst)/1/' -i~ /efi/refit/refit.conf

Installation Steps

  • Partition your disks
  • Install OSX
  • Install rEFIt in OS X
  • Reboot and choose rEFIt Disk Partitioning to synchronize the disks
  • Reboot to the Debian CD
  • Install the system up to the boot loader (lilo or grub for example)
  • Choose to finish without boot loader
  • Reboot and choose rEFIt Disk Partitioning to synchronize the disks
  • Reboot to the Debian CD and install your boot loader
  • Reboot your system and you should be finished

In OSX (and default in Debian) the Fn keys (Fn + F1, Fn + F2, etc ...) are primary to the Fx keys (F1, F2, etc...). In addition, the backlight keys do not seem to adjust the screen backlight. To correct/adjust this, you can install the pommed package from your repositories.

To enable the keys and make use of Fn+FX, modify /etc/pommed.conf by changing fnmode = 1 to fnmode = 2 and restart pommed with /etc/init.d/pommed restart.

To enable the sound keys (Fn+F3, Fn+F4 and Fn+F5), you have to modify /etc/pommed.conf : change init = -1 to init = 80 and (at least on Macbook 2) change volume = "PCM" to volume = "Front" and after that restart pommed with /etc/init.d/pommed restart.