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I wanted to install Slackware on my MacBook Pro (6,2). Because MBP's use GPT instead of MBR, I need to use parted prior to running the installer. I wanted to use LVM, but I cannot even get that far. When creating a partition, I get small bits of space between partitions, commonly 0.28MB. I have tried switching units to mb, then b, in order to get it really fine-grained and make sure it was just sloppy math using units like gb and mb. When I align I neatly fit the partitions in bytes (b), I get the following error:

(parted) print free
Model: 
Disk /dev/sda: 320072933376B
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
      Number   Start        End           Size           File System
Name  2        209735680B   50209734655B  49999998976B   hfs+ OSX  
(parted) mkpart primary ext2 50209734656 50209837056
Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for the best
performance. Ignore / Cancel?

(I would make that a code block, but it looks uglier and more illegiable than before.) So, is there supposed to be space? Judging all the installs from more automated installations, like Fedora and/or Ubuntu, there is never free space. So am I missing something here?

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@Dennis Williamson, thanks so much for cleaning that up! I realize how ugly it was to read. Haha. –  ajstein Sep 26 '10 at 19:17

2 Answers 2

The easiest way to install Linux on OS X is to run the Boot Camp Assistant to resize your hard drive, and then use a Linux disk instead of Windows once your system reboots. I have not used Slackware, but generally the Linux installer will then allow you to repartition the FAT32 partition that OS X made for Windows, and you can choose swap and ext4 (or whatever). When installing your Linux bootloader (grub/lilo) don't install to the MBR but rather to the first Linux partition.

Once you have Linux installed, check out rEFIt to get a slick EFI bootloader (you still need grub/lilo to load in the correct Linux kernel, rEFIt will not boot Linux on its own).

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Thanks, @alanthing. I have done all that already (a la BootCamp and rEFIt). You would need to do that to get this far. The problem is I do not want to have one giant partition. I want to have one primary partition (/boot) and a logical partition, LVM (logical volume manager) with different groups and volumes (the usual suspects: /usr; /var; /root;) that use ext4/jfs/xfs, what have you, that are expandable or maybe even snapshottable (word?). I cannot figure out disk geometry, and I assumed it to be a n00bish question. Any help? If not, I will go to the SW IRC and report back. –  ajstein Sep 26 '10 at 19:16
    
After getting your large slice from the Boot Camp Assistant, you could boot into a GParted Live CD [gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php] and create your partitions with the GUI so you don't have to calculate geometry by hand. You can choose all ext3 and then format them later during your Slackware install process. –  alanthing Sep 27 '10 at 19:23
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It appears the answer is two-fold, according to more the Arch forums. I need to use parted --align and use the ArchBoot iso, not the generic install disk, to get all the extra goodies with GPT disk support. I am not sure if both are connected, or it is the he mentions this ISO because the grub version is old in the default installer and will screw things up for me later. Still, thanks for all the help and suggestions. Apparently I was not being so silly after all.

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