Installing Debian Squeeze on XServe 3.1

This tutorial is using a custom ISO of Ubuntu downloaded from here.

The Challenges

We have Apple XServe 3.1 servers here. They are equipped with a JBOD, Promise VTrek E610F. It connected via Fibre Channel. We have configured them for RAID6 28 TB.

The best part of the challenge is that XServe 3.1 use EFI. Some people would suggested us to use rEFIt and chainload it to GRUB2. We could use “bless” command from OSX.

The problem is, we have stripped the original 150 GB harddrive. The reason was because it was only had one drive without RAID. Data integrity was in question so we have to use only the JBOD.

Another problem is because PC BIOS couldn’t handle more than 2 TB. We just have to use GPT. Besides, GPT is the part of EFI.

So, I took the challenge to not use the OSX but to install directly from GNU/Linux installer from EFI to a GPT partition.

The Preparation

I got this challenge from my friend because he gave up on installing the XServe. From his previous attempt, I got 64 Bit Mac (AMD64) alternate install CD downloaded from Ubuntu. I don’t know where he got the ISO. Please download here. Not bad, I can use it to debootstrap the partitions.

To start, boot the CD and choose Expert Install. The Expert Install mode would let us select few things manually. Here’s the things that I’ve selected:

  1. Language: Indonesia – Bahasa Indonesia
  2. Keyboard: USA :: Macintosh :: No Compose Key
  3. Installer component from CD: [*] choose-mirror: To select mirror [*] network-console: To enable SSH server, I can configure from remote. [*] parted-udeb: To manually create partition.
  4. Configure the network.

If you don’t want to have remote install, you could disable network-console. In my case, I don’t like to be in the server room and to move XServe with its JBOD is daunting. I would like to configure everything from my nice warm room office.

After configuring the network jump to the run shell option. Or, after we have configure SSH credential, we could SSH to the machine with username “installer”. And choose to start a shell. Either way, we would be presented with a little console program: BusyBox. It isn’t feature-rich like BASH, but it serves right with compact size.

On The Shell

First, we partition our drive. We are using parted instead of fdisk because the later doesn’t support GPT partition type. The Apple’s EFI specification needs a FAT32 partition to load the EFI binary. That partition should be at the range of the first 2 TB disk. It doesn’t have to big, just few megs actually would do. So, here’s my partition:

  1. 20 MB FAT32 partition at the beginning with BOOT flag on.
  2. 20 GB partition for our GNU/Linux partition.

We have lots of RAMs, so we disable swap partition. But, yours might differ. From my research, the semantic web/4th paradigm world, it seems people prefer XFS because it is optimized for big data. So, from the beginning I choose XFS. Again, yours might differ. So, here’s the two commands:

# parted -s /dev/sda mklabel gpt mkpart EFI fat32 0% 20MB toggle 1 boot
# parted -s /dev/sda mkpart primary reiserfs 20MB 20GB
# mkfs.xfs /dev/sda2
# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt -t xfs

I have difficulty to format the FAT32 partition, I think the Installer CD is dying. So, I decided to format it later. Now, let’s install it via bootstrap it and copy the files that were configured earlier from the installer:

# debootstrap squeeze /mnt
# cp /etc/{fstab,hostname,hosts,resolv.conf} /mnt/etc
# cp /etc/network/interfaces /mnt/etc/network/interfaces

BusyBox can’t do the array like the above. You have to parse it one by one (copy fstab, then hostname, and so on). I just put that way for convenience. Next, we mount the important filesystems and chroot to our new system. I explicitly use BASH instead of DASH, the default shell in Ubuntu.

# mount /dev /mnt/dev -o bind
# mount none /mnt/proc -t proc
# mount none /mnt/sys -t sysfs
# chroot /mnt /bin/bash

On Chrooted Shell: The Basic Packages

First thing to do is to add other repositories to “/etc/apt/sources.list”.

# cat > /etc/apt/sources.list << EOF
deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free 

deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free 

deb squeeze-backports main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze-backports main contrib non-free

I put away the “>”  so you could just copy and paste above. Use a mirror near you. KAMBING is the nearest for me. Then, update and upgrade:

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

Install essential applications. I’m using XFS, that’s why I install xfsprogs. Adjust it with your own filesystem tools. The dosfstools are for FAT32 and so on. I too put SSH server there.

# apt-get install xfsprogs dosfstools parted bash-completion less eject ssh

I’m use ViM. So, optionally, I do this:

# apt-get install vim
# update-alternatives --config editor
There are 3 choices for the alternative editor (providing /usr/bin/editor).

  Selection    Path                Priority   Status
* 0            /bin/nano            40        auto mode
  1            /bin/nano            40        manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/vim.basic   30        manual mode
  3            /usr/bin/vim.tiny    10        manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 2
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/vim.basic to provide /usr/bin/editor (editor) in manual mode.

Next, we are going to change the preferences of our system.

On Chrooted Shell: Personalizing System

Let’s add a user with admin privileges. The default system, sudo is not installed. So, we must get it first

# apt-get install sudo
# adduser user
# adduser user sudo

Install and configure our language. Mine is “id_ID.UTF-8″. Also, configure clock (Timezone). Mine is “Asia/Jakarta”.

# apt-get install locales && dpkg-reconfigure locales
# dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Time is crucial for server. Install NTP server to have our server clock right. Don’t forget to edit the editor to get our nearest NTP server.

# apt-get install ntp
# $EDITOR /etc/ntp.conf
# /etc/init.d/ntp restart

We can check the avaibility of the NTP servers.

# ntpq -p

Last thing, let’s install our Linux kernel.

# apt-get install linux-image-2.6-amd64 firmware-linux-nonfree

The next one is the most challenging one: making our server boot from EFI on GPT partition.

Building GRUB2 from Unstable

I have many failed attempts using the default grub-efi 1.98 from Squeeze. As I realize, the Natty installer is using 1.99 version of GRUB2. I decided to go to that route.

GRUB2 1.99 is available at unstable and must get backported to Squeeze. We must compile it ourselves. So, here’s how to.

Get all the requirements for GRUB2 in Squeeze. There is another optional package we need: libfuse-dev for building grub-mount. It can be skipped, but it’s not that bad to add few bytes on that functionality. We need also autogen because the GRUB2 source is taken from Bazaar.

# apt-get build-dep grub2
# apt-get install autogen libfuse-dev

Next, add Debian source repository for unstable/SID. Don’t add the binary, it will upgrade your system to unstable/SID.

# echo "deb-src unstable main contrib non-free" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/unstable.list
# apt-get update

Get the source.

# apt-get source grub2
# cd grub2-1.99/

We could build the package manually, but I prefer the Debian way. Fortunately, the showstopper of doing the Debian way is only the GCC requirement. Unstable/SID  is using gcc-4.5 while Squeeze using gcc-4.4. The solution is simple, find all the occurrences and change all of them.

# grep -ri "gcc-4.5" debian/*
debian/changelog:    - Build with gcc-4.5 on ppc64.
debian/control: gcc-4.5-multilib [i386 kopensolaris-i386 any-amd64 any-ppc64 any-sparc],
debian/control: gcc-4.5,
debian/rules:CC := gcc-4.5

There are three files that affected. You could use sed/awk, or using your favorite editor to change all of the gcc-4.5 to gcc-4.4. I’m using ViM with regex. Of course, it is advised that we change the version also. I’m not doing it because we are not trying to publish it. This build has bug, yet sufficient for our need. :P

Okay, the next thing is to build all of the packages.

# dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc -d

All of the Debian packages are built on the top of our source directory. Let’s install all of the EFI versions. But wait, before you could install, the package needs to install efibootmgr, an application for setting the default drive to boot on UEFI (Universal EFI) compatible board. Unfortunately, XServe is using Apple’s own EFI implementation, so the application is useless. We must use bless, an application on OSX for that purpose. Oh, btw, install the ucf and os-probes.

# apt-get install efibootmgr ucf os-probes
# cd ..  && dpkg -i grub-common_1.99-11_amd64.deb \
    grub2-common_1.99-11_amd64.deb grub-efi-amd64*  \

Now, we are ready to get into the show.

Installing GRUB2 EFI

Before we take further, I want to say something. I am gratefully to the developer of the grub-install for making an undocumented parameter  –debug. That parameter saves me and made me to see what’s going on.

Okay, now we need to prepare our partition for EFI. It should be FAT32 and mounted at “/boot/efi”. Let’s create one.

# mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1
# mkdir -p /boot/efi && mount /dev/sda1 /boot/efi

Next, we run the GRUB installer.

# grub-install --bootloader-id=BOOT --removable --debug

The parameter “–bootloader-id=BOOT –removable” is what I found out after I analyze “/usr/sbin/grub-install” script. Basically, I want  GRUB2 installs its EFI file at “(hd0,gpt1)/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI” (in its FAT32 partition). Some UEFI board may have other vendor such as Ubuntu, GRUB, etc. But, XServe doesn’t understand other vendor, yet. We could only use the default prefix where XServe’s EFI would search for EFI binary.

Don’t restart yet, because next is the most important one.


You know why I used the “–debug”? It was because I kept on going to the GRUB Rescue mode with error message telling that GRUB could not found the proper disk. In the GRUB Rescue, I’ve found out that the prefix was wrong. The prefix was pointing to ” ((null),gpt2)/boot/grub”. Wew, that was wrong.

After I’ve found the problem, it seems that the “/usr/sbin/grub-install” didn’t generate the right prefix. From the debug, I’ve found the culprit:

... (OMITTED by me)
+ /usr/bin/grub-mkimage -d /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi -O x86_64-efi --output=/boot/grub/core.efi --prefix=(,gpt2)/boot/grub xfs part_gpt
... (OMITTED by me)

I couldn’t found out what went wrong. The solution is to generate the EFI binary manually.

# /usr/bin/grub-mkimage -d /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi -O x86_64-efi --output=/boot/grub/core.efi --prefix="(hd0,gpt2)"/boot/grub xfs part_gpt
# cp /boot/grub/core.efi /boot/efi/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI

These two lines were the thing that the “/usr/sbin/grub-install” used incorrectly.

Configuring GRUB2 Settings

We need to add lines so that the screen won’t messed up. We disable the modeset and keep the screen resolution. Use:

# dpkg-reconfigure grub-efi-amd64

and add  “nomodeset  gfxpayload=keep” to the “Linux command line:” option. Or edit “/etc/default/grub and put the string to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX.


After we install, we can do two things. First, we call update-grub to detect all of available kernels. And, we could add “/boot/efi” to “/etc/fstab”.

# update-grub
# echo "/dev/sda1       /boot/efi       vfat    defaults        0       0" >> /etc/fstab

Last step is reboot and having your new system shines.



As Isaac Alcocer pointed out on his comment, using the LTS Ubuntu 12.04 might be the easiest way. With it, you would only have to edit the GRUB.

Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

One of system administrator at Universitas Indonesia. His current interests are in smart card technology, pervasive computing, and free/open source software. He is an evangelist of free/open source movement and using FOSS actively.
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  • Martin

    Hi JP,

    how did you get the XServe booting the Ubuntu CD? I have installed rEFIt and tried to boot with hold down service-ID button and hold down option (alt) key but it wont start.


    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Hi, Martin, I only press hold the [Option] button when the screen still gray. I still press it and the bootloader popped out one after another. From my experience, it displayed the HDD icon first then the CD icon. After that, I released [Option] button. I choose the CD icon with my mouse and it booted.

      The CD have a file: “/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI”. XServe firmware can take that and boot it. I’m doing the whole installation without rEFIt.

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  • Isaac Alcocer

    Man i follow your post, but i cant boot the CD, so there is any way to do that, even the fedora for MAC with EFI support, maybe the Xserve dont boot with CD, so there is some config file or something in it that i can change.

    btw the ubuntu iso doesnt have efi folder so that boot with option key cant be true…

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      I’m sorry, I think you are right. My coworker didn’t download it from there. I have removed it. :(

      I have cloned the CD. Please use the provided download link:

      Btw, I didn’t use rEFIt or anything. I was using pure EFI boot manager in XServe 3.1. I have to remove the internal disks and was only using JBOD. So, I have to wait few minutes or so while holding the “Option” key until the blank gray boot screen showing bootable disk icons one by one.

      I hope these help you. Thank you for your correction.

      • Isaac Alcocer

        Well, sorry for late reply…first thank you i was making my own prerelease 12.04 ubuntu xD lol… i will try with that iso, but its taking sooo long so maybe in a few days come back with some news, im gonna uninstall rEFIt to doit like ur post =D


        btw nice redesign

        • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

          Thanks. Btw, if you have to make a prerelease 12.04, you might want to copy the efi directory in (not really) my ISO. It seems it would boot into grub.

          Good luck.

          • Isaac Alcocer

            yea thats why i will give it a try, beta its out and looks like they add this i dunno if it will boot but like i said i’ll give it a try… just for boot, who knos maybe i can install a full 12.04, but if it doesnt work i still got ur iso =D… i cant wait to use ur iso that bad than i cant sleep xD…

          • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

            Haha… take care there. I hope you could share the result. I wish to give it a try but all the machines have gone production. No machine left to test… :)

          • Isaac Alcocer

            Well i follow ur post and found a finger error =D in:

            # apt-get install efibootmgr ucf os-probes

            well all really good =D and some updates… the grub its now using gcc-4.6, the only 4.5 text its in just some commets xD… but i couldnt make it work, i install the grub and all but i could make it run, get stuck on Welcome to GTUB! and nothing happends… to bad, well i will try to see whats wrong… ur post helped me very much =D and thank you

  • Miki Miska

    Can I use to install Ubuntu on Xserve without anything else? I don’t need to preserve OSX, I just need Ubuntu on this machine.

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      AFAIK, it could, but it isn’t the latest Ubuntu. I haven’t check it thoroughly. I only use it for debootstrapping.

  • Isaac Alcocer
    Isaac Alcocer: Well i follow ur post and found a finger error =D in: # apt-get install efibootmgr ucf os-probes well all really good =D and some updates… the grub its now using gcc-4.6, the only 4.5 text its in just some commets xD… but i couldnt make it work, i install the grub and all but i could make it run, get stuck on Welcome to GTUB! and nothing happends… to bad, well i will try to see whats wrong… ur post helped me very much =D and thank you

    aaa sorry should be “os-prober”

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Thanks for all of the corrections, I slipped a very serious command. Btw, if the GRUB is already loaded, I suspect it is about a GRUB driver that not being loaded or conflicted.

      • Isaac Alcocer

        Well after read all ur post again and again i found that you could make a format to FAT32, i forgot to do it so xD i think this could be, now i out of work so im just reporting some solutions or idea that can solve the problem.

        I have difficulty to format the FAT32 partition, I think the Installer CD is dying. So, I decided to format it later. Now, let’s install it via bootstrap it and copy the files that were configured earlier from the installer

        and i still got the MacOS so i will give a full format with parted or some MacCD to do all again and make sure to format for FAT32

        • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

          Ah, yeah, I think that should get highlighted…

          I have hardware problem, that is my laptop is too old and the CD drive is broken. So, I have to use whatever available. :)

  • Tonny Adhi Sabastian
  • Isaac Alcocer

    Well im back with some news =D, im still stuck on grub, i never done it before, so this is exiting… but this time i change some things, first i format all HDD to FAT32, then did the parted part, then i install Ubuntu Lucid well bootstrapped, here first research for some grub info and looks like there is some .deb call it grub-efi-amd64 but this packet install grub on /boot/gurb, not on efi so i install it manually same packet: as #grub-install –root-directory=/boot/efi, but now i can see the Welcome to GRUB! texto, so i dunno if u can help me with the grub part cause i dunno a thing about that xD, im a next next install guy xD in that area…

    btw yes i can install any ubuntu or linux distro just need the right drivers =D. the boot part its what cause me some troubles….

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Wow, congrats! When GRUB in the “Welcome to GRUB!” means it have completed the first stage. Before entering the OS selector, it tries to load bunch of drivers. That’s why I think it is the best if you use the newest GRUB by compiling or backporting it yourself. Btw, words from my friend tells that Linux 3.3 have the ability to runs directly from EFI without the need of bootloader (GRUB). I haven’t tested it yet, though.

      • Isaac Alcocer

        Well i try doing it with parted and found why u got problems,

        ~ # parted
        GNU Parted 2.3
        Using /dev/sda
        Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
        (parted) print list
        print list
        Model: ATA APPLE SSD SM128 (scsi)
        Disk /dev/sda: 121GB
        Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
        Partition Table: gpt
        Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name     Flags
         1      1049kB  19.9MB  18.9MB               EFI      boot
         2      19.9MB  121GB   121GB   xfs          primary
        Warning: Unable to open /dev/sr0 read-write (Read-only file system).  /dev/sr0
        has been opened read-only.
        Error: /dev/sr0: unrecognised disk label
        (parted) mkfs
        WARNING: you are attempting to use parted to operate on (mkfs) a file system.
        parted's file system manipulation code is not as robust as what you'll find in
        dedicated, file-system-specific packages like e2fsprogs.  We recommend
        you use parted only to manipulate partition tables, whenever possible.
        Support for performing most operations on most types of file systems
        will be removed in an upcoming release.
        Warning: The existing file system will be destroyed and all data on the
        partition will be lost. Do you want to continue? Yes/No? yes yes Partition number? 1 1 File system type? [ext2]? fat32 fat32 Error: Partition too big/small for a fat32 file system.

        looks like parted doesn’t allow format some fat32 partitions lower than 100MB :S… but its rare cause in ur commands u say that is fat32 and there is no error log or message, how u format that partition?… using chroot and gparted?

        # parted -s /dev/sda mklabel gpt mkpart EFI fat32 0% 20MB toggle 1 boot
        # parted -s /dev/sda mkpart primary reiserfs 20MB 20GB
        # mkfs.xfs /dev/sda2 

        maybe thats why i got that trouble on Grub, ’cause isn’t a real fat32 partition….

        Note from JP: This comment is reformatted by me.

        • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

          I have reformatted you comment so that I can read your valuable information. I don’t know a wordpress plugin to have better formatting on comments. So, I manually add pre html tag to your code.

          Well, anyway…

          It looks like I have a faulty writings. Thanks pointing out about the FAT32 of being too small. I have checked my server and you are right, I used 200 MB not 20 MB. I suggested a 20 MB because the EFI partition only took 136KB of free space. That also could be done via one of these commands:

          # mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1

          Or, from a post on how to install AppleTV:

          # mkfs.msdos -F 32 -n EFI /dev/sda1

          The later wasn’t tested by me and I’ve just found it on the Internet now. But, the former is what I have used in the past. It’s just that I have repeated the process and typo still persists. Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

          Oh, btw, the EFI blob seems like a chainloader that would loading the real GRUB into memory. That’s why I don’t suspect anything. Because if you have come to the “Welcome to GRUB” screen, it means you have completed loading GRUB. And the reason for not continue would be because GRUB failed to load its second stage drivers.

          • Isaac Alcocer

            Sorry, but there is something wrong with ur comments post style and tags =D maybe its the stylesheet or some script, i dunno …

            well i success to install linux-image-2.6-amd64 , but i didnt install extras, to be honest i dunno wut that is XD… but this was early this day and again am out of work, and i leave it installing linux image… if everything goes well in a few hours post wut i did =D cheers :)

          • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

            Yeah, I don’t know either about wordpress stuff, hahahaha… :)

            Well, if anything works, I think I would like to set this post on a page. Thanks for your enormous help.

          • Isaac Alcocer

            Well it boot 2 times on linux, then a grub (Grub2-1.99-18) error appears, elf header smaller than expected u.u i think i can’t use that grub, but a will try to reinstall the grub and reconfigure and should be working

          • Isaac Alcocer

            hi again, this is a request, i dunno if u can upload the grub2-efi cause i try again and looks like these versions has the same issue with the header :S so i think u got the right ones and luck xD..

            please =D if that works i will send all info about it =D and all the issues i got ;) and i will be always thank you for this awesome post =D

          • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

            I have put the debs in:


            In case something missing, check the source and other debs in:


            Good luck. :)

          • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

            Oh, btw, look out that this version have quirks like what I wrote above. The most important is you have to manually runs every necessary grub commands instead of invoking it by using “grub-install” utility.

          • Isaac Alcocer

            Great i just download them all =D, i will start from 0 so i’ll be back in a few hours, THANKS ALOT REALLY YOU HELPED ME ALOT =D

  • Isaac Alcocer

    Hi … again… well this time i got some news about my problem:

    1. I make the install of the .debs that you post(i have some error but can easy repair that with apt-get -f install)
    2. I try this 2 this week the first time everything ok until reboot, and appear unknown filesystem error in the grub screen, after that i format ALL with AppleCD, and restart again. (looks like this was cause i format grub partition with fat32 no just vfat (16){i read should work with fat32 but looks like in apple doesn’t xD}
    3. Everything ok reboot 2 times, red screen looks awesome with 2 boot options Debian and recovery, then the 3 time EFI header appear :S, i was tired so i try to lunch the SO by myself and did this:
      set prefix=(hd0,gpt2)/boot/grub
      set root=(hd0,gpt2)
      insmod linux
      linux (hd0,gpt2)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb2 ro
      initrd (hd0,gpt2)/initrd.img

    but i could, ELF header error appears in this part :

    insmod linux

    looks like this error is on that .mod so XD i dunno what it is, cause i don’t know a sh*t about grub drivers and manual installation. so I’m uploading some pics that u can see and tell me what’s wrong, but thanks a lot, i will try different ways to fix this =D i reaally thank you for all your help =D.. good luck and cheers ;)

    PICS: < <--- in this one i launch a comand , ls (hd0,gpt2)/boot/grub

    reformatted by JP for clarity.

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Could you just go to the

      linux (hd0,gpt2)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb2 ro
      initrd (hd0,gpt2)/initrd.img

      I feel that you are already in the GRUB shell and everything have been read well. Maybe, just a hunch, the linux module were already loaded.

      Btw, I don’t know what’s wrong with this one. I hope you could find the problem and find what’s wrong. If I can recap, here’s what I do:

      1. I booted with the CD which I have provided.
      2. I formatted the harddrive into two partition: EFI and root using parted. Tried 200MB for EFI instead of 20MB like suggested in my writting.
      3. I reformatted the EFI with mkfs.vfat.
      4. Installed the system with debootstrap and then hooked the /boot/efi with first partition
      5. Installed the full system and the GRUB I provided.
      6. Ran the grub-install and the workaround (grub-mkimage)
      7. Rebooted

      I think that was what I’ve done so far. I hope this helps because that’s all that I have done and I hope you find something from this information. Good luck and may you tame the magical beast. :)

      • Isaac Alcocer

        i got some news fisrt like i said i wil test the ubuntu 12.04 but i have desktop64bits, on boot and holding Alt, looks like works (booteable usb) but gurb never show menu.list, so i will try today with server distro, and new news xD looks like ubuntu 12.04 use a stable version of Grub2 for UEFI systems (grub2/grub-efi-amd64-bin_1.99-21ubuntu3_amd64.deb) check it out =D, i found a teacher and he told me could it be a filesystem, i need to check the MBR cilinders and repair it. if it doesnt works then i will do a refit boot :S wish me luck

  • Isaac Alcocer

    BTW i hate ur wordpress comment section xD it does wut it likes……..!!! and i dont know if u can change code tag to another one more legible… aaa and erease this coment =D should be good, a btw it should be couldn’t on the line insmod

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Yeah, I too hate the comment section. But, I don’t have a knowledge in PHP, so I don’t know how to improve this comment section. Hahaha…

      Btw, I use the PRE html tag directly for coding section. Hahaha…

  • Isaac Alcocer

    Ok i’m DONE WHIT THIS….

    sorry man i could do you way, the bad news its that with you can boot in CD mode, install Ubuntu 12.04, and it does works no problems so far just some issuse with some driver nvidia nothing than cant be repair, =D so i got a linux fully working, btw if you wanna debian just backport this grub files =D and use it =D and works, i found my problem, its that i got 119.8GB no 121.2GB on my SSD so the sectors get corrupt and that happend =D i found it when i try to repair the HDD =S so bad, so i give it a try with PRECISE PANGOLIN, and “Voila”, this works for me =D since i really want KVM on UBUNTU so its great, THANKS ALOT i Lear so much from you, even how GRUB works xD.


    There is an error on grub if you install Ubuntu 12.04, first you cant use a BOOTEABLE USB, this is a bug on Ubuntu, you need a CD/DVD, second in GRUB after first boot(make sure you install SSH) log in via ssh and do this: $ sudo $EDITOR /etc/default/grub inside you just need to edit GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”” and replace it with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash nomodeset” or your alternative GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash nomodeset gfxpayload=keep” thats all =D


    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      I alsofeel thankful for your sharing. Your suggestion about using Ubuntu 12.04 might be the best solution. It’s very neat and easy.

      Good luck also and may the source be with you. :)

  • João Pereira

    Can you please share the full steps needed to install Ubuntu 12.04 server on a xserve? It is just plug the cd, select it on boot and install (for those that dont want to keep osx server, only Ubuntu installed)?

    • Isaac Alcocer

      well looks like u got some problems. well look, i just download a fresh version of Ubuntu 12.04 server 64 bits amd , burn it and boot itselfs then just some issues that u can repair =D no big deal, really easy… =D i use KVM but i have some troubles with connection betwen qemu://system and a remote virt-manager =D so i dunno wut problems u have. thats all i did just burn a disk and repair the problems =D… the video driver problems.

  • João Pereira

    Can you please share the full stepts to get Ubuntu 12.04 server installed on a xserve 3.1? I just want to have Ubuntu, not dual boot with osx. It is just needed to burn the image, plug it, select on boot and install as done on a PC without anything else?

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      I’m sorry I can’t help you with that. I haven’t try it. It was the commenter who suggested that.

  • João Pereira

    Is it needed to install any driver for the fans work properly? I’ve found this thread:

    • Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

      Nope. That’s just the case of a certain model of MacBook in 12.04. I’m doing fine with my setup. The only problem is the Apple RAID card couldn’t detected. But, I’m using older (Squeeze) kernel and using workarounds for installing. Don’t know if 12.04 have already taken care the issue since it seems people said it was easy using it.

      Anyway, the post you mention using rEFIt as bootloader. My method is using EFI (the BIOS replacement) directly. My reason was that I didn’t know how to use Mac, so I chose this route. :)

  • Isaac Alcocer

    Hi again, yes im back, i was researching some old articles of mine, and this one apears =D, tnx google, BTW i still hate ur comment section does what it likes…

    I just saw the update on your post, that says too much about you

    And YES it works like a charm =D… i got a fully functional Ubuntu LTS 12.04 on it, using KVM and a lots of VMs, like 35 just in that server, works really well, no problems at all, none, not even fan, power, drivers (i use command line so, i guess NVidia should work on desktop animations), even crtitical updates WORKS, its a **** great piece of hardware, and tnx to you i can have the best of it with DEBIAN and UBUNTU =D.. THANK YOU SO MUCH =D…

    c ya, and the source be with you too =D.

    • jpmrblood

      I’m glad to help. And yeah, I couldn’t helped it. I’m a System engineer not a website designer, so sorry about the suck commenting system. Hahaha…. ;-P

      Btw, thanks for your sharing my knowledge also enriched. So, I’m thanking you also. :)