Ubuntu 13.04 on a Late 2012 Mac Mini

EDIT: Tonight i’ll be picking up one of my Mac Mini’s from the Datacenter to get Ubuntu 13.04 up and running! expect a full guide with drivers here shortly 🙂

So Ubuntu 13.04 LTS recently was released, It comes with the new 3.8.0-19 upstream of the Linux Kernel so I thought I’d check it out!

Although our patched 12.04 and 12.10 Ubuntu’s use version 3.124c of the tg3 NeXtreme drivers from Broadcom which have Mac Mini support… The version in Ubuntu 13.04 (3.128c) seems to have had this removed!

A simple run of modinfo tg3 | grep 1686 reveals sadly that support for detection of the Mac Mini Ethernet hardware seems to have been removed during 3.124 and 3.128 of the Broadcom tg3 drivers.

I’m likely to install 13.04 on a Mac Mini sometime soon so will update this post with a proper howto and any good news I encounter but I don’t think its good news…

lsmod | grep Ethernet returns
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation Device 1686 (rev 01)

whilst modinfo tg3 | grep 1686 on our modified 12.04/12.10 machines using the NeXtreme driver from this blog returns:

alias:          pci:v000014E4d00001686sv*sd*bc*sc*i*

however on 13.04 returns nothing.


VBareMetal The New CaptainGeek Bare-Metal Hypervisor Installer

Introducing VBareMetal!

I’ve been very busy lately, here is one of my latest incarnations, a Virtualisation Linux Distribution, which you can use as a live-cd or a bare-metal installer, it is debian based with virtualbox. Everything configured out of the box. You can run Linux/BSD/Solaris/Windows/Other virtual machines on this distribution, even if your system does not support virtualisation natively! =) Please note, this release is super early, it works, but very bare. In the coming weeks i’ll make it a pretty fully functional system. … 


Enabling VT-x (Virtualisation) Extensions on Sony Vaio Laptops

As you all know, i’m a big fan of virtualisation, however when i purchased my Sony Vaio VGN-FW31E the thing that highly disappointed me was that the VT-x extensions were disabled for the CPU, and there was no option in the BIOS to enable them, however i knew the CPU inside this laptop did indeed support VT-x.

For those of you who are wondering WTF? am i on about, VT-x extensions in the CPU allow virtualisation software such as Sun Virtualbox, Vmware, Linux KVM and others to perform direct real virtualisation rather than passing everything through the host os. This really improves speed / performance on virtual machines, aswell as allowing 64bit guests on a 32bit OS (as long as the host CPU is 64bit capable). It is really a must.

Anyway… After being annoyed for a long time i came across this website, on it the clever guy Igor has basically made a utility which grabs your bios from EEPROM, backs it up, patches it (by changing 1 bit only!) and reflash’s it back to your VAIO. Once this is done, VT-x extensions are enabled!!! however there are a few important notes / qwerkyness things. Anyway check out Igor’s site for full instructions, information and download!