Tails and Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by vickychason, Feb 4, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vickychason

    vickychason Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Posts:
    4
    I burned tails onto a DVD using apple's external dvd player. I then booted into tails and cloned and installed tails onto a USB drive using tails installer (just like tails recommends you to do in order to get a Tails live USB). However, when I try to boot into tails using the USB the startup manager doesn't recognize it at all. The weird thing is that it does recognize the dvd in the external dvd drive and I can boot that. But I can't boot the USB. I have found a lot of articles online about people having problems with tails USB on mac does anyone have a solution? Here are some articles I found.

    https://labs.riseup.net/code/issues/6242
    https://tails.boum.org/blueprint/UEFI_boot_on_Mac_without_rEFInd/
    http://lifehacker.com/5916551/browse-like-bond-use-any-computer-without-leaving-a-trace-with-tails

    The last article says I need to download a program called rEFit but according to tails that is for manually installing tails onto a USB and then I don't get persistence. There are also a bunch of warnings about rEFit and how it can completely mess up your computer. Any ideas on how to use the tails installer to get a working copy on a USB? or get persistence on a DVD?

    thanks
     
  2. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Posts:
    702
    Location:
    North of the 38th parallel.
    Hello vickychason:

    Try plugging your Tails USB stick into a USB port while your MacBook Pro has been powered down/logged out. Then, press & hold down the Alt/Option key while you power up.

    Quite soon you should be offered the EFI options to select the boot-up source. Select the Tails USB stick to boot from. It might work. Mine boots up into the Debian 6.0.8 desktop.

    HTH :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  3. vickychason

    vickychason Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Posts:
    4
    Hey thanks for the idea but I don't think Macbook Pros have EFI support which is my problem. It just doesn't recognize booting from the USB. I have found some things online saying that you can install rEFInd and it like changes the boot settings and header on your mac and then it will work. But I also came across some warnings stating that if you do so you might cause problems on your mac and have to restore your whole computer. This makes me pretty hesitant. Have you or anyone else had any experience with this?

    Thanks
     
  4. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Posts:
    702
    Location:
    North of the 38th parallel.
    I suppose in the absence of an alternative, perhaps you could try a TOR-Browser-Bundle through a VPN tunnel.

    Since a new TAILS 0.22.1 was released yesterday, I made a new bootable USB stick and, using the alt/option boot procedure while doing a cold start, I brought my MacBook Pro Retina up into a Debian 6.0.8 desktop. It didn't come up in browser window like it does on x86/x64 hardware and looks like it would take a lot of tinkering to make it work.
     
  5. vickychason

    vickychason Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Posts:
    4
    That's so strange. I tried the new version of tails on my usb (I cloned it from a dvd using tails installer) and my macbook pro won't recognize it. You didn't download rEFInd or anything? Did you install it the normal way by burning it to a DVD and then using tails installer to clone it onto a USB? Are you able to have persistence with this USB on your mac?

    Thanks!
     
  6. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Posts:
    702
    Location:
    North of the 38th parallel.
    I made/updated my dedicated 4GB USB stick using a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1 based Dell desktop system:

    Using my Dell PC, I downloading the .iso file, and then I did a successful SHA-256 digest comparison.

    Still from the Dell system, I ran Pen Drive Linux, which uses the Universal USB Installer (UUI) v1.9.5.2 application.

    During the use of UUI, if the option is checked, the USB stick can be formatted FAT32 (HFS+ isn't an option nor are any others) just prior to writing the 975.921152 MB, tails-i386-0.22.1.iso file.

    So - I did not download rEFInd or anything additional. Nor did I burn an intermediate DVD.

    As a functional check, maybe you could try booting your Tails USB stick from an x86/x64 architecture PC. My Tails USB stick is PC bootable too.

    If it helps my MacBook Pro is said to be a model MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013), with a model identifier of MacBook Pro11,3 and a model number of ME294xx/A, with a configuration of 15.4"/2.3 Quad-core i7/16GB/512-Flash.

    Boot ROM Version: MBP112.0138.B02
    SMC Version (system): 2.19f3

    Our MacBooks probably don't compare favorably enough with regard to my EFI version and your rEFInd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  7. root_my_face

    root_my_face Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Posts:
    10
    Getting Tails to work on a Mac is an extreme pain ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ and very hit-and-miss (due, as you correctly pointed out, to the EFI issues). I had it working for ages on a USB, then it just stopped booting and nothing would change it's mind (& i have 15 years of coding experience, so I'd consider myself fairly good at solving these problems!!).

    When I had it working originally, it was using Refit/refind. These won't damage your laptop afaik, so I'd say go for it (and good luck!). You might be able to get it to boot from refit (that's how I was using it before).

    Macs seem much happier to boot from a DVD, so worst case scenario I'd suggest using a DVD for tails & usb for storage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.