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OS X Live Project: Last Call for Interested DEVELOPERS


REVENGE
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Since all developers have gone MIA, and I have neither free time nor sufficient interest to continue working on it, I'm asking for QUALIFIED community members to take the project over.

 

Requisite skills (one or more would be good):

Experience with Mac/*nix styled boot scripts, ramdisk creation, etc.

Understanding of OS X's user environment, necessary frameworks / system services

General familiarity with *nix styled console and scripts

Understanding of bootable media, how to create, etc.

Experience with coding simple GUI programs (automated DVD/USB drive creator)

Willingness and ability to learn one or more of the above

If you meet these requirements, please post below with a statement of your skills / interest and I will contact you by PM. Those who are accepted as devs will get an X Labs Dev badge, as well as moderation privileges in the OS X Live project subforum.

 

And don't get me wrong, we did in fact have fully working LiveDVDs / USB installs up until some of the early Leopard releases (primarily modbin's work), so you do have a codebase / knowledge base to work with. Important goals would be to get this project working with the latest version of Leopard, and make a program/script that would automatically build a DVD image / USB installation.

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Having worked on this before, my suggestion is to concentrate on running OSX from a USB flash drive. I have seen some 16 GB drives selling for as low as $8 on sale.

 

The DVD is very slow. It cannot be easily updated. Being read-only, it cannot store data/documents that you create or that you download. It requires RAM disks be setup to temporarily store the files that OSX creates in order to run.

 

The flash drive is slow, but faster than the DVD. Since it is seen as a removable hard drive, it is very easily updated. It is read/write and can store data/documents that you create or that you download. It can store the files created by OSX in order to run. Since a flash drive does have limits to the number of times that it can be written, it would be advisable to turn off journalling and to implement RAM disks for those OSX temp files and for the vm files (hmmm...virtual memory in real memory - what a concept B) ).

 

Typically, we customize OSX to run on the particular PC hardware we own. The previous Live DVD's were based on the modified version of OSX that we installed on our own hardware. This means that the resulting Live DVD probably would not work without modification for other PC's - such as a PC at a library or an internet cafe. But it is difficult to modify the Live DVD to work on other machines or to prepare it to work on a large variety of machines for which you do not know the configuration.

 

Unfortunately, the flash drive method suffers the same problem. But solutions can be implemented more easily when using the read/write flash drive.

 

If someone pursues any of this, I have one suggestion. Build upon the latest Boot-132 method which uses some external files (kernel, kexts, mkexts, etc) to boot a compressed disk image (DMG). modbin and I had already done some work in this area nearly a year ago. The existing Darwin bootloader can already handle this because it has features to support network booting. Network booting is essentially booting a compressed disk image located on a server somewhere on the network. Booting the compressed disk image is much faster. Linux Live DVD's use a compressed file system called Cloop. If you read the Wikipedia article on Cloop you find that the Apple DMG format is compared to Cloop. I would also suggest reading Amit Singh's book for info about netbooting.

 

We successfully booted an OSx86 install DVD in 25-50 seconds using the compressed image. We did have trouble booting an actual compressed image made from OSX which had already been installed.

 

25 seconds from Darwin boot prompt to Language selection dialog box.

 

Files placed outside the compressed image:

/.Spotlight-V100

/.Trashes

/.com.apple.timemachine.supported

/.fseventsd

/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist

/System/Library/Extensions.mkext

/mach_kernel

/test.dmg (the compressed image)

Place "-f -v rp=file:///test.dmg" in the Boot.plist.

 

The dot files/dirs can be deleted but they will be regenerated. That wouldn't happen on a DVD.

 

I modified the IOHDIXController.kext and built a new mkext. Because of the unique mkext, when the installer boots, I have full video and partial wireless.

 

The files are from an early 9A581 installation and the test.dmg is the 9A581 installer.

Best of luck.
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Great to see you still around Rammjet!

 

Perhaps a stupid question, but from what I have read I don't understand why SL's image boot will be that much different from the capabilities we have now. I mean, for a true mac user it brings a great new feature, but will it improve things over booting compressed images with netboot? We can basically implement much of this now, correct?

 

theStevo

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HELLO REVANGE ID BE WILLING TO GIVE IT I TRY BUT WANT TO KEEP MY NAME ANNOM!!!

I HAVE MY MCP IN SYSTEMS ENGINEER

I HAVE MY MCP IN DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

IT PROFESSIONAL

TO MANY CERTIFICATES IN PROGRAMMING

I USE TO DO ALOT OF WORK IN LINUX,BEOS,WINDOWS,AND NOW IM PLAYING WITH THIS!

THE FIRST THING IS TO BUILD A WIDE SPREAD OF HARDWARE DRIVERS TO SUPPORT ALL THESE NEW ISSUES WITH BIOS AND AUDIO,SANTA DRIVES ECT. WITCH IVE NOTICED IS A BIG ISSUE FOR SOME OF THIS NEW CHIPS, AND GETTING IT FROM THE GUYS HERE THAT HAVE TESTED AND SOLVED ALOT OF ISSUES, AND MAKE THIS LIVECD USER FRIENDLY! I HAVE EVERYTHING FOR MAKING LIVE CDS THATS NOT A PROB AND I HAVE THE HARDWARE TO TEST THIS WITH OUT USING DVD OR FLASH DRIVE SO IT CAN BE EASILY EDITED OR ADDED TO AT ANYTIME, AND I HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD TO WORK ON THIS SINCE IM RETIRED NOW, AND JUST HAVE ALL THIS TIME ON MY HANDS IM NOT USE TO DOING NOTHING LOL SO IF R INTERESTED PM ME BUT AS I SAID I WANT TO STAY ANNOM!

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Heyo

 

I've been on Insanely for a while but I must confess I haven't been the most active of users (if active at all)

 

I've been tinkering with OSx86 for about 3-4 years now since the early days and have built up a fairly large knowledge base. Though obviously it's probably nothing compared to some of the members here.

 

I've played around with bootable disks of Linux, Windows and the OS X LiveDVD (though at the time I mega failed with the OS X LiveDVD)

 

I also have a fair knowledge of the workings of the OS X system. In the theory we could like Rammjet suggested use the Boot-132 method. A pretty little GUI could be made with input for the different kexts and kernel)

 

Sounds fairly easy though I can imagine it won't be a piece of cake.

 

Anyway if you would consider me for this I'd be grateful. It's about time I start helping (or attempt to help)

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Ok Rammjet, thank you for your very informative post. The most progress for this project was made by you and modbin, and my hope is that you guys can continue to help in the future.

 

Guys above, check your PMs.

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I'd really like to participate in this project.

I've got plenty of experience with *nix/solaris scripts and startup, solid bash and other scripting.

I've built the only real LiveUSB distro for OpenSolaris. I've built plenty of bootable media.

I'm in the process of learning(and wanna learn more) of the OSX internals(frameworks, kernel function), and have studied boot-132 and recent osx86 boot features.

I've played plenty with extensions and other osx86 pillars.

I have willingeness to learn pretty much anything..

 

THx

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Ok, I'm going to say Sunday night is the deadline to "apply" for a position on the initial dev team. Keep in mind once this initial team gets going, it will be up to them whether or not to accept more members.

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