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adventures in os x and multibooting


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First major kudos to jas and all the vastly more knowledgable than i hackers who have made these adventures possible. Its a blast!


A big thank you as well to the people who run and post to the Insanelymac forums. Your knowledge and insight are what i think spurs (prods?) many of us on.


The rig:

Asrock P4i65g onboard lan, audio, video (nice cheap board, lovely press F11 bios boot selector) latest bios

P4 1.7Ghz socket 478

IG Ram (single module, pedigree unkown)

NV11 Geforce2 MX/MX 400 64M

‎Western Digital ‎WD1200LB-00EDA0 120G ide

Samsung SP0802N 80G ide

LG GCE-8526B cdrw upgraded firmware

LG GCC-4521B cdrw/dvd upgraded firmware

Dlink DWL-G520 wireless nic

Generic ps/2 keyboard and mouse

Primary and secondary drives are both jumpered for cs (cable select). I modded the secondary cable from instructions i googled. Sorry i can't remember the url.


The software:

Pclinuxos 93a (excellent distro that i would recommend to anyone, their forums are very good)

Windoze xp sp2 (i would'nt recommend this to anyone at any time for any price)

Jas os x 10.4.6 install dvd



I consider myself a computer hobbyist. I bought my first computer book in 1965, and my first machine in 1981 (atari 400) and have been playing with them ever since. My favourite legacy platform is the Amiga.

My primary os is linux and has been since i compiled my first kernel (1.2.13) and it will remain so. I have played with most of the major distros. My first distro was slackware 3.1 on a 386.

I label myself as a bit of an os junkie, since i've been playing with emus like vice, uae, basiliskII and others for years. I have at various times had os/2, freedos, aros, bsd, netware and others running.

I picked up on the osx86 thing from slashdot and finally got around to trying it beginning a week or two ago.

Understand that i am a complete noob to os x although a year or so ago i picked up a clearance copy of Mac OS X The Missing Manual and it has been a bit of help since i dusted it off.

Also factor in that almost 60 year old synapses don't fire nearly as quickly as they did 30 years ago!


The adventure:

My box is set to default boot pclinuxos via the grub bootloader. The first harddrive (120G) is entirely multi partition (root, swap, local, home) linux. Because i support a few deluded windoze (l)users i have a small 8G (small? ha!) win primary partition on the second harddrive to boot into natively if i have to. I must admit everytime i work on a windoze system it makes me feel like i want to wash my hands and gargle when i'm done!

Pclinuxos uses an adapted mandrake/driva control centre and i added a windoze boot entry to grub.

I then manually edited, as root of course, "/boot/grub/menu.lst".

This is the entry:


title winxp

root (hd1,0)

map (hd0) (hd1)

map (hd1) (hd0)


chainloader +1


I did some googling and used qparted to make a 10G primary partition on the second drive and gave it partition type "af" and then booted from the os x install dvd. I did the -v (verbose?) boot option and read the messages that were generated and some if it actually made sense. Lo and behold after a looooongish period of time i was presented with the installer screen. I used my $4 book and did a little reading in it and onscreen, some head scratching and soon had the 10G partition formatted and fired up the installer, picked the options that looked like they were appropriate to my kit and went ahead with the install. I had set my install partition as startup cause i figured grub could probably be made to boot it.


After the installer finished i booted up linux and added a boot entry for os x to grub. I then edited "/boot/grub/menu.lst" and added this entry:


title osx

root (hd1,1)

map (hd0) (hd1)

map (hd1) (hd0)


chainloader +1


I sorta held my breath and rebooted, picked osx from the grub boot menu and damn if it did'nt boot!

Ya coulda knocked me over with a feather! I had a mostly working os x 10.4.6 installation. After poking around i found the cd drives were both recognized, the onboard nic and usb were working, sound and wifi were not. Thats pretty much when i started googling for info and found the Insanelymac forum, joined and started reading.


I have since managed to hose the partition and done a reinstall. I have installed opera, stuffit, pacifist and disk-order (gotta have my ofm). Tried to install Kodak Easyshare but that was a no go.

Yesterday i installed jas' 10.4.8 sse2 update. This hosed safari and double clicking in the finder? window altough i can right click and "open" an app. On balance though, wifi now works, sound still does'nt. Go figure!


I'll just keep reading and banging away on it trying to get stuff to work. Sound is next on the agenda.



I like the os x eye candy and easy software installs but at this point in time it is nowhere near being a linux replacement for me. It has however reinforced my decision to recommend macintosh highly to anyone who asks me "what computer should i buy", something i've been recommending since macs moved to a *nix based system. This i can now do with much more conviction since i started playing with os x.

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Thank you for sharing this refreshing experience.

Glad to see someone not getting that "hfs+ error" problem that is often seen recently.


(am curious about that cable select setup; myself never used c.s., always did the master/slave jumper settings, so would like to know the advantages)

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Most drive manufacturers are shipping drives default jumpered to cs now. If you want to boot from your second drive for some reason, all you do is pull the ide connectors and plug the last one one on the ide cable into your second drive and fire it up, no jumpers to change. With cs the last drive on the cable is automatically master and the other is slave.

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