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Skylake_520_DP4


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Some observations concerning DP4 installion to an available APFS HDD container/partition.
Assumes an existing working ESP bootloader.

1. Go ahead and make your USB installer with OC 0.6.0 or later, but if you have an existing install of Catalina you can save time by starting the Big Sur installer directly from Catalina, choosing the target partition, and letting the installer copy over the install files rather than waiting on USB to boot and copy. You can then use the USB installer to reboot Big Sur as required to complete the installation.

2. If you are a linux multi-booter and using grub2 as your main bootloader, and if you have an existing Catalina install with a working chainloaded OC or Clover bootloader, suggest you don't disturb/break it by making tweaks for Big Sur.  You can make an additional small 200MB FAT32 partition on your HDD and put your Big Sur OC bootloader there and chainload it from grub.cfg. Run lsblk -f or sudo blockid from linux terminal and note the UUID of the Big Sur FAT32 bootloader partition you made.  Temporarily edit your boot grub.cfg and add the following entry where xxxx-xxxx is your Big Sur FAT32 bootloader partition UUID:

for open core:

menuentry "Open_Core"{
    insmod part_gpt
    search --no-floppy --set=root --fs-uuid xxxx-xxxx
    chainloader /EFI/OC/OpenCore.efi  # or whatever path you use
}

or for clover:

menuentry "Clover"{
    insmod part_gpt
    search --no-floppy --set=root --fs-uuid xxxx-xxxx
    chainloader /EFI/CLOVER/CLOVERX64.efi  # or whatever path you use
}

This way you can easily edit/tweak your Big Sur bootloader settings without breaking your existing working ESP bootloader.  If you are not confortable using an XML editor to edit config.plist, and you have Catalina installed, you can download ProperTree from github and use it from Catalina.  Later you can modify your linux /etc/grub.d/40_custom to include any custom menuentries you want to keep, and then run update-grub.
 
3. When your install is finished and you are finally at the working desktop, you may want to make a backup. With Catalina this was easily done by using Disk Utility from a bootable USB installer to restore to an APFS formatted backup media.  The Big Sur DP4 installer Disk Utility has repeatedly failed to replicate Big Sur and it appears Disk Utility from Catalina 10.15.6 can not perform this task with Big Sur APFS containers. You can, however, clone the entire Big Sur container to removable media with third party software. Alternatively, and depending on the size of your AFPS container/partition and transfer rate, using dd can take quite a long time to do the backup.

If you clone to USB media and then boot it to test the backup on the same computer from which it was made, both the Big Sur USB clone and the Big Sur HDD container installation show up within disk utility, but only in the USB media area.

4. The recovery console for DP4 does not appear to have a language selector that works, but defaults to a mostly non-English type of character based language.  The language selector button with drop down menu on the top right does not appear to work.

You can, however, access the terminal, but attempting to toggle csrutil authenticated-root disable appears to fail.

Mount command does work and you can mount -uw /dev/diskxsy to make the normally read-only volume writable (where x is the number of your Big Sur disk and y is the read-only slice from the mount command output).

Make your changes from the console and reseal (where x is your Big Sur volume name shown with mount command):
bless --folder /Volumes/x/System/Library/CoreServices --bootefi --create-snapshot
 
Reboot.

5.  If you have an existing Catalina installation with brew and numerous brew installed programs such as ntfs-3g, you can directly copy the brew files/programs to the corresponding file system locations within Big Sur and manually create the soft links to enable programs.  If you need to write to the system file tree in the system snapshot you can do this from the recovery console as previously referenced.

NTFS volumes will normally mount read-only but read-write can be enabled without ntfs-3g and without osxfuse as follows:

From terminal make a mountpoint of your choice for each ntfs volume.  Example: sudo mkdir ~/ntfs
Unmount the target read-only ntfs volume where x is disk number and y is slice: sudo umount /dev/diskxsy
Mount ntfs volume as read-write: sudo mount -t ntfs -o rw,auto,nobrowse /dev/diskxsy ~/ntfs
Link to desktop: sudo ln -s ~/ntfs ~/Desktop/whatever_name_you_choose
Make sure finder is configured to show hard disks on the desktop.

Keep in mind that if you use ntfs-3g with osxfuse to automount ntfs volumes, install version 3.11.0 or later of osxfuse.

Here are some post-install termainal tweaks tested in zsh.  If you do not know what they do, don't use them:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
defaults write com.apple.TextEdit RichText -int 0  
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
sudo defaults write /.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration Exclusions -array "/Volumes"
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteUSBStores -bool true
defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores -bool true

6. If you have an existing Catalina installation with third party programs they may work without modification by copying them directly from Catalina Applications folder to the Big Sur Applications folder AND copying the corresponding entries for those programs from Catalina ~/Library/Application Support to Big Sur ~/Library/Application Support.

7. System Preferences Trackpad.prefPane does not appear to be working.  Substituting the Trackpad.prefPane from Catalina also not working.

8. Automator utility can create an apple script or shell script app for Big Sur but it fails with error message when run from the desktop.  If you open the app in automator and click the step button the app executes with the desired result.  Running the command line directly within the zsh terminal also executes properly.

9.  The attached EFI with OC was modified for Skylake/520/Sunrise Point but you may find that it works for a  range of models with similar Intel hardware.  Supply your own Platforminfo.  If you multi-boot with linux you can run lspci -k from terminal in linux to show your pci hardware configuration.

10.  If you desire the OC GUI, change the config.plist PickerMode specification from BuiltIn to External, but be aware that all icons may not be completely visible.  Change HideAuxiliary to true if you do not want to see recovery.

A big thank you to all who have unselfishly devoted their time, energy and intellect to making Big Sur and previous distros available to those who are willing to learn.   

 

EFI.zip

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