Incoming OSX BootCamp Support

One of the most requested features in the upcoming PC-BSD 9 series, is the ability to easily install to BootCamp partition, allowing dual-booting with OSX. We are pleased to announce that the initial support for this will be available soon in the 9.0-RC1 release.We are looking forward to feedback from Mac users to ensure this works smoothly for everybody in 9.0-Final.

For details on BootCamp installation, please take a look at the wiki page below.

Special thanks to Marcel Moolenaar for the GPT / gpart improvements which enabled this functionality!

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Written by Kris Moore. Posted in 9.0, new features

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Comments (16)

  • Marcel
    October 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Wow, I wasnยดt able to close my mouth for half an hour after reading thant!

    Iยดm looking forward to my new dual boot Mac!

  • Erik Ulven
    October 22, 2011 at 12:27 am |

    Great! I might be able use my macbook pro again, which is so sluggish that it’s almost useless after upgrade to Lion..

  • babyboomer54
    October 23, 2011 at 5:19 am |

    First time today to get adverting from “Mackeeper” signing on. I was able to read documents from required websites as an employee of the state of Michigan. I am no longer able to use my Mac per statements made on that site? What gives at corporate Apple?

  • ostbernd
    October 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    Great news. I really appreciate this possibility and hope it runs fine on my MBP5.5…

  • George
    October 24, 2011 at 10:45 am |

    freebsd.orgfreebsd.orgfreebsd.orgfollow-up to http://blog.pcbsd.org/2011/09/pc-bsd-9-0-beta2-available-for-testing/#comment-1272

    I have downloaded RC1 and retested, this time on my real production mac.

    My set up before install (I have many partitions; using OS X Disk Utility):

    GPT entry – GUID as in (note):
    ada0p1 – ESP (EFI GUID)
    ada0p2 – HFS+ (snow leo)
    ada0p3 – HFS+ (lion)
    ada0p4 – NTFS (MS basic-data GUID, Windows 7)
    ada0p5 – HFS+ (Documents)
    ada0p6 – Linux (linux-data GUID)

    MBR, hybrid (subset of the 4 above, using gdisk -> create hybrid):
    ada0s1 – EFI protective (ada0p1)
    ada0s2 – 0x07 NTFS (ada0p4)
    ada0s3 – 0xaf HFS+ (ada0p5)
    ada0s4 – 0x83 ext4 (ada0p6)

    So my MBR omits GPT partitions #2 and #3. Remember, MBR limits you to 4 partition entries only (actually 3 only, one is taken by the compulsory EFI 0xEE). Furthermore, there is no need to read other OS partitions from the currently booted one; “Documents” partition serves as sharing and is visible to all OSes.
    I used gdisk to set this up; it works like a charm, I can boot all OSes I have, none of them complains about anything. I do not use rEFIt, nor “BootCamp” (more on that later).

    Back to install. I booted using i386 CD RC1 iso. I was presented with only the GPT entries, ie. only ada0pX showed up (just an observation).
    I chose ada0p6, since I wanted to wipe linux partition and put PCBSD there.
    Clicked next, this time no error message, install committed, finished successfully.
    Reboot followed, but “Boot Error” showed up.

    So I booted my mac from PartedMagic LiveCD to see what was going on:
    ada0p6 had its GUID changed to “FreeBSD disklabel” GUID (which gdisk abbreviates as “0xa500”). That is right. Apparently PCBSD/FreeBSD/gpart supports creating BSD-disklabels inside GPT partition. All OK here (ada0p6a, etc. present).

    BUT the corresponding MBR entry “ada0s4” stayed at 0x83 (linux native). Therefore the error. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I fdisk’ed this entry to 0xa5, rebooted and SUCCESS ๐Ÿ™‚ PC-BSD on my mac. Big time.

    I guess “boot0” (or boot1 ?) failed because there was no corresponding 0xa5 entry in MBR. Fixing that allowed it to find bsd disklabel and continue from there.

    Note: Macs can boot in 2 ways. Either EFI boot, or MBR boot (CSM).
    If you are not doing EFI boot, you are doing MBR boot.
    You choose between them by holding Option key when powering-on or restarting the Mac. List of partitions (native Apple EFI OS chooser) shows up; hybrid MBR implies the presence of the magical “Windows” icon (HDD icon, CD icon, or both). Selecting that activates CSM (old school BIOS) and commits MBR boot (1st sector is read). If you are not good on MBR at this point, boot fails (GPT tables wont help).

    rEFIt comes in-between. It is an EFI application, EFI “boots” it. rEFIt then shows you everyting you have on your computer (all EFI OSes and “MBR” OSes in one list).
    If you choose OSX, it continues EFI boot. If you choose an MBR OS, it sets that particular MBR partition active, and requests the Mac to do MBR boot (CSM), handing control over.
    rEFIt also uses “gptsync” (as far as I remember) to keep GPT and MBR in sync, but rules out customizing. If you use the sync option in rEFIt, it will kill your custom setup by blindly copying the first four entries from GPT to MBR. It assumes you do not have more than 3(+1 EFI) partitions on your system.

    To sum up:
    – 0xa5 problem in MBR
    – the partition number in GPT does not necessarily have to match the number in MBR (e.g. my set up is ada0p6==ada0s4)
    – I have never used rEFIt on my mac. I always have the Windows partition, so the native Apple EFI OS chooser always shows the “Windows” CSM option. If I only had FreeBSD (in addition to OSX) it might not show up, and rEFIt would then be necessary – anyone willing to test this?
    – “Windows” icon in Apple OS chooser is in fact the proxy to the MBR boot, not to Windows OS. Only the naming is confusing.
    – I had GRUB in MBR; pbsd install wiped it and did not provide a multi boot loader. I have to come up with a way to dual-boot with the Windows partition (BCD, grub). I will read pcbsd wiki on dual-booting, but maybe the option could return to the installer? (the F1, F2, …, etc. menu)

    OK, that’s it, just two things of personal nature remaining:
    – I would like to avoid using rEFIt. It requires either a dedicated partition, or it installs into your OSX partition and hijacks the boot process. There was this daemon that hijacks it again in case OSX takes it back (usage of Startup Disk control panel, system update, etc). Also it commits writes to MBR (sets active partition) every time you choose between your MBR OSes in the rEFIt menu. I would not like to have the MBR boot block to worn-out. A multiboot loader started from one of the MBR partitions should let me choose (win7 bcd, GRUB). No changing of active partitions.
    So I personally would not recommend installing rEFIt in the wiki.
    – second, thanks for taking time to read all this ๐Ÿ™‚


    • George
      October 24, 2011 at 10:47 am |

      I guess I did not manage to use the HTML link tags properly, sorry for that.

    • mato
      October 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      cool report, thanks!

    • George
      October 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

      Adding more info:
      I tried reinstalling PCBSD once again (because I downloaded USB FULL img), and booted from that. Naturally I wanted to overwrite my ada0p6 with new copy of PCBSD. This time I got the error “dd: operation not supported on ada0p6” or sth like that. I could pass this point until I figured out what I suppose was actually going on. So why it worked for me the first time?:

      The first time, my ada0p6 was of type MS basic data (NTFS), but now it has already been BSD-disk-labeled (GUID). I think that is what prevents dd from writing there. I went ahead and reformatted this partition via PartedMagic LiveCD, changing partition types to GPT MS basic data (linux-basic) and to 0x07 in its corresponding MBR entry. That did the trick. Reboot back to PCBSD USB flashdrive installer, and everything passed.
      Apart from the need to change the MBR 0x07 to 0xa5 manually again, for booting to work.
      I am posting this from KDE-based pcbsd ๐Ÿ™‚

      BTW, when using Appcafe, I start a download of e.g Firefox, then I switch to the “Installed” apps pane, right-click the app being downloaded and choose cancel download. But it seems to me that even though the entry is gone, something carries on downloading in the background. Can you check?

      • George
        October 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm |

        WRONG: “I could pass this point until…”
        RIGHT: “I could not pass this point until…”

        And one more. I used the PCBSD System Manager control panel Tasks -> Fetch System Source. I chose only “sys”. Now comparing these two commands
        > grep __FreeBSD_version /usr/src/sys/sys/param.h
        > sysctl kern.osreldate
        I see that the __FreeBSD_version is not the same.
        Inspiration taken from http://www.mail-archive.com/freebsd-hackers@freebsd.org/msg70080.html
        Maybe a stupid question, but didnt it fetch trunk even though 9.0 is becoming a RELEASE branch now? Sorry if I am talking nonsense, I am new to freebsd.

  • November 9, 2011 at 12:07 am |

    Really nice, maybe I can finally smack an operating system on my old macbook which actually works (lost my install dvd’s of mac os x) ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Alighieri
    November 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm |

    I wonder does it mean with this upcoming new feature Mac user could install PC-BSD on their machines such like Windows installation through Boot Camp without other booting utility(eFEit) if want to keep in original boot menu of Mac OS?

    • November 22, 2011 at 5:53 am |

      That is correct, you can install just like windows and you don’t even need to use rEFIt ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Alighieri
        December 10, 2011 at 8:20 am |

        I had my Mac HD partitioned for a free space to install PC-BSD.
        Besides this partition, two partitions were already there, one for Mac OS X Lion, another for Win 7.
        And I installed PC-BSD to another new one. After following the instruction to reboot when installation finished, it was no PC-BSD over boot menu and didn’t work my Win 7 partition any more from then on.
        So I erased the Win 7 partition and the one I installed PC-BSD to, re-partition for two new space by the Mac OS X Lion.
        I thought it was probably a problem with Bootcamp for Win 7. This time I installed PC-BSD without Win 7 installation but got the same result: failed. The boot menu couldn’t find PC-BSD.

        I don’t know what’s problem with it Orz

      • Alighieri
        December 10, 2011 at 8:23 am |

        Forgot to say, I didn’t use rFEIt.

  • Kevin
    December 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm |

    Is it possible to encrypt the partition? It does not matter whatever the method is (ZFS encryption or geli on UFS2), is it just possible? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • December 6, 2011 at 7:22 am |

      If you check the box to enable “disk encryption” it should work, although I haven’t tried it first had yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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