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Install dual-boot OpenBSD 3.5 / OS X on early Macs Install
After a dozen re-installations of OpenBSD 3.5 on my old iMac, I finally figured out how to make it boot into the finished installation. The problem was that I had created a 15GB partition that was not completely contained within the upper 8GB of the hard drive (no kidding ... couldn't fit that 15GB into an 8GB space -- who would have thought??), and the 333MHz iMacs cannot boot anything past that 8GB mark.

I thought it would work because I had sub-partitioned that 15GB under the OpenBSD installer so that the first OpenBSD partition was well within that limit, but it didn't work. The trick is that the entire partition as seen by Disk Utility on OS X must reside in that 8GB playground. What I had to do was create two "Free Space" partitions as placeholders in OS X, the first of which fit entirely into the 8GB limit, and a second which was as big as I liked into the lower part of the drive. Then under OpenBSD, I further partitioned that first placeholder into the / and swap partitions, and the second placedholder into the /usr, /tmp and /home partitions.

The last catch was that I could not get it to boot off the hard drive by copying the file ofwboot to the first HFS partition as described in the documentation, so I left the OpenBSD installation CD in the drive and used the Open Firmware command boot cd:,ofwboot /bsd to get it all going.
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Install dual-boot OpenBSD 3.5 / OS X on early Macs | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Install dual-boot OpenBSD 3.5 / OS X on early Macs
Authored by: repetty on Aug 19, '04 01:13:56PM

It's actually important to mention here -- clarify, really -- that old Macs capable of booting into Mac OS X do NOT need to boot onto an 8GB parition unless they are booting to IDE/ATA hard drives.

Since many older Macs -- my old G3/300 for instance -- have SCSI drives, they do not have this problem. I boot that old G3 Mac from a 17GB just fine even though many people claim that this is not possible.

The limitation that you refer to is more a function of the hard drive interface than the computer itself. Just another reason the move from SCSI to IDE/ATA has been a big elephant step backwards.

--Richard



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SCSI debate
Authored by: nebula on Aug 19, '04 06:26:51PM

...except for cost. Had Apple stuck with SCSI, they would now have home computers that cost hundreds of dollars more for less overall HD capacity.

I speculate that as Apple dropped SCSI as standard equipment they were banking on native FireWire HD mechanisms appearing in the future (hence the Sawtooth G4's internal FireWire port). While it now appears this will never happen, I still believe that the price:performance ratio of IDE justifies their move.



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