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Affects a large number of files!
Authored by: hofbauer on Jul 03, '07 06:20:39AM

My backup system involves mirroring the entire disk of my PowerBook G4 from time-to-time onto an external FireWire disk (Apple Partition Tabel format) using Carbon Copy Cloner, and daily backups (with history) using the fabulous rsnapshotx. So in case the internal disk dies, I can boot off of the external disk and continue.

The PowerBook is now replaced by a MacBook Pro, and I wanted to make the system (and backup) a Universal OS X as described above, so that in case the MacBook Pro dies, I can as a backup still use the PowerBook (booting from the external backup drive). Sounds quite useful. :-)

As the MacBook is my production system, I wanted to know what files are actually merged into the Intel System to make it (supposingly) universal. So this is what I did:

1) Install Intel-OS X on MacBook Pro and make all updates (10.4.10).

2) Install PPC-OS X on external FireWire drive (I could have also done this onto the internal PPC disk, but I still need what is there at the moment). Also make all updates (10.4.10).

3) Hook external FireWire drive onto MacBook Pro.

4) Find out what files are in the PPC-OS X installation that are not in the Intel-OS X installation:
sudo rsync --dry-run --ignore-existing --extended-attributes --verbose --archive --max-delete=0 /Volumes/LaCie\ PPC/ / > rsync.log

The plan was to remove the "--dry-run" part of the above command to copy all missing files into the Intel-OS X to make it universal (without overwriting anything that is already there).

However, the above command shows that the number of PPC-only files that would be merged into the Intel-System is around 53000 (!!!). These files are all-over the place (Applications, Library, Systems, CoreServices, ...).

I decided to not to proceed further (I need a reliable production system and can live without the unversal boot), so I cannot confirm if this would work or not.

However I conclude that the differences between an Intel and PPC OS X are not only a few missing drivers (as suggested in the references cited in the original article), but a large number of files at numerous locations.


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