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Old 10-24-2011, 06:15 PM
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kmoore134 kmoore134 is offline
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Default installing PC-BSD on Apple Mac Pro
Glad it worked! Suspend is easy, but FreeBSD has lots of issues resuming
still, hopefully we see some work on this for the 9.x series
Kris Moore
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:00 PM
Rakor Rakor is offline
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Hehe, yes I remember I killed my geom-raid some time ago trying suspend... gnarf...

Edit: the fact that the system does not shut down completely is the worst problem I see atm.
My FreeBSD-Notes (german):

Last edited by Rakor; 10-24-2011 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:02 AM
bds bds is offline
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kris --
thanks! i owe you a cold beverage of your choice. typing this on an old 2006 1,1 mbp.

so far, so good.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:36 AM
WildeGeist WildeGeist is offline
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Well, I just lost PC-BSD again. I managed to get the Beta 3 up and running, using an openSUSE net install disk for a boot loader. Once up, it upgraded nicely to the RC1, but on reboot, the screen went blank again. I tried using THIS TIME, the PC-BSD DVD to try to find the boot option, but it went right into the install mode, passing up the options. Wiped my disk. I am downloading the whole RC1 outright (my last DVD of a 100 pack; on a 4kbps ISP Internet DSL connection here in Saipan!). In the meanwhile, I have to use the Ubuntu on my computer so my pet woman forgives me for tying up her nasty Windows rig. I just wanted to let you know the PC-BSD Beta 3 ran 'puss' (perfect) on my mid 2009 MacBook Pro as the sole OS. I used the KDE Partition Tool available from openSUSE to prep my HD. I was using GhostBSD. But the latest releases the Dev changed the installer to a aMac kind. I dont know if you follow the GHOSTBSD, but you guys should work together. Ide love to see Knoppix, GhostBSD, Aptosid & PC-BSD join forces to make a SINGLE "Dual-boot" flavor. A hybrid FreeBSD/Debian switchable like a desktop.

Hey Kris, I meant to mention too, it might be real helpful if each post people do required a "check box" poll of what they are using to run PC-BSD. I think a lot of bad data comes from the Virtual Box world. I love VB's, but it gets confusing to follow someones instructions, and a Month later find out they are using a VB to give advice. Yea, when I ran a VB on my OS X, I got to run all kinds of stuff on a MacBook Pro!!! But in real life, if one wants to be free of the new Apple/Windows, to stuff a working REAL OS like PC-BSD into an Apple made computer is a trick and a half for the all but serious experienced Computer Operator. Most of us transitioning are "users" wanting to learn to be Operators. I for one, sure appreciate your efforts. It took me 5 years to save up to buy that MacBook with software to match. I will never go back to OS X for the life of me. But I have too much invested in that aluminum can to not put FreeBSD somehow in it. And I can not afford another machine, even a $100 used one is out of the question right now.

As I type on my womans Windows (Acer Ext 5620Z), I drool at the potential of this simple machine. Unfortunately, she is a stingy Jew (not to mean offensively, we both are) and a Windows lover (Vista). I put the Knoppix Adriane on it Live to show her what it can do, and she liked it until she thought it could upset her Windows, and told me to take it out and never **** with her machine again. Its stupid, because she can not even use it to check her bank account by herself, I have to do it. Anyway, I only say this, because so many people are bi-polar like that. They want a working OS like PC-BSD, but fear letting go of something so obsolete and useless as WinXP & Vista, and now OS X too is so Windows-like, it might as well be Microsoft. The Darwin people must be rolling in their graves! So sad to mangle such a once beautiful OS, to do what OS X .7 is a Sin!

Anyway, the bootloader/installer on the Ubuntu for Mac 11.10 looks to be the older one Red Hat Linux used around 1999 or so. The biggest problem in almost all the installers is a lack of EJECT at the install finish, and a need generally for a USB mouse on the MacBook Pro to install most Open Source OS. I have yet to get a Flash Install to work. I suppose an external Hard Drive might work, but then again, a USB doesnt? So we are stuck with CD/DVD and no way to get it out when the system finishes installing, and reboots. As soon as that Grub 2 hooks back into the new install, its curtains.

Okay, it takes a few days to download the ISO. So I shall get back to you with my experience of RC1 and that command line I seen on the wiki. I pray it works. Ubuntu works, but it does not settle with me as well as PC-BSD (I sure wish you would change the name to EZ-BSD or just Z4-BSD or something). Something about Ubuntu always makes me feel skittish for some reason?


Almost there! I bet in another week or two I have PC-BSD working Tits on my MacBook Pro. Then I can pry that Apple logo out and wiz on it!

I am back (on edit mode). The new Ubuntu for Mac totally fragmented on the reboot. So I am attempting a Net Install of openSUSE while I wait for PC-BSD to download. I was looking at the 120 or so DVD's I have burned over the last couple Months in the hopes of liberating myself from Apple. Only one has truly worked tits out of the box, and its Nodezero, a Pentest Ubuntu variant. GhostBSD & PC-BSD have been the most consistent operable installs. But getting them to boot thus far has been very unorthodox. The best way lately has been to use that openSUSE Net Install disk, run it to the boot menu, boot from Hard Disk, and wind up with PC-BSD. All the successful GhostBSD installs were not "update-able", nor could I get packages. So the allure of sticking with it was not there. If I knew more about tweaking things in the terminal....? I have more than my fingers crossed for this RC1 to work. My 320 Gig HD now shows only 270 usable even after a "7 pass erase". At this point, I am tiring of worrying if the MacBook lives or dies. One way or another I will find a machine that will run PC-BSD. Just looking at the MacBook nauseates me anymore. For the few times I did get to fiddle with PC-BSD before fatal reboots, it was very sweet! Thanks for all the hard work in this project. When the day comes I get it working, my whole aim is to do HAM Radio stuff, experiment with DSR, and try to drag the Mac HAM people over to FreeBSD (PC-BSD). I see no future in OS X at all. It really went to the dogs in a hurry. I mean no disrespect to the millions of hours of hard work to get it to where it is. The "Art" of it is great. But the practical use of it fell of a cliff like a drunk Mule!

Anyway, disregard please the Ubuntu for Mac, as it did not work. It could have been a bad Burn on the ISO, but I doubt it. I wish the Knoppix crew was as interested in getting a MacBook to work with Open Source. My dream is a dual boot PC-BSD & Knoppix. I could love my MacBook again! I think I need to drop the MacBook nomenclature, and call it an Abattoir now. That Hitachi HD is one tough sucker. Its gone through easy 1,000 plus full installs in two years. Its a long story, but I got screwed from Apple from day one. I bought it in Hilo Hawaii at a place "Authorized" by Apple to sell Apple. I had no idea it was a year old on the shelf, and BROKEN. I took it back, and the store kept it for a Month saying they were fixing it. By 45 days I had Apple on their butt, they mailed it to Apple. Apple kept it for about 3 weeks. The NEW MacBook Pro's came out 2 weeks after I bought the lemon. So for the first two Months of my prize possesion ownership, IO was computerless! The thing has always had issues, and all Apple said is buy more Apple Care. Now they charge $50 a phone call. Screw em!

Later! I shall let you know how RC1 goes, only 20 hours remaining! This one is cooking fast!

Last edited by WildeGeist; 10-25-2011 at 01:31 PM. Reason: language use & changes in data
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:16 PM
andersbo andersbo is offline
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On my MacBook Pro 2009 model (Core 2 Duo) I have tried to install PC-BSD 9 RC-2 and 3, but when I reboot my Mac, when I get to the rEFIt boot menu, only the Apple icon shows up. Booting PC-BSD 9 RC-1 went fine without problems. Do any of you have an answer on how to get PC-BSD 9 working again?

It's also worth mentioning that if there are any Mac OS Lion users on the forum who would like to install PC-BSD via Bootcamp; in order to have Bootcamp on Lion to allocate space for PC-BSD, you need a Windows install DVD, since Bootcamp on Lion refuses to partition the hard disk without having the user to insert a Windows install DVD *before* partition begins.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:17 AM
andersbo andersbo is offline
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Originally Posted by andersbo View Post
On my MacBook Pro 2009 model (Core 2 Duo) I have tried to install PC-BSD 9 RC-2 and 3, but when I reboot my Mac, when I get to the rEFIt boot menu, only the Apple icon shows up. Booting PC-BSD 9 RC-1 went fine without problems.
A little edit: By opening an Xterm window (requires an external mouse since the touchpad on a Mac laptop (MacBook, MacBook Pro, etc) has no right mouse button) and entering "gpart bootcode -b /boot/boot ada0pX" e.g. "gpart bootcode -b /boot/boot ada0p3" the problem should be fixed.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:20 PM
electrolux electrolux is offline
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These is my first posting at these forum. Just say hello ;-)

Now I have make a install of PC-BSD 10.0 on my iMac i5 (Mid 2011). The problem is it will not work! At first I install rEFIt on OSX (10.9) then making a free partition with BootCamp and then I restart. The installation from the PC-BSD CD was no problem so I finished the install then I restart. The rEFIt loader shows me the PC-BSD icon and I point on it, rEFIt start the bootloader from PC-BSD and start up, finally I ended up with the error "ZFS can't load kernel by guid".

What's wrong? I must say that I'm completely new to BSD.

Thanks for your answers.

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Old 03-02-2014, 08:46 PM
TGIK TGIK is offline
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Default Mac pro
**Long winded**

I have successfully installed PC-BSD 9.2 on a mac pro 1.1 and a mac pro 3.1 -- never with using bootcamp-- my suggestion is to not use a hybrid gpt/mbr setup and use a dedicated drive with an MBR partition setup. I also wouldn't necessarily use that whole drive for PC-BSD unless you always want OSX to complain every bootup that that disk needs to be formatted. This is also why at this point I don't suggest a full GPT install of PC-BSD either on a Mac---with an MBR disk you can have BSD reside on just a slice of a disk and have a data partition (FAT32) for file transfer among the different OS's. For example on my Mac Pro 1.1 setup PC-BSD is on a 500GB MBR disk w/ four primary partitions-
(1)- Fedora (2) OpenSUSE (3) FAT32 DATA (4) PC-BSD ****

I'll try to list some of (probably not all) the caveats, pitfalls and things to keep in mind when doing alternative OS installs on Mac hardware -- in this case with BSD. There is a lot of trial and error -- and not to be too much like the 'dude' from "The Big Lebowski" - but there are a lot of 'ins and outs and what have yous'

In someways we should start with bootcamp/hybrid MBR/GPT and bios emulation. The Refit website always has had a pretty clear explanation of what bootcamp is/// which is just a front-end GUI for live partition resizing and hybrid mbr/gpt creation. In fact it is just a GUI for more complicated 'disk utility' tools that have been in the code for OSX since 10.4.7. Bootcamp does not trigger some magic thing inside of the mac that allows it to run traditional x86 x64 OS's --- That's the bios emulation. Hybrid MBR/GPT is really only useful if you want to have multiple OS's on the same drive that are not 'GPT aware' like windows*

*It's not that windows is not GPT aware -- but because of the limitations of bios emulation -- windows, when booted through Apple's bios emulation is not gpt aware.

****The former fact might be out of date if on new Macs Apple has finally adopted the more standard UEFI --- Apple has in the past used their own EFI standard. For a while trying to get a windows install disc to boot through EFI was some sort of holy grail in the Apple multi boot world*****

Debian linux distros (and almost all linux distros) for example are gpt aware and you could resize your Apple partitions and keep a GPT partition scheme and be able to boot into them. And without the 4 primary partition limit in GPT you could put a lot of gpt aware OS's on one drive -- or go old school and have a partition for every mount point (/, /boot, /usr, /var etc). Bootcamp would force you to be in hybrid setup- but I digress---

Bios Emulation --- this is the key to me more then partitioning schemes-- knowing it's limitations is crucial to getting things to work.

Apple's bios emulation is rather poor, in the sense it operates in EIDE mode (more on hacking that later). What this means is that initially not all of your drives will be enumerated, and even if they are, OS's might have trouble installing to them--- for example in my Mac Pro 3.1 setup- windows would not install on a drive in bays 3,4 (5,6 hidden) only 1 and 2. Linux would install on drives in bays 1-4 but would not be able to boot if installed on drives in bays 3,4----the same went for FreeBSD and PC-BSD-- and OS's like NetBSD could only see the first two drives.

-->>>>moral of the story is that for 'alternative OS's'-- drives in bay 1, 2 makes things easier. -->>> this is something I learned more from my 3.1 machine then my 1.1- I'll try to explain why later.

Fortunately Mac OS within the EFI boot environment is a lot less finicky - it can be in any drive bay, even connected to the hidden SATA ports and be the boot drive. In my 3.1 setup my system boots off of an SSD that resides in the 2nd optical bay -- this freed up bays 1,2 for linux and windows respectively.

Because Apple provides no typical bios commands when within bios emulation like SATA mode or boot menu you are really handcuffed to using those front bays-- in some setups I go as far to say that all your legacy OS's should boot from a bootloader that resides in drive 1**

One of the most important hacks to do on a Mac is to enable AHCI. There are many threads on the internet on how to do that-- I have always preferred to use the command line patchcode.bin method (the GUI never worked for me). Only the 'bootloader' drive needs to be patched- this is very important and why I suggest you boot your OS's off of the one drive that has been patched***** IMPORTANT -- by 'boot' I mean the bootloader (i.e. Grub2) not the actual OS necessarily.

If the AHCI is patched properly all OS's booted 'through' that patched bootloader will be in AHCI mode and see drives 1-6.

***NOTE**** even if you have patched your AHCI , when booting off a CD you will be back in EIDE mode (since that CD is not 'patched') -- this is a fundamental limitation; so if an OS can't see a drive on the install CD you are out of luck and would have to install it on drives 1,2 or figure out a cloning* method (untested -- but proabably lots of fun headaches)

Only windows needs special care when switching to AHCI mode after being installed in EIDE mode - again lots of tutorials on that. BSD and linux didn't skip a beat really, since they too were installed in EIDE mode (since that is the limitation of CD/DVD boot).

So this what my system(s) looks like and how it boots

Mac Pro 1.1

I use rEFIt which might not work with newer hardware but there is a newer fork of that project. rEFIt is an EFI boot menu that gives you a GUI to pick your operating system.

So boot-->>> Refit menu ; OSX 10.4.11, OSX 10.5.8, OSX 10.6.8, OSX Lion, Windows Vista, Linux, Windows 7, Free BSD etc..

it displays each detected OS as an icon if it matches one it its database of 'icns' --- even though I am given the option to pick Free-BSD (PC-BSD) it won't boot to it from rEFIt since in my case PC-BSD is in drive 4. What it will do, as bios emulation seems designed to do is just look for a 'legacy' bootable drive in bays 1 or 2.

My drive 1 is partitioned as follows

EFI Part ----OSX -----Ubuntu-----Windows----Linux Swap

***yes this is a GPT/MBR disk (linux is using the GPT table as its swap is part5) -- left over from a laptop clone -hence why it is a triple boot on one disk**** !!!GRUB2 is installed on the Part , not MBR!!!

In my Mac Pro 1.1 this is the boot drive , this drive has been patched for AHCI
and contains the Grub2 bootloader that I use to chainload BSD and load my other linux images (and Windows if I want , though I can choose windows directly also)

rEFIt--->>>>Linux Drive Grub 2 --->>>>Grub 2 Menu>>>>>PC-BSD entry>>>>PCBSD (I install the BSD bootloader to the drive that will contain my BSD install)

yes -- that is a longer boot process -- but it works and the ability to choose between so many operating systems makes it worth it.

My 3.1 setup is as follows

Drive 1 is linux (buntu)
linux swap
NTFS Partition (also contains BCD windows loader)

Drive 2 is NTFS (windows 7)

Drive 3 is HFS+ Data
Linux Mint
Linux OpenSUSE

Drive 4 is Linux Fedora
Haiku Alpha (works sometimes haha)
NTFS data
PC-BSD 9.2

Drive 5 OSX

Drive 6 OSX

The ubuntu partition on drive one is where I boot them all from. Obviously the linux images are immediately added to the grub menu butI have to manually edit my grub2 file (in ubuntu using the 40_custom file).

As I mentioned eariler the reason why my 1.1 setup didn't present me with the same drive problems at first was because I had been always operating everything from drive 1 and that drive had been patched early on and I didn't have the luxury to start over and try to make use of having windows on a dedicated drive for example. With the Mac Pro 3.1 I wanted my main OS's on different drives. It is the preferred solution but it was then I realized that for some OS's you are stuck to bays 1 and 2 and that if you had linux booting from one disk and windows booting from another you would have to patch each disk separately and that would sometimes not work; strangely cancelling each other out.

I always think having a linux system on a mac is key as a literal (and figurative for that matter) bridge to other operating systems.

If you are just going for PC-BSD I would put that on its own disk with nothing important on it yet-- keep BSD installs away from OSX system drives -- don't mess with that unless you got backups and want a journey.

My ideal test setup for you is to have a drive in bay 2 -- MBR formatted , a linux install, a data partition , and another partition for PC BSD. In my experience there have been times I could not get PC-BSD to boot on its own and I need Grub2 to chainload (even with the new Grub they are using for PC BSD install) -- ---

I have installed a system before and wasn't able to boot until I installed linux to chainloaded from it.

So I hope that is some food for thought on the issue --

Bios emulation, bootloader, drive enumeration , keep your OSX away from it -- think of using an EFI bootmenu --- Apple's 'holding down alt key' is not thorough and often displays every OS as windows ---

Holler at me if you want even more of the Minutiae
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:04 AM
Priyadarshan Priyadarshan is offline
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@TGIK Thank you for the detailed information. I have an iMac 2014 (3.5 GHz Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M), and PC-BSD does not even boot from a dedicated USB drive, nor DVD. I am not sure if it is because of USB3-only ports, or the Thunderbolt port.

I am pretty desperate, because I can't stand OS X anymore, and I want to make a full switch to PC-BSD or FreeBSD. Of course, I could sell this machine and get a "pc".
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:36 PM
Pavel+ Pavel+ is offline
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I read this with great interest. I have tried PC-BSD twice now and am waiting for improvements until I give it another shot. I started with Linux back in 95 (and FreeBSD in 99) but stopped, and drifted away from using Linux for various reasons, including running out of patience with the various communities and all the haters. I surely hope that the PC-BSD community does not devolve in a similar way.
I use Slack, Debian sometimes, Mac OSX and Windows Server 2012 all and appreciate the good/bad points of each.

My interest in PC-BSD stems from different sources. On the one had I would like an alternative to OSX on my laptops, something to play and tinker with and use to teach myself to learn new things. Secondly I'm designing a course for next year and have to find a "Nix" that installs reliably on a mix of hardware and is fairly easy to use. CentOS will likely wind up to be the choice, but truth be told I would love to go and find something to expand the viewpoints of students a bit further, so a BSD has an advantage over a Linux distro in that way, and also I like the BSD license better than I like the GPL ... so it is a bit of a personal bias in that regard. But I've found that in the past, the students that get inspired to the virtues of Linux or Open Source, that they sour really quickly when before they get a chance to get fired up about this "great new way" they can't even install it to be able to start to grow their skills. lastly about 30-60 percent of students now have a Mac laptop. So easy setup on a Mac is a strong virtue. Not many take it that far, but always several really keen, bright and enthusiastic types do ... and so ... well here I am, very, very interested (and grateful) that this issue is being looked into. (heck, CentOS is sooo boring )

For my own use I have two PC's (An HP proliant and a Lenovo thinkserver) as well as a Netbook (an aspire one) as well as three Mac laptops. I would like to takePC-BSD and replace my OSX entirely, to single boot. If I could I would like to not have to use refit or any other similar hacks. Is that possible at this point ... or likely to be possible in the near term? PC-BSD seems like a very much needed step in the right direction, and perhaps open up the unix world to more people. I don't think it is necessarily ready for "prime time" yet ... but the future looks promising.

Good luck with the efforts to make things tick on MacBooks. They are probably the single most popular laptop out there with the up and coming young crowd. In the last class, out of 18 students there were 14 MacBooks and four PCS! (wtf?) In any case, giving people an alternative ... is a very nice thing. Thanks for putting in the effort.
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