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HOWTO install / dual-boot Niresh 10.8.5 with Linux on a Haswell laptop

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How to install Niresh OSX 10.8.5 on a System76 Gazelle Pro Haswell-based laptop

It took me much experimentation to install OSX on my Haswell-based System76 Gazelle Pro as there seems to be a lack of comprehensive, step-by-step guides for this on the net so I hope that this guide will help others with similar machines get Niresh installed and hopefully someone can help complete this guide by explaining step-by-step how to fix power management, if it is possible to do so. PM and wifi are the only parts I don't have working but I don't believe it is possible to get the Centrino Wireless-N 2230 wifi chipset of my GazP to work under OSX as there is no driver for it. The RTL8111 gig NIC works just fine but if you really need wifi you may need to buy an OSX compatible USB wifi adapter.

This guide explains how to dual-boot Niresh with Linux so I'm presuming you already have a version of Linux installed which uses the GRUB2 bootloader and enough free space to create an OSX partition. I do not know (for sure, but I can guess) how to get Niresh to boot from HD without using either GRUB or the Niresh USB boot media. I am not using OSX yet as I'm concerned for the health of my machine when running without PM. Linux runs at 14 degrees C whilst OSX without PM averages around the high 50's on my machine, and thats when idling under OSX. Linux also boots about 5x faster (if we compare how long it takes to boot into OSX vs a KDE desktop. I suspect this is largely due to the superiority of ext4 over HFS+), consumes less RAM (even when running the KDE desktop), supports MUCH more hardware and runs faster overall than OSX. I wanted to install OSX at it has more AV apps available than Linux but I feel Linux is a more advanced and flexible OS than OSX and is the future of computing. Apple should fully open source OSX if they don't want to be left behind IMO. Don't say I didn't warn you Mr Cook! ;)

If you have a USB hard drive that can be wiped I would recommend you use that to install Niresh instead of a USB pen drive. You are likely to end up re-installing OSX several times so you'll save yourself much time by installing from the fastest drive you have available. I copied to Niresh 10.8.5 installer onto a USB HD using the dd command under Linux like this:

sudo dd if=OSX-10.8.5.dmg of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

Obviously you need to run that i the same dir as the OSX dmg and adjust the device to point to your USB HD. Use 'sudo fdisk -l' to show the attached devices under Linux and be careful not to wipe your system drive when using dd! After having dd'd OSX onto your installation drive, you need to reboot and ensure your machine boots off the USB drive instead of the HD. Most machines use F11 to bring up the boot selection menu.

When you have booted to the first Niresh boot menu, enter the 'Options' menu. Select the Boot Args line by pushing ENTER on it then edit the boot args so that it begins with

kernel=xpcm-free -v

and leave the other boot args intact. Push ENTER again when you have made the edit. This tells Niresh to to use the xpcm-free kernel which is required to boot and install on Haswell devices. Now choose 'Return' to get back to the main Niresh boot menu. Another useful menu option is SMBIOS. If you look at 'Product name' under the SMBIOS menu this tells you what SMBIOS you should choose during installation. It seems to be auto-detected when booting the Niresh (Chameleon?) boot loader but the OSX installer doesn't select the correct SMBIOS for you - you need to select it yourself during the 'Customization' step so take note of what it says here. Next choose 'Boot Mac OS X from OSX 10.8.5' which is the central Lion icon and the OSX installer should load.

The first screen you should see is the bluetooth keyboard pairing. Unless you need to use a BT keyboard (BT works fine under OSX on the GazP) you can skip this screen by pushing any key. Another flaw with the Niresh OSX installation procedure is that the Elan trackpad of the GazP doesn't work with the installer but it does work fine post-install so you'll need to use a USB mouse to install with. Use a USB pointing device to choose and language and start the installer. If you don't already have an OSX partition ready for Niresh you will need to run Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. I'm not going to cover that here as there are plenty of guides to using disk utility already. After having prepared your OSX partition, click 'Continue' to start the OSX installer and agree to the license agreement after having read Niresh's installation notes.

Choose the destination partition you created then click 'Customize'. This customization is the tricky part and if you don't choose the correct options, kexts etc then chances are OSX won't boot. If you are installing to a GazP or very similar laptop you can keep all of the default options except:

* Choose 'Move ATi/nVidia Graphics Extensions' from under the Graphics -> Backup Graphic Kexts menu if you have Intel graphics

* Install CPU Sensor under 'FakeSMC Plugins' menu to monitor the CPU temp

* UNTICK the MacPro3,1 SMBIOS under Boot-Loader Flags -> Chameleon Configuration -> SMBIOS and choose the MacBook Pro6,1 SMBIOS instead

* Enable the IOATAFamily kext from Chipset Drivers menu for the Intel SATA driver kext

* Select 'Enable Battery Percentage' from Laptop drivers menu

Those are the only customization options I needed to change to get OSX to install and run on my Gazelle Pro so after making these changes, install OSX.

After OSX has finished installing, it will reboot but when it does so, it will not boot into OSX. It will remove GRUB if you had it installed so the next step is to boot into your Linux install to reconfigure GRUB to add an entry for OSX and then re-install GRUB. To do this I use supergrubdisk2 ( http://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/ ) , which is also included on systemrescuecd ( http://www.sysresccd.org ) under its floppy disk utils menu. Once you have booted back into Linux via booting off either of these disks first, you can edit your GRUB configuration. Note this is a rather hacky way to edit your GRUB config but its nonetheless the easiest way I know of.

Lets say OSX is installed on /dev/sda2. If you haven't done so already you will need to change the permissions on the grub.cfg file so that you can edit it by hand and save changes:

sudo chmod 777 /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Next, open grub.cfg in a text editor:

sudo nano /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Then add a new menu entry for OSX like this:

menuentry "Mac OS X (on /dev/sda2)" {
        insmod hfsplus
        set root=(hd0,2)
        multiboot /boot

Finally, run the grub-installer to apply the changes:

sudo grub-install /dev/sda

Now when you reboot, you should have GRUB back complete with a menu option for OSX. If you don't see the GRUB menu, hold down the left SHIFT key when booting.

There is a good chance OSX will fail to boot on your first attempt at booting it from GRUB. If this is the case, enter the '-x' boot arg on the Niresh bootloader screen which is displayed after you have selected OSX from the GRUB menu.


It seems the VoodooHDA Audio devices worked OOTB.

Easy Peasy eh? ;)

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Maybe this should have been posted under the success stories forum instead? Feel free to move it if you want admins but I'm happy with it staying if you think its OK here.


I'm not sure if it is a full success story/ working build as I have stated I have not got PM working yet anyway...



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Can I get some help on a similar issue? I managed to get niresh installed and upon reboot I end up straight on a boot0:error. My system had a working Linux mint installation and I had modified my grub to boot into my Mac OS. My problem is that I am not even able to get to the grub. So does niresh overwrite my existing grub of Linux? Is the solution for this problem too the same?


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I managed to resolve this with a Linux live cd and 'chroot'ing into /dev/sda. A direct grub-install did not work from a live cd

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