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Monday, June 05, 2006

Installing and Booting OSx86 with Linux and Windows XP using LILO

You'll need:
  1. A processor that supports at least SSE2 (this is important - won't work at all without one)
  2. Windows XP (obviousy; see the title)
  3. Linux (obviously; see the title)
  4. Working LILO bootloader
  5. An empty 4+Gb partition (create one if you don't have it)
  6. OSx86 boot DVD

If you don't have an empty partition that's larger then 4Gb, create one using one tool or another - I used Partition Magic for Windows but I hear great things about qtparted too, so it's up to you. Everybody says the partition size should be about 6-7Gb but I got away with 4.5Gb myself, and I think it could go even smaller. Note that your new partition absolutely has to be primary. Once you have this empty partition, boot Linux and log into virtual console (or start terminal). There you start cfdisk, select your new partition and change it's Type to Darwin UFS (A8), Write and Quit cfdisk.

Now insert your OSx86 DVD and reboot. Give it quite some time to boot all the way to the language selection screen (and it really takes its time), select the language you want and press the arrow button. Now you should see the Install screen.

Before you do anything further, locate the Tools (or was it Utilities? I can't remember right now) menu on the upper menu bar, and select Disk Utility. After it starts, find your empty partition on the left sidebar and hit Erase. Make sure you selected the right partition before you do this, since this will destroy all data on it. Give it some time to finish erasing and mounting the partition. If everything goes well, skip the next paragraph. Otherwise, read on.

If Disk Utility reports errors here, check the info on your partition and remember it's device name (it will be something like disk1s3, or similar) and quit Disk Utility. Then start Terminal and type newfs_hfs /dev/your_partition_device. After newfs finishes quit Terminal, return to Disk Utility and erase the partition.

One way or another, you'll end up looking at Disk Utility partition list, with only one partition enabled - your new partition. OK, that's what we were trying to acomplish all this time. Now quit Disk Utility and click Continue in the Installer. Click your way through the following couple of dialogs and select the only available partition as your Destionation. If your partition isn't big enough, the Installer will complain and offer you a chance to reduce the size of the install. I did that, and everything went fine. Also, do Skip your installation DVD verification since it also takes forever to complete for no good reason.

About half an hour later the install will complete and the computer will reboot. Now, log in (or su) as root in your Linux virtual console and cd to your /etc directory. There you'll find a file named lilo.conf. You change the way your LILO behaves by editing this file - enter a label for your new entry (ie. label=Mac), and then explain what exactly should happen. In your case, you want it to boot your OSx86 partition, and you have to declare that. So just enter boot=/dev/your_partition_device, save the file and call LILO (type lilo on the command line) to reinstall it.

At last, you can reboot and have all 3 operating systems coexist.

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