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Re: [PATCH, RFC, RFT] Mactel integration

From: Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko
Subject: Re: [PATCH, RFC, RFT] Mactel integration
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 15:50:30 +0100
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On 28.11.2011 15:27, Mads Kiilerich wrote:
On 11/28/2011 02:25 PM, Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko wrote:
Hello all. Based on the information from I intend to add support for such
install. It requires a small HFS+ volume mounted at /boot/mactel. I also
simplify handling of EFI directories by adding explicit option to
specify it and removing some "compatibility" kludges (they don't make
anything compatible with anything since "old behaviour" was mostly not
to install at all) which made the code in question difficult to

Matthew will perhaps give a more thorough response, but I would like to add a few quick comments.

Matthew also created , so there seems to be some duplicate work there.

Well it's a small thing and I actually already had it since 2009 just it was considered useless given that Macs work with standard EFI tools.
His approach is discussed further on .
I've glanced a bit and have few comments:
- Having no EFI System partition is asking for trouble since it's hard to tell which kind of bugs in different firmware or software it will trigger. So I'd create one even on single-boot install - I'd prefer double install (as in both to ESP and own HFS+) to be possible. First one is standards-compliant and compatible with other firmware implementation and second one avoids Apple bugs. So I'd prefer to choose another mounting point for HFS+. I suggest /boot/mactel or /boot/mac (second has advantage of being natural if we choose to do the same on PPC (and I'm inclined to it)) - If you want a grub.efi usable everywhere you need to put modules on embed memdisk and not as preload modules since loading modules takes time and potentially exposes user to bugs in the modules he doesn't really need. - blessed directory and blessed file are independent. Former is used on ppc, later on intel. Please modify only the one for the platform you install for

A quick summary is that it (in my opinion) is a bit unclear what Macs _really_ needs. There are several ways grub can be used to boot Macs, and it is not completely clear whether HFS blessing or HFS is necessary at all. The Mac boot loader detects FAT partitions and will by default also boot from /EFI/BOOT - also on the system partition. The OS/X "Startup Drive" configuration is a bit more sensitive, but it seems like what it writes to PRAM/VRAM is more important than the HFS blessing.
I don't see this install as something nice and nifty, more like a way to workaround Apple bugs.


Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko

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