Installing OSX (Snow Leopard) + Linux (Slackware 13.37 x86_64) on a GUID/GPT disk, with Software RAID enabled (ICH8R) - Part 3

Alright, on to the actual OSX installation. This assumes that you have sorted out the matter of getting your SATA controllers detetected, and have booted your USB installation media with iBoot

Disk partitioning

From there on, this is the regular OSX installation process. After selecting your language and graciously ignoring the EULA, you should be greeted by a list of all the disks that the installation process is able to handle.
Unless you did something wrong in the previous process, you should have all your disks (though some of those may not appear until you run the disk utility - see next step). If you can't see them here at all, then you either screwed up your kext modification or your kext cache rebuilding. Shame on you!

In our case, we're going to use a new drive for the OSX + Linux installation, so the first order of business is to partition our HDD in GPT/GUID mode, using the OSX disk utility, which we prefer over using Linux's gdisk as OSX seems to have some installation quirks that gdisk alone doesn't seem to be able to address. I found out that if you use gdisk to modify the GPT partition, you're likely to have the OSX installer complaining that it cannot boot from it.

To parition the disk, simply launch "Disk Utility" from the Utilities menu at the top. Then select the destination disk and click the "Partition" button.

Now if anyone knows how one can make the OSX Disk Utility to accept user specified sizes, I'd like to hear from you as any attempt I tried to create a 40 GB single partition for OSX, while leaving the rest of the disk unused have failed. Gotta wonder what the point of providing a "Size" field is when it is blatantly ignored. The trick I used then was to go through the various "n-partitions" options, and pick the one that creates a first partition (for OSX) that is as close as possible to the size I actually want. Then just go through all the extra paritions and change their Format to "Free Space".

The points you want to pay attention to are:
  1. Label your OSX partition with something descriptive - don't keep "Untitled 1" (though you can change that later)

  2. Select "Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)" for the Format (it's an UNIX based OS, it IS case sensitive dammit!). Now, if you ever plan to modify your OS files from Linux, then you may want to select a non Journaled filesystem, as the current HFS driver from Linux does not offer write access on Journaled.

  3. MAKE SURE "GUID Partition Table" (a.k.a. GPT) is used by clicking the "Options" button. Though you should be able to get away with MBR, the whole point of this exercise is to have a GPT disk to play with, so that's what we're gonna use.

Once your partitioning is set double check that you are partitioning the right disk, click Apply and quit the Disk Utility program. The newly created partition should now appear as a valid destination target for the installation process, so just select it and click "Install" (or click Customize then install, as it may be a good idea to remove additional languages or printer support if you don't have use for it). You can now go grab a cup of your favorite beverage and come back when the installation process has completed.

Dude, where's my boot?

So the install process completed successfully, the machine rebooted (more or less as the reboot process can be a bit flaky), and iBoot sees the new OSX installation alright. "VICT..., oh wait, this doesn't boot at ALL! AGHHH!!!".

Of course it doesn't you silly! To reiterate what I pointed out at the end of the previous post, the OSX installation process installs a clean, unmodified set of kexts, therefore all our good work about supporting the RAID controller on the USB key has been ignored. For the time being, we'll just fix that as we previously did, but instead of accessing the USB key, we'll do it on the OSX target drive:
  1. Boot once more into your USB installation media with iBoot

  2. go to Utilities→Terminal

  3. issue the command "mount". It should list your OSX partition, indicate that it has write acces, and tell you where it is mounted (should be in /Volumes/Something)

  4. cd /Volumes/<your_osx_partition>/System/Library/Extensions/AppleAHCIPort/Contents

  5. Issue nano Info.plist (you do have nano on your installation key, right? If not, see the first post in this series).

  6. Apply the same change as we did in previous post, namely change the <string>0x01060100&0xffffff00</string> part to <string>0x01060100&0xffffff00 0x01040000&0xffff0000</string> and save the file.

  7. Now, as previously, we need to rebuild the kext cache. The only difference is that unlike the installation media, the cache for Snow Leopard is located at System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kext.caches/Startup, so the command you want to issue is:
    kextcache -v 1 -t -l -a i386 -a x86_64 -m /Volumes/<your_osx_partition>/System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kext.caches/Startup/Extensions.mkext /Volumes/<your_osx_partition>/System/Library/Extensions

  8. Quit the installer and restart the machine

  9. Remove the USB key and boot into iBoot. Then select your OSX partition. This time it should boot alright and finalize the installation process. Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to cabaret indeed! But keep that USB installation media handy, as you are likely to need it again very soon.


  1. Great article.

    As leazy geek i used sed beside nano:
    sed -i '.bkp' 's/0x01060100\&0xffffff00/0x01060100\&0xffffff00 0x01040000\&0xffff0000/' Info.plist
    Yes, in my instalation is an ampersant replaced with his entity. Sed's inline replace in osx require backup file, so i put there .bkp, but can by empty string.

    After my 3th reinstall, i put sed and kextchace update into simple shell sript and save on the key :>

  2. just to know...

    is it possible to clone OSX from a separte disk to a Fakeraid without destroying the RAID structure...as there is Win7 and a data partition already on it ??

    PLZ let me know