oldworld macs [Was: WARTY review]

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at gmail.com
Wed Nov 10 15:30:29 UTC 2004

On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:37:12 +0800, John <dingo at coco2.arach.net.au> wrote:
> > Can old-world Macs boot CDs at all?
> I think I booted something. How does one install Mac Os on them?

If the Mac has a CD drive in it, it will boot from a CD. HOWEVER, the
Mac firmware is hard-coded to boot only from a valid Mac OS CD. OTOH,
if the Mac has a floppy, the floppy firmware is apparently not nearly
so picky so I gather it's a lot easier to boot from a floppy on an old

If you have a Mac OS installation CD, that's the easiest way to get
started on an OldWorld Mac -- use the Mac CD to boot and make a small
bootable partition, leaving the lest of the drive unformatted. Then
you can copy BootX, a kernel, and your installation initrd (from the
linux install CD) onto the boot partition, and do the rest of the
installation from there.

Unfortunately the Mac OS part of the equation is proprietary so
there's no official way to make a bootable install CD for oldworld
Macs. (If you have CD-R software for making Mac CDs you can make one
yourself for your own use!)

Maybe someday someone will figure out a neat way to trick the old boot
code into booting a linux CD, but I gather it's not so easy or it
would be done already.

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