Posted tagged ‘PureDarwin’

A renovated PureDarwin XMas disk image

August 27, 2012

Recently, I spent a few hours on modifying the “PureDarwin XMas” disk image, in the hope of trying to boot it under VirtualBox, and QEMU, with mixed success.

The modifications themselves entailed the following steps…

  • Using an installation of Mac OS X 10.6 under VirtualBox to mount said disk image
  • Extracting its primary partition from the rather Byzantine partitioning scheme in use using Disk Utility’s new disk image creation feature
  • Re-partitioning the original image to use a standard x86 MBR partitioning scheme, and creating a single partition
  • Mounting the newly created partition image using Disk Copy, again
  • Copying the raw sector contents of the mounted partition image to the newly created MBR partition, using “DD”
  • Installing the Chameleon v2.0-RC4 r684 bootloader

Under some versions of QEMU, it seems to be possible to boot it as far as a working shell, where the startx command can be issued, in order to launch a customised version of WindowMaker:
 However, under VirtualBox on my AMD Phenom II-based HP G62 laptop, booting fails at:

If I attach the modified image to a Ubuntu virtual machine, copy its raw sectors to an SD card, and reboot my laptop with it inserted into a USB card reader, I can also attempt to boot it, and launch WindowMaker with some success:

Unfortunately, the ancient version of XFree86 supplied in the image doesn’t support the AMD graphics chipset in this G62-series model – so graphical corruption, similar to that seen when trying to boot certain old Linux distributions on incompatible hardware can be witnessed.

There is also an unresolved glitch where the image fails to reboot, under certain circumstances, seemingly due to some issues involving file system drivers, and replaying the volume journal during mounting. This problem may also be encountered when trying to boot it from a locked SD card, for the first time.

Anyway, for others wishing to try it, I’ve uploaded a copy of the modified disk image to Google Code.

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