Can Mac OS X be removed and completely replaced by freeBSD

OldSubSailor

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I hope this is not a continuation of the Booting FreeBSD on iMac posting. I have an old iMac that barely survived flooding in my house during hurricane Harvey. It did sit and stew in a hot, wet environment for 9 days, so I do not know how long it will continue to run. What I would like to do is, if possible, is to turn it into a complete freeBSD command line machine, no GUI necessary (new iMac here), disk partitioning, no dual booting, etc. just for learning and messing around.
 

NapoleonWils0n

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Hi Mate

I have a complete guide on installing Freebsd on mac hardware

When you install Freebsd 12 set the partition scheme to bios+uefi,
that will make Freebsd auto boot after 2 or 3 seconds,
otherwise it will fall back to legacy boot and take 30 seconds for the boot menu to show up

My freebsd notes from the last 18 months are on github,
if they are of any use

Let me know if you need help getting Freebsd set up on a mac
 

fernandel

Aspiring Daemon

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I hope this is not a continuation of the Booting FreeBSD on iMac posting. I have an old iMac that barely survived flooding in my house during hurricane Harvey. It did sit and stew in a hot, wet environment for 9 days, so I do not know how long it will continue to run. What I would like to do is, if possible, is to turn it into a complete freeBSD command line machine, no GUI necessary (new iMac here), disk partitioning, no dual booting, etc. just for learning and messing around.
I put new SSD drive in iMac late 2009 and installed on just FreeBSD 12.0-Release And with NapoleonWils0n help I blessed efi partition and boot very fast.
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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Thank you for your replies. So does that mean that I do not erase the hard drive to eliminate Mac OS X then?
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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Hi Mate

I have a complete guide on installing Freebsd on mac hardware

When you install Freebsd 12 set the partition scheme to bios+uefi,
that will make Freebsd auto boot after 2 or 3 seconds,
otherwise it will fall back to legacy boot and take 30 seconds for the boot menu to show up

My freebsd notes from the last 18 months are on github,
if they are of any use

Let me know if you need help getting Freebsd set up on a mac
I downloaded the freebsd iso and burned it to a dvd. If I click on the iso, I get a message saying that it could not be opened, no mountable file systems. I tried your guide, and when I restart holding the option/alt key, the dvd does not appear, just the current hard drive and the online os 10.9 drive.
 

NapoleonWils0n

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Thank you for your replies. So does that mean that I do not erase the hard drive to eliminate Mac OS X then?
HI Mate

If you want to erase Mac osx on your internal drive you can boot into osx on an external drive and then use disk utility to erase mac osx and reformat as mac osx journaled, thats what i normally do because it also creates the efi parition as well, or you could erase the whole drive during the Freebsd install

When you do the Freebsd install you select uefi+bios for the partition scheme,
and zfs on root and Freebsd will be installed on the rest of the disk and will boot automatically after 3 or 4 seconds
 

NapoleonWils0n

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I downloaded the freebsd iso and burned it to a dvd. If I click on the iso, I get a message saying that it could not be opened, no mountable file systems. I tried your guide, and when I restart holding the option/alt key, the dvd does not appear, just the current hard drive and the online os 10.9 drive.
That doesnt sound right, never had that problem before
Which Freebsd iso file did you download, it should either be disc1.iso or dvd1.iso from the downloads page

This is the link for Freebsd amd64 disc1.iso
What program did you use to burn the iso to a dvd, maybe thats the issue, you can use disk utility to burn the iso to a dvd,
heres a couple of guides to burning iso to dvds either using the finder or diskutility

let me know if that helps,
ill google that error your having and see if anything turns up
 

NapoleonWils0n

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The no mountable file systems error is probably because the iso download got corrupted

You could try using curl to download the iso file

Bash:
curl -C - -O https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/amd64/amd64/ISO-IMAGES/12.0/FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso
 

SirDice

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How old is the iMac? As the early iMacs were based on the PowerPC architecture. An amd64 image is obviously not going to work in that case.
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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I downloaded: FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-dvd1.iso; 3,884,677,120 bytes (3.89 GB on disk)
I performed the checksum and it matched.

If I understand correctly, if I double click on the iso, I should not be getting that warning window? I hope that this little screenshot will show you what I am getting. The iso looks right, I think?
The computer that I am try to install it on is running Mac OS X 10.9.x. I used that computer and this one, macOS 10.14 to burn the dvd, both from the finder and diskutility. I did discover that I had to put the iso in a new folder and burn it to the dvd in order for the dvd to be readable by either iMac.
I am burning the dvd so that I do not have to go online to download any other files, as per the instructions.
 

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OldSubSailor

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How old is the iMac? As the early iMacs were based on the PowerPC architecture. An amd64 image is obviously not going to work in that case.
Howdy,
It is a late 2013 iMac, and this is a 2017 iMac. I am just wondering why both returns that error message.
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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The no mountable file systems error is probably because the iso download got corrupted

You could try using curl to download the iso file

Bash:
curl -C - -O https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/amd64/amd64/ISO-IMAGES/12.0/FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso
I am giving that a try now, it appears that either dl method takes 2 hours (connected via Ethernet).


% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current

Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed

5 3704M 5 218M 0 0 457k 0 2:18:11 0:08:09 2:10:02 344k
 

NapoleonWils0n

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Your right i forgot about the original power pc iMacs,
checking you have the right iso for your architecture would be a good first step
 

NapoleonWils0n

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both are core i cpus
If you click the Apple icon in the top left of the screen and select about this mac it will open a new windows,
in that window there is a button that says more info, if you click more info it opens the system info window which will list the architecture and cpu type
 

aragats

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I did discover that I had to put the iso in a new folder and burn it to the dvd in order for the dvd to be readable by either iMac.
Based on that phrase I suspect that you burn a data DVD containing that iso file.
The DVD must be created out of that iso file.
 

NapoleonWils0n

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I downloaded: FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-dvd1.iso; 3,884,677,120 bytes (3.89 GB on disk)
I performed the checksum and it matched.

If I understand correctly, if I double click on the iso, I should not be getting that warning window? I hope that this little screenshot will show you what I am getting. The iso looks right, I think?
The computer that I am try to install it on is running Mac OS X 10.9.x. I used that computer and this one, macOS 10.14 to burn the dvd, both from the finder and diskutility. I did discover that I had to put the iso in a new folder and burn it to the dvd in order for the dvd to be readable by either iMac.
I am burning the dvd so that I do not have to go online to download any other files, as per the instructions.
HI Mate

Dont double click the iso file,
its not like a dmg file on the mac you have to mount

The reason you are getting an error is because you are double clicking the iso and the mac then tries to mount the iso,
but it cant read the Freebsd file system so it gives you an error

You just need to drag the iso file into the Disk Utility sidebar then select it and click burn,
or you can select the iso in the finder and then in the menu and the top of the screen there is an option to burn the iso to a disk
 

NapoleonWils0n

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After you manage to burn the iso to a dvd and are ready to do the install,
you need to power off the mac insert the dvd and hold down alt so it boots the disc in efi mode and turn the power on,
then you should see the disk show up and you need to select the disk that has efi in its name,
keep holding alt until the disks show up

From memory it may show 2 dvd disc icons in the when you boot up,
one marked windows and the other name efi boot or something, i may be remembering wrong

But you do need to hold down alt and select the disc with efi in the name
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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After you manage to burn the iso to a dvd and are ready to do the install,
you need to power off the mac insert the dvd and hold down alt so it boots the disc in efi mode and turn the power on,
then you should see the disk show up and you need to select the disk that has efi in its name,
keep holding alt until the disks show up

From memory it may show 2 dvd disc icons in the when you boot up,
one marked windows and the other name efi boot or something, i may be remembering wrong

But you do need to hold down alt and select the disc with efi in the name
Howdy,
I did that, but the dvd never appears, just the internal iMac HD and Mac OS 9 restore drive appear.
Screen shots of the dvd included. It sure looks like it is on the dvd and should work.
I just burn the file to the dvd, and not make any sort of bootable, if possible, dvd?
I am not using any form of Windows on my iMacs.
 

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NapoleonWils0n

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Howdy,
I did that, but the dvd never appears, just the internal iMac HD and Mac OS 9 restore drive appear.
Screen shots of the dvd included. It sure looks like it is on the dvd and should work.
I just burn the file to the dvd, and not make any sort of bootable, if possible, dvd?
I am not using any form of Windows on my iMacs.
HI Mate

Thats odd,
so holding down alt with the dvd in when you start the mac until the window with the macs hard drive appears doesnt work,
and the dvd doesnt show up.

Have you tried holding down c instead of alt

The other thing you could try is install the Freebsd memstick.img onto a usb stick,
and then turn off the mac, plug in the usb stick holding down alt and select the disk marked efi

I used etcher on the mac to install the Freebsd memstick.img onto a usb stick because i ran out of dvds
 
OP
OldSubSailor

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Dear OldSubSailor , you ask for help, but you don't read our replies.
That file should NEVER be written to a DVD, instead, your DVD must be burned OUT of that file, that is the IMAGE of your DVD.

[EDIT] burn disc images
Interesting. To my knowledge, I have BURNED the iso file exactly as the link (I.E via the file dropdown) that you provided several time to dvd; no joy. I am attaching images of what I believe to be the process. Am I messing up in some manner?
Thank you
 

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