Universal OS X now!

Andrew Mortensen of the University of Michigan has documented a universal build of OS X – a single image that will boot both PPC Macs and Intel Macs. More here.

Combine this info with Jonathan Retzsch’s work on booting Intel Macs from APM-formated FireWire drives, and you should be able to create a FireWire drive that boots both Intel and PPC Macs without needing multiple boot partitions.

I wonder if this can be extended to build a single NetBoot image that works cross-platform…

Universal OS X now!

4 thoughts on “Universal OS X now!

  1. Everett says:

    Can someone elaborate on Andrew Mortensen’s paper? He says “If more than one loadset in the machine’s profile contains a given object, Radmind will install the file from the loadset with the highest precedence. In this case, it meant that Radmind would install the missing PPC kernel extensions from the 10.4 PPC system loadset while retaining all of the Universal binaries from the 10.4 Intel system loadset.” Does that mean you have to upload separate loadsets for Tiger PPC and Tiger Intel, then push them BOTH out to a particular machine? If so, which one “takes precedence”? Does the Intel loadset have to be first and the PPC second? Or do you merge the loadsets and push this unified loadset out to clients? I’ll figure it out eventually, but I was hoping someone here could save me time. Feel free to contact me:
    madtech (at) ku dot e d u.

  2. He means precedence the way radmind normally works. Either both transcript in a command file like so:

    p 10.4.6_Intel.T
    p 10.4.6_PPC.T

    or by using lmerge to create a merged loadset with the PPC build as a higher precedence:

    lmerge 10.4.6_PPC.T 10.4.6_Intel.T 10.4.6_Universal.T

    Either gets you the same result on the client.

    but see my article here: http://macenterprise.org/content/view/216/

    I think that building your own “universal” Tiger installs is a neat parlor trick, but not terribly useful in practice, There are just too many potential pitfalls and no time/work savings.

  3. Everett says:


    Thanks for your clarification and your article. My primary reasons for wanting to do it was 1) I have hand off the management of the Radmind Server to someone who may not be as competent and 2) hard drive space on the server is an issue — an unified Tiger build would save a few GB.

  4. Everett says:

    Ok, another question… I’m getting more familiar with the new version of the Radmind Assistant (v.1.0), and the Automation of updates is appealing to me. But a couple questions you might be able to answer —
    1. if you run an update on logout and then shutdown the computer, the default action after updating is to reboot, which is a pain. Is there a way around that?
    2. If you choose to update daily/weekly/monthly, where are these times and days set? A crontab somewhere, but which one?

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