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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Boot Precise Puppy from USB on 2009 iMac
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Mon 09 Sep 2013, 14:52    Post subject:  Boot Precise Puppy from USB on 2009 iMac
Subject description: Also Slacko 5.7
 

I have had at least partial success booting a USB thumb drive with Puppy Linux on my Wife's 2009 iMac (Snow Leopard) computer. In the past I was able to boot this machine using a live CD of Slacko 5.3.1, but I never did much with it except get on line just to see if it worked.

Since then, the optical drive on the iMac has ceased to function, and we have also discontinued our home internet service. We had used the iMac's optical drive to watch videos but are now limited to using my Acer laptop which has a much smaller screen and lower quality audio.

Since I knew how to boot my Acer laptop with a thumb drive, I decided to try booting the iMac in that manner, and then be able to play .vob file videos. While at the public library I researched booting an iMac with a thumb drive and thus tried many different methods that did not work. I finally stumbled onto what appears to be the answer, at least for our iMac.

Note: I performed all of the USB thumb drive prep work on my Acer laptop using Lucid Puppy 5.2.8-005

#1. Download refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.zip. Extract its files to /root. Read the text file README-flashdrive.txt. One of the files will be the disk image
refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.img

http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.7.3/refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.zip/download

#2. Copy the above disk image to a USB thumb drive using dd

Code:

dd if=refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.img of=/dev/sdx

Note: The thumb drive will now contain a directory named EFI and also two files called shellia32.efi and shelliax64.efi, respectively. The EFI directory contains a boot directory which has six more files, etc. A large portion of the thumb drive will now show as “unallocated” on gparted.

#3. Using a different USB thumb drive, create a thumb drive that will be bootable on a typical PC based computer. There are many ways to do this; I performed a manual frugal install by copying the initrd.gz, vmlinuz, and puppy_precise_5.6.sfs files to the root of the thumb drive, then ran the Grub4Dos bootloader, placing Grub4Dos on the MBR of the thumb drive.

Note: I used an ext2 format with the boot flag set.

#4. Thus far, Precise Puppy is the only Puppy that I have been able to boot on the iMac. I tried Slacko 5.3.1 and Lucid 5.2.8. I was also able to boot Mint 14.1, but this article is about Puppy.

#5. With the two thumb drives in hand and the iMac shut down, plug them both into the USB ports on the iMac. Press the start button, and as soon as the iMac “chime” sounds, press and hold the alt/option key. After about 30 seconds at least two icons should appear, one denoting the iMac hard drive, and another gold-colored icon indicating a USB drive. (If you have multiple bootable partitions you may have more icons). Click on the USB icon, then click again on the arrow.

The rEFInd boot splash screen should appear presently. If you do nothing it will boot the iMac hard drive after a short countdown. Arrow over to the icon labeled “Boot legacy OS from hard drive”. The Grub4Dos boot screen will appear; if you do nothing the top entry will boot after a short countdown. Precise Puppy boots up pretty quickly from the thumb drive on our machine.

#6. The iMac wireless keyboard does not work with Precise Puppy. I do not have a functional USB keyboard at this time so I cannot do a complete test now. The USB mouse works fine.

#7. I had originally configured Precise Puppy to not auto-save, and when I made adjustments to the retroval sound settings they would not persist even when I pressed the manual Save button. I re-set it back to the standard auto-save method and now the adjustments persist.

#8. As mentioned above, we do not have internet access at home, so no tests were done in that regard. Vob file videos play perfectly (this was my original objective).

#9. I did try partitioning one thumb drive into two partitions, the first one to boot the rEFInd program, Precise Puppy on the second partition, and then attempted to place Grub4Dos on the partition boot sector of the second partition. The rEFInd partition booted perfectly, but when I selected the Legacy OS boot it failed. I am certain that there should be a way to do this with only one thumb drive, but I am not knowledgeable enough to make it work.

#10. My thanks to the developers of rEFInd, Puppy Linux, etc. I take no credit for their efforts, and I hope that this tutorial will help someone.



Final note:
As mentioned above, I only get on the internet when I get to town, and sometimes that can be several weeks apart, so please be patient if I do not respond on this thread for a while.

Les Kerf

Last edited by Les Kerf on Tue 11 Mar 2014, 06:42; edited 1 time in total
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megasewertoad

Joined: 05 Jun 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 20 Sep 2013, 17:27    Post subject:  

Two brief random and separate thoughts:

1) An external single cord USB powered DVD drive connected to an iMac can boot from a live-CD.

2) I run puppy on a '08 Macbook. My steps are different.
- Install rEFInd onto Macbook
- rEFInd automatically loads and detects Live-USB puppy. Just select with arrow key, and press enter.
- Most standard bootable Live-USB will work. Only issue is hardware compatibility. My Live-USB stick (precise) runs and boots on either a PC or a Mac w/ rEFInd.
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 14:41    Post subject:  

UPDATE:

After thrashing around trying various things I have stumbled upon a way to accomplish booting Puppy Linux on our 2009 iMac (Snow Leopard) using a single USB thumb drive rather than the previously mentioned dual-thumb drive method. I successfully performed this experiment using two different thumb drives, an 8 GB Sandisk Cruzer and a 4 GB Sony. I did this operation at least twice on each thumb drive just to verify my results.

I performed all of this using Lucid Puppy 5.2.8.005 PlusLibre on my Acer Aspire laptop; I had already obtained the Precise Puppy ISO and refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.img.

1. Use gparted (Menu>System>Gparted) to delete any (all) partitions on the thumb drive. CAUTION! All data on the thumb drive will be lost!

2. Create a new primary partition, FAT 16 format, and only 16 MB (yes, MegaBytes). I tried specifying 5 MB but Gparted informs me that 16 MB is the smallest partition that can be made.

3. Make absolutely certain that the space preceding the new partition is 0 (zero) MB. For some reason, gparted wants to place 1 (one) MB ahead of this partition. You MUST set this value to zero just prior to clicking “Add”. I tried this both ways several times and it will not work unless there is zero MB ahead of the first partition. I do not know why, but that is what works for me.

4. Create a second primary partition: use all of the remaining space on the thumb drive. I used an Ext2 format.

5. Apply all operations.

6. Set boot flag on the Ext2 partition.

7. Mount the Precise Puppy ISO (you need to have already obtained this). I had the ISO stored in /root.

8. Copy the three core Puppy files, initrd.gz, vmlinuz, and 5.6.sfs files to the Ext2 partition.

9. Run Grub4Dos (Menu>System>Grub4Dos) and install Grub4Dos on the Partition Boot Sector (PBS) of the Ext2 partition.

10. Run Grub4Dos again, this time install Grub4Dos on the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the thumb drive.

11. Open a command line console; copy the image file “refind-flashdrive-0.7.3.img” to the first (FAT16) partition using the dd command. I had the .img file stored in /root for this operation.


Code: dd if=refind -flashdrive-0.7.3.img of=/dev/sdx1
(with “x” replaced by the partition letter, in my case it was “b”) Press “enter”, of course.

12. If all went well, your thumb drive should now boot on the iMac. When the iMac chime sounds, hold down the alt/option key and the rEFInd boot screen should appear. Arrow over to the “Boot Legacy OS on HDD” option and press “Enter”. Puppy should boot up, showing the Grub4Dos screen first.

This thumb drive also boots Precise Puppy normally on my Acer Aspire laptop.
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Sat 18 Jan 2014, 23:06    Post subject:  

I recently acquired a usb keyboard, and today we purchased a mobile hotspot with which we can now access the internet from home.

I am pleased to report that I am typing this on our iMac booted to the USB thumb drive with Precise Puppy. The usb keyboard seems to function well and this is the very first forum I have visited since booting up just a few minutes ago.

So, it seems that Puppy Linux can indeed be booted on an iMac and access the internet.
Les
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Mon 10 Mar 2014, 21:52    Post subject:
Subject description: Slacko 5.7
 

I just today acquired the iso for Slacko 5.7 and installed it to a thumb drive as posted above. It boots perfectly on the iMac, and I am posting this from the iMac on Slacko 5.7
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan 2015, 21:43    Post subject:  

Super Lucid Puppy with the newer kernel also works on the iMac. Posting from it right now using Dillo web browser.
Les
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 3477
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb 2015, 12:55    Post subject:  

The UEFI.zip I posted in projects will boot both new Windows8 and Macs does not require this level of effort. regular from the factory USB drive and just copy files from within Windows or Mac onto USB and it boots. No formating require for off the shelf USBs.
Try Fatdog64 700series it works better than OSX on same hardware. Video playback is better and I use Fatdog64 and Chrome to watch Netflix on my linux MiniMac.
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 09:56    Post subject:  

Thanks Ted, I will give that a try. Will need to wait until I can access internet with more bandwidth to download the Fatdog 700 iso.
Les
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cimarron

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 10:22    Post subject:  

Does your UEFI.zip method work only with FatDog, Ted? Or only with 64-bit machines?

If it could be used to boot a Precise pup (the subject of this thread), could you give an example of the grub entry needed for that?
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 3477
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 17:37    Post subject:  

It is 64bit loader and can boot a 32bit kernel for use on a mac. The unicorn ISO is 32bit and boots fine ( if I bump up the memory passed the 3G it currently has, my laptop and minimac have same RAM series chips so I move them around.. )
Its standard Grub2 so you could unpack a ISO file and copy to folders then just about any frugal install would work. In many cases it will load faster that way. I have a specially tuned Fatdog64 631 version with video drivers and additional tools I copied to the OSX harddrive ( running OSX to copy ) that is in folders the fd.sfs file is removed from initrd. it boots twice S fast.
The USB ( my case a sdcard ) just is the bootloader.

But its a chicken egg problem. This and fatdog64 can get you started and use that to download and unpack other isos for frugal installs.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 3477
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 17:42    Post subject:  

oh should point out you maybe running a 32bit version of OSX but the hardware is almost always 64bit, this replaces the 32bit EFI Apple bottleneck. Yes you can not boot a 64bit kernel from 32bit bootloader. BUT the other way around does work Cool
Not the same issues with bootcamp etc. This loads BEFORE that silliness.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 3477
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 17:49    Post subject:  

can you post your config file. I can doctor it up for GRUB2. I am getting good at it Just finished Fatdog64rc and new Wary ISO released today.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 3477
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 17:56    Post subject:  

slitaz is super small and nearly fully functional. that would be the smallest total of bytes that would be useful with my efi zipfiles. Its so small it will fit in the unused EFI part of macs, you can also copy the zip files to there and not even need the USB.. still have to press Alt M on chime like you do now. and select the EFI.
I do that so I can boot my mac WITHOUT any thing else, also why fatdog64 is on the OSX part as files. I have done this for a long time...
if you are interested I can tell you how either here or PM..
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cimarron

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 18:14    Post subject:  

Okay, here's some examples. This is the syslinux config file from a multiboot USB I made with yumi. I think Mint boots from the ISO directly, and the others were unpacked on the USB. They all boot on PCs, but I'm interested about the possibility making a USB for Macs as well.

I'd appreciate seeing the grub2 entries that would work with your UEFI.zip for any or all of these, but especially the Puppy one (OB-Precise). All are 32-bit.

Code:
LABEL Boot from first Hard Drive
MENU LABEL Boot from first hard drive
KERNEL chain.c32
APPEND hd1
#MENU DEFAULT

#start linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2
LABEL linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2
MENU LABEL Linux Mint 17
MENU INDENT 1
KERNEL /multiboot/linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=/multiboot/linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2/initrd.lz cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent persistent-path=/multiboot/linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2 noprompt splash boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/multiboot/linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2/linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2.iso
#end linuxmint-17-cinnamon-32bit-v2

#start lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386
LABEL lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386
MENU LABEL Lubuntu 14.04.1
MENU INDENT 1
CONFIG /multiboot/lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386/isolinux/isolinux.cfg
APPEND /multiboot/lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386/isolinux
#end lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386

#start lubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386
LABEL lubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386
MENU LABEL Lubuntu 12.04
MENU INDENT 1
CONFIG /multiboot/lubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386/isolinux/isolinux.cfg
APPEND /multiboot/lubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386/isolinux
#end lubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386

#start obprecise puppy
LABEL ob-precise
MENU LABEL Precise Puppy
MENU INDENT 1
KERNEL /ob-precise/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=/ob-precise/initrd.gz pmedia=usbflash
#end obprecise puppy

#start pmagic_2013_08_01
LABEL pmagic_2013_08_01
MENU LABEL Parted Magic
MENU INDENT 1
CONFIG /multiboot/pmagic_2013_08_01/boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg
APPEND /multiboot/pmagic_2013_08_01/boot/syslinux
#end pmagic_2013_08_01

#start windows7
LABEL Windows Vista/7/8 Installer
MENU LABEL Windows 7 Installer
MENU INDENT 1
COM32 /multiboot/chain.c32 fs ntldr=/bootmgr
#end windows7
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gcmartin


Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 5359
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 22:38    Post subject:  

I do not have any iMacs. I only have had experiences in LAN setup and LAN use of these PCs. I do own 2 MACs (dumped on me by friends, the powerPC versions) which I need to donate as my "grands", now, turn their noses at the site of them. So I have NO experience with iMacs to provide any useful testing.

I have 2 questions for those who have Intel Macs to ponder
  1. Isn't your processor an Intel 64bit one. I am not a Mac specilist, but, my cohort suggest that those with Intel Macs are the 64bit variety.
  2. Can the MAC's OS exist on a USB? He suggests that it can.
@Ted Dog's simple presentation of his solution for EFI/UEFI PCs would seemingly work on non-UEFI systems, UEFI systems, and EFI systems; assuming proper deployment.

I would like to help anyone with EFI systems to produce a "Guide for PUP ISO boots" on these systems. Anyone who has one, and would like to help, PM me. Or, maybe these owners can produce one which would make it easy for MAC users to implement with PICs.

Here to help

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