Re: running Mac OS on a movable harddisk?

Zhang Weiwu <zhangweiwu@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


I currently run OpenSUSE on my iBook G4 / powerpc. Most of my daily work
is done on OpenSuSE. I also want to occassionally run Mac OS X 10.4
because some computer games only run on Mac OS, also because I want to
use a few weekend to learn objective-C GUI programming.

I wonder if it is possible to install Mac OS X on a removable USB
harddisk (or, if the G4 box only support USB 1.x, a removable IEEE 1394
harddisk), and load the Mac OS X, perhaps using yaboot? (even better
would be directly load it but I am not sure if G4 firmware supports this).

Just install OSX 10.4 from the distribution DVD direct onto your
FireWire disk using the Mac you want it to run on. I have heard in the
past that some FireWire controllers don't support booting OSX, but I
have never had any problems booting from a variety of external FireWire
disk enclosures. (I can't remember if the disk has to be initialized
with an Apple Partition Map. IIRC the OS X Installer will let you do
that with Disk Utility if necessary.)

The Startup Disk preferences pane might not be able to see your Yaboot
partition after you boot from OS X. So, to get back to your internal HD
Linux, you might need to unplug your external drive or hold down the
Option key as you boot up. That should give you the Mac's built-in

If the OS X Installer hijacked your mac for itself, and you can't change
its default back to Linux using Startup Disk, you can fix it by
overwriting the nvram "boot-device" parameter direct in Open Firmware.
It might be a good idea to make a note of its current setting before you
install OS X. (printenv boot-device).

USB 1.1 is too slow. I have heard that OS X won't boot via USB, although
I have never tried it myself. However I have been able to boot simpler
programs over USB 1.1 using Open Firmware's 'boot' command without any

Good luck with it.