Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mac Linux USB Loader v1.1 Consumer Preview

For all of you wondering what the last month or so of coding has meant for Mac Linux USB Loader, you are in luck! I am, as of now, officially releasing a consumer preview of version 1.1 of Mac Linux USB Loader! You can download it here on SourceForge.

Version 1.1 is mainly a small release with bug fixes, but there is one important new feature that I'm beta testing right now: the automatic USB device blesser. On OS X, a drive can be "blessed" to instruct the firmware to boot it - it can be on any drive at any path, and not just at /efi/boot/. Mac Linux USB Loader uses this feature of Macs in an important new way: it allows your Mac to automatically boot your USB stick whenever it is plugged in - no more holding down the Option key is required.

This feature remains optional and can be accessed via a new option called Modify Boot Settings on the main panel:

After you click the Modify Boot Settings option, the following sheet will pop down:

Just select your USB drive that has an installation of a Linux distribution created by Mac Linux USB Loader, press the Bless button, enter your administrator password, and viola! - when you restart your Mac with the USB stick in the drive, it'll boot up automatically into your installed Linux distribution. Of course, the Unbless button does the exact opposite.

Again, if you want to try out this feature, you can download the preview here. Please note that this is an unstable release, and if something goes wrong, I assume no liability*.

* - Worst case scenario: your boot priorities are screwed up, in which case, just Option boot into OS X and from Terminal type (you'll need your root password, which by default should be your admin password):

sudo bless --mount / --setBoot


SocratisK said...

Hi there! It seems like an excellent tool, but unfortunately I can't use it because I'm still on 10.6.8, with no plans to upgrade ;).

I tried to recompile it myself by installing XCode 4.6.1 on a Virtual Machine, then following the instructions on especially comment #7 by "obviousjim" on installing the 10.6 SDK. I was able to build an app, but it crashes upon launch! I am NOT a programmer, but (as you can tell) I'm willing to try and learn.

Would you be interested in building a >10.6 version of MLUL? I am more than willing to help you out on this as much as I can!



SocratisK said...

Hi there, Socratis again,

Here's what I tried on a 10.7.5 VirtualMachine (VM):
1) Installed XCode 4.6.3 (not .1 as originally posted).
2) Added the 10.6 SDK as per previous post.
3) Changed the project flags "Deployment Target 10.6" and "NO Signature".
4) Build app. 10.6.8 runs build app but it crashes upon launch (I can send you the crash report). 10.7.5 runs app OK, but I cannot "test" it because attaching *any* USB device crashes said VM.

Here's what I tried on a 10.6.8 ActualMachine:
1) Opened Project with XCode 4.0.2.
2) Changed the project flags "Deployment Target 10.6" and "NO Signature".
3) Tried to build app. No dice :( 113 warnings, 107 errors.

I didn't include my contact info, which is SocratisK at Google's mail service.

Thanks again, will keep digging...


SevenBits said...

Hello, I do not check this blog very often, you will get a faster response time if you file a bug through GitHub. With that said, the app crashes on Snow Leopard due to incompatible xib file formats that were introduced in Lion. To get it working, I believe you need to construct them with a Snow Leopard compiler.

You may contact me through GitHub, and I may email you in the future.

El Jefe said...

Hey. For whatever reason the boot loader is not able to find my usb drive. It does see me SD card though... Any thoughts? The USB is formatted to FAT and is a SanDisk. I am running a Macbook Air and it sees the drive just fine. Thanks! Jeff