Booting FreeBSD on a Macintosh?

Volker Nebel vnebel at
Wed Jan 15 19:26:20 UTC 2014

On Wed, 15 Jan 2014, Michael Sinatra wrote:

> On 1/15/14 3:01 AM, Volker Nebel wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> looking for a good a computer I bought a Macmini 6,1 with Intel Core i5
>> last summer, then installed Ubuntu (for amd64) on it and now came back
>> to FreeBSD (already running on my laptop). Having installed this, the
>> macmini does not boot anymore, unfortunately. It only shows a blinking
>> question mark in a folder symbol.
>>    I searched the web for hints and found half a dozen of pages
>> describing how to run both, Mac OS and FreeBSD. One page recommanded to
>> issue
>> "gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gtpboot -i 1 ada0" after the
>> installation and before reboot, but this didn't help. I found the hint
>> to use FreeBSD for i386 - same result. (And it did boot Ubuntu for
>> amd64.) Someone else recommanded to use MBR partitioning scheme instead
>> of GPT, but the Partition Editor of the FreeBSD Installer returns "Error
>> Invalid Argument" when I try to Create a partition of type freebsd-boot
>> and size 64k or 512K.
>>    Can anybody help? How can I install FreeBSD 9.2 on a Macmini and boot?
> Surprisingly, the way I have gotten it to work is to use a good,
> old-fashioned BSD-style disklabel.  I just installed FreeBSD 10-RC1 on a
> Mac Mini, but it was the oldest possible Intel version (a 1,1).
> If you install 9.2 the way you would install 8--use an MBR partition
> with BSD disklabel on slice 1, you should get it to boot.
> I am not close to the machine right now, and it's powered off, but I can
> fire it up and send you the partition/label parameters.
> Again, this is a very old 1,1 (still, it's an EFI system, but it's only
> 32-bit), but the same scheme might work on your system as well.
> michael

Hi Michael,

thank you for the hints! Though I would prefer GTP disk layout because 
booting with MBR may take longer (Apple first looks for GTP file system, 
that's what one of the posts said), I wouldn't mind doing so. But as I 
wrote, I don't get the first slice created. Is type freebsd-boot wrong?

Best regards,

More information about the freebsd-amd64 mailing list