will freebsd run on apple intel xserve

George Hartzell hartzell at alerce.com
Fri Dec 14 06:27:23 PST 2007

Jason Joines writes:
 > George Hartzell wrote:
 > > Jason Joines writes:
 > >  >      I'm a Linux guy who has inherited some apple xserve boxes. 
 > >  > Surprisingly I've discovered that I really hate os x.  For the intel 
 > >  > xserve boxes, Linux isn't an option.  The CPUs are amd64 architecture. 
 > >  > The EFI capable Linux bootloader, has had beta support for amd64 since 
 > >  > July.  However, the Linux kernel just got support to boot via EFI and 
 > >  > amd64 in a release candidate patch this month.  It'll probably be quite 
 > >  > a while before a distribution has an installer with what I need.
 > >  > 
 > >  >      At any rate, I've always wanted to try one of the BSDs.  Will 
 > >  > FreeBSD install on an apple intel xserve?  If not does anyone know if 
 > >  > another BSD or some other open source NIX will work?
 > > 
 > > I can't give you a direct answer, but I was running 6-STABLE on an
 > > 8-way mac pro up until a couple of weeks ago (I had to give it back to
 > > it's owners and I'm waiting until after the next wwdc to buy my
 > > own...).
 > > 
 > > I used bootcamp to partition a spare disk, then just booted from a
 > > freebsd cd and installed onto that partition.  I ended up using refit
 > > as a boot doohickey (initially from an refit cd, eventually taking a
 > > chance on installing it onto the disk itself).
 > > 
 > > There wasn't anything too surprising.
 > > 
 > > g.
 > > 
 >      I didn't even know there was such a thing as an 8-way mac pro. 
 > Unfortunately that probably doesn't mean much as far as the xserve boxes 
 > go, at least not the intel xserve boxes.  I'm running Linux on an intel 
 > imac and an intel powerbook pro, and others are on the intel powerbook 
 > and it runs on all the PowerPC stuff.  However, all the intel boxes just 
 > mentioned have BIOS emulation.  The intel xserve boxes do not, boot camp 
 > won't run on them and isn't supported on them.

Well, I'm pretty fuzzy about what's hidden inside the various intel
macs, but if will let you partition a disk from an os x install cd,
will boot a freebsd boot disk from the cd (so you can do the install),
and will boot from an refit cd (or via refit installed into the efi
[sic?] boot area) then it'll go.  FreeBSD doesn't need much from the
bios, does it?

If you send me an intel xserve, I'll take a shot at it.... :)


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