will freebsd run on apple intel xserve

Jason Joines joines at okstate.edu
Thu Dec 20 10:35:07 PST 2007

Jason Joines wrote:
> Gabriel Rossetti wrote:
>> 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.   
>> AMD64....on an Intel X-Serve box? I think you got it wrong there.......
>> Anyways, EFI support for Xeon CPUs should work without a problem, even
>> for linux.
>> I'm not sure about EFI support, I think it's fine in CURRENT, from what
>> I've read on the net.
>> Good luck,
>> Gabriel
>>>  > 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.
>     Nope, it is the AMD64 architecture on apple intel xserve.  Intel 
> cloned it and called it Intel 64 and EM64T among other names.  More 
> vendor neutral names are x86-64 and x64.  At any rate, many Linux 
> distributions, and FreeBSD, release a version they call amd64 that runs 
> on CPUs with this instruction set regardless of whether AMD or Intel 
> created it.
>     EFI support may be fine for amd64 xeon's but the elilo boot loader 
> wouldn't work with amd64 until the latest beta.  Even though the boot 
> loader became capable in that beta, the Linux kernel wouldn't work with 
> elilo on amd64 until 2.6.24-rc4.
>     It may be fine with x86 xeons and it has always worked with ia64, 
> just not amd64.
>     I just don't know enough about FreeBSD to know if it or the 
> bootloader(s) it uses have any of the same issues Linux does or not. 
> Hopefully I'll get to go onsite soon and give it a try.
> Jason
> ===========

     Well I tried the amd64 version of FreeBSD 6.2 from the bootonly.iso 
and it didn't work either.  Just like the Linux CDs, the xserve didn't 
even recognize it as bootable.


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