Sanity Check on Mac Mini

John Mehr jcm at
Fri Mar 8 01:00:06 UTC 2013

On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:18:23 -0800
 Doug Hardie <bc979 at> wrote:
> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman 
><rkoberman at> wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie 
>><bc979 at> wrote:
>> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns 
>><rjk at> wrote:
>> > On 03/07/13 01:59, Doug Hardie wrote:
>> >> I have a new Mac Mini and have encountered the same 
>>problem reported last year by Richard Kuhns.  YongHyeon 
>>PYUN provided some patches to the kernel that resolved 
>>the problem.  However, without an internet connection its 
>>a bit tricky to get them into the system.  Here is the 
>>approach I believe will work, but wanted to check first 
>>before I really mess things up.
>> >>
>> >> 1.  Downloaded from current today via 
>> >>      sys/dev/bge/if_bgereg.h
>> >>      sys/dev/bge/if_bge.c
>> >>      sys/dev/mii/brgphy.c
>> >>
>> >>    I believe the patches are incorporated in today's 
>>versions.  The comments indicate such.  Thus I don't need 
>>to apply the original supplied patch.
>> >>
>> >> 2.  Put those on a flash drive.
>> >>
>> >> 3.  Install 9.1 release from flash drive onto the 
>>Mini disk.  Have to include the system source.
>> >>
>> >> 4.  Copy the files from 1 above from flash over the 
>>files on the disk.
>> >>
>> >> 5.  Rebuild the kernel and install it.
>> >>
>> >> Thanks,
>> >>
>> >> -- Doug
>> >
>> > That's worked for me 3 times now.
>> Thanks.  Well, I got 9.1 Release installed, but it won't 
>>boot from the internal disk.  It doesn't see the disk as 
>>bootable.  I installed using the entire disk for FreeBSD. 
>> I used the i386 release.  Perhaps I need to switch to 
>>the amd64 release?
>> I would generally recommend using the amd64 release, but 
>>it may not get your system to boot. 
>> How is your disk partitioned? GPT? Some BIOSes are 
>>broken and assume that a GPT formatted disk is UEFI and 
>>will not recognize them if they lack the UEFI boot 
>>partition. UEFI boot is a current project that seems 
>>likely to reach head in the fairly near future, but it's 
>>not possible now.
> No idea what the default partitioning is for BSDInstall. 
> However the Mini is only EFI or UFEI with some fallbacks 
>although the comments I find in the web indicate that 
>different models have different fallbacks.
> One comment indicates that an older unit will boot if 
>its MBR partitioning.  I don't know if the new installer 
>supports that or not.
>> You may be able to tweak your BIOS to get it to work or 
>>you may have to install using the traditional 
>>partitioning system. The installer defaults to GPT, but 
>>can create either.
>> I have such a system (ThinkPad T520) and I have two 
>>disks... one that came with the system and containing 
>>Windows, and my GPT formatted FreeBSD disk. I wrote a 
>>FreeBSD BootEasy boot into the MBR of the Windows disk 
>>and it CAN boot the GPT disk just fine. Not ideal for 
>>most, but it works well for me
> Based on a comment I say, waiting till the empty folder 
>icon appears and then plugging in the install memstick 
>causes the mini to boot from disk.  That just downright 
>weird, but it works.  I could live with that, but this is 
>an unattended server and would experience some down time 
>if I am not there when there is a power failure.
> I just found some "instructions" for using MBR with 
>bsdinstall, but given there is an effort to create a UEFI 
>boot which I suspect would expect to find the GPT boot 
>partition, perhaps I should just go with the memstick 


If you still have a drive with OS X on it, you may have 
some luck with OS X's bless command:

I got a late 2012 mac mini to boot FreeBSD 9.1 (AMD64) 
from a hard drive using 'bless' (unfortunately I don't 
remember the exact command line parameters I used).  If 
you're looking to dual boot, the only luck I had (without 
resorting to using third party software like rEFIt) was to 
put the OS's on different drives and install FreeBSD using 
MBR on the second drive.

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list