Sanity Check on Mac Mini

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Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie
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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
        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
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Richard Kuhns
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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
> 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.

--
Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]>     My Desk:          765-269-8541
Wintek Corporation                 Internet Support: 765-269-8503
427 N 6th Street                   Consulting:       765-269-8504
Lafayette, IN 47901-2211           Accounting:       765-269-8502
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie

On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
>> 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?

-- Doug

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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Kevin Oberman-4
On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
> >>      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.

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
--
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
E-mail: [hidden email]
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie

On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
> >>      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 approach?

-- Doug

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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

John Mehr



On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:18:23 -0800
 Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman
><[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie
>><[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns
>><[hidden email]> 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
>>svnweb.freebsd.org:
>> >>      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
>approach?

Hello,

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

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/Manpages/man8/bless.8.html

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.
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Kevin Oberman-4
In reply to this post by Doug Hardie
On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 2:18 PM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
> > >>      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
> approach


To be cleat, you just insert the thumb drive and the hard drive boots? That
IS weird! Or do you get the BootEasy prompt for the partition/disk you want
to boot? If the latter, the system is processing the MBR from the thumb
drive and using that to boot the GPT disk.

I am not an expert on EFI or UEFI. I know EFI is older and UEFI replaced it
about five years ago. I am not entirely clear on the differences, but I
assume a newer Mac Mini would be UEFI. My experience with boot loaders is,
to put it politely, ancient. I mean pre-BIOS. I have, at best, a limited
understanding of BIOS booting and not much on UEFI, but I know that UEFI
can boot devices using the old PC partitioning system as well as GUID (GPT)
partitioned ones. The Wikipedia article on UEFI is enlightening.
--
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
E-mail: [hidden email]
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Richard Kuhns
In reply to this post by Doug Hardie
On 03/07/13 17:18, Doug Hardie wrote:

>
> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
>>>>      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 approach?
>
> -- Doug
>

FWIW, here are the brief notes I made for what has been working for me for the
last year or so; most recently with a new Mini purchased about 2 weeks ago. I'm
using the entire drive for FreeBSD.


Hit Option key while booting, then select 'Windows' USB image.

Now trying GPT; looks fine, but will only boot with USB stick in
place. If it's not there, just get a folder with a '?' when starting
up.

Using MBR; boots ok without USB stick. It just takes about 30 seconds before it
actually boots.

Select YES when asked about GMT.


--
Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]>     My Desk:          765-269-8541
Wintek Corporation                 Internet Support: 765-269-8503
427 N 6th Street                   Consulting:       765-269-8504
Lafayette, IN 47901-2211           Accounting:       765-269-8502
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie
In reply to this post by John Mehr

On 7 March 2013, at 17:00, John Mehr <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:18:23 -0800
>  Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On 7 March 2013, at 06:42, Richard Kuhns <[hidden email]> 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 svnweb.freebsd.org:
>>> >>      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 approach?
>
> Hello,
>
> If you still have a drive with OS X on it, you may have some luck with OS X's bless command:
>
> https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/Manpages/man8/bless.8.html
>
> 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.

I have investigated the bless command and nothing I find on google gives me any good ideal on what folder/file to bless.  I am wondering if just using the volume command and ignoring folder and file would work?

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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

John Mehr
> I have investigated the bless command and nothing I find
>on google gives me any good ideal on what folder/file to
>bless.  I am wondering if just using the volume command
>and ignoring folder and file would work?

Hello,

If memory serves, I used it in device mode and used the
--setBoot option to select the bootable FreeBSD
partition.  I was trying to find a dual boot solution at
the time and I remember giving up on the bless command
when it booted me straight into FreeBSD.  I wish I could
remember more...
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie
I have documented what I have completed and what remains to be done for the install of 9.1 on a Mini.  I wrote this as a section of the Handbook, although its not in the right format as I don't know what that format is.  I believe this needs to be retained in the documentation somewhere easily found for those who need it in the future.




2.12 Installing FreeBSD on an Apple Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is an attractive server platform.  Its small, runs cool, low powered, and reasonably cheap.  There a variety of configurations available.  However, the bottom of the line seems to be a powerful server.

There are a few issues with installing FreeBSD on the mini.  Mostly they derive from the newer hardware it uses and that it uses EFI rather than a BIOS for booting.  There is not a simple install that will get the unit working, but the additional steps required are quite simple.  The goal of these instructions is to get FreeBSD 9.1-Release running as a headless server on a Late 2012 Mini.  Its probably possible to setup the mini as a workstation, but that would require some additional effort to test the display and mouse interfaces and find fixes for any issues with those.

The original intent was to have the server without system source so that it could be maintained using freebsd-update.  However, that will probably have to wait until 9.2-Release is available.  In the meantime, freebsd-update has to be used with care since I believe it will replace the modified bge files.


2.12.1 Preparing for the Install

You can select either the i386 or the amd64 distributions.  Both have been tested with these procedures and yield a working server.  The bottom of the line mini comes with 4 GB of memory installed.  The i386 distribution will only use 2 GB.  The remainder will not be used.  The amd64 distribution builds larger binary modules, but it will use all the memory.

Download the 9.1 Release distribution Memstick Image.  You will need to copy that to a memstick.  There are instructions in section 2.3.5 for copying the image to the memstick.  Obtain a display and USB keyboard and connect them to the mini.

With a browser go to svnweb.freebsd.org/base/head/sys/dev.  Click on the bge folder.  Click on the name if_bge.c.  Find Revision 245931.  Click on the download link and save the file.

Go back to the bge page and click on if_bgereg.h.  Find Revision 243686. Click on the download link and save the file.  Edit the saved if_bgereg.h file and add the following to the end:

#define PCIER_DEVICE_CAP 0x4
#define PCIER_DEVICE_CTL 0x8
#define PCIEM_CAP_MAX_PAYLOAD 0x00000007
#define PCIEM_CTL_RELAXED_ORD_ENABLE 0x0010
#define PCIEM_CTL_NOSNOOP_ENABLE 0x0800
#define PCIER_DEVICE_STA 0xa
#define PCIEM_STA_CORRECTABLE_ERROR 0x0001
#define PCIEM_STA_NON_FATAL_ERROR 0x0002
#define PCIEM_STA_FATAL_ERROR 0x0004
#define PCIEM_STA_UNSUPPORTED_REQ 0x0008

There was a change to some of the names in if_bgereg.h after the 9.1 Release was created, but before the corrections to the bge driver were included.  It would be possible to grab the appropriate earlier verion of if_bgereg.h, however, when rebuilding the kernel, there are other drivers that use the new names.  This seems to be the easiest approach.  Also, it worked.

Go back to the dev page and click on the mii folder.  Click on brgphy.c.  Find revision 244482.  Click on the download link and save the file.

Copy the saved files to another memstick.


2.12.2 Installing the 9.1 Release

Boot the mini using the memstick.  Hold down the Option key on the keyboard and power up the mini.  You will hear the hardware check beep and shortly thereafter the screen will show one or more boot icons.  Double click on the one named "Windows".  It will have a USB icon.

Continue through the normal installation procedure as detailed earlier in this chapter.  If you are building a FreeBSD only server, use the entire disk.  Also, be sure to install the system source.  You will need it later.

At the end of the install you will be asked to reboot the mini.  Here is where the first problem occurs.  If you pop out the memstick and let the system reboot, it will hang with an empty folder icon in the center of the display.

The problem is that the EFI boot loader can't find anything to boot.  There are several approaches that may work.  The Mac bless utility has been used to bless the boot disk so the boot loader can find it.  There are currently no instructions available for this approach.  The one way that has been shown to work is to make sure the memstick is removed when you boot the mini.  Once you get the empty folder icon, plug the memstick back in.  The system will shortly boot from the internal disk.  There is no known explanation for this phenomena other than "it just works".


2.12.3 Rebuilding the kernel to support the Ethernet Interface

Once the system has been rebooted, you will notice that ifconfig does not show the ethernet interface.  The bge driver needs to be updated to recognize the NIC.  Mount the second memstick with the files retrieved earlier and move them into the kernel source.  I used the following commands:

cp -p brgphy.c /usr/src/sys/dev/mii
cp -p if_bgereg.h /usr/src/sys/dev/bge
cp -p if_bge.c /usr/src/sys/dev/bge

then rebuild the kernel.  Note the instructions here are for GENERIC, but you can use KERNCONF to specify a custom kernel.

cd /usr/src
make buildkernel
make installkernel

Reboot the server as before.  Now ifconfig will show bge0 and it will work.  The mini is now running a useable version of 9.1-Release.  There are still some items remaining to be resolved:  Updating the kernel with the recent security patches, Disabling Bluetooth and Wireless to save power, and unattended rebooting.  These issues are still being addressed.


2.12.4 Running freebsd-update to get the Latest Security Updates

Freebsd-update provides a very convenient was to keep the system up to date with security updates.  It does require that you remain on the Release distribution and not use modified kernels.  Since the mini requires updates to the bge driver that will not be incorporated into the 9.1-Release, the modified bge files need to be save somewhere other than in /usr/src.  Freebsd-update will replace them in their normal locations with the "newer" ones that do not support the mini's NIC.  I saved a copy in my home directory along with a short script that copies them into the kernel.

Run:  freebsd-update fetch
Run:  freebsd-update install

Check the differences between the updated bge files and those in the kernel source.  If they have changed, the rebuild the kernel.  At the moment, the security updates have not affected the kernel so it did not need to be rebuilt.


2.12.5 Automatic Startup after Power is Restored

Generally servers need to be automatically restarted after a power failure.  The mini has that capability, but I haven't found how to set it yet.


2.12.6 Disabling Bluetooth and Wireless

Mac OS-X provides a way to disable both of these.  Ifconfig does not show either.  The Wireless NIC is not attached to a driver so is status is quite difficult to determine.  My guess is that the appropriate driver will need an update to enable it to be found and controlled.  The same seems to hold for the Bluetooth controller.


2.12.7 Unattended Booting

Supposedly there is a way to boot the mini on OS-X and use the bless utility to set the disk properly for booting.  I have not found the magic incantation that will make that work yet.  Using the memstick is the only way so far.


2.12.8 Other Versions of the Mac Mini

I will be installing on a Mac Mini 1,1 (quite old) shortly and will update this with those results.  I don't have access to any other units.



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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Molly (Dev Lists)
In reply to this post by Doug Hardie
On 08 Mar 2013, at 17:43, Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 7 March 2013, at 17:00, John Mehr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:18:23 -0800 Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On 7 March 2013, at 11:57, Kevin Oberman <[hidden email]> wrote:
[ ... ]

>>>> 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 approach?
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> If you still have a drive with OS X on it, you may have some luck with OS X's bless command:
>>
>> https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/Manpages/man8/bless.8.html
>>
>> 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.
>
> I have investigated the bless command and nothing I find on google gives me any good ideal on what folder/file to bless.  I am wondering if just using the volume command and ignoring folder and file would work?


When I was setting up FreeBSD (9/amd64) to run on a MacBook Air, I used (from within Terminal while booted into an OS X boot image):
    sudo bless --device /dev/disk0s2 --setBoot --legacy

(s2 was the FreeBSD boot slice.)

My notes also claim that the drive needed to have MBR boot code installed first (e.g., via fdisk -B ada0 or the gpart equivalent) in order for the blessing to work.  This was about a year ago (December 2011), on whatever hardware/firmware/OS X were current at the time.


-- Molly
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Torfinn Ingolfsen-5
In reply to this post by Doug Hardie
On Sat, 09 Mar 2013 16:46:37 -0800
Doug Hardie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I have documented what I have completed and what remains to be done for the install of 9.1 on a Mini.
>  I wrote this as a section of the Handbook, although its not in the right format as I don't know what that format is.
>  I believe this needs to be retained in the documentation somewhere easily found for those who need it in the future.

Nice. Perhaps you should qualify that this is for an Intel Mac mini (as opposed to a PowerPC / G4 Mac mini)?

HTH
--
Torfinn Ingolfsen <[hidden email]>
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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

Doug Hardie
In reply to this post by Doug Hardie
As I previously indicated, I have tested a couple more Minis and updated the instructions with what I learned.  Here is the revised version:

2.12 Installing FreeBSD on an Apple Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is an attractive server platform.  Its small, runs cool, low powered, and reasonably cheap.  There a variety of configurations available.  However, the bottom of the line seems to be a powerful server.

There are a few issues with installing FreeBSD on the mini.  Mostly they derive from the newer hardware it uses and that it uses EFI rather than a BIOS for booting.  There is not a simple install that will get the unit working, but the additional steps required are quite simple.  The goal of these instructions is to get FreeBSD 9.1-Release running as a headless server on a Late 2012 Mini, Model No A1347.  Its probably possible to setup the mini as a workstation, but that would require some additional effort to test the display and mouse interfaces and find fixes for any issues with those.

The original intent was to have the server without system source so that it could be maintained using freebsd-update.  However, that will probably have to wait until 9.2-Release is available.  In the meantime, freebsd-update has to be used with care since I believe it will replace the modified bge files.


2.12.1 Preparing for the Install

2.12.1.1 Automatic Startup after Power is Restored

Generally servers need to be automatically restarted after a power failure.  Start up the Mini in OS-X.  If this is a new unit, I go through the registration so that Apple has it on record for use with AppleCare.  Go to System Preferences and select Energy Saver.  I set Put hard disk to sleep when possible, Wake for network access, Allow power button to put the computer to sleep, and most importantly - Start up automatically after a power failure.  Note, shutting down the computer at this time will not permit it to come back on when power is applied.  You have to pull the power plug.  Apparently this setting is a bit mislabeled.  Its more like Return the Power to the last status.

These settings work properly with Mac OS-X.  I have not found a way to set the startup settings while running FreeBSD yet.  These settings do carry over to the FreeBSD install.  However, you may need to lock the energy saver preferences for that to happen.

Shutdown the Mini.


2.12.1.2 Preparing FreeBSD for the installation

You can select either the i386 or the amd64 distributions.  Both have been tested with these procedures and yield a working server.  The bottom of the line mini comes with 4 GB of memory installed.  The i386 distribution will only use 2 GB.  The remainder will not be used.  The amd64 distribution builds larger binary modules, but it will use all the memory.

Download the 9.1 Release distribution Memstick Image.  You will need to copy that to a memstick.  There are instructions in section 2.3.5 for copying the image to the memstick.  Obtain a display and USB keyboard and connect them to the mini.

With a browser go to svnweb.freebsd.org/base/head/sys/dev.  Click on the bge folder.  Click on the name if_bge.c.  Find Revision 245931.  Click on the download link and save the file.

Go back to the bge page and click on if_bgereg.h.  Find Revision 243686. Click on the download link and save the file.  Edit the saved if_bgereg.h file and add the following to the end:

#define PCIER_DEVICE_CAP 0x4
#define PCIER_DEVICE_CTL 0x8
#define PCIEM_CAP_MAX_PAYLOAD 0x00000007
#define PCIEM_CTL_RELAXED_ORD_ENABLE 0x0010
#define PCIEM_CTL_NOSNOOP_ENABLE 0x0800
#define PCIER_DEVICE_STA 0xa
#define PCIEM_STA_CORRECTABLE_ERROR 0x0001
#define PCIEM_STA_NON_FATAL_ERROR 0x0002
#define PCIEM_STA_FATAL_ERROR 0x0004
#define PCIEM_STA_UNSUPPORTED_REQ 0x0008

There was a change to some of the names in if_bgereg.h after the 9.1 Release was created, but before the corrections to the bge driver were included.  It would be possible to grab the appropriate earlier verion of if_bgereg.h, however, when rebuilding the kernel, there are other drivers that use the new names.  This seems to be the easiest approach.  Also, it worked.

Go back to the dev page and click on the mii folder.  Click on brgphy.c.  Find revision 244482.  Click on the download link and save the file.

Copy the saved files to another memstick.


2.12.2 Installing the 9.1 Release

Boot the mini using the memstick.  Hold down the Option key on the keyboard and power up the mini.  You will hear the hardware check beep and shortly thereafter the screen will show one or more boot icons.  Double click on the one named "Windows".  It will have a USB icon.

Continue through the normal installation procedure as detailed earlier in this chapter.  If you are building a FreeBSD only server, use the entire disk.  Also, be sure to install the system source.  You will need it later.

You will need to setup the disk using MBR partitioning and not the default GPT.  This part is a bit involved, but not difficult.  When during the install process you get to the Partitioning screen, select Guided.  Then select the desired disk.  I select Entire Disk as I only want FreeBSD on the system.

Find the correct disk in the Partition Editor.  You will want to select it and click on Modify.  Change the partition type to MBR.  Then when back at the Partition Editor list, select the drive and click on Create.  You will need to then add the first item which will not have a mount point.  Tab to OK and click.  Then click on Create again and add the / slice (freebsd-ufs).  The root partition must be first for the system to be able to boot.   Then Click on Create again and add a swap slice (freebsd-swap).  Then continue on through the normal install process.

At the end of the install you will be asked to reboot the mini.  Here is where the first problem may occur.  If you used the default GPT partitioning, pop out the memstick and let the system reboot, it will hang with an empty folder icon in the center of the display.

The problem is that the EFI boot loader can't find anything to boot.  There are several approaches that may work.  The Mac bless utility has been used to bless the boot disk so the boot loader can find it.  I found the following instructions for this.  However, they indicate that MBR partitioning is still required.  

        a. We need to boot OSX from the install DVD again

        b. Choose a language –> Utilities –> Terminal

        c. Enter diskutil list –> see the 64k? It is something like
           “/dev/disk0sX”

        d. Enter bless –device /dev/diskXXX –setBoot –legacy (where diskXXX is
           the identifier you found one step before)

        e. Quit the “installation process”

        f. Reboot into FreeBSD

The one way that has been shown to work is to make sure the memstick is removed when you boot the mini.  Once you get the empty folder icon, plug the memstick back in.  The system will shortly boot from the internal disk.  There is no known explanation for this phenomena other than "it just works".

If you used MBR partitioning, then on boot, the system will sit with a blank screen for about a minute and then boot as normal.  Perhaps blessing the disk will speed this up.


2.12.3 Rebuilding the kernel to support the Ethernet Interface

Once the system has been rebooted, you will notice that ifconfig may not show the ethernet interface.  There are at least two different chips being used for that interface.  Some of the units work right out of the box.  Others do not.  I have two units and the only visible difference is the Part No.  Part Nu. MC815LL/A appears to be the older unit and the bge interface worked on install.  Part No MD387LL/A is newer and has the newer chips that require the driver update.

 If the bge interface does not show, then the bge driver needs to be updated to recognize the NIC.  Mount the second memstick with the files retrieved earlier and move them into the kernel source.  I used the following commands:

cp -p brgphy.c /usr/src/sys/dev/mii
cp -p if_bgereg.h /usr/src/sys/dev/bge
cp -p if_bge.c /usr/src/sys/dev/bge

then rebuild the kernel.  Note the instructions here are for GENERIC, but you can use KERNCONF to specify a custom kernel.

cd /usr/src
make buildkernel
make installkernel

Reboot the server as before.  Now ifconfig will show bge0 and it will work.  The mini is now running a useable version of 9.1-Release.  There are still some items remaining to be resolved:  Updating the kernel with the recent security patches, Disabling Bluetooth and Wireless to save power, and unattended rebooting.  These issues are still being addressed.


2.12.4 Running freebsd-update to get the Latest Security Updates

Freebsd-update provides a very convenient was to keep the system up to date with security updates.  It does require that you remain on the Release distribution and not use modified kernels.  Since the mini requires updates to the bge driver that will not be incorporated into the 9.1-Release, the modified bge files need to be save somewhere other than in /usr/src.  Freebsd-update will replace them in their normal locations with the "newer" ones that do not support the mini's NIC.  I saved a copy in my home directory along with a short script that copies them into the kernel.

Run:  freebsd-update fetch
Run:  freebsd-update install

Check the differences between the updated bge files and those in the kernel source.  If they have changed, the rebuild the kernel.  At the moment, the security updates have not affected the kernel so it did not need to be rebuilt.


2.12.5 Disabling Bluetooth and Wireless

Mac OS-X provides a way to disable both of these.  Ifconfig does not show either.  The Wireless NIC is not attached to a driver so is status is quite difficult to determine.  My guess is that the appropriate driver will need an update to enable it to be found and controlled.  The same seems to hold for the Bluetooth controller.


2.12.6 Other Versions of the Mac Mini

I tried installing on a Mac Mini 1,1 (quite old) and was completely unsuccessful.  I use that machine as an off-site backup so about the only thing it runs is rsync and cron.  Both of those work under OS-X so I left it that way.



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Re: Sanity Check on Mac Mini

YongHyeon PYUN
On Sun, Jul 07, 2013 at 05:56:09PM -0700, Doug Hardie wrote:
> As I previously indicated, I have tested a couple more Minis and updated the instructions with what I learned.  Here is the revised version:
>

[...]

> 2.12.3 Rebuilding the kernel to support the Ethernet Interface
>
> Once the system has been rebooted, you will notice that ifconfig may not show the ethernet interface.  There are at least two different chips being used for that interface.  Some of the units work right out of the box.  Others do not.  I have two units and the only visible difference is the Part No.  Part Nu. MC815LL/A appears to be the older unit and the bge interface worked on install.  Part No MD387LL/A is newer and has the newer chips that require the driver update.
>
>  If the bge interface does not show, then the bge driver needs to be updated to recognize the NIC.  Mount the second memstick with the files retrieved earlier and move them into the kernel source.  I used the following commands:
>
> cp -p brgphy.c /usr/src/sys/dev/mii
> cp -p if_bgereg.h /usr/src/sys/dev/bge
> cp -p if_bge.c /usr/src/sys/dev/bge
>
> then rebuild the kernel.  Note the instructions here are for GENERIC, but you can use KERNCONF to specify a custom kernel.
>
> cd /usr/src
> make buildkernel
> make installkernel
>
> Reboot the server as before.  Now ifconfig will show bge0 and it will work.  The mini is now running a useable version of 9.1-Release.  There are still some items remaining to be resolved:  Updating the kernel with the recent security patches, Disabling Bluetooth and Wireless to save power, and unattended rebooting.  These issues are still being addressed.
>

I'm not sure whether this bge(4) controller is sitting behind
TB(Apple Thunderbolt) bridge. The Apple TB bridge has known
performance issue and some BCM controllers have a work-around to
mitigate it. The work-around is not enabled by default so I'm
interested in bge(4) performance numbers on your box. If you can't
get more than 920 ~ 930Mbps(950Mbps or higher with jumbo frame)
please let me know.
I didn't enable the work-around yet since it will hurt other BCM
controllers when TB bridge is absent.
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