Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2010 4:05 PM by baltwo
exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
I want to create a minimal recovery boot disk for SL. I've followed how-to's on creating one for 10.4 and 10.5, but so far it I couldn't get it to work with 10.6.

If you have successfully done this, or can point me to a pre-made image or how-to, it would be much appreciated.

Macbook Pro 15" 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • baltwo Level 9 (62,215 points)
    Disk Utility should be able to do the task. Exactly what won't work that worked for Tiger and Leopard?
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    Following a guide I found for making a 10.5 boot disk, I opened the packages on my SL install disk, and only installed CoreServices, Essentials, and Migration Assistant. Then I removed Asian fonts (~100MB). I end up with an OS that's less than 2GB. The disk boots, gets past the Apple logo, and then I get a grey screen with eternally spinning beachball.

    I understand that as a last resort, I can run the OS installer the normal way, and then choose minimal components, and end up with a bloated OS. But like I said, I'm trying to get it nice and tight if possible.
  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)
    Most uncheck what they don't want installed, then afterward use CCC to clone but not copy most of the applications they won't need, but retain the 3-4GB of hidden files that are essential.

    Then test that. And if you want, don't clone the man pages and such which could be optional.

    There are threads on trying to put SL on 4GB flash SDHC. Not 2GB.
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks hatter. What do mean by "man pages"?

    If it's not too much trouble, can you please point me to these threads you speak of?
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    I installed SL normally using the DVD, and chose only minimal components. It's still uses 6.2GB. I've searched and searched for more info on this, but didn't find any. Maybe there are some other packages required for a basic OS...

    Any ideas?
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    I was able to pare down my Mac OS to 3.5GB. Then I tried using disk utility to shrink the partition size to "fit", but the smallest it would let me go is 8GB which is more than double. It would be nice to be able to make a bootable 4GB DVD.

    I know it's possible, because my bootable Coriolis iDefrag volume is 1.87GB.

    Any idea how to get a partition size down to, say, 4GB?
  • jsd2 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    It would be nice to be able to make a bootable 4GB DVD.

    Not something I really know about, but it seems to me that a bootable DVD would have to be specially constructed for this purpose, as is the case for an OS X install disc and various commercial products. I don't think you could just install OS X onto an external disk partition, clone that image to a DVD, and then successfully boot from the DVD, even the image was small enough to fit. When a "normal" version of OS X boots, it expects to write to its startup volume to create caches, swap files, configuration files, etc. It could not do so if the startup volume is read-only, as would be the case for a DVD.

    Why not just use a larger USB flash drive?
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree that an OS expects to be able to write. So either these install discs and commercial products look for write-access storage on other volumees, or they are configured without a scratch space. I wonder if there's a way to do this.
  • jsd2 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    I found this article:
    [2009 Live DVD, howto make a simple, working osx livedvd|]

    Here's the overview of the method presented there:
    How it works:

    This method works because OSX has a disk image boot system in place to support its network boot system. IOHDIXController and kernel can take a path to disk image supplied to them, and mount it as /, via "imageboot", which recognizes a disk image as an attachable filesystem.
    Further, Apple has setup a system to take a read-only disk image and attach a shadowfile to it, so that it is writeable. Intended to support a network boot system by making the user's session local and non-persistent, it is implemented in /etc/rc.netboot. Basically, vndevice (/usr/libexec/vndevice) attaches a shadow file to the dmg, and enables a copy-on-write strategy on that device--writes to the dmg are diverted to the temporary shadow file. This is much like what happens on a linux live dvd, albeit with Unionfs.
    Normally the shadowfile is created on a local disk or network share, on either nfs or hfs. Under my method, the shadowfile is created on ramdisk formatted with hfs, and the system behaves exactly as if it were booted with netboot. The difference is that I specify that the dmg to boot from is local(file:///), and then manually start a customized rc script. The script behaves like rc.netboot, except i create a ramdisk and setup the shadowfile there instead of on a local disk. After that / is R/W and OS X boots normally into finder...and beyond.

    Got that?!
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    That's a fantastic find. Thank you.
  • jsd2 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    Well, I actually posted that mainly in jest (complete with winks) as something much too complex for most users (including myself) even to contemplate, but if you think you can make use of it, more power to you!
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    I did get the jest, but I thanked you for the info anyways because more resources is better than less.

    And thanks for assuming my level of ability as well. While I admit that it's unfamiliar territory for me, how can we learn if we don't try, right?
  • baltwo Level 9 (62,215 points)
    Alternatively, try DasBoot at
  • exekutive Level 1 (0 points)
    Oooo... they finally added Leopard support. Thanks.
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