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Apple Officially Releases Beta Dual Boot Loader 909

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the at-least-it-wasn't-an-april-fools-joke dept.
Slippy Douglas writes "Apparently, Apple has made good on one of the 30th anniversary product rumours. Apple today announced the Boot Camp Public Beta, which allows Intel Macs to easily and legally multi-boot. Boot Camp will be a standard feature in Mac OS X 10.5."
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Apple Officially Releases Beta Dual Boot Loader

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  • Legally Multiboot? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:37AM (#15065703) Homepage
    The summary line:
    which allows Intel Macs to easily and legally multi-boot. Boot Camp will be a standard feature in Mac OS X 10.5."
    should read
    which allows Intel Macs to easily and prettily multi-boot. Boot Camp will be a standard feature in Mac OS X 10.5."
    There was nothing stopping you from legally multi-booting before.

    Perhaps the submitter was getting booting-windows-on-macs with booting-os-x-on-generic-intels - but even that is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions provided you own a copy of OS X.

    On a different note, I see on Apple's bootcamp page [apple.com] in the "what you'll need list:"
    • 10GB free hard disk space
    • A bona fide installation disc for Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

    WTF? 10 GB (well, I guess if the bootloader by itself is 83MB I shouldn't be surprised) and you cant use multidisc or upgrade versions (or even win2k!) I'll wait for the 'hacker' releases thanks Apple!

    And on a third note - the screenshots look gorgeous! Would be nice to have grub look this nice (but grub has too much hardware to support I guess)
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:37AM (#15065706)
    But, some notes:

    - Even the existing http://onmac.net/ [onmac.net] solution wasn't "illegal" or against any Apple or Microsoft license agreement - not saying the summary said that, but it kind of implied it might be

    - The HUGE difference with Boot Camp is that it includes Windows XP driver profiles for Apple-specific hardware - including video drivers! Hello games and video intensive Windows software!

    - Another big difference is that it includes a live repartitioning tool so the drive doesn't have to be reformatted to install Windows as the current solution requires

    - And, it wraps everything up in a nice "setup assistant"-like interface

    - It does burn a custom Windows XP installation disc (no, this does not violate any Microsoft or Windows license agreement, as making custom Windows installation discs has been routine in IT shops for years)

    - Currently, it looks like it supports only Windows XP SP2, not any multi-disc XP-based installations (or other non-Windows OSes), but since Media Center is already working with the other solution by making a custom installation disc, I have no doubts that it could work with this as well

    It's pretty incredible that Apple has decided to do this, to say the least.

    However, the true benefit for many people won't come from dual-booting, but from running Windows (or any other x86 OS) in a virtualization environment alongside OS X with no dual booting or rebooting needed.

    Virtualization company Parallels [parallels.com] announced that it will be bringing its Parallels Workstation virtualization product to Intel-based Macs [techworld.com]. Parallels is a hypervisor-based (with a kernel module) virtual machine solution already shipping for Windows and Linux, and is the first desktop virtualization product to support Intel VT/Vanderpool CPU "partitioning". It's also only $50. Parallels also has a long list of officially supported guest OSes [parallels.com], and that's just the ones that are *officially* supported. So either way, we'll have a nice dual boot solution AND a nice virtualization solution!

    So Boot Camp will be standard with Leopard...great. What about the thing that a lot of us actually want, virtualization from Apple, rumored to be in Leopard [macrumors.com]? And not just virtualization to run x86 OSes, but to also run multiple instances of Intel-variants of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server (*as well* as any other x86 OS)? Now THAT would be the holy grail. Desktop virtualization for things like Windows and Linux/BSD environments, and server virtualization for multiple Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server instances on a single box.

    Since Apple has shown it's been officially willing to acknowledge the alternate OS/Windows universe on Intel-based Macs, I actually have a lot more hope for native, integrated virtualization in Leopard as well!
  • Nope. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <(jcr) (at) (mac.com)> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:38AM (#15065729) Journal
    All this app does is partition the disk, and burn a CD with the drivers that Windows needs to use Apple's hardware. If you want to run Linux, you're still on your own.

    -jcr
  • by jcr (53032) <(jcr) (at) (mac.com)> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:41AM (#15065751) Journal
    It does burn a custom Windows XP installation disc

    No, it burns a drivers disk. You still install from the MS install disk.

    -jcr
  • by shippo (166521) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:45AM (#15065789)
    To multi-boot before this you had to use drivers that had been hacked and probably violated someones copyright. This system generates a proper driver disk, and is also probably why the download is 83GB as it'll contain drivers for all of the Intel mac platforms.

    Makes me want to pick up that Macbook Pro now!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:48AM (#15065829)
    the 10GB requirement is for windows hard disk space. they recommend a minimum 10 GB partition for the windows C drive

  • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:49AM (#15065841) Homepage
    Well if you make ubuntu work on this setup i am of to by a mac. Anybody knows?

    You've been able to boot linux on the intel macs [pcpro.co.uk] for some time now.

    And it looks like someone has ubuntu running on them allready [livejournal.com]

    However, I think you're not going to have everything working perfectly, I think the video drivers will only be 2d, your remote won't work, nor will the CD eject button, etc etc etc.

    If you've got a bit of money & just want ubuntu, buy hardware from a vendor who supports linux.

    If you want OS X and Ubuntu, still buy hardware from a vendor who supports linux - but also wait until you can buy copies of OS X tiger that are not tied to the new macbook or iMacs & install that on your generic hardware.
  • by ahknight (128958) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:50AM (#15065854)
    Wow. You really can't read.

    The 83MB is not the bootloader. It's the EFI module and the Windows drivers for the Apple hardware that you have to burn to CD to install in Windows after you get it going. Read more slowly next time.
  • by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:02AM (#15065967) Homepage
    To multi-boot before this you had to use drivers that had been hacked and probably violated someones copyright. [emph mine]

    What? Why do you say that?

    BAMBIOS [osxbook.com] is an EFI program (based on bochs bios emulation code) that allows legacy bootloading.

    It does not violate anyone's copyright.

    why the download is 83GB as it'll contain drivers for all of the Intel mac platforms.

    Hmmmmn, I did miss that! 83MB still seems like alot - but I guess its Windows bloat & there's not alot Apple can do about it!
  • by ElektroHolunder (514550) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:06AM (#15066014)
    You cannot use the update versions for a trivial reason: when installing an update version, Windows setup prompts for an update-eligible install disk . Which you cannot provide since you're unable to eject the disk from your drive until you install the Apple driver package.
  • by Deslock (86955) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:23AM (#15066195)
    I read through the setup guide [apple.com] and it appears that bootcamp doesn't address the file system incompatibilities (not that I expected it to). It's like this:

    HFS+: OS X uses it; XP doesn't recognize it

    FAT32: Both OS X and XP can read and write to it, but it has limits in partition size and doesn't allow for files larger than 4GB (no DVD backup for you!)

    NTFS: Both OS X and XP can read it, but OS X can't write to it

    One solution is MacDrive [softpedia.com], which allows Windows to read and write to HFS+. But I'd rather that OS X be able to write to NTFS.

    Virtual PC lets you move stuff back and forth, but it has inferior performance and some software doesn't work with it (Thayer's guide to birds of North America [thayerbirding.com] doesn't run under VPC, for example). And of course VPC doesn't work on the Intel Macs at all.

    Still, being able to run Windows is *excellent* news for Apple and for OS X. It means more people will buy Macs because many need to run Windows for specific applications but would rather use OS X for everything else. If they can address the filesystem incompatibility and get the OSs to run concurrently [techworld.com] without any performance hit, Apple's market share will skyrocket.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:26AM (#15066220)
    I don't see Apple using the word 'legally' anywhere on either of the linked pages (though I suppose it could be somewhere deeper). It looks like that wording is purely from the submitter.
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:27AM (#15066232) Journal
    so, you never used vmware, did you ?

    there's something called "virtual disk", a huge file siting on top of the host OS native filesystem (HFS+, ext3, ufs, etc) that the virtual machines maps to the guest OS as an IDE/SCSI disk.

  • by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:29AM (#15066252) Journal
    64 bit vista has EFI

    32 bit vista does not
  • What?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Abjifyicious (696433) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:29AM (#15066256)
    What are you talking about? Linux doesn't threaten Apple in any way whatsoever. Apple's a hardware company, the Mac OS is just a selling point. Why on earth would they care which OS you want to use on your computer? Answer: they don't, and that's why they're releasing this product.
  • by Yosho (135835) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:30AM (#15066268) Homepage
    However, all of the Apple's current Intel-based computers are 32-bit. So, you will only be able to install the 32-bit, BIOS-based version of Vista on them.
  • by AugstWest (79042) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:48AM (#15066437)
    I've never seen it go this fast, it told me "Setup will complete in approximately: 36 minutes, and then 2 minutes later it was down to 19.

    I need to run Cakewalk's Sonar to deal with some projects I'm recording. I generally use Ableton Live in OSX, but I need to be able to open Cakewalk bundles too. Hey look, now I can....

    Thank you, Apple.
  • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:50AM (#15066455) Journal
    Performance. If you are doing anything system call or VM intensive (including using mmap), then the BSD-on-Mach XNU kernel is going to be a serious performance killer. I've written code that is an order of magnitude slower on XNU on a 2GHz G5 than on FreeBSD on a 1.5GHz Athlon[1].

    The reason for this is that all IPC, all thread-related operations, and many system calls rely on the Mach port mechanism. Sending a Mach message requires a lot of checking of port rights, and so is The cost of a Mach message send is about ten times the cost of a traditional UNIX system call.

    For most applications, this won't be a problem, but as soon as you start swapping OS X slows right down (because the VM subsystem is in the Mach part of the kernel and uses ports extensively). Likewise, if you are running something very I/O intensive, something that does a lot of thread locking, or anything that uses a lot of system calls, then it will be much slower on OS X than Linux, BSD, or pretty much any sane kernel implementation (including second-generation microkernels, such as L4).

    Mach is the nicest kernel design I've seen, on paper. It is elegant, and nicely abstracted. Unfortunately, this comes at a significant cost, which can be relatively easily avoided.

    [1] A volume renderer that made extensive use of mmap and madvise for handling very large datasets.

  • by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:09AM (#15066633) Homepage
    Graphics support will have to rely on framebuffer support (No accelerated 2D for you! And 3D? Forget it.).
    The comment about CD support is off- you can issue ejects from the command line or from KDE/Gnome/etc.

    In reality, anything with an ATI GPU chipset's a bad idea for Linux users. While I honestly appreciate Matthew Tippett's efforts in this regard at ATI (I'd have NO 3d otherwise on my laptop...), it just doesn't compare to NVidia's results . ATI's drivers simply do not perform as well as the Windows counterparts and suffer from odd quirks if you're a laptop user (I've got 128Mb of "SidePort" integrated RAM- the Linux drivers don't seem to be able to use it; I've got to turn on UMA support in the BIOS and use the 128Mb it provides... WHY? I don't have to do that under Windows.) And it's not because he's not killing himself to get it great for us- he's woefully understaffed and it's my understanding that ATI's not seeing more of a potential market than they do so they're not hiring more right at the moment.

    I, as a professional games developer, can't reccomend people buy ATI right now for Linux machines- it's just not supported well enough right now. Now, that might change in a couple of months' time- I just don't see it happening yet from them with past experience.
  • Re:Linux? (Score:3, Informative)

    by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:25AM (#15066797) Homepage
    But what would be the advantage of running Linux vs. the BSD-based MacOS X?

    1) Because you like free software.

    2) You need to run many X applications (and want to see them at native speeds)

    3) You want to run MySQL [anandtech.com] (or nmap, or many other OSS packages) with better performance.
  • this is incorrect... (Score:3, Informative)

    by pointbeing (701902) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:27AM (#15066819)
    Re no upgrade versions -

    Just what OS would the windows installer be "upgrading"? Have you ever actually tried to run a MS upgrade install? IT LOOKS FOR AN EXISTING MS OS.

    Think about it before posting..

    Sorry, but that's not correct. If the installer doesn't find an installed OS to upgrade it'll ask you for the install media of a 'qualifying product'. You can clean install Windows with an upgrade CD if you also have the install media for a product that can be upgraded. For Windows XP that would be a Windows 98 or later install CD.

    But - thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:3, Informative)

    by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:53AM (#15067145)
    It's different. Windows XP does not support EFI and vista won't support it either. Apparently Apple has created a EFI->BIOS compatibility layer for those systems. Linux however does support EFI
  • Re:Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Homestar Breadmaker (962113) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:53AM (#15067147)
    No, there's far more BSD code in OSX than a typical linux distro. Large portions of the OSX kernel, and almost the entire unix userland are BSD. Linux only uses a few random BSD bits and pieces.
  • by azav (469988) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:17AM (#15067494) Homepage Journal
    You must mean 83 MB, not GB.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:24PM (#15069612)
    Who exactly do you see doing this?

    Adobe (and by default Macromedia) aren't going to alienate the Mac graphics crowd by dropping OS X. Ditto Music apps. Microsoft makes a huge profit from the Mac version of Office. Apple sure isn't going to drop their Pro and Express video, music and graphics apps and they have more coming down the line.

    The fact is nearly all professionals who use Macs aren't going to stand for being told they have to boot into XP for day-to-day work. The ability to switch to XP will be a novelty for most, essential only for those who need specific applications that don't exsist on OS X today.

    As for casual and home OS X users, Apple provides most of the apps they use day-to-day, followed by open source (Mozilla etc.) and countless shareware developers who do so because they love the OS X platfrom. The biggest reason THEY want OS X is, of course, games-- which, again, are barely being ported to the Mac today.

    As long as there is significant profit to be made from Mac users the major players will hang in there. The ones who might bail are the mid-level boutique developers, but they barely exist today-- and they are the reason a Mac user would want to dual boot in the first place.
  • by NSObject (250170) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:15PM (#15070129)
    Here is the full size logo [mac.com] from the installer...
  • by ingoldsby (924334) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:04PM (#15071699)
    After getting this machine set up and running (it was pretty straight forward - repartitioned my drive without messing up my OSX install just fine) I ran a few benchmarks to get a feel for how the machine performed.

    First I ran Super-Pi and got a 30s flat result crunching the 1m computation. Pretty impressive actually - especially for what is esentially a laptop chip. I then ran 3dmark'05 and scored 3808 3dmarks. Again not bad considering it is also using a laptop video card (in this case a Radeon Mobility X1600 256mb).

    Not the perfect machine for the hardcore gamer, but a really great all in one machine for most households. Good enough to play pretty much all of the current games, while also running OSX for a nicer overall experience while doing anything else.

    Good job I say.
  • Re:Few Quick Notes (Score:3, Informative)

    by catwh0re (540371) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @07:00PM (#15072086)
    I also use them side by side, everyday and demand -real world- performance out of both and I can reassure you that you mustn't be doing much more than dragging and dropping files around on your desktop to not realise the difference.

    My particular favourite is when explorer takes 30 seconds to re-read a network directory that I use in excess of 100 times a day. (each time rereading the h&w of the images in the folder, despite having turned this off about 10 times already).

    Or another favourite which is that large CMYK images will instantly crash explorer when it tries to either preview them in the window or obtain it's px dimensions.

    It gets incredibly frustrating. Naturally when it crashes it loses all of the few settings that actually stick when you choose them.(How many times have I selected no preview, just for it to forget this setting.)

    This is just the tip of the ice burg. I won't even start on recycle bin or what happens when the explorer window is scrolled down to a section of files and you dare want to add or remove one.

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