BootX

Downloading: the latest version of BootX is 1.2.2. BootX is unmaintained, as it has not worked with new hardware for many years.

BootX became difficult to maintain, and new machines are supported only by yaboot. Owners of Blue & White G3′s and later MUST use yaboot, BootX is incompatible with New World Macintosh.

BootX is a graphical bootloader that allows Linux to boot after the Mac OS is running. (quik, on the other hand, is an Open Firmware-based bootloader that runs without Mac OS.) There are two ways to run BootX: as an application or as a Mac OS extention. Both have the same user interface.

The only difference between the application and extension is that the extension has a (ResEdit-configurable) timeout value, after which the default OS (which the user defines) is chosen. If Linux is selected, BootX shuts down the Mac OS, loads the Linux kernel into memory, and starts it running. If the Mac OS is selected, BootX simply exits.

A brief description of the settings seen above:

  • The kernel popup menu allows the user to choose from any of the
    kernels installed in the “Linux Kernels” folder inside the System
    Folder.
  • The root device text field is where the user enters the hard drive
    and partition number Linux has been installed onto.
  • The kernel arguments is where explicit commands can be passed to
    the kernel. This is generally not necessary, but can be important.
  • The No video driver checkbox tells the kernel not to use a native
    Linux video driver and to use the basic one left by the Mac OS instead.
    This causes a noticable performance hit, but is necessary for video cards
    with buggy Linux drivers (like IMS cards).
  • The Save to prefs button saves the current settings.
  • The Options button brings up an additional dialog, seen below.

  • See the BootX Readme for instructions on enabling the Set G3 cache button (only used by G3 upgrade cards).
  • Force SCSI ON forces all SCSI devices on before loading Linux. This was an old hack that is no longer needed with recent kernels.
  • Force video settings causes the Mac OS to apply the saved (Mac OS) video settings before entering Linux. This is for machines that boot in 640×480 and only switch after BootX has been closed.
  • Use specified RAM Disk is used to boot from a ramdisk in your System Folder instead of from an installed Linux partition. This is used to install Linux for the first time.
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