10.9 Mavericks on the 1,1 Mac Pro

I have finally acquired a new Mac Pro 1,1 to install 10.9 on.

Tiamo at Macrumors has developed a far better method than my Chameleon method. It involves a boot loader he has written.


Thanks to Friso for pointing me to this…

The method was quit simple but required a real Mac. I simply installed 10.9 on a drive in a usb external enclosure attached to my MacBook Air. Replaced the two boot.efi files found at System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi and usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi and put the drive in the Mac Pro


I have updated to 10.9.1 with software update and it was fine.

10.9.2 required the boot.efi files to be replaced after the update, I keep a 10.7 install on an old drive for this kind of thing.

10.9.3 update from software update went on fine.


  1. Do you think that is also possible with an older 17″ macbook pro? It’s got an ATI Radeon X1600 256 MB card…

  2. How do you get it so that you don’t have to select windows every time at boot? I have that problem now and it drives me crazy. That and my mac pro doesn’t have a bluetooth card so I usb dongle and every time I reboot I have to repair my devices. Not a big deal, but it would be nice to not have to select Windows every time.

    • Hold down ctrl when you click windows at startup. And buy a Bluetooth card off eBay, search for A1115 . Mine came from a 1st gen Intel iMac as did my airport card.

    • Ahh yes. Although I have discovered it’s not necessary if you set your machine I.D. To a Mac Pro 2.1 as I have in my smbios.plist .
      It only try’s to load it if it thinks it’s certain models of Mac.

  3. First, just like to say, big fan of your sterling work. You are a hero, but were you aware your posts appear to be plagiarised elsewhere…? Anyway, using your guide and some other stuff, I upgraded my old 1,1 2×2.0 to 2,1 spec with 2×2.66s and shoehorned ML onto it, even managed to get it booting from a single disk.

    Obviously wanted to upgrade to Mavs, and there, you did it again. I had a problem tho in getting Mavs onto a separate disk, as I recently bought a new MBP which actually sports a newer version of Mavs than that currently available on the App Store, so couldn’t download it.

    However, I had a spare 6 hours so I used Internet Recovery mode on the MBP to restore directly to a USB key, and used that to reimage the MP OS as per your posts. Bingo. Just in case anyone else finds that useful.

    But… I keep my data on a separate disk and use a symlink on the OS drive to the Users folder, and when I tried restoring apps etc from TM, I got everything back but appear to have horsed some config settings, disk permissions etc…..

    Oh well…

    Still. We’ll done sir. Keep up the good work. Am considering ripping the innards out the Pro at some point and putting a hack inside, will wait and see how you get on with yours 🙂

    • I couldn’t bring myself to gut a Mac Pro. I still remember paying over a thousand pounds for mine. The G5 case lends itself to a micro ATX motherboard, or as some people have done can be completely gutted and a full ATX board tray mounted inside. The bit I spent most time on with my Hackintosh was fitting an ATX PSU in the G5’s PSU box. I wish I’d chosen a board with a different LAN controller and audio controller. The LAN controller is iffy with bonjour and the Audio was a fiddle to get working.

      I’m not fussed about a little plagiarism. I take it as a compliment that my efforts are considered good enough for someone to pass it off as their own.

      Glad I could help anyway…

  4. Excellent! Many thanks again for the work. In theory could I remove my ssd with 10.8 from the mac pro and upgrade with my mac book pro?

    You are a star!

    • I suppose in theory if you had the installer downloaded, an upgrade might work…? Not sure in my case, as I did a restore to a partitioned disk. At 6 hours a run, I wasn’t in the mood to experiment…

  5. I am wondering what you do if you want to upgrade an existing installation, rather than install a completely new version onto a clean HD?

    My main disk is a 480GB SSD. Just thinking, how this could be done. Probably,
    1.) I should remove it, hook it up to another computer running mavericks and
    2.) then upgrade the system on that external SSD.
    3.) as the system SSD is not in MBR format, but I am using another internal SSD for the boot and installer partition from the 10.8 install, I should upgrade that boot partition with the new Chameleon install.

    Is my thinking correct?



    • If your boot partition is running the current version of chameleon then you should be fine booting, if you have a supported mac that you can do the upgrade on that’s probably best.
      Make sure you have a backup if it doesn’t work then you can do a clean install and restore from time machine.

      Personally I never upgrade.. I take the opportunity to clean out my system every major OS update. I often download things I use a couple of themes and never again so it’s good to clear out old junk.

      • Well, let’s say it didn’t work.

        I first upgraded the boot partition to 2266. Started up fine in 10.8. I then tried to upgrade my 10.8 startup drive to 10.9 and got the error message, that 10.9 can’t be installed on this machine (thinking that I might try around changing the Mac from 2.1 to maybe 2.2).

        I then removed my OS X drive and upgraded it via another Mac running 10.9. That initially was progressing well, but I got a message, that the installation failed.

        I am now in the process of trying to restore my OS X drive…

        • I’m not sure why the upgrade you did via the other mac would fail.
          Setting it as a mac Mac Pro 3,1 seems to work well.

          You could try a clean install via the other mac and restore with time machine.

        • My upgrade failed initially. The installer was on a USB HD. I copied into the Applications folder and then ran it from there fine.

          • Phew. Got it to work. It is a Mac(2,1), but I had to change the board ID to Mac-F4208DA9.

            I also re-installed 10.9 using a newer MB Air.

            So far so good. Excellent work. Thanks Ben.

    • Conclusion after a bit of playing around with it:

      – I won’t try it, but there is a good chance, that if I had set the board-ID correctly at the beginning, I could have just upgraded my ML install (with Chameleon 2266 installed)

      – Remote Desktop/Screen Sharing is not working. It can see the Mac, but can not mount the displays.

      • What gfx cards so you have in your mac & and how is the graphics enabler flag set in chameleon’s boot plist?

        I have two 8800GTs and graphics enabler set to yes, and have no problem with Remote Desktop.

        • I have a 5770 with 2 30″ and one AOC 23″ connected

          Default Partition
          Graphics Mode

      • A few more interesting observations:

        – if the Mac sleeps, I can wake it up, but the screens do not come online anymore. Need to turn it off/on again.
        – iCloud password is not saved in Mail
        – plugging in an Apple USB mouse crashed the system (happened once)
        – I wanted to install a virtual machine of 10.6 and 10.7 using Parallels and it doesn’t recognise the installation as a valid OS X installation
        – Verify of the startup disk does not end with the usual OK message but somehow terminates before without additional message. I will see if a repair job can improve things.

        • Experimenting with the darkwake flag in chameleon may help with sleep issues.
          Do you have the filenvram module installed? Is messages working?

          I use virtualbox for virtualising. I will do some testing at the weekend if I get time.

          • Did a repair disk and file permissions on the startup volume from another Mavericks machine and didn’t find any problems.

            I checked the log files for any obvious problems, but it didn’t report any.

            I have the filenvram module installed. Messages is working nicely. Will test the darkwake flag.

            Another thing which is kind of bothersome: all my manually added items in the favourites section of the Finder side bar have disappeared.

            Will report back…

          • Hi Ben,

            It’s actually not a sleep issue here, but rather the opposite: the mac does not go to sleep and when left unattended for a while, does not accept any input and just displays turned off displays while the fans are humming along.

            The iCloud password issue might be related to a problem which has been reported by a number of issuers linked to icbaccounts. This might not necessarily an OSx86 issue, but rather widespread among a number of select Mavericks users.

          • If you look at the comment Friso posted there is a link to a Macrumors post where someone has modified the efi handler in 10.9 so it will boot form efi32. It’s a much more elegant solution than mine and simply requires replacing two files with the one he supplies. I’ve tried it on my 1,1 and so far it’s been ok. I had to move my OS back to A GUID partitioned disk for this to work.

          • Finally got it to work. I replaced both boot.efi files but had not removed the original Boot disk from your hack. Once removed, it just worked (still testing around with sleep though).

            Thanks Ben

    • The mac thinks Chameleon is windows. The mac will only boot windows from an MBR drive. It may be possible to see the drive as hybrid MBR GUID, but I’ve not managed it.

      • Aha, of course. Makes sense when I think about it. 🙂

        I managed to get Mavericks to work in a MacPro1,1 with a Radeon HD 4890 graphics card. But waking it from sleep makes every thing lock up every time and I have to force restart. 🙁

        Any ideas?

  6. THX, works great on my MacPro 1.1 with Radeon 5770 in it, as i do get a boot screen and can choose “windows” at first start.

    For my Macpro 1.1 with a Radeon 6870 i do have an issue.
    As this setup does not bring any boot screen, i have tried almost every combination of mouse action and click and keyboard action. It seems that i do not hit the target right and therefore it does not start up.
    Any ideas?
    Is it possible to install the “windows” disk only? Which correction would i have to do in the chameleon.plist?


    • Option 1. Boot with the 5770 in and ctrl click windows then swap back.

      Option 2. Re bless the drive . The — setboot –legacy flags should make it boot from the windows/bootcamp/chameleon disk.

      Could you describe the setup more, how many disks do you have in the mac, what is on each of them?

  7. I’ve been using Chameleon on my MacPro1,1 for quite a while, but sleep never worked reliably, I had some audio problems and there were some sudden freezes and lockups as well.

    Luckily, some guy called ‘tiamo’ over at MacRumors has created a much simpler solution. He actually wrote a new ‘boot.efi’ that translates 64-bit calls to the 32-bit EFI that a Mac Pro 1,1 uses. By using this alternate ‘boot.efi’, the Mac Pro can finally run Mavericks while booting as a Mac, not through Chameleon. Everything works, even the bless command. I have been running this for a week now and my Mac is finally its old self again. Sleep works, audio works, simply everything works.

    The easiest way to do it: create a working install for Mavericks on another Mac. Clone the install to another drive. Replace the ‘boot.efi’ in 2 locations with the new ‘boot.efi’ (only a 400KB file). Let you MacPro1,1 boot and voila: everything just works. No emulation mode, nothing. This is what Apple should/could have provided for its users, but it took someone else to write it.

    Funny thing is: if you have been running Mountain Lion using Chameleon until now, just replacing the ‘boot.efi’ in that installation will allow you to boot Mountain Lion natively as well, simply bypassing Chameleon. Incredible.

    Only ‘caveat’ (same as for the Chameleon solution): you will need a gfx card that Mountain Lion / Mavericks can support – I have an official ATI 5770 installed.

    So get on over to Mac Rumors, download the file and get your old Mac back. I could really not be happier – this guy saved me lots of $$ on a new machine.

    This is the graphical boot.efi:

    This is his original one that boots in verbose mode:

    Be sure to read the rest of the thread. Of course, you can alter the install files for Mavericks and create a USB stick that installs Mavericks from scratch on your MacPro1,1 – that method involves changing much the same files as in the old Chameleon method.

      • Not using that actually, but wanted to answer your Q anyway – so after hauling a TV-set up to my Mac and connecting it, the result is that no, my 5770 does not give me audio out with any of the three mini-DP to HDMI adapters I’ve tried.

        Point is, using Chameleon, I lost ‘normal’ audio for several months. Only after a full night of tweaking my normal line out options and the internal speakers reappeared as choices in the audio menu.

        • Interesting.. When I first used this method it was to boot 64bit on 10.7 and I lost audio until I used the dsdt.aml which had the audio layout corrections. After that I didn’t encounter any further audio issues.
          Of course the boot.efi method is better than chameleon in most respects. Particularly if you have an Xserve, which has no support for bootcamp. I remember someone had a go at an efi32 to 64 translator when 10.8 came out, but it didn’t work very well. Perhaps it was the same guy and it’s taken a while to perfect. I it’s a good job you pointed it out to me as I haven’t been on the MR forum for ages. I used to, but since Apple has become much more mainstream, the forum has changed. It seems to be full of trolls and light on moderation.

    • Will this solution also work if you have a ”non-Mac” graphic card? With the Chameleon solution I get the ATI Radeon HD 4890 (for PC) that I have to work, except that everything freezes when I try to wake the computer from sleep.

      Wondering how it will work with this ”boot.efi” solution.

      • I suspect it will work withe the boot.efi . Your OS drive will need to be GUID and you won’t see anything on the screen until the graphics kexts load.

        I’d try it out on a spare sata drive if you have one.

        • It worked!

          Used another Mac to clone a clean (somewhat) installation of Mavericks onto the drive of the Mac Pro, then copied in the boot.efi in the two locations. Also repaired persmissions on the drive in Disk Utility, since they got messed up for boot.efi when copying them in.

          Also installed the ”Exotic” patched .kext for the Radeon 4890 I have. No video during boot, but works once at the desktop.

          And sleep and wake from sleep works too!

          One problem though: ghost monitor. Wonder how to fix that now when there’s not ”GraphicEnabler: Yes” to use like I could when using Chameleon.

    • I have been using chameleon on my Mac pro 1.1 for the past year with no problems. Running OS X 10.8.5. I have been trying to upgrade to OS X 10.9 with no success. I’ve tried it the chameleon method (many versions of chameleon ) and the tiamo method but the install always crashes with the debugger trace back to an ethernet extension. Any ideas?

          • You mean the tiamo boot.efi? I don’t have a second computer myself. I’d have to go to a friend’s computer bringing an external drive with me. So, you think it’s the best method?

            Can you think of a reason I’m currently getting the Ethernet extension crash? So many others seem to have been successful! Also, at one point, I enabled “built-in Ethernet” on chameleon — this resulted in not a crash but a hang…

            Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  8. your title says “10.9 Mavericks on the 1,1 Mac Pro” but the tiamo link says ” Mac Pro 2,1 and OS X Mavericks ” does this mean it should work on a 2006 Mac pro 1,1 2X2ghz dual-core xeon ?

  9. Can I get some notes for dummies…? I have a Mac Pro 1,1 – 10GB Memory – want to run OSX Maverick.

    I was able to get a USB OSX Maverick completed – but now I am at a lost at following the other basis directions – replacing two boot files.

    Replace these boot files with what?

    Where are these boot files?

    Finally – will I loose any data on my drive when I complete this – and will stuff like Final Cut Studio 7 still work, Aperature, Office for Mac, etc…

    Sorry for the basic questions – just don’t want to screw up.

  10. Not sure, how many people are still reading this blog, but I thought it’s worthwhile sharing an interesting experience:

    I read somewhere, that the inability to do a proper reboot can be linked to an exhausted backup battery. So I went about and changed mine. It’s a Panasonic CR 2032 3V Lithium battery. Funny enough, that corrected many of my subtle problems I had had with my Mac Pro 2,1, such as
    – inability to reboot
    – didn’t recognise the third screen attached to my 5770 when waking up

    All this is working now. Would have never thought that this battery is necessary when the Mac is connected to a power supply.

    My $0.02

  11. I tried the procedure to get 10.9 on my old plastic 2008 MacBook. I tried it with a Carbon Copy cloned disk first for safety. Attached that disk to a MacPro to install 10.9.4 on it. The MacPro booted off the external USB disk fine under 10.9.4. Then attached the disk to a USB port on my plastic MacBook and put in place the new boot.efi file in those two locations. Then rebooted.

    I quickly got the ‘Do not enter’ traffic sign and the bootup procedure stalled.

    I’m glad I tried it only on a CC cloned disk, not my original MacBook disk. But would anyone have a clue what went wrong and how to fix it?

  12. I tried it for my old plastic 2008 MacBook, but no luck. Went through the steps as described. Installed 10.9.4 on a USB disk connected to a MacPro. The MacPro booted from the 10.9 extyernal disk without a problem. Then replaced the boot.efi file in those two locations and tried booting my old MacBook from that external USB disk. Very quickly into the startup process, the no entry traffic sign appeared and the bootup process stalled. I chown’ed the boot.efi files to root, to see if that was the issue, but it made no difference.

    Has anyone encountered this? Would anyone know what the problem is and how to fix it?

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