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jeonatl3 jeonatl3 is offline
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Default Mac OS X 10.5.6 working on 8Gb SSD - finally! - 08-20-2009, 09:03 AM


I just thought I'd come and post my experience of getting Mac OS X 10.5.6 working on my 8Gb SSD mini 9. It was hard work, but it's all going wonderfully and I'm amazed at just how well it works - almost like a real mac!

I thought, when I bought the thing - "don't try and install OS X... just be happy with Windows XP." I kept telling myself that, but my itchy fingers and the reports of excellent experiences on this forum were overpowering so I grabbed my spare 10.5.6 disk to give it a go.

Not having a (working!) Mac immediately to hand was my first problem... I managed to make the boot USB stick fine on a spare 128Mb drive, but ran into a problem with Transmac trying to copy the image of the install DVD to an 8Gb Sandisk stick - the stick was showing as about 100Mb too small. Damn. I tried removing the developer tools from the image but it didn't work. So I had to copy the contents of a USB external hard drive somewhere and use that.

Managed to boot into the installer, format the SSD, but it still came out slightly too small, and it took me a while to figure out why I couldn't remove any of the Essential system components. Not having a Mac to hand, creating a customised copy of the OSInstall.mpkg file was difficult, but eventually I figured out that if I issued the first xar command (which extracted the Resources/ and Distribution stuff) at the Installer's command line, plug the USB hard drive back into a Windows computer and use Transmac to edit the Distribution file, copy it back(!) and then use the Installer's terminal to issue the second xar command (to presumably re-compile the OSInstall.mpkg file) and move it into the right place, after another reboot, it worked. Phew.

Removed a load of essential stuff that a website said it was safe to (there were no text labels!), the installation went ahead and I was thrilled to see the "Success" message at the end. The end of the process is near, I thought!

But alas no, when I booted up, all I got was a grey screen with a mouse cursor. I searched these forums and it transpired I might have removed too many essential components.

Back to do a re-install then! This time, using file sizes as a guide, I just removed the 457Mb voices and the 120-odd dictionary components, and gave it another go.

Yay! It booted and I got to a desktop fairly quickly! Installed DellEFI, rebooted and everything was just working. AirPort, screen resolution, sound, LAN, card reader, and it all looked great!

The only problem was sleep - it didn't wake from sleep. I had to disable Bluetooth to get sleep to work, but I don't use BT much and I felt sleep was more useful.

So I'm up and running, and after installing bits like Firefox, Skype, VLC and what not I'm left with a sliver over 1Gb free on the SSD. I used Monolingual to remove language files and strip the PPC stuff out of the universal binaries, but it didn't free up much.

If anyone knows how to slim it any further please let me know!

I'm pleased that I went ahead and did it though - it's miles better than Windows XP and you get that wonderful sense of satisfaction at seeing a job well done Thanks for all the useful advice in these forums, without which, I would probably be stuck waaaaaay back!

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SmurfLappy SmurfLappy is offline
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Default 08-20-2009, 01:12 PM

Check this link out, bit old, but still applies:

Five ways to slim down your Mac OS X install - Ars Technica

I'm assuming you didn't install printer drivers, removed as much as you can, so the only thing that might be useful from that link is removing the Alex voice (almost 700 mb I believe) in
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jeonatl3 jeonatl3 is offline
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Default 08-20-2009, 03:04 PM

Thanks that was really useful, I had already deleted Alex but have deleted some stuff like desktop wallpapers (100Mb!!!), screensavers and what not. It's amazing how much these little things add up. Also binned default Apps that I never use, like iChat (120Mb!).

It's been a while since I've used a Mac, I forgot everything is so large because of the whole universal binary thing. Skype was over 55Mb, on the PC it's just 20Mb as an example. I understand you can strip out the PPC bits and once I have the system the way I want it, I will do that.

But for now, got it up to 1.54Gb free which I am happy with. Got a 16Gb card in the SD slot to provide a bit of disk space cover.

The only irritation with this system is that Spotify doesn't work. (It's a music streaming service for those unaware). It uses a disk cache to speed things up and you can't move it off the system drive. I tried to be smart and symlink the folder to the Storage Card instead but it objected to that. But apart from that, all workinig swimmingly!
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