How lion installation works

When u run install app from dmg, in your installed osx, it copies all pkgs and basesystem.dmg to target volume, and blesses it, no actual installation done.

Then, when u boot from target volume, it actualy boots from basesystem.dmg, then starts install.

But basesystem.pkg in just few mbs now, wtf?

It copies parts of mounted basesystem.dmg to a (target) volume.

after installation done, it removes basesystem.dmg and pkgs.

so, here is first reason why chameleon cant handle it, no support for booting from a file (with root fs).


  1. shimon
    February 25th, 2011 | 12:25 pm

    Hello, Windows XP installer 🙂

  2. kroat999
    February 25th, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    Are you working on it

    Or will you start work on relase??

  3. iMacMan
    February 25th, 2011 | 1:04 pm

    Неткас, что с EFI-world или XPC? Не пробовал? FakeSMC главное чтоб грузился…

  4. GLXOZ
    February 25th, 2011 | 1:22 pm

    Если можно говорить, то скажи, как дела с фэйко-строительством для “лохматого кота”)))

  5. February 25th, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    @glxoz его сейчас загрузить бы сначала:)

  6. Klaas
    February 25th, 2011 | 2:49 pm

    I Installed Lion on an Externer Harddrive, and configured it till i was on the Desktop, and could see the Dock 😉 now i cloned it to a DMG, and clone it to a hackintosh, because then you haven’t the problem netkas describes.

    Wish me luck 😉

  7. youminbuluo
    February 25th, 2011 | 3:01 pm

    So is it possible to use pacifist to unarchive all these files?

  8. February 25th, 2011 | 3:44 pm

    I tried a ready installes Lion with CCC on my P5W … after booting a few Kexts … reboot of the maschine, no KP … just reboot …

  9. clubber_77
    February 25th, 2011 | 3:50 pm


  10. schnitzel
    February 25th, 2011 | 5:11 pm

    netkas you can load dmg with rp=file:///BaseSystem.dmg
    Chameleon still needs to be modified to allow booting of kernelcache and proper EFI keys for Lion.

  11. Neptun0
    February 25th, 2011 | 6:32 pm


    hav you install on a Hackintosh or originale Mac ?
    can you write exactly whe hav with CCC copy on your PC (Asus P5W).
    can you boot after this CCC-Action with normal Chameleon Bootloader ?


  12. Menno
    February 25th, 2011 | 8:17 pm

    You need to restore the “Install ESD.dmg” image. This can be archived by opening the contents of “Mac OS X Install”. I have restored this to a usb drive and it’s working fine on my mbp.

  13. dougaa
    February 25th, 2011 | 8:26 pm

    I installed Lion on an iMac, and copied the image of the clean install to my hackintosh. As Klaas said, that avoids dealing with how Lion is initially installed. I still can’t get Chameleon to boot it. I get the same thing as lord_webi. Seems to be booting normally and gets to messages about my CPUs and power management then just reboots. Safe boot makes no difference. For now, it would be great if we could just get a Lion image to boot.

  14. roger_cwb
    February 25th, 2011 | 9:28 pm

    @Menno: where I could find this file?

  15. blade5502
    February 26th, 2011 | 12:00 am

    Have tryed to restore baseimage.dmg to HDD. After loading kexts from /Extra it reboot immedeatly

  16. atleeit
    February 26th, 2011 | 12:29 am

    Klass thats possible yes, but this way would probably work if you clone it then run it in vmware, Hackingtosh you will need some sort of bootloader to get you past KP, anyway I will do some testing.

  17. miqlas
    February 26th, 2011 | 3:04 am


    I downloaded the Preview Build, and i found some Info, maybe it can help:

    When You mount the main dmg (Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Developer Preview.dmg) You can found only an Installer App.

    Right click on that, and select Show Package Contents
    There You need navigate to the Contents/SharedSupport

    Here You can found an InstallESD.dmg and an mpkg file (this is useless). Open the dmg.

    You will get a new window with a new Installer app, and nothing more.

    But wait… The InstallerESD.dmg is 3,6Gb, and this Installer is only 5,6Mb… Maybe…

    Open the latest Volume in Terminal (“cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/”), and type this command: “ls -a”

    Oh, look… This is the real installer image with all the files… (BaseSystem.dmg, Packages, kernel, boot.efi…)

    These are invisible files and dirs, but You can open them in Finder with a simple Terminal command (example: “open Packages”)

    I hope somebody can start brainstorming with these files. (And You can stole the new kexts from here, *MAYBE* some will work in SL too.)

    maybe we can use these files to Install Lion from SnowLeo (Like the Install from Leopard in the early days in the SnowLeo era…)

    The installer in these dmg runnable on SL, but it told, it can’t found the Leo files.. Maybe some hacker can look in it a little bit deeper, i think the Installer try to found the pre-copied files on the root disk, but it can’t found that… Maybe we can replace the path, where the Installer searching for these files…

    I tryed to boot 10.6.6 with the new Lion kernel (without install, i only replaced the kernel), but i got only a nice reboot.

    I think we can’t boot the Lion kernel without proper bootloader support. Maybe somebody can try to restore the InstallESD.dmg to an USB drive and replace the kernel to the original 10.6.6 kernel… It might work.

  18. atleeit
    February 26th, 2011 | 4:43 am


    Ati Mobility 5650 works using external monitor using 10.7 kexts. Just need to get lappy screen working, Got QE/CI working.

  19. the master
    February 26th, 2011 | 7:41 am

    when will the driver for mobility radeon come? i heard the new MBP is loaded with mobility radeon

  20. Вадим
    February 26th, 2011 | 11:42 am

    Неткас у всех хакинтошников уже терпенье лопнуло ждать пока ты льва уломаешь на загрузку. Мы ждем!!!

  21. DM
    February 26th, 2011 | 5:31 pm

    Не нравиться!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Бери сам и ломай!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. eshi
    February 26th, 2011 | 6:10 pm

    @Вадим – не торопите человека – он многое сделал для мира Хакинтоша, вы ждете! ему думаешь есть дело??

  23. iDon't
    February 26th, 2011 | 6:21 pm

    Каким же загрузчиком грузится этот северный олень?

  24. Spanky
    February 26th, 2011 | 7:01 pm

    I doubt support will ever be added for 5xxx series ATI mobility cards. Simply because Apple never released any 5xxx series based laptops. The problem isn’t in getting the GPU accelerated but in getting the laptop display connector working – it uses an internal signalling format which the desktop cards (and so desktop drivers) don’t support. I expect 6xxx cards – both mobility and desktop – will soon be working on hackintoshes though. If you’ve got an non 6xxx based laptop then you’d be better off selling it and getting something else alas.

  25. atleeit
    February 26th, 2011 | 11:42 pm

    @Spanky, They have added support for moiblity GPU’s. I said i got my ATI Mobility 5650m 1GB card working QE/CI and have Xbenched it. The support is in 10.7 kexts. I will have to work out a DSDT fix to get internal display working.

  26. bg9k
    February 27th, 2011 | 4:41 am

    You can “convert” this to the old-style installer by restoring BaseSystem.dmg to a hard drive and putting the installation packages into /System/Installation/Packages/; put kernelcache in /, boot.efi, ia.log, index.sproduct, MacOSXInstaller.choiceChanges and OSInstallAttr.plist are not needed.

    Then put in /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and edit it like so:

    Kernel Cache
    Kernel Flags

    For good measure I used setinfo to set the modification dates of the files back to what they were originally but you probably don’t have to do this.

  27. deetox
    February 27th, 2011 | 12:04 pm

    @bg9k : Thank you ! My installation is ready to work.

    I am trying to boot using chameleon. Now my hackintosh reboot always after “starting darwin x86_64…

    I will tell you more soon.

    (sorry : I am french so my english is… not very good ;))

  28. February 27th, 2011 | 1:01 pm


    How can I fix this ? (Mac OS X Lion 10.7)

  29. PL
    February 27th, 2011 | 5:24 pm


    After doing what you said, what do I do next? Can I just boot from Chameleon?

  30. Menno
    February 27th, 2011 | 5:32 pm


    Open the package contents (.app) it’s somewhere under resources. Basically It’s repacked for app store.

  31. Hush
    February 27th, 2011 | 11:00 pm

    Замучался ждать! Неткас пошевели жопой!


  32. focher
    February 28th, 2011 | 12:54 am

    Followed bg9k’s instructions, but just get a black screen with reboot when Chameleon starts booting that volume.

  33. SomeDude
    February 28th, 2011 | 1:37 am

    Installed 10.7.0 onto an external drive using my iMac, then cloned to an internal, installed Chameleon and added my Extras folder. Boots up and rebuilds the extentions.kext, carried on to Chameleon boot and GFX initiation, then when it tries to load the Kernel, instant reboot. Currently trying out the new ATI drivers in 10.6.6.

  34. rene
    February 28th, 2011 | 8:57 am

    Hello, some suggestions…
    After trying in VirtualBox.. the installation stopped with:
    “not supported on this platform”
    so after looking at this.. there is a platformsupport.plist in “Mac OS X Install ESD/System/Library/CoreServices” which contains some Mainboard IDs from Apple Computer.
    Should one of these given in smbios.plist?
    (XPC have to input one of these to start, but no luck here.)

    maybe this can help someone.

  35. March 29th, 2011 | 4:36 am

    […] -netkas’ blog […]

  36. N3
    July 25th, 2011 | 6:28 pm

    Looking at the installation of GM on vmware, the nvram file seems to be critical for entering different “mode” of BaseSystem.dmg. When installing from InstallESD, at the end of copying pkgs, the nvram file is modified so that Lion boots into the second phase of installation. The same BaseSystem.dmg is also saved in Recovery HD and I believe it is the nvram that tells the Mac to boot into Recovery mode.
    Is there any chance to get chameleon to r/w a fakeNVRAM?

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