User:Outragedtony/Creating Chameleon Boot Media

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Note: Chameleon 2 has not been finally released, and this document is not part of the official Chameleon Documentation. Information is still incomplete, subject to change and written for current RC4. To comment and help improving this guide, please use only this post.

This guide explains how to create CD's and USB drives booting Chameleon 2 with different operating systems. Basic understanding about how Chameleon works is expected. Before creating the boot media, collect the configuration files, kext's and other customizations you will need and organize these files as Chameleon expects them. In short, you should have one Chameleon root folder containing the stage2 bootloader file and the Extra/... folder with all the other stuff inside. Download Chameleon 2 from here.

Bootable CD

The Chameleon Boot CD allows you to install Mac OS X from a retail DVD. After Chameleon is booted, switch the CD with the retail OS X DVD and press F5 to rescan the optical drive. Make sure to have Chameleon's "cdboot" stage2 in Chameleon's root folder (instead of "boot" which is used for HD-installation), and set "Rescan" and "Instant Menu" to yes in The CD can also boot operating systems on the hard drive, essential to get access if you somehow screwed up your installation.

Mac OS X

1. Open and create the preboot image (in this example, Chameleon's root folder is ~/Desktop/newiso/):

# hdiutil create -size 15m -fs HFS+ -volname Preboot -layout MBRSPUD -attach ~/Desktop/newiso/Extra/Preboot.dmg

2. Create a bootable iso:

# hdiutil makehybrid -o ~/Desktop/Chameleon.iso ~/Desktop/newiso/ -iso -hfs -eltorito-boot ~/Desktop/newiso/cdboot -no-emul-boot -hfs-volume-name "BootCD"

3. Burn Chameleon.iso


1. Get the open-source burning tool InfraRecorder

2. Select Data CD and add the Chameleon files (cdboot & Extra folder)

3. Go to File -> Project Properties -> Boot

4. Add Chameleon's "cdboot" stage2 and set Emulation Type to "None"

5. Burn the CD


1. Use mkisofs to create a bootable iso. Run the following command from the level containing Chameleon's root folder (newiso):

# mkisofs -R -b cdboot -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o chameleon.iso newiso

2. Burn chameleon.iso

Bootable USB Drives

Chameleon USB keys can not boot the retail OS X DVD, but they come in handy as rescue tool to boot into a borked installation. Similarly, if you want to play safe, use them to test new kexts and other customizations for compatibility before applying them to your main chameleon installation. In this case, the stage2 loaders for HD's must be present ("boot" instead of "cdboot") in the Chameleon root directory.


Warning: dd does not go well with typos. Only use it when you know what it does, and double-check your commands. Do not use dd when intoxicated.


Edit .plist files with Windows


USB key as kext testing ground


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