OS X 10.9 Developer Preview | Install on a Mac Pro 1,1

UPDATE, NOVEMBER 3, 2014: Looking for help with OS X 10.10 Yosemite? Check out the forum thread listed below :D!

Link: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1740775

UPDATE, JANUARY 9, 2014: Hi there! Looks like there’s a new and better method of installing Mavericks without the need of using Chameleon, it boots natively! I haven’t personally tested it yet, but after reading the thread, it looks promising. Looks like it forwards EFI64 calls over to the EFI32 firmware. Always remember to back up your data before tinkering with the System xD.

Link: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1598176&page=2

UPDATE, NOVEMBER 14, 2013: Sorry about the slow updates, been busy lately. Just a quick update, I’ve gotten all DP releases and the GM release of Mavericks to run flawlessly on my Mac Pro. I haven’t tried the official release yet, but hopefully will before the end of the week. Cheers to a successful install :).



1) A Mac Pro 1,1 (obviously)

2) OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) from the Apple Developer Center (or other shady means).

2) An upgraded graphics card. The stock NVidia card included with the Mac Pro won’t do. You can get by with using the card, but won’t have Quartz Extreme enabled (Everything on screen should seem very slow/laggy as hell) until you swap the card out with a newer and supported one.

3) A spare hard drive to use as a startup disk for Chameleon and the OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) Install. Consider getting a drive with at least 20GB of space (although a 10GB drive will also do).

4) My bundled package (GET IT HERE)

5) Patience



1) Open “Disk Utility”

2) Select the spare hard drive in the sidebar, then proceed to the “Partition” tab.


a) Now click on the drop down box under “Partition Layout” and select “2 Partitions”.

b) Name the first partition “Startup Disk” and resize it to 1GB.

c) Name the second partition “OS X Setup” and use the remainder of disk space for this partition.


NOTE: PROCEED WITH OPTION B IF YOU WANT A RECOVERY OS INSTALLED. What I mean by “Recovery OS” is a second copy of OS X intended for recovery purposes should you happen to get locked out of your main OS.

a) Now click on the drop down box under “Partition Layout” and select “3 Partitions”.

b) Name the first partition “Startup Disk” and resize it to 1GB.

c) Name the second partition “OS X Setup” and resize it to 8GB (You can get away with 5GB, but may end up having to reformat the whole drive if the next release of OS X has a larger setup size).

d) Name the third partition “OS X Recovery” and use the remainder of disk space for this partition.

3) After setting up the partitions click on the “Options” button under “Partition Layout” and select “Master Boot Record”. Click Ok.

4) Now click “Apply” and let the application complete it’s task.

5) If you chose “OPTION A (STANDARD)” move onto “PART 2″. If you chose “OPTION B (ADVANCED)” move onto “step 6”.

6) Go ahead and pop your OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or OS X 10.7 (Lion) install disc into your Mac Pro.

a) Install either OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or OS X 10.7 (Lion) onto your “OS X Recovery” volume. It should be straight forward from here, just install OS X like you would normally.

b) After completing the install boot back into your original OS X install and move onto “PART 2”.

NOTE : USERS WHO CHOSE “OPTION B (ADVANCED)” – After completing this tutorial you should have 3 volumes listed in the Chameleon bootloader. Your “Macintosh HD” volume, your “OS X Setup” volume, and your “OS X Recovery” volume.


1) Now that we have just completed partitioning your spare hard drive, we can now move onto installing Chameleon. Run the “Chameleon 2.2 R2247” installer (included in the package provided to you).

2) Keep clicking continue until you reach a windows asking for an “Install Location”.

3) Select “Startup Disk”, click “Continue”, then “Install”.

4) Next we will need to bless the boot partition (Startup Disk).

In terminal run sudo bless -folder /Volumes/Startup Disk -file /Volumes/Startup Disk/boot -setBoot -legacy

NOTE: MAKE SURE THE COMMAND GOES IN AS ONE LINE. Sometimes copying and pasting puts a carriage return in the middle. Also this command can only be performed while booted from an EFI32 system (so from a pre OS X 10.8 system or installer DVD/USB).

5) Now copy the “Extras” folder (included in the package provided to you) and place it in the root of “Startup Disk”.

a) There are two files in the “Extras” folder that require editing, “smbios.plist” and “org.chameleon.boot.plist”.

b) Add your Mac’s serial number to “smbios.plist” under “<key>SMserial</key>”.

c) Set “<key>default partition</key>” to “<string>0,2</string>” in “org.chameleon.boot.plist” (Disk 0,2 is your OS X Install partition).

6) Move onto “PART 3“.


1) Mount your OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) DMG you had previously downloaded from the Apple Developer Center (or **cough** the piratebay).

2) Right click the “Install OS X 10.9 Developer Preview” icons and click “Show Package Contents”.

3) Navigate to “/Contents/SharedSupport”, then mount “InstallESD.dmg”

4) Next we will need to mount “BaseSystem.dmg”.

In terminal run open /Volumes/OS X Install ESD/BaseSystem.dmg

5) Open up Disk Utility again and click on “BaseSystem.dmg” in the sidebar, then proceed to the “Restore” tab.

6) Make sure “BaseSystem.dmg” is the source image. Drag “OS X Setup” into “Destination”, afterwards hit the “Restore” button at the bottom of the window.

7) Navigate to “/System/Installation” on your “OS X Setup” drive and delete the “Packages” link, then copy the “Packages” folder from “OS X Install ESD” (mounted on your desktop) to this folder.

8) Copy “mach_kernel” and “boot” (included in the package provided to you) to the root of your “OS X Setup” drive.

9) Move onto “PART 4“.


NOTE: Before you proceed any further, I want to warn you that this may totally screw up your Mac. Even if you follow this tutorial to the last word, I may have made a mistake. Backup everything and have a spare Snow Leopard or Lion install at hand. Good Luck! REMEMBER, WE ARE DOING A CLEAN INSTALL! YOU MIGHT GET AWAY WITH AN “UPGRADE” BUT CHANCES ARE SOMETHING WILL FAIL! DON’T FORGET TO BACKUP!

1) Now reboot your Mac Pro and hold down the option key on your keyboard to bring up the list of drives.

2) Select “Startup Disk”, then tap the F8 key repeatedly until you see a list of bootable drives.

3) After choosing “OS X Setup” it should look like a normal OS X install from there.

4) Do a clean install.

a) Open Disk Utility from the Finder Bar.

b) Select the drive you’ll be installing OS X on (e.g. Macintosh HD) from the sidebar and proceed to the “Partition” tab.

c) Now click on the drop down box under “Partition Layout” and select “1 Partition”.

d) Name the partition “Macintosh HD”.

e) Click on the “Options” button under “Partition Layout” and make sure “GUID Partition Scheme” is selected. Click Ok.

5) Complete the OS X Install and move onto “PART 5“.


1) After completing the install, Chameleon will continue to try to boot from your “OS X Setup” drive, so we will have to edit “org.chameleon.boot.plist” to tell Chameleon to boot from your “Macintosh HD” drive.

a) Navigate to your “Startup Disk” drive and open up the “Extras” folder.

b) Open “org.chameleon.boot.plist” and set the value under <key>default partition</key> to your “Macintosh HD” partition. It’ll probably be 1,2 or 2,2 but you can check it on the Chameleon boot list if those two don’t work.

c) Copy “mach_kernel” and “boot” (included in the package provided to you) to the root of your “Macintosh HD” drive.

2) You’re finished! Hopefully everything went down smooth, but if there were any hiccups feel free to leave a comment below!

All credit is due to the incredible Jabbawok, netkas, MacEFIrom, and (some guy who’s name escapes me from the insanelymac forum) – I just put it together xD


Published by


PC gaming enthusiast and professional couch potato. Yeap, that's right. Also known as The Detective, previously known as batmanofzurenarh.

179 thoughts on “OS X 10.9 Developer Preview | Install on a Mac Pro 1,1”

  1. I’ve been waiting to upgrade to 10.9.2 because of the previous post. Anyone who is using this hack upgraded to 10.9.2 without any trouble? I’d love to know if I should wait or go ahead and do it.

      1. I tried to upgrade, and it upgraded and then froze on the apple/spinning wheel screen. I ended up reinstalling from my installer drive and then updating to 10.9.1. When I get more time I may try to update the installer drive to 10.9.2 and see if that works, or I may switch to the other boot.efi solution and see if that works.

      2. sorry to hear that, it worked fine for me. hope you get it sorted. I’d make a clone of your installer drive first, so you have a fail-safe

  2. sorry, i have a problem before i upgrade to 10.9
    my macpro is 1.1 2006
    after upgrade…can not use dual moniter
    one of the mon show black screen and show only VGA at the mac information

    1. Are you using a supported video card (for instance, the Apple ATI 5770)? The stock video card is no longer supported since 10.7 Lion if I recall correctly. Upgrade cards are available from Apple in the online store.

      I reinstalled using the new method (having used the Batman method before), and I have 3 monitors attached to my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 working fine. 2 x Displayport + 1 x DVI-I, on an Apple ATI Radeon 5770.

      If your card is supported, try rebooting while holding down command-option-P-R to reset your PRAM / NVRAM. This might store display preferences.

      If that doesn’t help, maybe post telling us more about your setup? Verify that your cards are seated properly, cables connected solidly, etc…

    2. In addition, if all you’re seeing is the verbose text boot screen, and it never loads 10.9 Mavericks, then the install has not worked correctly. You may need to fix your install or double-check your procedure. I used Oemden’s SFOTT command-line tool to create a bootable USB key for the install and it all went smoothly. (I found that other USB media, like SD cards, were not reliable for this; a proper thumb drive works perfectly.)


  3. Hi just one update, I’ve failed twice to upgrade to 10.9.2 with chameleon metodh, seems that the replace boot.efi files is not enough.. (osx stuck on boot) but now I solve without reinstall:
    I’ve updated to 10.9.2, after that reboot with another disk, change the boot.efi files
    /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi and
    with custom boot.efi from user Tiamo of Macrumors: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?page=2&t=1598176
    thanks a lot for this!, and now don’t use anymore chameleon metodh, you have just to reboot from main partition

    I don’t know if it is better or not than “old” chameleon metodh but works!

  4. I have upgraded to 10.9.3 and then to 10.9.5.

    In both cases, my NVidia Quadro 4500 is only recognized as having 8MB of RAM instead of 512 MB.

    Any ideas?

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