2006/2007 Mac Pro (1,1/2,1) and OS X El Capitan

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Mr. Zarniwoop, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Mr. Zarniwoop, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015

    Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #1
    The race is on.

    Who's the first to get OS X version 10.11 El Capitan booting perfectly on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro (1,1/2,1)?

    UPDATE: Only one day later, 666sheep did it first!

    This first post has now been updated with recent summarized information.


    Simply looking to download the Piker-Alpha macosxbootloader for El Capitan? Links:
    ________________________________________________________________

    If you have OS X El Capitan up and running on your 2006/2007 Mac Pro with Pike's boot loader, you should consider disabling "Install OS X updates" and "Install system data files and security updates" in System Preferences > App Store so that OS X doesn't automatically install any future updates that may overwrite Pike's boot.efi.
    ________________________________________________________________

    If you find Pike's boot loader valuable in keeping your 2006/2007 Mac up-to-date, please consider simply thanking him via a comment on his blog, as he's done a lot of work without asking for anything in return or benefiting from this project. Thanks Pike!


    How can these Macs run El Capitan?

    Apple does not support OS X El Capitan on the original 2006/2007 Mac Pro and 2006 Xserve. These 64-bit Mac Pros and Xserves have EFI32 firmware and can't natively boot OS X El Capitan "out-of-the-box", but are easily capable of running it with a different boot loader. Once a new boot loader is used to launch the native 64-bit El Capitan kernel, OS X 10.11 boots and works normally exactly as it does on a 2008 Mac Pro or newer with EFI64 firmware.


    Background:

    OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was the first OS X version with optional support for a 64-bit kernel, allowing booting either with a 32-bit or 64-bit kernel. However, Apple did not support booting the 64-bit kernel in Macs that shipped with EFI32 firmware, even if they had 64-bit processors capable of running the 64-bit kernel. When Apple dropped the 32-bit kernel entirely from OS X, starting with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, EFI32 Macs no longer had an Apple-supported mechanism to boot newer OS X versions.

    The last version of OS X officially supported by Apple on the original 2006 Mac Pro MA356LL/A (MacPro1,1), 2007 Mac Pro (8-core) MA1186/A (MacPro2,1) and Xserve (Late 2006) MA409LL/A (Xserve1,1) models was OS X 10.7 Lion, and then only when booted with a 32-bit kernel due to their EFI32 firmware. However, these Macs were the most powerful and upgradable EFI32 models and have a 64-bit architecture, so the user community has been keeping them running with 64-bit kernels and newer OS X releases using a variety of methods.


    The Piker-Alpha bootloader can be used to boot OS X 10.11 El Capitan on unsupported Mac Pro models:

    This approach, using a fork of tiamo’s bootloader, uses a replacement native EFI32 boot.efi boot loader that thunks EFI64 calls from the 64-bit OS X kernel to the EFI32 firmware.

    Additional information about Pike's boot.efi is available at Pike's blog, Universum. There are two variations available, one with a legacy light grey background/dark grey Apple logo boot screen boot.efi that blends with the native EFI32 pre-boot screen (2008-2012 Mac Pro-style), and a new black background/white Apple logo boot screen boot.efi (2013 Mac Pro-style).

    The simplest method to boot El Capitan on these Macs is the "pikify" createpikeinstallmedia script to create a pre-patched El Capitan installer with the El Capitan branch of the Piker-Alpha bootloader. This directly allows an El Capitan installer to run to be run to completion on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro.

    Another alternative install on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro is to use a second El Capitan-supported Mac and install El Capitan to the 2006/2007 Mac Pro's drive. This may be done either by attaching the 2006/2007 Mac Pro's drive as an external drive by placing the 2006/2007 Mac Pro in target disk mode or otherwise mounting the 2006/2007 Mac Pro's drive to an El Capitan-supported Mac.

    This alternative approach still requires installation of the Piker-Alpha bootloader before it can be successfully booted on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro. After installation, copy Pike's EFI32 boot.efi to that drive's /usr/standalone/i386 and /System/Library/CoreServices/ directories overwriting the stock Apple EFI64 boot.efi. That drive should now be bootable on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro, although sometimes it still may need to be blessed in the 2006/2007 Mac Pro.

    Disabling System Integrity Protection (SIP) may be required to replace the boot.efi in-place.

    Alternatively, there's also an approach in the boot.efi development thread to exclude these files from SIP, but it has shown mixed results.

    While this method is preferred because it's a native EFI boot, there is real risk that installing future El Capitan updates could overwrite Pike's EFI32 boot.efi if Apple were to update the stock EFI64 boot.efi. This has already happened in the few previous OS X El Capitan updates. When this happens, the system would no longer be natively bootable on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro until it had Apple's stock boot.efi re-replaced with Pike's boot.efi again. A simple approach to help protect against this is CaptainPikeFix, a launch daemon that re-copies the EFI32 boot.efi to proper locations at shutdown, but this approach requires disabling SIP.


    Support for Handoff in El Capitan to allow AirDrop, Continuity and Instant Hotspot with iOS devices:

    The original Airport Extreme (802.11a/b/g/draft-n Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR options from Apple don't support Handoff. Several vendors, including MacVidCards, sell new add-on hardware kits to retrofit older Mac Pros with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE that work in 2006/2007 Mac Pros to allow Handoff. There have been reports of needing to sign out of iCloud and then sign in again after replacing WiFi and Bluetooth hardware to enable Handoff.

    There has been a report of an OEM Bluetooth 2.0+EDR card causing a conflict with USB devices. If you experience issues with the built-in USB ports under El Capitan, you may also consider removing or upgrading your Bluetooth card.

    In El Capitan, both Phone Calling and SMS from OS X with an iPhone work with a 2006/2007 Mac Pro and are not dependent on OS X Handoff support.


    Unsupported original legacy graphics cards vs. 64-bit-kernel-supported graphics cards vs. Metal-supported graphics cards:

    El Capitan does not include 64-bit kernel extension device drivers for the original NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT, ATI Radeon X1900 XT, and NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 PCIe graphics cards that shipped with these Mac Pros, nor the ATI Radeon X1300 that shipped with the Xserve (Late 2006), so they do not work properly in El Capitan. These graphics cards display issues such as a very sluggish GUI with no QE/CI support, no framebuffer support (for DVD Player, Geekbench and other programs), graphics artifacts, mouse tearing, inability to change resolutions, bad refresh rates, and other system instabilities. If you need normal graphics support in El Capitan, you will need a newer PCIe graphics card, with popular options being the Apple ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro, SAPPHIRE HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 MAC Edition, or many different options of stock and Mac-"flashed" PC cards.

    Many, but not all, modern stock non-flashed PC graphics cards with AMD (for OpenCL/OpenGL support) or Nvidia chipsets (for CUDA/OpenCL/OpenGL support) work "plug and play" with El Capitan in 2006/2007 Mac Pros, although the display will remain off until after the OS X Desktop initializes. This means you won't see anything during the boot process.

    Compatible properly-Mac-flashed PC cards offer two benefits over stock non-flashed PC cards: allowing a normal boot screen just like a Mac-specific graphics card, and better compatibility in OS X with the card's capabilities/performance/ports. Most, but not all, Mac-flashed ATI/AMD cards have EBC firmware that work in all PCIe-based 2006-2012 Mac Pro models with either EFI32 or EFI64. All newer Mac-flashed Nvidia cards have EFI64 firmware and will act like non-flashed PC cards with no boot screens in EFI32-based 2006/2007 Mac Pros, except for older Mac-flashed Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT/9800 GT/GT 120 cards with EFI32 firmware.

    Lastly, El Capitan has added a new graphics API called Metal that allows for much faster access to graphics card hardware. Note that only the most recent AMD (HD 7xxx "Tahiti" or newer) or Nvidia chipset (GeForce 6xx "Kepler" or newer) graphics cards fully and properly support Metal in a 2006/2007 Mac Pro.
    Note also that the 2006/2007 Mac Pro has PCIe 1.1 expansion slots, with the bottom double-wide slot capable of being configured to use a maximum 2.5 GT/s link speed when configured as a x16 lane graphics slot. El Capitan's Expansion Slot Utility, located in /System/Library/Core Services, supports the 2006-2007 Mac Pro to configure the number of lanes available in each slot. PCIe 2.0/3.0 cards that can run at 5.0 GT/s link speed in 2008-2012 Mac Pros can work in 2006/2007 Mac Pros, but only with a PCIe 1.1 maximum 2.5 GT/s link speed.

    None of these options are officially supported in these Mac Pros by AMD, Apple, or Nvidia, but can work with the Piker-Alpha boot loader.


    iMessage/FaceTime note:

    Regardless of approach used, some users cannot initially login to iMessage or FaceTime using their Apple ID from their Mac Pro after installing El Capitan as a security precaution. When trying to login, they receive an iMessage Registration validation code. The solution is to contact Apple support, provide the Mac Pro's serial number, explain that El Capitan was installed and that iMessage isn't working and provide the validation code. Apple then unblocks the Mac Pro, allowing iMessage and FaceTime login immediately and in the future without other issues.
     
  2. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #2
    Wondering if it will run at all on Macs with flashed cards (Metal API)

    Hopefully Nvidia will not foresake us.
     
  3. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #3
    Have same thinks about nvidia cards.

    But this thing can't get out of my head, OS X 10.11 Capitan Obvious

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #4
    Metal page just had first updates for OS X, no information yet though. My bet is that at the very least, Open CL 1.2-compatible GPUs will work (AMD 5770/5780/7950/R9 280/7970/R9 280X, NVDIA 640+), possibly a bit more.
     
  5. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #5
    Developer Beta System Requirements The OS X v10.11 Developer Beta supports the following Macs: • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer) • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer) • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer) • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer) • Xserve (Early 2009)
     
  6. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #6
    Basically all Yosemite GPUs are likely to work then...
     
  7. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #7
    Well, requirement for dx12 are radeon 7xxx+ or geforce gtx 4xx+.

    Metal reqs will be same or more, not less.
     
  8. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
  9. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #9
    Nice... My ancient MBP gets yet another lease on life. I'd expect Nvidia to introduce Metal support to the web drivers, even if Apple does nothing.
     
  10. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #11
    From "Metal supported GPU" on netkas.org:
    If correct, this information coupled with the DB1 system requirements implies that certain older GPUs (like ATI 5770) work in El Capitan but without support for Metal.
     
  11. forcesteeler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #12
    Well i have a Mac Pro 1.1 with 10.9. Do you have to upgrade to 10.10? or can i upgrade to 11.0?
     
  12. NOTNlCE, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

    NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #13
    I don't suppose the current Yose boot.efi works. Probably a stupid question, but I have all morning to play around (once this stuff downloads.) I'll give it a shot.

    EDIT:

    There does not appear to be a "CreateInstallMedia" script in the beta app in the DMG, possibly just in the app.

    EDIT2:

    If you have the App bundle, the createinstallmedia command works as usual. If you downloaded the DMG from the Developer Portal, you can use Disk Utility to restore it to a USB.

    PS: I like the new beachball. :)

    EDIT3:

    From TMRJIJ:
     
  13. 666sheep, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #14
    What the prize was? ;) :p :D

    Installed on a 5,1 first, I was too lazy to build an installer.
    Removing boot.efi requires adding rootless=0 to com.apple.Boot.plist.
    Or just remove it under another OS.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
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    Location:
    DMV Area
    #15
    Excellent! Just as I was about to do it. I'll grab a spare drive and try it myself.
     
  15. PeterHolbrook, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

    PeterHolbrook macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #16
    Congratulations, and thanks for the good news. I take it for granted that you substituted Pike's boot.efi for the original one. Or did you use any of the boot.efi files created by Andy Vandijck for Yosemite?
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
  17. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #18
    Great news ! Going to make Tahiti cards the "go to" choice.
     
  18. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    Is Metal working with the 5870? Assuming it's ready to use in the dev preview.
     
  19. PeterHolbrook macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #20
    From what I've read, my Apple-purchased ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB might not be Metal-compatible under El Capitan. Which other Startup Manager-compatible card do you recommend for a Mac Pro 1,1? Any caveats I should be aware of?
     
  20. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #21
    Netkas posted above that at present, only 7000+ series Radeon cards have Metal support. That's not to say it's not possible or doable, but at the moment, it appears to be unsupported.
     
  21. RX2904 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    #22
    I have the same card installed. Let me know if it works. Would hate to have to buy another card. I bought that one just last year to upgrade my 2,1 to Mavericks/Yosemite. :)
     
  22. RX2904 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    #23
  23. PeterHolbrook macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #24
    I installed the beta preview of El Capitan yesterday, but only as a VMware Fusion virtual machine. I don't think I'll be physically installing El Capitan until it's released in the autumn.

    If the ATI 5770 card isn't Metal-compatible, we might be running short of options, as we'll need a 32-bit EFI card (in case we want it to display the Startup Manager), and that condition might be mutually exclusive with the advanced Metal capabilities, and if it isn't fully exclusive yet, it will be increasingly so.
     
  24. RX2904 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    #25
    Damn :(

    But does that mean that El Capitan won't run at all on a 5770 or will it run fine unless you wanna do stuff that requires Metal?
     

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