iATKOS 5i install on Dell E510/5150 (OSx86 10.5.5 Leopard)

Hardware included with my Dell E5150 (I've heard this is compatible with 5150):

To avoid complications with my existing WinXP, I installed this on a separate PATA disk and physically removed the SATA disks where my WinXP resides for safety
Steps to installl:
  1. Torrent and burn the iATKOS 5i ISO onto a DVD and boot it (use -v at the boot prompt to see what's going on during boot, it takes a while looking for all the combinations of IO drivers)
  2. Continue past the Welcome screen.
  3. The next screen should be a set of Terms that you agree to. Read this carefully because it has important installation instructions as well. These instructions outline the best case scenario where you select options on the "Customize" screen, install and reboot to your shiny new OSx. This ideal scenario is rarely the case, you instead go through several iterations of a) booting from the DVD, b) wiping your target drive/partition, c) selecting/deselecting options on the "Customize" screen, d) installing slightly different permutations of the OS on your clean drive/partition and e) attempting/failing to boot. Each permutation of the OS in these cycles are really different combination of kexts (kernel extensions or modules in linux-speak). You iterate these steps until you get lucky and your installed OS finally boots (or you give just up). Note that step 4 below is extremely important, you must use the Disk Utility (see the Utilities menu on the installer screen) EACH TIME to wipe the drive/partition (or at least rebuild the partition table). Hopefully this guide will save you a few hours of these iterations (however, **see notes below for a way to cheat this cycle**) Also, note that YMMV on other distributions such as Kalyway. In any case, with the Dell E510, I don't think you'll end up with a system compliant with their specs for an "Upgradable System" because too much TLC was required for this temperamental system.
  4. Run Disk Utility (from the Utilities menu) and erase the target partition. I used a clean drive and made a single partition out of the entire whopping 20Gb IDE drive I had lying around. I used the MBR partition table layout but any should work.
  5. Select your target partition from the screen and click next.
  6. Click Customize
  7. This is where things get messy, I got so frustrated by the time I got my Dell to boot from my selections, I forgot exactly what I did here but I think it's the following sequence (see notes at the bottom as well):
    1. PC EFI bootloader (though any should work)
    2. dsmos decrypter (AppleDecrypt should work too)
    3. SMBIOS Enablers: SMBIOS-EFI but see notes below
    4. SMBIOS' for X86: AppleSMBIOS netkas but see notes below
    5. Custom kernel ToH (kernel VOODOO should work but stock kernel does not)
    6. ACPI: I selected all but see notes below
    7. Disabler
    8. Drivers ATI: Select all
    9. System SATA/IDE: Intel SATA
    10. System NTFS-3G (if you want to share with Windows)
    11. Network: Intel Pro/100 VE
  8. Install (takes 20-30 min) ...
  9. On reboot after the install, I had to hit F12 on the boot screen to select 'boot from hard disk' - wouldn't follow the boot sequence as normal for some reason.
  10. Assuming everything went well, OSx will boot up and ask you to register with Apple, etc. If not, try to get the boot prompt on startup and enter the following options: cpus=1 -v -f  Getting the OS to boot was half the battle, the onboard ethernet and sound didn't work and video/graphic capabilities are limited.
  11. Network: first thing first, you need Internet. You have to enter your device ID, vendor ID into the system configuration file as described here: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=25477
  12. Then I installed OS86 Tools from: http://pcwizcomputer.com/osx86tools/ and had it perform its updates and install them but I'm really not sure if this was necessary. The package does have some nice utilities so may be worth a look. I believe it (re)-installed:
  13. Next is making the audio is work. I followed this link to the letter http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=43643&mode=linear especially check Post #11. I used AppleHDA Patcher v1.20 - simply download the codec (see link below) and drop it on the icon of the Patcher application. Next download and install SigmaTelAudioDriver.kext.zip and modify Info.plist just as it says, then refresh Extensions.mkext and reboot. I used 0x83847680 for vendor/device, which I got from the codec file.
  14. Last is improving the video - still not perfect, there is some mouse-tearing/turds, etc. But at least Callisto allowed me to adjust the resolution. I installed Callisto, following the instructions http://omni.110mb.com/callisto/ and used 5B60 for the device ID. I edited com.apple.Boot.plist as it suggested with a default resolution of 1280x1024x32 and also edited .../Extensions/ATIRadeonGA.plugin/Contents/Info.plist with CallistoFB as suggested in the FAQ. Next I used the Koverg patch here http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10415 although I still can't see that it helped any and might have made things more unstable. YES, both of these mods were designed for 10.4.x OSx but are working for my 10.5.5. I may revert the Koverg patches to see if stability improves.

So if you're not completely confused by now, I'll share some other steps I took during the intial install to actually get the OS to boot from hard disk. I figured there was a better way to manipulate the permutations of kexts rather than having to go through the entire iteration of complete OS uninstall/install as described above. If linux can do this so should this BSD variant. Sure enough there are some kext* utilities, in particular get a terminal open when booting from the DVD installer, and run the kextstat command. I figured if the installer could boot OK there must be a way to find out which kexts it was running to make it work. I wasn't able to get version info of the kext's but it may help. Second, I remounted the previous hd install partition read/write and removed all kexts from /Extra/Extensions leaving only Disabler and dsmos (also removing /Extra/Extensions.mkext). This effectively prevents these kext's from loading into the kernel. There were some ACPI and SMBIOS kexts there and I had a notion that they were conflicting with the stock ACPI kexts - sure enough that was enough to get the OS to boot.

The blurb that follows may offend many so let me start off by saying that I'm primarily a Linux user, most everything I do professionally is via command-line on my Linux laptop (I'm a coder). The install is stable for the most part but I'm not sure I would ever trust it for any serious work. Some boots go right into a kernel panic, other times my sound goes haywire and the system freezes. My motivation in the first place was to evaluate Logic Pro music software (I currently use Cubase), which will only run on a Mac and I'm not about to spring for a Mac just for this experiment (BTW - isn't that just the kind of monopolistic nature that we all hated Microsoft for?). Well, let's assume I can't live without Logic Pro and I pay the Man for a real Mac. First of all, OSX will NOT replace my Linux, for these functions OSx's UNIX core will work but simply does not have the plethora of dev tools out of the box like Linux (not to mention, I can't install Oracle RDBMS on it). So how does it stack up to my WinXP? Better performance is apparent from the non-bloat approach. But overall, when I do use Windows I use it for convenience, plug-and-play and apps, for these my OSx will not replace my Windows. For example, there is no readily apparent way to disable and unplug my Tascam USB interface. I searched around the system and googled and the only thing I got was move the mount into the Trash - no help there as this is not a class of USB devices that you'll see mounted anywhere. Yes I can dig into the guts better than Windows and could probably kextunload but again these are the things I use Windows vs Linux for. Other annoyances include right clicking a file and dragging - being able to choose if you want to move or copy and, well... right-clicking in general. I still see some Mac die-hards with a one-button mouse (give it up already). I see great appeal of Mac for simplicity sake and plug-and-play, but I'm the kind of person that tweaks this and that and I can do that much more readily and intuitively in Windows. If I really need to get into the guts of the OS or use power commands, cygwin does the job. Lastly, Mac hardware is slick and sexy and some of the best out there, no doubt (I don't go anywhere without my iPod) but take the OS out of a Mac (Porche) and stick it in a plain-ole Dell (Toyota) as done here and it becomes quite... eh, OK. Part of Mac's marketing genius is making sure you only experience MacOS in a Porche. Anyway, I'm really hoping the Cubase folks get their shit back together with Cubase 5, stay tuned...

References & Resources
The following were helpful during the google research

Drivers and Sigmatel codec download here: