David Eliott has just released a new version of his modified boot-132 bootloader.
One of the new things it can do is to load kexts from an .img file which contains kexts (or even an mkext) and boot Leo.
That means you can have two mkexts, one folder with kexts on the .img file and the folder with kexts from your installed system
or even two folders with mkexts.
How does it work?
Basically, you create a flat dmg with the kexts in a folder and the bootloader will load them for you. This means quite a lot;
you can boot from a retail Leo DVD and install it, you can update straight from apple, you can reinstall and not have to add
the same kexts to your install every time. The bootloader behaves like the linux kernel: you can use an mboot (a patched syslinux
was used) compatible bootloader which tells to boot-dfe about the .img file (the ramdisk or initrd, as it's known by the linux users)
and boot-dfe is going to use the kexts (or mkext) from it.
What does it do?
This new boot-dfe has been tested with the retail Leopard DVD and it can boot, install and run Leopard without having to build
a modified DVD. This is how it's done: you burn an ISO (which has the bootloader on it) to a CD/DVD, after it gets to the boot
prompt, you press ESC or ENTER and it prompts for a new BOOT DEVICE, you swap the BOOT CD/DVD with the LEO Retail DVD, you press
enter and it shows you the name of the bootable partition from the DVD, you press enter and Leo starts to load.
For the time being, you cannot have this bootloader on an USB stick and have it boot the Retail Leopard DVD. The reason why this
happens is related to the way the BIOS handles DVDs and optical media: there's no BOOT DEVICE associated with an optical drive
which the BIOS has not booted from. Basically, this is like the disk swap trick known to the PlayStation gamers.
You can already put this on an USB stick/CD/DVD and boot a vanilla install (vanilla= no added kext, no replaced kext on the partition).
As usual, this only works for compatible machines(that means you still can't boot a vanilla system on AMD, they need specialised patches).
What are you going to do in the future?
David Eliott said he'd merge some of the things from Chameleon into boot-dfe. Those involved in the development of Chameleon will merge
the support for ramdisks into Chameleon and more effort will go into making the distribution 100% legal.
Work might(read: should, in the very close future) also go into making Chameleon boot the Retail DVDs when loading the bootloader from the HDD.
User guide and link to the ISO
This ISO needs to be modded (add dsmos to the Extensions folder) in order to be able to boot Leo.
Credits for this go to:
David Eliott: for modding boot to allow us to boot from Retail Leopard DVDs;
Kabyl: for modding boot to allow the usage of a separate folder on the disk and merging features from Chameleon to boot-dfe-146;
bumby: for compiling syslinux and figuring out how to build the ISO