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Boot MacOS X86 from USB Pendrive

Have you ever dreamed about carrying in your pocket,
your favorite OSx86 install. And boot it everywhere.
When dreams come true…

Before you start

You will need the following stuff:

  • USB pendrive (min. 2 GB required)
  • JaS Mac OS X 10.4.x or 10.4.7 Retail DVD
  • Pacifist software (www.charlessoft.com)

Format the pendrive

Plugin your USB pendrive and open Disk Utility (Applications->Utilities).

Select your pendrive device in the left menu, and click the partition tab.
Enter a nice name for your device like osx86.

Hit Options… button, and choose Master Boot Record.
From the drop-down, choose 1 partition as the volume scheme.

Be sure the filesystem is Mac OS Extended (Journaled),
Hit the Partition button.

Next, we need to enable Owners, open a Terminal and type:

sudo /usr/sbin/vsdbutil -a /Volumes/osx86

Install OSx86

Mount the JaS 10.4.x DVD or the Retail 10.4.7 DVD (I used retail).
Browse to the directory System/Installation/Packages on the DVD.
Open OSInstall.mpkg with pacifist (right-click->Open With Pacifist).

Expand Contents of EssentialSystemSoftware, then expand Contents of

Select Contents of BaseSystem.pkg and Contents of Essentials.pkg and
right-click and choose Install to Other disk…
Choose your pendrive (osx86) and hit the install button. Now be patient :-)

Now depending on what DVD you used, you will need to download the
right update from apple.com. I downloaded the 10.4.8 Intel update since I used
10.4.7 retail DVD.

Open MacOSXUpd10.4.8Intel.pkg with Pacifist and install to Other disk…

N.B.: Before installing the update, you may need to free some space on the pendrive.
Just delete the asiatic font files in /System/Library/Fonts (= 100 MB bonus).

Add missing files

Since we installed with Pacifist, some of the files are missing. We need to copy them.
Get them from a full 10.4.8 working install. Those files are:

/Applications/Address Book.app

Copy OSx86 specific files

You need to replace the following files:

/mach_kernel by semthex SSE3 or SSE2 kernel



Add this for PS2 keyboard/mouse:


Put all your custom kext you use on your working install.

Do not forget to chmod -R 755 and chown -R root:wheel all files you copy.

Make the pendrive bootable

Be sure that you have bless version 24.0 from 10.4.4.
Any other version of bless won’t work.
Run bless -version in Terminal to check version.

sudo bless
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