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How to Install Chameleon Boot Loader v2

How to Install Chameleon Boot Loader v2

// July 21st, 2011 // Posted in Hackintosh/Osx86, OS X // Tagged as , ,


ChameleonLovely Chameleon

Chameleon is THE boot loader when it comes to Hackintosh. What’s really nice about it is that it supports loading custom kexts for OS X and supports for custom theme (it’s a boot loader with nice icons). It can also boot Linux, BSD and Windows partition.

Edit: This article was written when Chameleon was at 2.0 RC4. Since 2012 Chameleon 2.1 was out and uses pkg installer. These steps are valid for old Chameleon 2.0 only.


tar -zxvf Chameleon-2.0-RC4-r684-bin.tar.gz1. tar -zxvf

Download the latest Chameleon 2.0-RC4 Boot Loader from the website and save it to your Desktop. Take a look at the “Latest Release” column and look for the file that says “bin.tar.gz” instead of “src.tar.gz”. Once it’s done extract the file. If you can’t extract the file by double-clicking it then go to your Terminal app and extract it using command-line. You can find the Terminal app in the Applications – Utility then “Terminal”. Take a look at Image 1 to give you more idea.

pietra@unix$ cd Desktop
pietra@unix$ tar -zxvf ./Chameleon-2.0-RC4-r684-bin.tar.gz

In this example I’m using Chameleon 2.0 RC4. Remember that the Terminal in OS X is very similar with Console in Linux that the “tab” key will do the auto-complete. In fact they both are using Bash as the main shell. The coming steps require root privilege. To elevate your privilege from the Terminal type:

pietra@unix$ sudo -s

type in the password. We need to find out where to copy the Chameleon from (the source) and where to copy it into (the destination). We’re going to use the diskutil to get the destination partition and the destination disk number. From your the Terminal type:

pietra@unix$ diskutil list
diskutil list2. diskutil list

in this example my Snow Leopard is installed on disk0 partition number 2, or in BSD term it’s disk0s2 (disk 0 slice 2). You can tell from the diskutil it says that the partition type is “Apple_HFS” and the partition label is “Snow”. This is where I need to install the Chameleon into (destination). Image 2 shows the partition list in my machine.


Go to the “i386″ folder inside your extracted Chameleon folder. The full path should be “/Users/USERNAME/Desktop/Chameleon-VERSION-bin/i386″. In my case it’s “/Users/pietra/Desktop/Chameleon-2.0-RC4-r684-bin/i386″. All the next 4 steps are going to be executed from this path. Don’t be confused by how the steps refer to your disks and partitions. Some of it refer to the destination disk as /dev/rdisk0 while some of it refer to /dev/disk0. Make sure you follow each command down to the letter.

1. Install the “boot0″ to the MBR (Main Boot Record) of your disk0. From the Terminal type:

pietra@unix$ fdisk -f boot0 -u -y /dev/rdisk0

2. Copy the “boot1h” boot image to the bootsector of your OS X partition

pietra@unix$ dd if=boot1h of=/dev/rdisk0s2

3. Copy the “boot” file to your root partition of the destination

pietra@unix$ cp boot /Volumes/Snow/

4. Flag the destination partition (disk0s2) as “Active”

pietra@unix$ sudo fdisk -e /dev/disk0
fdisk$ f 2
fdisk$ write
fdisk$ y
fdisk$ exit
fdisk -e /dev/disk03. fdisk -e

Take a look at Image 3 to give you more idea. Congratulations the hardest part is done. What is left is to copy smbios.plist file, com.apple.Boot.plist file, “Theme” folder and “Extensions” folder to the Chameleon’s “Extra” folder in the root partition. In my case the Chameleon’s “Extra” folder is in /Volumes/Snow/Extra.

Simply copy those files along with custom kexts in the “/Extra/Extensions/” folder and custom themes in “/Extra/Themes/”. That’s all. We’re done.

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6 Responses to “How to Install Chameleon Boot Loader v2”

  1. […] again I boot up again from the usb installer image and I manually installed Chamaleon as suggested here . So I rebooted once again thought that the most of the pains were over, and instead I ended up not […]

  2. Darron says:

    hi i am at a loss here…i did the permissions part….then in teminal brought it to the path of the i386 folder but instructions 1 and 2 you have there for installing chameleon 2.1 keeps responding back ” could not read mbr code: is a directory. and thats with changing your rdisk0 to mine rdisk1 as mine is disk1s1.

    and if its to the root directory why is the destination path have a “/dev/” folder which there is none created there
    please help

  3. Balgerda says:

    Nice tut. Manual Install is always better.

  4. Sheep says:

    Thank you! This tutorial helped! I had problems with my old grub2 installation, i wanted to remove it from mbr and install Chameleon instead.

  5. GiuTor says:

    Hi, thanks for the tutorial. Everything went nice apart I can’t find com.apple.Boot.plist file and and Theme and Extension folders in the Chameleon package. Any clues?

    • pietra says:

      Seems like Chameleon 2.1 uses pkg for installation. This tutorial is for old Chameleon 2.0. I haven’t try 2.1 since 2.0 works fine with me.

Leave a Reply to Sheep