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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Snow Leopard loads 32-bit kernel by default.

Snow Leopard loads 32-bit kernel by default. (Page 2)
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Simon
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Aug 20, 2009, 12:39 PM
 
The DP kinda made it lame.
     
Cold Warrior
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Aug 20, 2009, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The DP kinda made it lame.
DP deleted. Lameness counteracted.
     
Cold Warrior
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Aug 20, 2009, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jonathan-Tanya View Post
Wow, it sure would be nice if you could just buy a computer with Snow Leopord built in with 64 bytes of Ram included already.

Frankly I'm surprised Apple didn't think of this....as it is I don't think my G4 is going to work with Snow Leopard....it used to have some kexts but I deleted them all.

I'm very upset with Apple right now. This is like the time I found out OS X wouldn't run on NuBus based mac.....even though I had carefully cut out the entire nubus system, to no avail...the installer just checked for nubus and that was that.

Well I'm done not actually saying anything...I can't get my time back after reading this thread, but I'd like to think I've returned the favor.
QFT.

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Simon
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Aug 20, 2009, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
DP deleted. Lameness counteracted.
     
Big Mac
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Aug 20, 2009, 11:25 PM
 
I love this thread. SL rocks on my G5, btw, but I'm still figuring out how to boot the 64-bit kernel.

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TheoCryst
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Aug 21, 2009, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I love this thread. SL rocks on my G5, btw, but I'm still figuring out how to boot the 64-bit kernel.
Make sure you're holding 6 + 4 at launch, and NOT 4 + 6. Trust me, the 46-bit kernel is still VERY rough around the edges.

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Big Mac
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Aug 21, 2009, 05:13 AM
 
Noted, thank you!

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- - e r i k - -
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Aug 21, 2009, 06:59 AM
 
Lots of Me Too jokes in this thread. Stopped being funny once zerostar revealed his hand.

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ginoledesma
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Aug 22, 2009, 03:33 AM
 
I've always been curious how Mac OS X could launch 64-bit applications despite having a 32-bit kernel, as opposed to other operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux), where you need a 64-bit kernel to run 64-bit applications. AppleInsider has a good article detailing this ("Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-bits).

That article and others say that because Mac OS X has so-called "fat binaries", the system is able to launch the appropriate version of the code suitable for the environment. But it still doesn't really explain how a 32-bit kernel can let a 64-bit app do as it pleases (given that it has access to a vastly larger address space than the kernel).

Can someone care to shed light on how this works?
     
zerostar
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Aug 22, 2009, 01:11 PM
 
Why can't my iMac C2D boot in 64 bit? I tried 6+4 (and 4+6) as well as editing the booty file, but no love... what gives?
     
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Aug 22, 2009, 06:35 PM
 
Did you check your EFI firmware? My iMac C2D only reports 32 bit too.

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64stang06
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Aug 22, 2009, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by zerostar View Post
Why can't my iMac C2D boot in 64 bit? I tried 6+4 (and 4+6) as well as editing the booty file, but no love... what gives?
Open Terminal, type in:
Code:
ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi
And see what the result is. If you get
Code:
"firmware-abi" = <"EFI64">
Then you have a 64-bit EFI.
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Art Vandelay
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Aug 22, 2009, 09:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by 64stang06 View Post
Then you have a 64-bit EFI.
Which generally requires a Mac from 2008 or later.
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Simon
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Aug 23, 2009, 02:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by zerostar View Post
Why can't my iMac C2D boot in 64 bit? I tried 6+4 (and 4+6) as well as editing the booty file, but no love... what gives?
Oh just read the thread. Instructions for checking your EFI were given in post 3.
     
Simon
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Aug 23, 2009, 02:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Which generally requires a Mac from 2008 or later.
It depends on the model.

I have a MBP from mid 2007 and it already has EFI64.
     
Art Vandelay
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Aug 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
 
That's why I said generally.
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Aug 23, 2009, 04:07 PM
 
Well, you should be more specific when you say "generally."
     
zerostar
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Aug 23, 2009, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Oh just read the thread. Instructions for checking your EFI were given in post 3.
I checked this and yes 64bit EFI... hence the question what could be stopping it....

ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi
imac:~ nzme$ ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi
| | "firmware-abi" = <"EFI64">
imac:~ name$
     
Stucco
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Aug 24, 2009, 07:00 PM
 
But will it "access the data supplier and connect you up to the Matrix?"

(I couldn't help but poke Simon with a stick AND throw in an IT Crowd quote)
     
HyperX
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Aug 24, 2009, 07:15 PM
 
Are the first gen intel mac pros 64 bit efi? I cant run the command on mine till I am back in the office on Thursday. Anyone?
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HyperX
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Aug 24, 2009, 07:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by HyperX View Post
Are the first gen intel mac pros 64 bit efi? I cant run the command on mine till I am back in the office on Thursday. Anyone?
Was able to remote into my machine... its 32 bit kernel... sucks... i put nearly $10k into that bad boy in 2006. Time for a new one!
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- - e r i k - -
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Aug 24, 2009, 08:33 PM
 
Yeah, 32-bit here on mine too.

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ajprice
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Aug 25, 2009, 07:59 AM
 
I read this thread, and because of all the "will my machine..." questions I decided to go look for a table that said which Macs have a 64bit EFI. The best I can do is from here



If your Mac is on this list, you can force Snow Leopard to boot into 64bit mode by holding down the '6' and '4' keys during the boot process. You can also use the NVRAM or the com.apple.Boot.plist file to more permanently boot into 64bit mode. Holding the '3' and '2' keys will, obviously, boot Snow Leopard in 32bit mode.
Not a complete list but its a start, and I hope the NVRAM or com.apple.Boot.plist method isn't too complicated .

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
selowitch
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Aug 25, 2009, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
And for those wondering if their Mac comes with a 64 bit compatible EFI (most C2D and beyond), here's the command:

Code:
ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi
The 64 bit EFI Macs will report
| | "firmware-abi" = <"EFI64">
Oh, darn. My Late-2006 iMac reports
Code:
"firmware-abi" = <"EFI32">
Oh, well.
     
olePigeon
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Aug 25, 2009, 03:22 PM
 
I wonder if EFI will be updated in the near future to allow 32-bit drivers to access hardware under a 64-bit OS. Wikipedia says it's possible and that that is one of the main criticisms of EFI. If you're going to replace BIOS, at least do it right.
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Art Vandelay
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Aug 25, 2009, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
I read this thread, and because of all the "will my machine..." questions I decided to go look for a table that said which Macs have a 64bit EFI. The best I can do is from here



Not a complete list but its a start, and I hope the NVRAM or com.apple.Boot.plist method isn't too complicated .
That is the complete list.
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Simon
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Aug 25, 2009, 04:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
That is the complete list.
No, actually it isn't.

My 64 bit compatible MBP (MBP 3,1) isn't listed.
     
Art Vandelay
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Aug 25, 2009, 05:24 PM
 
Does it boot the 64bit kernel? That's the complete list from Apple of 64bit supported Macs.
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Jacques
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Aug 26, 2009, 12:58 AM
 
Simon;

I have an original Mac Pro. When I bought it, day one - I was always led to believe it was entirely 64 bit, with Xeon dual-core processors, etc.

Is there a technical set-back as to why it doesn't accept 64 bit EFI?

thanks,
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Simon
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
I have an original Mac Pro. When I bought it, day one - I was always led to believe it was entirely 64 bit, with Xeon dual-core processors, etc.
It is. The Xeon processors in there are 64-bit compatible which is also why you can run 64 bit apps (on top of the 32 bit kernel).

Is there a technical set-back as to why it doesn't accept 64 bit EFI?
Chances are by the time you'll be required to boot a 64 bit kernel your MP will be severely outdated anyway. Until then you can use 64 bit apps and address as much memory as you can install in your MP. IOW, the only 64 bit advantage you're missing out on is the ability to develop and test 64 bit kexts. But I'm guessing you're not developing 64 bit drivers so I imagine you won't actually encounter any trouble.
     
besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:46 AM
 
One set of kernel extensions that might benefit from being 64 bit are the VMware tools. This includes a more optimized network driver, the communications interface, and vmmon which I believe is a key part of the hypervisor. For running SL Server as a guest OS there are also guest specific kernel modules for video and mouse stuff, a faster network driver, file sharing and other stuff. I would think that vmmon and vmci would stand to gain the most running in 64 bit, if at all, although perhaps vmnet would too.

If there are noticeable performance gains is there a way to permanently boot from the 64 bit kernel so that booting into the 32 bit kernel doesn't break the kernel extensions, and vice versa?
     
besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:49 AM
 
Also, since most Mac users do not have GCC installed for compiling these kernel extensions, I wonder if VMware will even provide a way to build your own 64 bit versions of these kexts... hmmm..
     
Simon
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
If there are noticeable performance gains is there a way to permanently boot from the 64 bit kernel so that booting into the 32 bit kernel doesn't break the kernel extensions, and vice versa?

Hmm, ...

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
...

• should you be a pro that actually needs a 64 bit kernel and is willing to sacrifice driver compatibility now, you are free to boot SL with the 64 bit kernel; there is even a defaults write command to write it to plist so you don't need the key combo for every restart
The file to edit is
/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist
You'll want to change
Code:
<key>Kernel Flags</key> <string></string>
to

Code:
<key>Kernel Flags</key> <string>arch=x86_64</string>
And I see there's now even a free app to do this in a GUI if you prefer.

     
besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:14 PM
 
A GUI that guilts you into donations to write in the characters "arch=x86_64" into a text file... Ahhh, the Mac way


Not that the charity isn't a worthy cause...
     
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:17 PM
 
What's wrong with asking for money? I wouldn't even care if it weren't for charity. I don't need the program, but if you do and it's worth money to you, that's fine as well.
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besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
There is nothing wrong with asking for money, it's just sort of amusing that there is even a market for this sort of thing, or at least the developer figures there is (and he/she is probably right).

Prediction: hordes of people that don't have the foggiest idea what they are doing will be using this app. I think it was probably smart of Apple to not make this a GUI option... If making this change in the command line is too hot for you to handle, maybe there is little to be gained from messing around with this? Sometimes a lack of user friendliness can be a good thing. If you give users a gun, they will shoot themselves with it.

This is going to be fun. We have no idea what issues (if any) might exist with running the 64 bit kernel, but I'm sure we will find out soon!
     
Simon
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:53 PM
 
You weren't able to read this thread. Others aren't able to write to a plist file. To each his own I guess.
     
besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 02:30 PM
 
So I wonder how long it will be before we see "I just downloaded the 10.6.1 update, and the 64 bit kernel is waaayy faster now. Safari loads pages much faster now!", or working in the active kernel into troubleshooting random problems, repetitive questions/recommendations for what kernel to use, blaming the kernel on inexplicable problems ala repairing permissions...

Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this might evolve.
     
besson3c
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
No it wasn't simple trolling, I was honestly surprised that anybody would take offense at sarcasm targeted at some Mac users to the extent that you did, Simon. We do agree on one thing though, discussing this further with each other is a waste of time.

Moving on...

This whole 64 bit transition has been a godsend to Apple's marketing department. Every new OS release since the G5 came out has gotten to claim some sort of generic advantage to 64 bit computing. How many times can the marketing team go to this well? I mean, they're already saying stuff like this:

First, 64-bit applications can keep their data out of harm's way thanks to a more secure function argument-passing mechanism and the use of hardware-based execute disable for heap memory.
As well as trying to tout their own OS apps as being 64 bit as some great marketing push:

Nearly all system applications — including the Finder, Mail, Safari, iCal, and iChat — are now built with 64-bit code.
Ooohhhh, 64 bit iCal!! Whoo hoo!


I dislike Apple's marketing machine
     
Chuckit
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:25 PM
 
Cut the bickering, people.
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zerostar
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Aug 27, 2009, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Not a complete list but its a start, and I hope the NVRAM or com.apple.Boot.plist method isn't too complicated .
My iMac is on the list but it won't get into 64 bit mode I even tried yelling at it!
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 10:46 AM
 
It's nice to know that it will install on an early MBP Core Duo, can't wait to free up some disk space! 7 gig less foot print is promised right, does this actually apply in the real world?
     
goMac
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Originally Posted by ginoledesma View Post
I've always been curious how Mac OS X could launch 64-bit applications despite having a 32-bit kernel, as opposed to other operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux), where you need a 64-bit kernel to run 64-bit applications. AppleInsider has a good article detailing this ("Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-bits).

That article and others say that because Mac OS X has so-called "fat binaries", the system is able to launch the appropriate version of the code suitable for the environment. But it still doesn't really explain how a 32-bit kernel can let a 64-bit app do as it pleases (given that it has access to a vastly larger address space than the kernel).

Can someone care to shed light on how this works?
Long answer is take a computer science class.

Short answer (and slightly disingenuous answer) is that the kernel doesn't control how your program runs, so it doesn't need to understand 64 bits.
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Simon
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Aug 28, 2009, 08:43 AM
 
Another contestant. This time it's a pref pane.



the dev's explanation in parentheses <-
     
64stang06
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Aug 28, 2009, 10:37 AM
 
Ah, the ol' "64-bit is faster" description. Sigh.
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Eug
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Aug 29, 2009, 08:21 AM
 


Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Does it boot the 64bit kernel? That's the complete list from Apple of 64bit supported Macs.
Nope. My 13" MacBook Pro (5,5) boots it. I'm posting from 64-bit mode right now.

     
Art Vandelay
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Aug 29, 2009, 01:09 PM
 
I just read the 10a432 seed note and that list is the same. However, in the paragraph after, they mention 10a402. So, it's likely they never updated it for the newer builds and for the updated laptops that came out at WWDC.
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Laminar
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Aug 29, 2009, 01:31 PM
 
I picked up Snow Leopard today. The terminal command tells me:
Code:
$ ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi | | "firmware-abi" = <"EFI32">
I have a Core 2 Duo Mini that I bought in late '07.
     
Eug
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Aug 29, 2009, 01:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
I just read the 10a432 seed note and that list is the same. However, in the paragraph after, they mention 10a402. So, it's likely they never updated it for the newer builds and for the updated laptops that came out at WWDC.
I wouldn't be completely surprised if Apple decided to be assish again and turned off 64-bit support for my 13" MBP in 10.6.1. I hold out hope though they won't do that, since mine is a "Pro" after all.

I still remember the last iBook G4 not specifically being listed to have Aperture support. However, if you downloaded the compatibility checker app, it said the iBook G4 was fully capable. Indeed, when it came out, Aperture installed just fine on it and ran fine too (albeit slowly). At a later update, Apple changed the installer (and compatibility checker app) specifically to exclude that iBook G4.
( Last edited by Eug; Aug 29, 2009 at 01:40 PM. )
     
Simon
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Aug 30, 2009, 03:25 AM
 
Umm, why should it ever be removed? WTF?

It's the same CPU and chipset as all other MBPs. In that sense the 13" MBP is just as 'pro' as the low-end 15". And since this has nothing to do with 9400 vs. 9600, it's about as certain to stay on the 13" as it is on any other MBP.
     
 
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