macOS: macOS installer fails with “No packages were eligible for install”

Having to re-install recently mac OS High Sierra 10.13 from a USB flash drive I got stuck getting the following error message:

macOS could not be installed on your computer.

No packages were eligible for install. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.
Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

This happened repeatedly and I had recently used that same USB flash successfully.

It seems that the macOS installers will only work within a very defined time period after release. You can overcome this by changing the date during the installation.

After booting up and before selecting the volume where you want to install macOS you need to open the Terminal and change the date with the date command. Then proceed with the installation.

I am sure this issue happens with other macOS releases but I haven’t tested them all. It is a safe bet to change the date to a date not far from the original release date.

These examples below set the date to one day after the official release date of each version.

[OS X 10.11 El Capitan]
# date -u 1001000015

[macOS 10.12 Sierra]
# date -u 0921000016

[macOS 10.13 High Sierra]
# date -u 0925000017

[macOS 10.14 Mojave]
# date -u 0925000018

Feedback and confirmation if any of the above didn’t work for you is appreciated.

Linux: Adding a GUI to headless/server installs

Server and minimal installs are normally headless and have no graphical interface.

If needed you can add a GUI manually. The process is slightly different depending on the distro.

RedHat / CentOS 7.x

# yum update
# yum groupinstall "Server with GUI"

RedHat / CentOS 8.x

# dnf update
# dnf groupinstall workstation

Ubuntu 18.04.x LTS

# apt update

[Install minimum GNOME desktop]
# apt install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop

[Install full desktop with associated applications]
(Long process and too many extras installed)

# apt install ubuntu-desktop

[There are other alternative desktops and installations possible:]

[Generic Gnome desktop]
# apt install vanilla-gnome-desktop

# apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop

# apt install xubuntu-desktop

# apt install kubuntu-desktop

# apt install --no-install-recommends lightdm

Debian 9.x

# apt update
# apt install gnome-core

Debian 10.x

# apt update
# apt install gnome-core

All the above distros use systemd as their init system and you set the default run level with the same set of commands.

[Enable run level 5 by default]
systemctl  set-default graphical.target

[Enable run level 3 by default]
systemctl  set-default multi-user.target

Despite systemd you can still use init to start the graphical interface without having to reboot.

# init 5