Hello Stephen / all,
Here is a post I put on some time ago about this (Stephen, this is
the post I mentioned). There is a preamble and then the step by
step that worked for me. I have added a little bit about the space
you will leave for Debian on your HD. This was not in the original
post. You don't want to format that space using OS9, just leave it
as free space and let the Debian installer do that for you. Good
I have been working with Debian for quite a few years now and using
powermac G3 machines with extra network cards in them as routers
and firewalls, etc. These machines were set up back in the days of
Woody and have been kept uptodate with security updates, but
otherwise pretty much left untouched. Due to the issues around the
firmware in these machines and because it was useful, I always set
them up to boot initially into mac OS9 then use BootX to hand over
the Debian. This worked a treat.
However, I thought it would be good come up to date by installing
Etch instead. I used a free machine that was not actually in use
and ran the install using the current network install ISO. Things
have changed since the days of woody and it now seems that floppy
images (boot image and root image) are no longer used. Hence, I
copied the initrd.gz file over to the mac HD and set that as the
ram disk for the install. I also copied across the linux kernel and
put that into the kernels folder in the system folder. Using that
allows me to boot into the installer and using the installer I
deleted the previous linux partition (hda7) and swap (hda8) and
made new ones. Then installed the base system, etc,etc all the way
through to where it runs tasksel. I just leave that at the basic
system for now. Following on some more, finally we get to the point
of trying to install Quik (which I don't need) and it gives an
error anyway, since I have selected ext3 file system that is not
supported in quik. I therefore say to carry on without a boot
loader. Everything goes fine all the way to rebooting into the new
system. However, when I do that, OS9 will not boot up. I just get
the flashing disk symbol with a question mark on it. Popping the
OS9 CD and booting off that and then running disk setup shows me
that the HD has somehow been altered so it is not recognised
properly as a mac HD. During the partitioning step, I did not alter
anything other than hda7 and 8.
I have found that I can reinstall the apple hard disk driver onto
the disk and this then gets OS9 up and working. However, I cannot
then boot into Debian, since the boot process gets a little way in
and then I get a kernel panic at the point where it tries to mount
the file system (error about no file system at /dev/hda7).
I have done this several times now and the same thing happens every
time. The install goes fine but then I end up with a completely
I am wondering if I am going about the install process wrongly (ie
using the initrd.gz file). I can't find anything really useful in
the install manual or using Google. I will probably end up looking
really stupid when someone points out an obvious mistake I have
made, but I can live with that.
If anyone has got etch installed on the beige g3 (its a 266 mhz
machine, but I can't tell you the firmware version, etc. Would need
to find out how to get at this) and can share their expertise, it
would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
So, here is the way I got it to work....
First off, I have to thank Rick for a very helpful discussion about
this. Without his help, I would not have been able to get this baby
I have OS9.2 on a circa 500 meg HFS+ partition, leaving the rest
for debian (I will add here something I didn't mention in the
original post - don't format this space using the OS9 CD, just
leave it as "free space"). I use BootX as a boot loader. I used the
netinstall CD for Etch.
First boot into OS9 with the Etch CD in the CD drive. Copy the
vmlinux kernel from the CD install directory and put it into the
kernels folder in the system folder. Copy the initrd.gz image to
the BootX folder. Select the BootX application and tell it to use
the vmlinux kernel and set the RAM disk to initrd.gz image. In the
additional kernel arguments box, type "DEBCONF_PRIORITY=low" (no
quotes). Boot into linux.
The installer will start. Go through this answering questions. When
you get to the partitioning section, Partman will run. You should
choose "manual" as your partitioning method. Select the free space
and make a linux partition with Ext3 format and choose to mount "/"
on it. On my machine this then becomes /dev/hda7/. Also make a swap
partition (/dev/hda8). The sizes of these will depend on your HD
size. You can also obviously choose to split up your file system so
that not everything is under the root (/). I also named my /dev/
hda7/ as "debian". Probably makes no difference, but I did notice
that the HFS+ partition (/dev/hda6) was called "untitled" as was /
dev/hda7/ and did not think this a good idea.
Once you are happy with how the partitions look, write out the
partition table. This will destroy the apple driver partition, but
don't worry, you can recover from this providing you have your OS9
CD. More of this later...
Continue with the installation and install the base system and
whatever else you want.
Despite being in the "expert" install mode, after install of the
base system, the installer went straight into trying to install
quik as the boot loader without giving me the option to avoid this.
However, since quik only works with ext2 file systems, it bombed
out with an error and allowed me to continue. I go all the way
through to the point where it says the install is finished and
wants me to remove the install CD and then select reboot. We stop
at this point and swap to a new console (alt right arrow).
In here we can access the newly installed file system *and* the mac
HFS+ partition. At the prompt, type "cd /" to make sure you are in
the root of the file system. On my system, there was a folder at
the root called "mnt" that contained nothing. I therefore typed in:
mount -t hfsplus /dev/hda6 /mnt
(note: I had put "/dev/hda7" here in the first post regarding
getting Etch installed. hda7 on my system is actually the linux
root partition. When deciding on which partition to mount here, the
partitioning step will help, since partman lists the partition
This mounted the mac HFS+ partition under "mnt". You could use
another directory, since mount just takes over the directory and
then will give it back when you "umount", but I prefer to use an
empty directory just in case.
Now you can cd to mnt and you should see your mac HD.
cd to /target/boot/ and cp whatever is symlinked to vmlinux and
initrd (do a "ls -l" on the directory to see the details) over the
Now "umount /mnt", change back into the installer console (alt left
arrow) and remove the netinstall CD from the drive. Pop in your OS9
CD, because you will need it.
Reboot by selecting that option in the installer.
Your machine will boot into the OS9 installer (even without you
holding down the "C" key). If you get a flashing disk symbol with a
question mark in it, you have not got your OS9 CD in the drive.
Remember that the partitioning has trashed the mac hard disk
driver partition so your mac does not know what to do.
Once the OS9 installer disk has booted and you are at the window
where you can choose to install OS9, go to the utilities folder and
select drive setup. Once this has found the drives on your machine,
select the one at the top (on mine it said "not mounted") and then
select from the drop down menu at the top of the screen to "update
apple hard disk driver". Once you do this, you get a message saying
you need to reboot. Do this.
Now we can get back into OS9 on the hard drive.
Once in OS9, move the vmlinux kernel you copied above into the
kernel images folder in your system folder. Put the initrd image
anywhere you want.
Select the BootX application.
Select the linux kernel you just moved. Select "use specified ram
disk" and choose the initrd image you copied above. Now in the
additional kernel arguments box, enter "root=/dev/hda7" (without
the quotes). Obviously your root file system might not be hda7, so
change that appropriately. Save these settings to the defaults. You
may want/have to enter other kernel arguments (eg for video), but I
did not have to.
Now boot into linux.
BootX should hand over to linux and your new install will boot up.
At least it did for me ;-)
If you upgrade to a new kernel / initrd image, you will need to
mount the HFS+ drive and copy these over to it so that you can
specify these in the BootX app.
Hope this has been of some use to someone.
Best of luck,
Dr. N.R. Helps
Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit
College of Life Sciences
University of Dundee
t: 44 (0)1382 384745 (office)
t: 44 (0)1382 388019 (lab)
f: 44 (0)1382 388729
On Sun, Sep 07, 2008 at 10:42:36AM +0300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Allen <email@example.com> 09/07/08 6:18 PM >>>
2008/9/7, Stephen Allen <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
The install is where I had the issue(s), of going through the
hanging when it came to installing
the quik bootloader. I don't understand why it's install quick as
that BootX would be used.
You should try to skip the quik installation. The advantage of using
BootX is that if you use quik and it fails to boot you have no
with BootX you can always get into OS 9. You don't need - and cannot
have - both: the OldWorld ROM always selects the first bootable
partition. Or - in theory - you could have quik in first
OS 9 in second and use quik to boot OS 9, but I don't see any
OK managed to skip the Quik installation. (I'll have to write up a SxS
mentioning how to do this)
I went through several iterations of disk partioning schemes
successful install. One message I
got several times was that Quik has to be on the first partition.
has a small partition at the
first that doesn't delete for me, so I'm kind of stuck there.
You should keep the Mac OS partition. Get into another virtual
terminal (Ctrl- Alt- F2), mount the Mac OS partition (the path is
/dev/hda... or /dev/bus/ide/disk.../part..., or similar):
OK kept the MacOS partition(s). There are 7 of em put there by the
disk utility (6 small ones).
I have one disk and it was labeled hdb when partioning. So that
'mount - t hfs (It's hfs)/dev/hdb7 (MacOS was installed on the 7th
There are a bunch of small Apple/MacOS partitions before this. But
since you mentioned system folder that it's has to go on the larger
partition where the Mac system folder is; correct ?
mount - t hfs /dev/... /mnt
(or hfsplus), and copy the new initrd into it:
cp - p /target/boot/initrd.gz '/mnt/System Folder'
There didn't appear to be an 'initrd.gz' but there was an 'initrd'.
thing right ? On /mnt I didn't have a directory 'System Folder',
mount didn't through any complaints when mounting hdb7, so I assume
At this point you should have the kernel package installed on target
Unfortunately it didn't boot. I'm getting close though. Any ideas ?
S.D.Allen - Toronto
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