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Re: Hesitating to take the plunge in Debian

On 12/1/2000 Jeremiah Merkl wrote:

eek. I still have nightmares about going into OF to set up the boot parameters
properly back when I was using LinuxPPC. I'm running on a PMac 5400/180, which
has broken firmware when it comes to the external SCSI chain...things didn't
work right. I praised god when BootX came out, because I didn't have to muck
around in OF again...

this is very true of older machines ie all pre `newworld' macs or non-colored macs. the newworld machines however should NOT use bootx as its not reliable, it allows macos to boot and with that it screws up the hardware making things very unstable, if it boots at all. this problem is far worse on G4s, bootx does not work period on ibooks iirc. Bootx also has a annoying dependency on Macos which we probably don't want around wasting disk space. (i come from intel linux though and we sure like to get rid of win* ;-))

however, newworld macos OF is somewhat less broken and with yaboot requires much less black magic to attain OF bootability.

<shameless plug>
on a newworld machine you can get full OF bootability with little to know OF reconfiguration, but creating a 800K bootstrap partition type Apple_Bootstrap (mac-fdisk -> C <start-end blocks> Type: Apple_Bootstrap -> Name: bootstrap ) after you have this and have installed hfsutils my ybin package includes a script called mkofboot which formats and installs yaboot makes it a bootable file and sets the filesystem as bootable. if your bootstrap partition is on the internal hard disk you probably will not have to even touch OF, otherwise all is required is setting the boot device to the device you boot from. (the mac style boot scan should even work)
</shameless plug>

for oldworld machine BenH is developing a bootloader called MiBoot which i think may allow for non macos booting without the OF black art, this is still early dev stage and Ben is a very busy guy! (Miboot emulates a macos system folder that is totally fake, but is loadable by the hardware macos ROM, once loaded it boots the linux kernel, no OF tinkering required)

For those that have never actually entered OF and entered commands by hand,
it's a scary scary place...the entire environment is very "forth"-ish...I
believe that's what it was originally written in, wasn't it? Whatever...makes
no nevermind.

yes OF interface is a Forth interpreter. yes its gross.

Ethan Benson
To obtain my PGP key: http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/pgp/

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