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Re: Using Wintel to get PowerPC code

[First, it's best not to start a new thread by simply replying to a message on
an old one, because it confuses threading in many mail clients.]

Josh Kuperman wrote:

> I have been trying to - and I think suceeding in - installing the
> potato distribution on my PowerMac at home. I am downloading the
> software onto zip disks and then taking it home. I managed to do the
> base install by copying the software to my Mac Hard Drive. I seemed to
> have the basic command line interface come up and I'm not having any
> problems, except for some pieces I thought would get installed
> didn't. (i.e. the man command and the man pages for the utilities I
> already their that I need to finish the install.)

Congrats!  It's not easy to get this far.

> I can't load the IBM formatted zip disks. I have tried
> mount /dev/sda4 /zip
> moutn -t dos /dev/sda4 /zip
> The first tells me that the file system is not recognized, the second
> tells me it is not supported by the Kernel. I assume either I
> downloaded an old kernel, the wrong kernel, or I need to compile a new
> kernel in order to get something that works.

Dos fs support is built as a module, type "modconf" for a nice gui which helps
install it and add it permanently to the list of modules which load up at boot
time, along with any other modules.

> When I go to where I have a PC running I can't even use the web pages
> that would let me know about the dependencies for downloading because
> they detect that I'm on a PC and point me to the i386
> archive. (Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit and the
> http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages web site).

I think you're giving it too much credit.  To get packages directly, start at:
For non-US packages, go to:

Either way, go to main, contrib and non-free, and into the binary directory,
then the Packages(.gz) file will give you lists with descriptions and all of the

> My best guess is to make a slow ppp connection on my Mac and use that
> to generate the package list and then retrieve that and download the
> actually packages on my PC. [I am pretty confident I can figure this
> much out.] But I believe I will then be stuck with the problem of
> having to figure out how to piecemeal copy the files over to the Mac,
> at least until I can copy enough so I can rebuild and replace the
> kernel with one that will read the zips. I only have about 50M of space,
> because I decided to use most of my disk space for debian, on
> the Mac at the moment, so my life would be a lot easier if I could
> just read the PC format zips.

Can you use PPP from Debian?  One of the nicest surprises for me in Debian is
that pon worked out-of-box, which I couldn't say about either of the PPP
utilities which came with LinuxPPC...  If this works, you can just use dselect's
built-in update, select, and install tools.  Yes, the download takes forever
over a modem, but it can be interrupted and resumed- it even saves partially
downloaded packages.

> If the Potato gets onto a CD I can buy from Cheap Bytes or LinuxMall
> before I figure this out, I hope someone tells me.

Not for a couple of months...  In the meantime, I'd try to get the modem working
and download that way.

One thing you should know: at times when packages are revving fast, some
packages might actually be replaced between your update and the time apt
actually starts the download.  If (I should probably say When) you get missing
files in the download, go back and do another update, then it should get the
remaining files in a second download which should be substantially shorter than
the first.

This should really be documented, but I guess it's assumed that if you're
downloading a non-stable distro over a modem you know what you're doing enough
to figure this out. :-)

Hope this helps,

-Adam P.

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