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Re: Debian on PowerMAC G4

Markus Geimer wrote:

> Hello!
> I've tried to install Debian GNU/Linux ("frozen") on an Apple PowerMAC
> G4-450 ("Sawtooth") using BootX 1.2b3 and a special, precompiled kernel
> (2.2.14) from Benjamin Herrenschmidt but encountered the following
> problem:
> The Linux kernel boots, loads the ramdisk image and starts the system
> installation. The I get the message "Your PowerPC architecture is not
> supported yet." Pressing return reboots the machine.

The Debian boot disks for macppc are quite out of date - they don't recognize
the G4 as a usable architecture. This problem has been noted and is being worked
on currently, though I don't know its current status.

> The LinuxPPC distribution runs fine using the same kernel image, but I
> would prefer Debian since I'm using it on an Intel plattform for a few
> years now and for me it's the best Linux distribution available. Is it
> possible to modify the installation disks so that it is possible to
> install Debian on G4's? Please tell me if and how I can help you, but I
> don't have the slightest notion of creating ramdisk images :-(

Modifying the instalation disks is not necessary. It is possible to use the
LinuxPPC install disks to install Debian instead - one URL describing this
process on an iMac (which should still be relatively applicable in your case) is


As he notes, this process works best if you can get the base distribution onto
HFS media (I'll guess that you have a Zip drive handy). Otherwise, you may have
to install LinuxPPC first, and then Debian on top of it.

> Thanks
>     Markus Geimer

Hope this helps.


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