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Oldworld OF boot questions

Hello all,

I have a powercenter 132 (essentially a 7200), acting as my
firewall/mailserver, which I finally upgraded to potato from linuxppc
R5.  I had no end of problems getting openfirmware booting working
back when I installed R4 on that machine (the keyboard and video
drivers don't work in OF), and so, when BootX came out, I swore off
playing around with OF.  These days, that machine is running linux
24/7 (it was up 150 days when I rebooted to install potato--and that's
only because we lost power on new year's eve--it would have been over
a year otherwise), and I'd like to get rid of macos altogether.  But
first, a few questions:

1.  OF booting became unsupported under linuxppc after R4.  Are there
    any good technical reasons for this, or can I assume that if I get
    it to work with my hardware, then it will work for woody and
    whatever else lies ahead?

2.  How do you do clean installs of debian without BootX?  I.e. given
    a kernel and ramdisk (and whatever else), how do I do the initial
    boot on a linux only system.  I *have* checked the install docs
    but they didn't cover this the last time I checked.

Also, if anyone has any pointers for getting of-booting working on
this type of machine, I'd appreciate it.



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