Booting your PowerMac (from the HD, without MacOS)
Ok, after going through the archives of this list, and abusing google quite
a bit, it seems as if the process of getting a Power PC Mac to boot is not
only difficult, but not very well documented, at least for oldworld style
macs, which is what I have.
So, as a fairly new Debian-x86 and, hopefully, a new Debian-PPC user, I'd
like to volunteer to remedy this situation. The installation web page for
PowerMacs is quite outdated (the links are dead, and the documentation is
very short) and documentation for some of the tools is non-exsistant (does
Quik *have* documentation?). Also, documentation on different machine types
is hard to find.
Anyway, I'll post what I have and I'd like to get input from folks
in-the-know so we can have a unified doc for new Debian-PPC users, if not
The things that seem to come up over and over on the list (and the things I
keep asking myself, and forgetting) are :
1) What type of machine are you running (oldworld/newworld/something else
that's not supported)?
2) Do you want to dual boot? Only boot linux? (BootX vs yaboot vs OF
nastiness vs bootvars (what is this?))
3) How do I get X (oldworld Mac) to boot linux? (How does one go about
changing their OF?)
4) Where are the current install disks set for Debian-PPC?
1) I found a page that listed (approximately) which computers were
newworld/oldworld, but it died in the interim. Does anyone have a list or a
link? I think the idea was "If you don't have a G3/G4 or an iMac, you're
3) OF seems to require that you connect to it through on of the comm ports
on the back of the mac. So, you either have a dumb terminal lying around,
another mac, or a serial-mac printer cable lying around. Is this right?
4) The ones I used were here <
c/images-1.44/ > and they seem to work great, cept for booting after install
If you guys can think of any others, send me the data (along with the answer
to the question if you have it).
The links I have so far are :
1) Instructions on booting with yaboot (only works with newworld macs,
right?) < http://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/inst/booting >
2) Bootx init/cdev (what are these things called now? Been too many years
since I've used MacOS) to dual boot Linux/MacOS <
3) Newer, more complete (IMHO) instructions for installing yaboot/yabin,
and the binaries/code < http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/ybin/ >
4) Ben's new page, with newer versions of bootx and yaboot <
5) OF documentation, rather dry and technical <
6) The PowerPC Faq-o-matic <
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jonh/lppc-serve/cache/1.html >, lots o'
>From what I understand about OF, at least the broken flavors, you *must*
connect to the damnable mac comm ports. Is this right? Does someone have
the pin-out of the mac comm port so maybe I could splice a serial to maccomm
cable? I don't have other Macs lying around, or dumb terminals (unless you
consider windows...) that can interface with that port.
I have a Power Mac 8500/180. Is this oldworld? I'm assuming so...
If you're not going to use MacOS on your PPC box, you can trash the disk
(reinitialize it with mac-fdisk) and make whatever the heck you want. Is
Well, thanks for your time. Any responses will be appreciated. I'll be out
of town this weekend, but I'll still check email.