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boot installer from usb

not sure if anyone else has done this yet, but i thought it was pretty cool, so I'd pass it along. I've got an original iBook and finally decided to install debian on it.

i've also got a usb ZiO multimedia card reader and I've successfully booted MacOS from it so I thought I'd take a stab at using it to boot the debian installer.

A couple of hours of experimenting and here's what I found:

format the chip Mac OS Standard (HFS). not sure what formats OF understands -- this worked, but others may too.

put the yaboot, yaboot.conf from disks-powerpc/powermac& root.bin from images-1.44 on the chip

boot to open firmware (cmd+option+o+f)

enter:  boot usb0/disk@1:yaboot
enter: install

looking at yaboot.conf (this is the first new world mac I've installed on so I've not used the yaboot alot) it looks like it would be really easy to add entries for other kernels being on the usb disk. I'll probably mess with building a rescue disk with a kernel that has more drivers next (i'd really like the airport driver on the chip).

my iBook only has one usb port but devalias in OF lists a usb0 and usb1, the other one may be for macs with 2 usb ports. if you try this on a 2 port machine you may need to change the boot command.


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