Testing boot-floppies on iMac
Yesterday, I got an iMac (NewWorld) to play with at work, and decided to
install woody on it. It has no floppy drive, so the only bootable woody
installation media that I could find were ISO images at:
which I burned onto CD-R.
Unfortunately, at the time there were only images from last December labeled
"3.0pre", which contained at least one major known bug (the bad mac-fdisk)
which stopped my installation in its tracks). I was able to continue the
installation by bringing up the network (which worked flawlessly via DHCP)
and wget'ing a fixed mac-fdisk from the 3.0.19 floppy images.
I couldn't figure out how to tag a partition as swap, this being my first
PowerPC installation. the mac-fdisk help was not helpful). I continued
without one, and have since learned (from
http://penguinppc.org/projects/yaboot/doc/mac-fdisk-basics.shtml linked from
the release notes) that it should be named 'swap'. I assume this would have
worked; if so, it should be mentioned directly in the release notes.
In tasksel, I selected "X window system", "desktop environment", "C and
C++" and "Python".
During package configuration, I was bitten by pydb #133520, which is fixed
and should get into woody eventually. If it doesn't, tasksel #129520
removes pydb from the task anyway.
After all packages were installed, I set about trying to get X working, and
(after using the debconf prompts to get an initial configuration) co-workers
and I fiddled with it for some time before discovering that we had to
specify the PCI BusID in XF86Config-4, and google for the correct monitor
sync information. I don't know why I had to specify the BusID, as it
detected the video card (an ATI) at the correct PCI bus/slot/func during
initialization. I had a Device section specifying Driver "ati", but until I
added the BusID parameter, it said that it couldn't find a matching device
section for the card.
Once the X server was working, I was very confused to find that no window
manager had been installed, nor had xterm. Fortunately, gnome-terminal was
there from the desktop environment task. I assume this was tasksel #129217.
- boot-floppies 3.0.19 has a fix for the mac-fdisk problem
- pydb 1.01-5 fixes #133520 (urgency=low)
- tasksel 1.15 fixes #129217 and #129520 (urgency=low)
The new tasksel will make it into woody in 2 days according to
update_excuses.html, and boot-floppies 3.0.19 is already current, so my
problems seem to be already fixed and propagating. The situation with
tasksel is confusing, though; how does the delay help, when tasksel will
only really be tested during new installations?
Also, how can I help to test future PowerPC boot-floppies? Is there some
way to network-boot this beast, or do I have to continue to use CD-Rs?
 There seem to be 3.0.19 ISOs at that URL as of today. Thanks to Ian
Eure for providing these so that I could get up and running with woody