Re: Umax SuperMac
I'm pretty sure that nothing that the Old World OpenFirmware is capable of is
going to be useful to you on your Umax.
That model of Mac clone had one of the first releases of open firmware ever on
a Macintosh. It's full of bugs and there are probably lots of features that
just weren't implemented yet that would be found useful on a New World Mac.
I can understand not wanting to use BootX, but I think you will find it
necessary to do the installation at all. You can replace it with yaboot or
quik or whatever will work for you once you have your system installed. You're
not going to be able to install yaboot first and then Linux I don't think.
I tried quite extensively, and I never had any luck at all getting my mac to
boot off a linux floppy. But BootX booting works great, is much more flexible,
and having the ramdisk and basedebs.tar on your hard drive makes things go much
faster. It also makes it quicker and easier to try again if something goes
wrong part way through.
If your filesystems are presently formatted for HFS+, two alternatives would be
to reformat one of them as HFS, or to burn an ISO9660 CD that has the
basedebs.tar on it. There is actually no problem with having the ramdisk image
on HFS+ because BootX uses MacOS system calls to read it.
If you do reformat a drive, you could set up all the partitions you will
ultimately use for linux but initialize them all as HFS. Put basedebs.tar on
the one you will use as /home. Then in the Debian installer, reinitialize the
other partitions as ext2 or whatever linux filesystem you wish. After your
installation is complete you can reformat the /home filesystem as one of the
linux native formats.
One more alternative would be to set up an NFS server on another machine and
then mount that NFS share on the Mac while you're in the installer. I've done
that too and it works well but then it means you have to get your ethernet and
TCP/IP working, and if you've never set up NFS it can be a little mysterious to
figure out why it might not be working.
So please, listen to my advice - use BootX to get it installed. Then if you
want to use another boot loader, install it afterwards. I don't think you will
find any joy trying to boot off of quik or yaboot until after you've got linux
installed. There is no shame in doing what is necessary to get Free Software
installed if the end result is a truly Free system.
Michael D. Crawford
GoingWare Inc. - Expert Software Development and Consulting
Tilting at Windmills for a Better Tomorrow.