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Re: Setting OpenFirmware boot params on a 6500

On Sat, Oct 11, 2003 at 08:16:13PM +0200, Freek Dijkstra wrote:
> Hi,
> Could someone give me a hand explaining how to proceed in having my Mac boot
> linux? This is my story so far.
> I've finally installed Debian on my Power Macintosh 6500. Thanks to the
> manual, the installation went without problems. The manual authors did a
> fan-tas-tic job. Congrats!
> However, the last step: "Make System Bootable" did not work on my particular
> PowerPC. Thankfully, I noticed a pretty good message on the mailing list:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-powerpc/2003/debian-powerpc-200301/msg00336.h
> tml which explained how configure OpenFirmware manually.
> Unfortunately, configuring OpenFirmware did not work for me -- one of the
> problems I have is that I cannot get the OpenFirmware prompt. This is most
> likely because I don't use the built-in video-card, but a newer one with a
> VGA connector.
> In short, I completely screwed up my OpenFirmware settings. I was not able
> to boot anymore (even not from any CD by holding down the c key) or
> resetting the OpenFirmware settings (holding down command-option-p-r). All I
> saw was the MacOS welcome screen "Welcome to Macintosh" if not for the fact
> that the welcome text did read "y*8#%$(#@$%$(^" (it was in fact even less
> readable then that) :-(.
> Finally, I managed to boot again. I don't know what did the trick, probably
> it was resetting the firmware by pushing a tiny button on the motherboard --
> one you are supposed to press when adding new hardware.
> So, now I can boot again in MacOS. This is what I got now:
> * 2 (external) SCSI disks, one of them containing a partition with MacOS
> 9.1, where I can boot from.
> * 1 internal IDE disk, containing 9 partitions. /dev/hda2 should now contain
> a bootable version of Debian Linux. One of the other partitions, /dev/hda7
> is reserved to put MacOS on, if needed.
> So I can now change my OpenFirmware settings using the BootVars program.
> However, I fear screwing up again. I don't care if I use either quik as
> bootloader or BootX. I don't need MacOS on this machine anymore, I first
> went for Quik, but after the OF problems, I opt for BootX.
> Unfortunately, when I start BootX, I get the message "Error, could not find
> a suitable kernel file"
> This is possibly because BootX is on the system on the SCSI disk, and Linux
> is on the IDE disk, and none of the partitions of the IDE disk is mounted.
> Even not the HFS partition, presumably because it's not initialized.
> Regretably, Apple's Drive Setup is not able to mount it without intializing
> the whole disk.

BootX grabs the kernel file from the Linux Kernels folder, which is (or should
be) in the MacOS System Folder. IIRC it can also use a kernel from the same 
folder BootX is in. So the kernel file will be on the same disk as BootX.
The kernel you install on the linux partition is not actually used in booting,
with BootX.
> So now I'm wondering what to do next. Here are my options:
> 1) Change the OpenFirmware parameters using BootVars ("Boot Variables"). It
> currently lists "/AAPLE,ROM" at boot-device. I think I should change it to
> "ata/ata-disk@0:2", but I am not 100% sure, let alone if and how I should
> change the other parameters, like boot-file (now empty), boot-command (now
> "boot"), output-device (now "ttya", suggested is "/bandit/ATY,264GT-B", but
> that's for the internal video card, so I think I ought to leave it like it
> is -- I have no clue what to use for my PCI video card), input-device (now
> "ttya", I may need to change it to "kbd") and load-base (now 000040000, but
> I read I have to change it to 100000)
> 2) I can reformat the disk again using Apple's Drive Setup, put MacOS (with
> BootX) on one of the partitions, and then start the installation over using
> the other partitions.

If you are going to continue to use BootX, you don't need to muck
around with OpenFirmware parameters at all. This sounds like the
easiest way to go, since you don't have video for handy mucking.

Later, once you get Linux booted, you can look in /proc/cpu/device-tree
or some similar path to see what your video card path is, and try other 

I don't think you need to reformat; I have been able to install Linux
on an external SCSI disk with MacOS on the internal, so you ought to
be able to do vice versa.

> Any suggestions on which strategy to pick are welcome. (Or if you know
> another option, please let me know as well).
> Regards,
> Freek Dijkstra
> PS: this is a resent; I forgot to confirm my list subscription.

BTW, you don't have to be subscribed to post :)

Debian GNU/Linux Operating System
  By the People, For the People
Chris Tillman (a people instance)
   toff one at cox dot net

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