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Re: Installing Debian on a Beige G3 PowerMac (OldWorld)

On Jan 1, 2007, at 9:35 AM, Holger Levsen wrote:

Bootx is mostly useful if you also want to boot mac os <=9, which is a even
more rare usecase nowadays then running these machines at all :)

If you only run linux, go with quik. (And for the troubles Rick mentions, have miboot floppies ready (available at http://layer-acht.org/d-i- miboot/) and write down the steps needed to configure OF properly for your machine.

And while you're at it, share those steps :)

Holger has several important points, here.

1) The "quik" boot loader is the official "Debian way". It's free (as in Freedom). It works as long as you have the right Open Firmware magic. Use it if you can.

2) The reason BenH recommends against BootX is that it doesn't necessarily quiesce all the I/O's that OS9 may have had in flight when you push the "Linux" button. So it's not guaranteed to work first-time-every-time. For me, this just means that it very occasionally hangs or crashes early in the boot process and needs to be re-tried. Since I'm only using my OldWorld machines for testing, not as high-availability servers, that's something I can live with. YMMV, of course.

3) There is some documentation on the web -- mostly from the *BSD folks -- describing the model dependent Open Firmware magic you need to get quik to work. But it's obscure and arcane. If you have an OldWorld machine, and you succeed in getting quik to work reliably for you: Please document what you did. The world (or at least the small corner of the world who care about OldWorld PowerMacs) will thank you for the effort! Maybe it would be good to start a wiki page on Open Firmware incantations for use with the quik bootloader and Debian.

4) In the mean time, keep your miboot floppies and your Debian rescue CD at the ready. You'll need them eventually.

5) Holger didn't mention it, but there is an effort afoot to create a Debian-free version of miboot. This is the *right* answer to all this shenanigans. Contribute to it if you can!

Happy New Year:  May it be an improvement on the last one!


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