Re: beige g3 etch install
Comments bottom posted...
On Nov 15, 2007, at 10:24 AM, Nicholas Helps wrote:
I have been working with Debian for quite a few years now and using
powermac G3 machines with extra network cards in them as routers
and firewalls, etc. These machines were set up back in the days of
Woody and have been kept uptodate with security updates, but
otherwise pretty much left untouched. Due to the issues around the
firmware in these machines and because it was useful, I always set
them up to boot initially into mac OS9 then use BootX to hand over
the Debian. This worked a treat.
However, I thought it would be good come up to date by installing
Etch instead. I used a free machine that was not actually in use
and ran the install using the current network install ISO. Things
have changed since the days of woody and it now seems that floppy
images (boot image and root image) are no longer used. Hence, I
copied the initrd.gz file over to the mac HD and set that as the
ram disk for the install. I also copied across the linux kernel and
put that into the kernels folder in the system folder. Using that
allows me to boot into the installer and using the installer I
deleted the previous linux partition (hda7) and swap (hda8) and
made new ones. Then installed the base system, etc,etc all the way
through to where it runs tasksel. I just leave that at the basic
system for now. Following on some more, finally we get to the point
of trying to install Quik (which I don't need) and it gives an
error anyway, since I have selected ext3 file system that is not
supported in quik. I therefore say to carry on without a boot
loader. Everything goes fine all the way to rebooting into the new
system. However, when I do that, OS9 will not boot up. I just get
the flashing disk symbol with a question mark on it. Popping the
OS9 CD and booting off that and then running disk setup shows me
that the HD has somehow been altered so it is not recognised
properly as a mac HD. During the partitioning step, I did not alter
anything other than hda7 and 8.
I have found that I can reinstall the apple hard disk driver onto
the disk and this then gets OS9 up and working. However, I cannot
then boot into Debian, since the boot process gets a little way in
and then I get a kernel panic at the point where it tries to mount
the file system (error about no file system at /dev/hda7).
I have done this several times now and the same thing happens every
time. The install goes fine but then I end up with a completely
I am wondering if I am going about the install process wrongly (ie
using the initrd.gz file). I can't find anything really useful in
the install manual or using Google. I will probably end up looking
really stupid when someone points out an obvious mistake I have
made, but I can live with that.
If anyone has got etch installed on the beige g3 (its a 266 mhz
machine, but I can't tell you the firmware version, etc. Would need
to find out how to get at this) and can share their expertise, it
would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Couple of points:
1) You can avoid the attempt to install quik by doing an "expert"
install. In the "boot options" part of the BootX dialog box, in
addition to the usual stuff, put "DEBCONF_PRIORITY=low" without the
quotes. The installer will ask you a bunch more questions. For the
most part, you can just bang on the <return> key when it gets
uppity. Most importantly, you will have an opportunity to skip over
the attempt to install the bootloader.
2) The attempt to install quik is probably what messed up the boot
block and prevented OS-9 from booting. When you reinstalled the
apple hard disk driver from the OS-9 CD, that restored the OS-9 boot
block. Skipping the "install boot-loader" step will keep that
badness from happening again.
3) After the install is complete but before it reboots, you need to
copy the kernel (whatever the /target/boot/vmlinux symlink points to)
and initrd file (whatever the /target/boot/initrd.img symlink points
to) from the /target/boot directory into the appropriate directory in
the OS-9 partition. You'll have to go to the <alt>-F2 virtual
terminal, chroot into /target, then mount the OS-9 partition as an
HFS filesystem, so you can do the copy.
4) After rebooting into OS-9, configure BootX to use the kernel and
initrd file that you copied just before the reboot. They will be
different from the ones you got off the install CD. Since you are
using an initrd, you don't want to tell BootX to use a "root="
With that, all should be well.
5) If you ever upgrade the kernel or due to some other cause you re-
make the initrd, you will need to manually copy the new kernel and
initrd to the OS-9 partition again, and configure BootX to use them.
Hope it helps!