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Re: Installing debian on mac mini G4

I had a similar problem, my internal ATA bus bugged out on my macmini g4.
So i had to use a external USB disk and no CD.

This is how i did it, but i use only debian, no macosx. If you want
both, you need adjust. (Oh, and i have no idea what the problem with the
blank and go back to OF is, i seen this too)

I used a macosx boot Disk on another machine to format the disk as HFS,
with apple partition scheme. I think its is possible to do this on linux
too, but you need be more carefull to do this correct. Just let OSX do
the magic. Be sure to note down the disk layout using fdisk on linux or
diskutil (the command line tool) on macosx, you need to know which
partition number the volume is (no, its usually not 1 even if macosx
only shows one partition).

Copy all the files from
to the top (eg, at / on the main disk).

Boot into openfirmware (Apple / Alt / O / F at boot).
now you have to type the boot line,
you need type something like
`boot hd:2,/yaboot` (this would be first-disk:second_partition,/yaboot)
here "hd" is a link listed by `devalias` pointing to your first HD, if
you have other HDs, USB-disks or alike, you need check the path to the
device (something like /pci@9/something@2/disk@1)
Check out http://www.firmworks.com/QuickRef.html for some basic
Openfirmware info.

now the installer should load. as its loaded into RAM, you can savely
format the internal disk using the installer. You should be able to
detect the CD from the menu now (or just do a netinstall as i did).

One last thing, note down the OpenFirmware path for the boot device.
The installer will setup a "bootstrap" partition (HFS, do NOT boot this
in linux! see man mkofboot). You may need set this path in
/etc/yaboot.conf manualy as i seen cases where the auto-detection does
not work (in my case that was).

Hope this helps,
Happy Hacking.

PS: its possible to boot from USB IF the usb uses apple partition
scheme, however iirc think most USB-Sticks use some simplified disk
scheme and you can not easily boot from them. Hower external USB disks
work fine.
On 05.06.2012 14:23, Christian Lynbech wrote:
> I have an old Mac Mini G4 that I would like to install debian on, but I
> am having some problems getting it to work.
> The internal CD drive stopped working long ago, I have an external LaCie
> FW drive but I canot get the installation to work from that.
> The symptom I see is that if I boot with Option down, I do get a choice
> of boot devices which includes the Debian CD in the LaCie, but if I
> select it and continue, the screen will go black for a couple of seconds
> and then the bootdevice selection screen re-appears, as if something bad
> happened during the Debian bootstrap. I have tried both with Debian 4,
> 5, 6 and snapshots of 7 and all behaves the same way, so it does not
> seems to be an installer issue.
> I have managed to install OSX Tiger from the drive so it is not that it
> doesn't work. I have also earlier had an Ubuntu install running, so
> there should be hope. Obviously, there can be some hardware issues
> (there are some problems, if I turn wlan on, OSX will freeze in a few
> minutes).
> Anybody knows what is going on or has any ideas how I can debug the
> problem?
> I am going to look into trying to boot from a USB stick, and/or trying to
> netboot but would much prefer to get the CD way to work.
> ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
> Christian Lynbech       | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
> ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
> Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
>                                         - petonic@hal.com (Michael A. Petonic)

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