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Re: Debian 8 on Late 2005 G5, Graphics Issues

Peter I would suggest opening a topic over here:


there you would get attention of enthusiasts and hardware owners a like. There are also some Amiga folks around that might be interested to test on their compatible hardware.

If you do make sure the topic is exact and catchy, something like nouveau 3d accel G5 fix or some such.

Also a new message on the devel mailing list more of interest to kernel devs and more technical/ possibly linking to an existing or newly created bug report might also gather more attention on the dev side of things.

Am 29.06.2015 16:12 schrieb "Boris Reinhard" <reinhard.boris@googlemail.com>:

Hey, thx Peter!

I have no G5 system to currently test this on myself (briefly had a single core G5 PowerMac sadly it's mainboard got damaged when the PSU blew).

Am 29.06.2015 15:00 schrieb "Peter Saisanas" <psaisanas@gmail.com>:
Hi Boris,

As promised, I have attached a Google Drive link for a 64 BitG5 Powermac 3.18.16 kernel and headers deb packages for Debian Jessie.
This kernel is based off the default Debian Jessie kernel config, but basically optimised for G5 processors, with 4kb kernel pagesize and msi interrupts disabled. This is basically what nouveau requires to enable XOrg 2d acceleration.
I have installed this on a fresh Debian Jessie install and seems to work ok, i have quickly set this up but i can improve it further.
The kernel image and header deb files should be saved somewhere and as root install the deb files. it will complain about a module link when installing but disregard it, it will install the vmlinux & initrd images in boot. Create a new entry in yaboot.conf and test it out.
Im curious if is solves the nouveau issues for Powermac G5 11.2 owners.

Please give feedback and i will try to update documentation.

As always, i accept no responsibility for data loss.
Try it out only if you know what you are doing.

Link Below:


On 29/06/15 21:21, Boris Reinhard wrote:
Other hosting options that might be useable are dropbox (which until recenlty still had a ppc OSX client (not that it's really needed), or mega.nz, the latter tho insists on writing files from _javascript_ directly to disk which causes issues in every browser other than chrome (certainly problematic on older ppc macs where really mostly firefox is an option https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=832732 even tho this says it's fixed), so mega likely would be ill advised for our usage scenario.

2015-06-29 12:59 GMT+02:00 Boris Reinhard <reinhard.boris@googlemail.com>:

Sounds like a plan!

Well I have good experience with google drive's file hosting, seems to work well, easy to use, reliable, for smaller projects their free hosting should suffice so for a fairly small crowd like ours it's plenty I guess.

I think we could count on files staying available there.

Am 29.06.2015 12:36 schrieb "Peter Saisanas" <psaisanas@gmail.com>:
I agree Boris.
In my opinion, i think it is best to have something running out of the box for users to have working with little effort to keep interest alive in the platform.

On my dev drive currently i am building a deb package of the latest 3.18 kernel. I have based the kernel config off the latest Debian kernel config in Jessie. I have changed as minimum as possible to make it suitable specifically for most Powermac G5 users as a starting point straight after a fresh install.

I have other leaner and meaner kernel configs that i have tweaked over a few months. I hope the LCS hangs together on the quad till i get around rebuilding it!

With the deb kernel package i am currently building, i will install on a spare drive with a fresh Debian Jessie install.
Hopefully it will work with as minimum fuss to get users with XOrg desktops running.

Can you suggest a place where i can upload a kernel deb package for other users to freely download and test? Id like to make sure that it works for most people and not just my machine before i spend the time documenting things.


On 29/06/15 19:35, Boris Reinhard wrote:

Hello Peter,

amazing thx for pointing this out, we need to preserve and document this information as detailed as possible.

Based on the details you mentioned someone could add information to the ppc faq and known issues/ workaround intructions, but it might be best if you did it yourself, seeing as you came up with the workaround and know the details behind it and likely could describe things more thoroughly. Also a bug report on it could help, always good to know whats causing issues and where exactly so it may be fixed at a later time.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCKnownIssues  (should absolutely be in here)

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ (could be added in here as well but this page is a lot less recent and not as helpful)


Am 29.06.2015 08:06 schrieb "Peter Saisanas" <psaisanas@gmail.com>:



I also have a Powermac G5 Quad and tried with both the Geforce 6600 and Quadro FX4500 video cards and I have successfully gotten it up and running using the nouveau driver along with 2D acceleration on the XOrg desktop. I have compiled many newer kernels and created debian packages for them. Newer 4.0+ kernels also have issues in terms of detecting the nvidia DCB from the FCODE ROM… But there are other workarounds for this to get it up and running. You shouldn't need to use the boot parameter "nouveau.noaccel=1" once you have properly configured your kernel. 


In my case, the reason why X does not seem to work with your configuration is twofold:


The recent Debian (and Fedora) kernels for PowerPC 64 Bit running on the G5 64bit powermac are configured with a 64Kb kernel pagesize. This works slightly better in terms of performance, however the nouveau driver does not support this size. You must recompile the kernel unfortunately and configure with 4Kb kernel pagesize as this is what nouveau will work with for now.


To confirm, run the following command in a shell as root:

“getconf PAGESIZE”

If it returns 65536, you are using a 64Kb pagesize kernel.

Otherwise if it returns 4096, i.e. 4Kb kernel pagesize, check the next item below.


The newer nouveau drivers in more recent kernels default to using MSI interrupts, however with the PPC G5, when using  MSI interrupts, the powerpc FCODE rom on Nvidia cards does not correctly set up the MSI address (or vector).


To confirm, run the following command in a shell as root:

“cat /proc/interrupts”


Look for the nouveau interrupt, if it is using MSI interrupts, you need to disable MSI interrupts either by passing the option to the nouveau module, disable MSI interrupts by passing an option to the kernel command line in yaboot.conf or disable MSI interrupt support in total when compiling a new kernel. If configured correctly, nouveau should be using level or edge interrupts.



This is what worked for me anyway.





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