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Re: Boot Error on new PowerPC Mac Mini Installation

2015/07/25 1:42 "Nathaniel Nelson" <nelson.nleroy@gmail.com>:
> Hello! I hope this is the proper way to seek Debian support, and that I'm not making a mistake/emailing the wrong list/whatever.

There is a better list. I've cross-posted, but I haven't set the reply header.

> I've never used Debian before, and I'm trying to install it on an old Mac Mini with a PowerPC G4 processor.

I'd suggest that you not do that, but I've been there, done that, so
it would be a bit hypocritical of me to do so.

If you have a spare AMD64 or x86 box, you'll find the road a little
smoother to play with debian on either of those first. But it isn't an
absolute requirement.

> I downloaded the PowerPC iso file (debian-8.1.0-powerpc-netinst.iso) and burned it to an empty CD. I was able to successfully navigate the installation process. A couple points of interest:
> * I chose to use the entire available hard drive space and set up LVM (unencrypted). So I wiped Mac OS and all my old files from the computer.

I have often found myself needing to boot Mac OS 10 for odd reasons.
If you have the disk space, I'd recommend leaving a Mac OS 10 install
of about 6 to 20 GB.

> * I chose to use a single partition (the recommended/default choice) and after writing partition changes to the hard drive I received a warning that Yaboot would need its own partition.

I don't know about the "default/recommended" partition scheme on
Jessie, but I can't imagine single partition ever being a good idea on
a powerPC Mac. Unless you really like using openfirmware commands to
set the boot partition.

Unless things have drastically changed, yaboot, needs its own  very
small partition. Small can be a problem, too. Incidentally, I don't
know about Jessie, but I've generally had the best success using the
Mac OS 10 partitioning tool to set up the three Mac OS style
partitions I use for debian, one for yaboot, one for the root
partition, and one for all the LVM stuff.

> [... stuff that you should forget for the time being.]
> I read that the installer isn't meant to install on top of another full installation, and that most problems such as this can be fixed without a full reinstall, so I haven't made a third attempt at reinstallation. What else could potentially be the issue here?

Don't ask that question now.

> Thanks for any help. I can also supply more logs if you direct me to which ones might be helpful.

Wipe it with the Mac OS 10 installer. Use the Mac OS 10 install to cut
a partition for Mac OS 10, and leave the rest unformatted. If you have
a 30G disk, cut the Mac OS 10 partition at about 6G. if you have 60G
or more, give the Mac OS 10 partition 10G. Again, leave the rest

Make sure Mac OS 10 still boots.

Boot the Debian installer, do not let it autoformat the whole disk, do
not let it install single partition. Use the custom partition option,
have it make a partition for yaboot. It should get the size right if
you tell it to make the partition for yaboot. Then have it make a
partition for root, in the range of 8G or more. Partition the rest to
LVM, and use your favorite partition scheme for that. But be aware
that a separate /usr partition is currently militated against, so
don't do that. Not this time.

Install, get it to boot, use it for a while, get used to the weirdness
of dual-booting with Mac OS 10, then re-install it for real. You'll
have a better idea what to the third time around.

Joel Rees

Computer memory is just fancy paper,
CPUs just fancy pens.
All is a stream of text
flowing from the past into the future.

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