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installing NETINST 20190127 on Mac mini G4


So I downloaded and burned the NETINST 20190127 CD, and used it to install the powerpc (32 bit) port on my Mac mini G4.

All went well as I followed the “install” (not “expert”) script.  I manually entered the mirror as “ftp.ports.debian.org” and the directory as “/debian-ports/“.  It accepted that and continued as expected.{1}  When it got to “running tasksel”, I chose a bare minimum installation with “SSH server” and “standard system utilities” — nothing else.  It had no trouble installing those tasks.

When it got to trying to install grub, that failed (as expected).  I chose to “continue without boot loader”.  It wrapped up and ejected the CD then paused before trying to reboot.  While it was paused I switched to the alt-<f2> console and did the following{2}:

    chroot /target
    mount -t sysfs none /sys
    apt install hfsutils
    yabootconfig -b /dev/sda2

This created a rudimentary yaboot.conf file and install the yaboot bootloader.

If I had switched to the alt-<f2> console earlier — say while the “installing grub failed” message was still displayed — I suspect that I would not have needed to mount the /sys filesystem.  Though all the rest would still have been necessary.

Then I allowed it to reboot into the installed system, which it did with no problems.

let me know if you would like a tar file with the stuff from /var/log/installer…  Or if there’s anything else I can do to help.

{1} It would be nice (“wishlist” level) if somehow that part were automatic.  For example, have it be an option on the list of available mirrors?

{2} Would it be possible to have “install yaboot boot loader” be an option on the main menu — parallel to “install grub bootloader”?  That would be less daunting for beginners who don’t have our level of initiation into the Debian arcana.


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