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Re: Trying 2019-04-11 on PowerMac G4 Silver

Hi Rick,

On 4/13/19 10:36, Rick Thomas wrote:
I tried the 2019-04-11 debian-10.0-powerpc-NETINST-1.iso on a PowerMac G4 Silver (PowerMac3,4).

Installation of GRUB was automatic and I was not asked anything.
No problems reported in this process.

I also don't see any issue in the syslog you attached.

When it booted, there was the GRUB screen, as expected.  I let it boot after the usual few seconds timeout.

Unfortunately, the boot failed:

Loading Linux 4.19.0-4-powerpc …
error: failure reading sector 0x208099d7 from

Loading initial ramdisk …
error: you need to load the kernel first

Press any key to continue …

I wonder if there's maybe an issue with the disk or something disk
related, because of the "failure reading sector". I don't know, but do
the older Power Macs maybe have disk size limitations for their built-in
ATA controllers or their firmware?

If I calculated correctly, the problematic sector is about 260 GiB into
the disk, so much farer than one might assume from the partitioning (`/`
starts about 20 MiB from the start of the disk).

Do you happen to have a smaller disk (e.g. below 128 GB) available for
use? Or maybe you try with a separate small (512 MiB or so) `/boot`
partition directly after the HFS bootstrap partition, so the kernel is
located in the first GiB of this disk.

Other question: Did that same disk work with an older Debian
installation still using yaboot as boot loader and no separate `/boot`?

I don't have a PowerMac3,4 available, but I could try on an older
Gigabit one (PowerMac3,3) with a "large" ATA hard disk (with 500 GB),
maybe on Monday. Perhaps it shows similar issues.


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