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Adventures multi-booting late 2003 iBook G3 (was: What is this Apple Bootstrap thing of which the installer speaks?)

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On Thu, 05 May 2011 18:14:43 +0000 Roger Leigh
<rleigh@codelibre.net> wrote:
>> Oh, and is there anyway to escape X11 into a nice console?
>Ctrl-Alt-Fn to switch to ttyn.

Mysteriously, on powerpc at least, this only works if you do not
select the "graphical desktop" set of packages during the
installation process. If you do let Debian automatically install
pre-chosed graphical desktop software, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Fn-F1
all day to no avail. If you don't and manually add any graphical
packages you want with apt-get or aptitude, then you get six
consoles plus X11 on Ctrl-Alt-Fn-F7.

>> Also, is there any way to make Debian read OpenBSD's disklabel?
>> Debian seem to just see one big OpenBSD partition and none of
>> subpartitions. Does that mean any partitions I want to share,
>> swap, have to be partitioned with something other than OpenBSD?
>Linux should be perfectly capable of reading BSD disklabels and
>see all the slices.  However, support needs compiling in to the
>kernel for that partition format (CONFIG_BSD_DISKLABEL).  Should
>be enabled by default for Debian kernels I think.  If not, you
>might need to rebuild with it enabled, or possibly just modprobe
>it if it can be built as a module (or add to /etc/modules).

I still haven't figured out how to make Debian read BSD disklabels,
however, for those who thought swap sharing was impossible (Tom
H.), I did manage to get OpenBSD to mount Debian's partitions.
Unfortunately, it required manually editing OpenBSD's disklabel to
tell it where the Debian partitions were. Doing this, it is
possible to share swap (an use my ext2/tmpfs partition as a second
swap in OpenBSD), and any other partitions, so long as they are
either ext2 or ext3.

Mac OS X can also share the ext2/3 partitions via MacFuse.

>On Thu, May 05, 2011 at 12:41:24PM -0400, annathemermaid@hush.com
>> On Tue, 03 May 2011 09:50:55 -0400 Roger Leigh
>> <rleigh@codelibre.net> wrote:
>> >On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 09:00:50AM -0400,
>> >wrote:
>> >> So, I was trying to install Debian on this old iBook, and
>> >> apparently yaboot wants an Apple Bootstrap partition of a
>> >> particular size. I don't see a way to create such a thing in
>> >> partitioner, and I would think it is something Mac OS X ought
>> >> have created? Unfortunately, the Mac OS X partitioner really
>> >isn't
>> >> that powerful.
>> >
>> >It's not, unfortunately.  You'll need to use mac-fdisk to
>> >partition
>> >the disk correctly.  This will let you create an
>> >partition of the correct size.  For some reason the Apple disk
>> >utility deliberately hides these "special" partitions!
>> Thanks! It works! Used Gentoo documentation:
>> http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/2004.3/handbook-
>> ppc.xml?part=1&chap=4&style=printable#doc_chap3
>> Now that Debian is up and running, is there documentation
>> explaining how to make yaboot offer options to boot OpenBSD
>> NetBSD?
>It should be possible, but AFAIK it's currently broken:
>Looks like it's simple to fix, but there wasn't anyone who could
>test it properly.

I've been having a more serious issue with yaboot: it seems to
wreck the Mac Os Classic disk drivers so Mac OS 9.2.2 can't boot
anymore. Instead, it just shows this sort of flashing flopping
image. Apparently, the usual workaround is to boot into the Classic
install CD and select the Update Drivers function from the Disk
Setup. Unfortunately, since I have a late 2003 model that barely
supports booting into Classic, the installation program is only
capable of running from withing OS X's Classic Mode; it doesn't
work when booted directly off the CD. The Tiger and Panther
installation disks only seem to be capable of installing the
drivers when partitioning the disk from scratch; they don't know
how to fix the drivers without wiping the disk. So, no Update
Drivers for me. The problem does not occur if Debian is installed
without the yaboot Apple_Bootstrap partition, but then, of course,
there's no way to boot Debian. Creating the Apple_Bootstrap
partition with OpenBSD's pdisk rather than Debian's mac-fdisk
doesn't help either, so I think the problem must occur when yaboot
actually installs itself onto the Apple_Bootstrap partition. Wiping
the disk and installing Mac OS X / Mac OS 9.2.2 from scratch will
resolve the issue, but then of course it will break again when I
install Debian again.

OpenBSD will still boot in it's usual way even with yaboot
installed, although if you put yaboot before the HFS partition
containing OpenBSD's ofwboot, then you have to change
boot hd:,ofwboot /bsd
to something like
boot hd:X,ofwboot /bsd
where X is the partition number of the HFS partition.
Joel Rees <joel.rees@gmail.com> wrote:
> That means that if you want to use LVM, you'll need at least three
> basic (Macintosh volume) partitions: (1) the tiny one to pass
> from the Apple boostrap code ("ROM" that isn't) to the Linux
> (2) then usual root partition, and (3) the LVM partition to split
> into Linux partitions for the rest.

But if I used LVM, I'm not sure if I could get OpenBSD to mount the
ext2/3 partitions and share the swap.

Joel Rees <joel.rees@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dual booting does work, but you really have to practice a couple
> times before you get it right for you. Don't expect to avoid
> up anything you would rather not lose, you're going to wipe that
> completely at least once.

Twice so far; fortunately, I started with a fresh disk. And thanks
for the explanation about what exactly this Apple Bootstrap
partition is.

P.S. To anyone using hfsplus, make sure you mount only read-only,
as it does not appear to be stable and could corrupt your disk.
Also, once mounted, ordinary ls, cd, and pwd don't appear to work,
so you have to use hpls, etc. It's very weird.
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