what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540? - Powerpc

This is a discussion on what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540? - Powerpc ; Hi all, I want to try Linux on my "old" Powermac 7300 (originally 7300/200), which now has a Sonnet G3 card (340MHz), 192MB of RAM and a MP540 graphic card. I tried YDL 3.01, but - although it ran well ...

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Thread: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

  1. what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    Hi all,
    I want to try Linux on my "old" Powermac 7300 (originally 7300/200),
    which now has a Sonnet G3 card (340MHz), 192MB of RAM and a MP540
    graphic card.
    I tried YDL 3.01, but - although it ran well on the Mac when I bypass
    the graphic card and use on-board graphics only - I was not able to run
    it with the MP540. It its fine in text mode, but the X server does not
    perform well (wrong colors with lot of purple, I guess its a screen sync
    problem but find no way around it)

    Is there a Linux distribution that you can recommend, and that works
    with the MacPicasso card?


    Frank

  2. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    > I want to try Linux on my "old" Powermac 7300 (originally 7300/200),
    > which now has a Sonnet G3 card (340MHz), 192MB of RAM and a MP540
    > graphic card.
    > I tried YDL 3.01, but - although it ran well on the Mac when I bypass
    > the graphic card and use on-board graphics only - I was not able to
    > run it with the MP540. It its fine in text mode, but the X server does
    > not perform well (wrong colors with lot of purple, I guess its a
    > screen sync problem but find no way around it)


    There are actually three support aspects to graphics in Linux on the
    Macintosh platform: support through open firmware (which you get if you
    pass video=ofonly on boot), support via a specific framebuffer driver
    (which as you experienced works for controlfb as used in PowerMac 7x00
    and 8x00) and support for X11 with either frame buffer interface (fbdev
    driver) or a chipset-specific driver.

    So for X11 you will need to find out what chipset the MP540 uses, lspci
    should help there. I'm not completely sure from your above posting which
    piece of hardware is showing the wrong colors, MP540 or the builtin
    control graphics? If the builtin graphics show wrong colors that might
    be related to the G3 card, there have been reports of G3 cards that make
    the onboard graphics completely unusable. If the MP540 is showing wrong
    colors you might consider looking for an updated graphics driver, that
    would be an updated xfree86 rpm from YDL.

    Have you tried to boot with video=ofonly and the MP540? Are you using
    BootX? Have you looked into the XF86Config used? Which driver is
    configured in 'Section "Device"'?

    > Is there a Linux distribution that you can recommend, and that works
    > with the MacPicasso card?


    I always recommend Debian ;-), but for someone getting started with
    Linux, YDL is probably the better choice.

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  3. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    Thomas Jahns wrote:
    >
    > There are actually three support aspects to graphics in Linux on the
    > Macintosh platform: support through open firmware (which you get if you
    > pass video=ofonly on boot), support via a specific framebuffer driver
    > (which as you experienced works for controlfb as used in PowerMac 7x00
    > and 8x00) and support for X11 with either frame buffer interface (fbdev
    > driver) or a chipset-specific driver.
    >
    > So for X11 you will need to find out what chipset the MP540 uses, lspci
    > should help there. I'm not completely sure from your above posting which
    > piece of hardware is showing the wrong colors, MP540 or the builtin
    > control graphics?


    it is the MP that is problematic, showing wrong colors and distorted
    display; the builtin is ok. Ok, i could then simply switch to builtin,
    but my Mac also runs Os9 (not for sentimental reasons, but to drive my
    PersonalLaserwriter over the local network and access it from my OsX
    iMac), I do not want to do that in the first place. It is simply a
    matter of bequemlichkeit to not change the monitor connector each time I
    want to use Linux...

    > If the builtin graphics show wrong colors that might
    > be related to the G3 card, there have been reports of G3 cards that make
    > the onboard graphics completely unusable. If the MP540 is showing wrong
    > colors you might consider looking for an updated graphics driver, that
    > would be an updated xfree86 rpm from YDL.


    ok, I'll try that

    >
    > Have you tried to boot with video=ofonly and the MP540?


    no, not yet. What does this do?

    >Are you using
    > BootX?


    yes, I understood that is the only way to boot Linux on the oldworld Mac
    and keep Os9.

    > Have you looked into the XF86Config used? Which driver is
    > configured in 'Section "Device"'?
    >


    I did look there, but I am not so much into Linux that I understand the
    config file...

    >
    >>Is there a Linux distribution that you can recommend, and that works
    >>with the MacPicasso card?

    >
    >
    > I always recommend Debian ;-),


    could you elaborate why?

    > but for someone getting started with
    > Linux, YDL is probably the better choice.


    I actually have downloaded the Debian "woody" CD isos now, so I'll try
    to install that and see what happens. Are these more up to date than
    YDL3 (e.g. have more graphic card drivers)? Is it possible to say which
    one will run faster on my old hardware, Debian or YDL?
    I'm sure I get back here with a bunch of questions.

    Frank

  4. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    Thomas Jahns wrote:

    > I always recommend Debian ;-), but for someone getting started with
    > Linux, YDL is probably the better choice.
    >


    ok, Debian is up and running. Although I have not configured it to perfection
    yet (i guess it will require a lot of reading), I do get a decent display from
    the MP540 card. However, the colors are again ugly, very much like the problem I
    had in YDL. It sounds it is the same problem ("solarized" colors) discussed in

    http://lists.debian.org/debian-power.../msg00525.html

    so I'm not the only one and think it is not a problem of my MP540 graphics card.

    Where can I find information about the colormap, and how to tweak it to get the
    colors right? I only get the display "right" (undistorted, but with the ugly
    colors) in 16bit color.

    Frank

  5. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:43:10 +0200,
    Frank O. Fackelmayer , in
    <2u5abeF261tuaU1@uni-berlin.de> wrote:

    >+ had in YDL. It sounds it is the same problem ("solarized" colors) discussed in
    >+
    >+ http://lists.debian.org/debian-power.../msg00525.html
    >+
    >+ so I'm not the only one and think it is not a problem of my MP540 graphics card.


    Did you read the thread? Here's a synopsis:

    >> You need to use 15 bit color depth. I had the same problem.


    > That did it, thanks!


    I've seen strangeness in certain graphics cards at 16 bit.

    James
    --
    Consulting Minister for Consultants, DNRC
    I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow
    isn't looking good, either.
    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

  6. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    I R A Darth Aggie wrote:
    > On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:43:10 +0200,
    > Frank O. Fackelmayer , in
    > <2u5abeF261tuaU1@uni-berlin.de> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>+ had in YDL. It sounds it is the same problem ("solarized" colors) discussed in
    >>+
    >>+ http://lists.debian.org/debian-power.../msg00525.html
    >>+
    >>+ so I'm not the only one and think it is not a problem of my MP540 graphics card.

    >
    >
    > Did you read the thread? Here's a synopsis:
    >
    >
    >>>You need to use 15 bit color depth. I had the same problem.

    >
    >
    >>That did it, thanks!

    >
    >
    > I've seen strangeness in certain graphics cards at 16 bit.



    Hi James,
    Sure I did read the thread :-) But as I am really new to Linux, I
    actually do not (yet) know how to set the color depth to 15 bit... From
    within KDE in Debian I did not find something like a "monitors" or
    "display" utility/control panel where I can set this. I think I remember
    I did see one in YDL when I tried that some time back.
    Also, I cannot get back from KDE to the command line (I guess i could
    set it in a config file manually). Only log out to this Gnome login
    window, but then no way to get out. I am quite sure it is only a single
    keystroke or the like, but in any case it is not intuitive.


    Frank

  7. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    > Sure I did read the thread :-) But as I am really new to Linux, I
    > actually do not (yet) know how to set the color depth to 15
    > bit... From within KDE in Debian I did not find something like a
    > "monitors" or "display" utility/control panel where I can set this. I
    > think I remember I did see one in YDL when I tried that some time back.
    > Also, I cannot get back from KDE to the command line (I guess i could
    > set it in a config file manually). Only log out to this Gnome login
    > window, but then no way to get out. I am quite sure it is only a
    > single keystroke or the like, but in any case it is not intuitive.


    You need to issue

    dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

    as root to change the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file.

    Of course above file can also be edited manually, but unless you need to
    make unusual changes (e.g. uncommon input devices), the debconf
    interface is recommended.

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  8. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    In article <2u773lF26cfb8U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" wrote:
    >
    > Also, I cannot get back from KDE to the command line (I guess i could
    > set it in a config file manually). Only log out to this Gnome login
    > window, but then no way to get out. I am quite sure it is only a single
    > keystroke or the like, but in any case it is not intuitive.
    >


    ISTR that alt-F7 gets you back to console from X-windows, but I can't
    find anything in a brief look through documentation, and I don't have a
    running Linux install at the moment...

    --
    Fudo
    DAM, IJAL

  9. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    In article <2u773lF26cfb8U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" wrote:

    > Also, I cannot get back from KDE to the command line (I guess i could
    > set it in a config file manually). Only log out to this Gnome login
    > window, but then no way to get out. I am quite sure it is only a single
    > keystroke or the like, but in any case it is not intuitive.
    >


    I remembered wrong: control-alt-F1 gets from W-windows to CLI.

    Ubuntu now up on my Lombard.

    --
    Fudo
    DAM, IJAL

  10. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    ok, I got it right. 15bit color depth is working, and the display
    appearance is fine now. I tried it both in Debian (after Thomas
    recommended that distro) and YDL, and it is ok for both. Thanks a lot.

    I installed Debian first, and after it worked I set up YDL to see if the
    15bit thing fixes the problem in YDL, too. So, now I was able to compare
    both distros on a "first sight" basis. YDL took much longer to install
    (and installed much more), and the install process was much nicer to
    look at :-)
    HOWEVER, Debian felt way "snappier" when I explored the KDE menus and
    stuff, which was contrary to what I expected. Well, I think I'll set up
    Debian again. If only there was an easy explanantion/walktrough on how
    to upgrade over the net to get the most recent stuff, eg. a new Mozilla.

    One more problem came up, and it is reproducible in both distros. It is
    about networking and I'll open a new thread for this one...

    Frank

  11. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    > ok, I got it right. 15bit color depth is working, and the display
    > appearance is fine now. I tried it both in Debian (after Thomas
    > recommended that distro) and YDL, and it is ok for both. Thanks a lot.
    >
    > I installed Debian first, and after it worked I set up YDL to see if
    > the 15bit thing fixes the problem in YDL, too. So, now I was able to
    > compare both distros on a "first sight" basis. YDL took much longer to
    > install (and installed much more), and the install process was much
    > nicer to look at :-)
    > HOWEVER, Debian felt way "snappier" when I explored the KDE menus and
    > stuff, which was contrary to what I expected. Well, I think I'll set
    > up Debian again. If only there was an easy explanantion/walktrough on
    > how to upgrade over the net to get the most recent stuff, eg. a new
    > Mozilla.


    Since I have this feeling you understand German ;-), an article in Linux
    Magazin 11/2002 might be just right for you:

    http://www.linux-magazin.de/Artikel/...1/apt/apt.html

    Otherwise it depends on what you want:

    - The current stable distribution Woody is relatively old but still gets
    regular security updates.

    - Sarge is the destined successor to Woody, but currently is only
    updated with up to two weeks of delay.

    - Sid ("Still in Development") is what is currently worked on and that
    means if you want to use it you better know how to edit system files
    in your sleep and fix bugs in the packages.

    > One more problem came up, and it is reproducible in both distros. It
    > is about networking and I'll open a new thread for this one...


    Is the builtin ethernet producing late collisions? I had that problem on
    a 10/100 switch and could only "solve" it by installing a 100MBit
    Realtek card (which also works in MacOS).

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  12. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:22:35 +0200,
    Frank O. Fackelmayer , in
    <2u946cF27fn6nU1@uni-berlin.de> wrote:

    >+ HOWEVER, Debian felt way "snappier" when I explored the KDE menus and
    >+ stuff, which was contrary to what I expected. Well, I think I'll set up
    >+ Debian again. If only there was an easy explanantion/walktrough on how
    >+ to upgrade over the net to get the most recent stuff, eg. a new Mozilla.


    The tricky part is getting your /etc/apt/sources.list file squared.
    Once that's set, and you want to upgrade, you merely have to say (note
    the root # prompt):

    # apt-get update
    # apt-get dist-upgrade

    If it's a full dist-upgrade from, say, woody to sarge or sid, then
    it'll be a while and some bandwidth.

    James
    --
    Consulting Minister for Consultants, DNRC
    I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow
    isn't looking good, either.
    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

  13. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    Thomas Jahns wrote:

    > "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    >
    >>If only there was an easy explanantion/walktrough on
    >>how to upgrade over the net to get the most recent stuff, eg. a new
    >>Mozilla.

    >
    >
    > Since I have this feeling you understand German ;-), an article in Linux
    > Magazin 11/2002 might be just right for you:
    >
    > http://www.linux-magazin.de/Artikel/...1/apt/apt.html


    oh, Dankeschön.
    First I have to fix my networking problem, though :-)

    >
    > Otherwise it depends on what you want:
    >
    > - The current stable distribution Woody is relatively old but still gets
    > regular security updates.
    >
    > - Sarge is the destined successor to Woody, but currently is only
    > updated with up to two weeks of delay.
    >
    > - Sid ("Still in Development") is what is currently worked on and that
    > means if you want to use it you better know how to edit system files
    > in your sleep and fix bugs in the packages.
    >
    >
    >>One more problem came up, and it is reproducible in both distros. It
    >>is about networking and I'll open a new thread for this one...

    >
    >
    > Is the builtin ethernet producing late collisions? I had that problem on
    > a 10/100 switch and could only "solve" it by installing a 100MBit
    > Realtek card (which also works in MacOS).


    oh well, I could try that. Do you mean something like:

    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...726456551&rd=1



    Frank

  14. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and a MacPicasso540?

    "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    > oh well, I could try that. Do you mean something like:
    >
    > http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...726456551&rd=1


    Yes, that's the type, but you can get them cheaper and quicker from
    e.g. Schiwi (U-Hudtwalckerstraße). Just ask for a NIC with Realtek 8139C
    or 8139D chip. Cost me around EUR 4,- last time I bought one. And for
    MacOS you will need to get the drivers from www.realtek.com.tw (IIRC).

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  15. Re: what Linux is best for a PPC7300 with a Sonnet G3 card and aMacPicasso540?

    Thomas Jahns wrote:
    > "Frank O. Fackelmayer" writes:
    >
    >>oh well, I could try that. Do you mean something like:
    >>
    >>http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...726456551&rd=1

    >
    >
    > Yes, that's the type, but you can get them cheaper and quicker from
    > e.g. Schiwi (U-Hudtwalckerstraße). Just ask for a NIC with Realtek 8139C
    > or 8139D chip. Cost me around EUR 4,- last time I bought one. And for
    > MacOS you will need to get the drivers from www.realtek.com.tw (IIRC).
    >


    [x] bought
    [x] installed
    [x] works on MacOs9 and Debian


    Thanks,
    Frank

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