Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux) - Powerpc

This is a discussion on Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux) - Powerpc ; I continue to have zero success in getting this Mac G4 to boot with Fedora Core 6 for PPC. After days spent searching everywhere I can find, the only thing I could find that looked like it might help was ...

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Thread: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

  1. Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)


    I continue to have zero success in getting this Mac G4 to boot with Fedora
    Core 6 for PPC.

    After days spent searching everywhere I can find, the only thing I could
    find that looked like it might help was "yabootconfig -r /dev/hda2 -b
    /dev/hda1 --kernel /boot/vmlinuz-* --initrd /boot/initrd-*". I booted up
    using the rescue CD and tried that, no luck.

    I am OUT of ideas on how to make this thing work. Can any of you help?

    Thanks...


  2. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    on Saturday 28 April 2007 07:46 pm, reply.in.group@nospam.no (Eric) wrote:

    >
    > I continue to have zero success in getting this Mac G4 to boot with Fedora
    > Core 6 for PPC.
    >
    > After days spent searching everywhere I can find, the only thing I could
    > find that looked like it might help was "yabootconfig -r /dev/hda2 -b
    > /dev/hda1 --kernel /boot/vmlinuz-* --initrd /boot/initrd-*". I booted up
    > using the rescue CD and tried that, no luck.
    >
    > I am OUT of ideas on how to make this thing work. Can any of you help?


    I'm confused. Does this mean you had a successful install - or
    are you unable to boot the cd to do an install?

    From the fedora core 6 release notes:

    "Fedora Core Installation Disc 1 is bootable on supported hardware. In
    addition, a bootable CD image appears in the images/ directory of this
    disc. These images behave differently according to your system hardware:

    Apple Macintosh The bootloader automatically boots the appropriate 32-bit or
    64-bit installer.

    The default gnome-power-manager package includes power management support,
    including sleep and backlight level management. Users with more complex
    requirements can use the apmud package in Fedora Extras. To install apmud
    after installation, use the following command:

    su -c 'yum install apmud'

    > Thanks...


    jerry
    --
    // Jerry Heyman | "Software is the difference between
    // Amiga Forever :-) | hardware and reality"
    \\ // heymanj@acm.org |
    \X/ http://bellsouthpwp.net/h/e/heymanj/

  3. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Sat, 28 Apr 2007 20:43:02 -0400, Jerry Heyman wrote:

    > I'm confused. Does this mean you had a successful install - or
    > are you unable to boot the cd to do an install?


    Good morning, Jerry.

    I apologize, I should have been more explicit, or inserted a pointer back
    to my previous post on this topic, posted a few days ago, titled "Fedora
    Core 6 Won't Boot on Macintosh G4 PPC".

    The DVD boots fine and FC6 installs without error, but the system will not
    boot Linux ... I get the little file folder icon with the question mark in
    it which I assume means that the computer can't find the boot sector or
    boot image.

    During a few days spent looking for help (including large blocks of time
    spent with Google), I found
    http://www.bytebot.net/geekdocs/ibook/fedorappc.html which told me to use
    "yabootconfig -r /dev/hda2 -b /dev/hda1 --kernel /boot/vmlinuz-* --initrd
    /boot/initrd-*" where /dev/hda2 is my root partition and /dev/hda1 is some
    kind of Apple-specific boot partition.

    Tried that (by first booting the system using the FC6 PPC "Rescue" CD,
    which worked), and yabootconfig ran without errors.

    Tried to reboot and still get the little file folder with the "?" in the
    middle.

    I remember that, unlike i386 installs, the installer never asked me where
    I wanted to put the boot loader... I assumed it just loaded it into The
    Right Place (but, maybe not...).

    So, I now have a Mac G4 with a full FC6 installation but no way to boot it.


  4. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    on Sunday 29 April 2007 09:32 am, reply.in.group@nospam.no (Eric) wrote:

    > On Sat, 28 Apr 2007 20:43:02 -0400, Jerry Heyman wrote:
    >
    >> I'm confused. Does this mean you had a successful install - or
    >> are you unable to boot the cd to do an install?

    >
    > Good morning, Jerry.
    >
    > I apologize, I should have been more explicit, or inserted a pointer back
    > to my previous post on this topic, posted a few days ago, titled "Fedora
    > Core 6 Won't Boot on Macintosh G4 PPC".
    >
    > The DVD boots fine and FC6 installs without error, but the system will not
    > boot Linux ... I get the little file folder icon with the question mark in
    > it which I assume means that the computer can't find the boot sector or
    > boot image.


    Not a problem, just trying to understand if it's first boot (install) or
    subsequent boot(s) to Linux. Now that you've cleared that up, lets get
    on to the details.

    > During a few days spent looking for help (including large blocks of time
    > spent with Google), I found
    > http://www.bytebot.net/geekdocs/ibook/fedorappc.html which told me to use
    > "yabootconfig -r /dev/hda2 -b /dev/hda1 --kernel /boot/vmlinuz-* --initrd
    > /boot/initrd-*" where /dev/hda2 is my root partition and /dev/hda1 is some
    > kind of Apple-specific boot partition.
    >
    > Tried that (by first booting the system using the FC6 PPC "Rescue" CD,
    > which worked), and yabootconfig ran without errors.
    >
    > Tried to reboot and still get the little file folder with the "?" in the
    > middle.


    Is it safe to assume that your G4 is running MacOS 9.x? Your description
    doesn't seem to fit a Mac running OS X - though again, I maybe wrong.

    [... comment about 386 boot cut for brevity ...]

    > So, I now have a Mac G4 with a full FC6 installation but no way to boot
    > it.


    Gotcha. I have an oldworld beige powermac 8500 upgraded with a Sonnet G3
    processor. I attempted to go the FC5 route, only to find out that it
    no longer supported oldworld machines :-( In the end, I would up with
    YDL 4.1, but that's a different story - and not what you were looking for.

    I found the website, http://lowendmac.com, to be of great help - and when I
    couldn't find what I wanted, I emailed Larry Stotler directly and he was
    able to help me. The articles were first rate
    (http://lowendmac.com/editorials.html) and may be of some use. I used
    BootX (as yaboot doesn't support oldworld machines).

    In the article, http://www-128.ibm.com/developerwork...ry/l-pmac.html,
    it appears you've made a slight mistake with the partition numbers. While
    it's a rather dated article, it still has some interesting info. From
    the article:

    "Partitioning and bootstrapping work a bit differently on Apple machines
    compared to x86 ones. Specifically, Apple's Open Firmware (an enhanced
    version of the BIOS Linux users know from x86 PCs) relies on a small "Apple
    Bootstrap" partition (hda2) to load the subsequent operating system from
    one of the regular partitions. The partition map also occupies hda1, so the
    first partition in which you will install any operating system is numbered
    at least hda3. During machine startup -- using the multi-boot tool yaboot
    -- your boot process goes through two stages, rather than the one-level x86
    MBR boot loaders such as lilo and grub use. At the first stage, you have a
    choice of booting from, for example, harddisk, CD-ROM, or to Open Firmware;
    assuming you proceed to the harddisk, you might have the option of booting
    various operating systems/versions that live on normal partitions."

    I don't know all the options to yabootconfig - so you may already realize
    the above.

    If yaboot is installed correctly, it should be what you see when you
    first boot the machine - not anything else. It should then boot you
    into whatever is the default os...

    My personal experience with yaboot is limited to IBM's pSeries systems
    (not Mac) where I have installed Suse9 and Suse10 on a single machine
    (with two disks)

    jerry
    --
    // Jerry Heyman | "Software is the difference between
    // Amiga Forever :-) | hardware and reality"
    \\ // heymanj@acm.org |
    \X/ http://bellsouthpwp.net/h/e/heymanj/

  5. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)


    On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 11:44:04 -0400, Jerry Heyman wrote:

    > Is it safe to assume that your G4 is running MacOS 9.x? Your description
    > doesn't seem to fit a Mac running OS X


    It was. It isn't any longer. I wanted the machine to run only Linux, so
    I removed the MacOS hard drive and installed a new hard drive.

    > "Partitioning and bootstrapping work a bit differently on Apple machines
    > compared to x86 ones. Specifically, Apple's Open Firmware (an enhanced
    > version of the BIOS Linux users know from x86 PCs) relies on a small "Apple
    > Bootstrap" partition (hda2) to load the subsequent operating system from
    > one of the regular partitions. The partition map also occupies hda1, so the
    > first partition in which you will install any operating system is numbered
    > at least hda3.


    I have the Apple Bootstrap partition on hda1 and the root partition on
    hda2, with a swap partition on hda3. I didn't accept the default
    partitions the installer gave me. When I install Linux on an x86 machine,
    I usually build my own partitions, setting up one as swap and the rest of
    the hard drive as the other. In the case of the Mac I set up one as the
    Apple Boot partition, one as swap, and the rest of the drive as another
    partition. I probably screwed that up, and that's probably why it won't
    boot. I'll go back and re-install, taking all of the defaults for
    everything, and see what happens.

    I'll get back to you and let you know how it goes ... thanks... :-)


  6. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)


    Jerry;

    No luck. I installed a fresh installation of FC6 taking ALL of the
    defaults, then ran yabootconfig as indicated earlier (taking care to make
    sure first that I was designating boot and root correctly) and this thing
    just will not boot... sits there with the little folder icon with the
    alternate question mark and silly little faces.

    I am absolutely out of ideas.


  7. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    on Sunday 29 April 2007 08:23 pm, reply.in.group@nospam.no (Eric) wrote:

    >
    > Jerry;
    >
    > No luck. I installed a fresh installation of FC6 taking ALL of the
    > defaults, then ran yabootconfig as indicated earlier (taking care to make
    > sure first that I was designating boot and root correctly) and this thing
    > just will not boot... sits there with the little folder icon with the
    > alternate question mark and silly little faces.
    >
    > I am absolutely out of ideas.


    Eric,

    When you say folder icon - I'm assuming you mean the happy mac that
    one sees after the hardware has been checked - and then it attempts
    to boot off of the disk? Otherwise, if it's actually a folder, it
    still sounds like you have something other than just Linux on the
    system.

    Out of curiousity, is the new drive also SCSI 0/IDE Master? (I don't
    have access to a G3, so I don't know what kind of disk it is using).

    I don't know how much of hobbiest/programmer/developer you are, but
    I would start looking at things related to Open Firmware to see how
    your system is currently configured.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Firmware

    "On a PowerPC-based[3] Macintosh, the Open Firmware interface can be
    accessed by pressing the keys Cmd-Option-O-F at startup. This functionality
    is generally only used by developers; for common users, the Mac OS X
    operating system provides a high level graphical user interface to change
    commonly used Open Firmware settings. For instance, it is possible to
    specify the boot disk or partition without directly using the Open Firmware
    interface. Other Open Firmware settings can be changed using the nvram
    command while the system software is running."

    This will get you to the prompt, and you should be able to enter
    specific commands to see what the machine thinks you have

    http://www.firmworks.com/QuickRef.html

    At this point there isn't much else I can suggest - other than maybe
    trying a different distro - or checking the bugzilla w/FC6 to see if
    what you are experiencing is a known issue.

    Good Luck.

    jerry
    --
    // Jerry Heyman | "Software is the difference between
    // Amiga Forever :-) | hardware and reality"
    \\ // heymanj@acm.org |
    \X/ http://bellsouthpwp.net/h/e/heymanj/

  8. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:48:40 -0400, Jerry Heyman wrote:

    > When you say folder icon - I'm assuming you mean the happy mac that
    > one sees after the hardware has been checked - and then it attempts
    > to boot off of the disk?


    Right, that's the one.

    > Out of curiousity, is the new drive also SCSI 0/IDE Master? (I don't
    > have access to a G3, so I don't know what kind of disk it is using).


    Plain old IDE, same as the original drive that was in there. The only
    difference is the new drive is 200 GB and the old is 30 GB. I know some
    of the older i386 PCs have a limit of 136 GB on the boot drive, so I also
    tried installing FC6 on a 60-GB drive instead of the 200-GB drive, no luck.

    > I don't know how much of hobbiest/programmer/developer you are, but
    > I would start looking at things related to Open Firmware to see how
    > your system is currently configured.


    I'll try that... and am currently downloading the Yellow Dog distro and
    will try that also.

    Thanks...



  9. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:48:40 -0400, Jerry Heyman wrote:

    > At this point there isn't much else I can suggest - other than maybe
    > trying a different distro


    Good morning, Jerry.

    Well, I gave up (temporarily) on FC6 and tried Yellow Dog, and it's doing
    the same thing... just gives me what I think you referred to as the "happy
    mac" folder icon (alternate question mark and the little smiley faces, in
    a folder icon).

    I guess I'll try a few of the other things you suggested to try to figure
    out what is going on but this is turning into a huge waste of time... :-(

    I'm wondering if a standalone Linux installation can even be done on this
    model of Mac... maybe I need to have a small bootable native OS partition
    and a Linux partition, and use yaboot to select... have absolutely NO idea
    how to set any of that up but I guess the info is out on the web someplace...


  10. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 08:57:40 -0400, Eric wrote:

    > Well, I gave up (temporarily) on FC6 and tried Yellow Dog, and it's doing
    > the same thing... just gives me what I think you referred to as the "happy
    > mac" folder icon (alternate question mark and the little smiley faces, in
    > a folder icon).


    Everything I have tried, and every hour (day) of research has failed to
    come up with anything that works.

    As an absolute last resort, I'm willing to try making a boot diskette and
    booting from that, if that is the ONLY way to get this thing to work.

    (I really don't want to do that because this computer is going to a place
    where it's not very accessible on short notice, but if it's absolutely the
    only way then it's the only way.)

    Where can I find the information I need to make up a boot diskette? So
    far I have come up with zero information on that, either on the Fedora or
    Yellow Dog websites or anywhere else...

    Shades of the good old days... back around 1995 when I was using
    Slackware, there were three 80486 machines I had that wouldn't boot Linux
    from the hard drive and the only thing I could do was make up boot
    diskettes and use them... don't even remember now how I did that and make
    them boot to The Right Place but I suspect it's totally different for Macs
    anyway...



  11. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    Eric wrote:
    > I continue to have zero success in getting this Mac G4 to boot with Fedora
    > Core 6 for PPC.
    >
    > After days spent searching everywhere I can find, the only thing I could
    > find that looked like it might help was "yabootconfig -r /dev/hda2 -b
    > /dev/hda1 --kernel /boot/vmlinuz-* --initrd /boot/initrd-*". I booted up
    > using the rescue CD and tried that, no luck.
    >
    > I am OUT of ideas on how to make this thing work. Can any of you help?
    >
    > Thanks...
    >

    Stab in the dark . . .
    reset your pram (start up holding down the command option p r keys) let
    it chime 3 times
    if that doesn't help
    then start again holding down the option key - the default is to allow
    you to choose an os

  12. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 13:04:46 -0600, John Yates wrote:

    > Stab in the dark . . .
    > reset your pram (start up holding down the command option p r keys) let
    > it chime 3 times
    > if that doesn't help
    > then start again holding down the option key - the default is to allow
    > you to choose an os


    Thanks, John... the first step (resetting pram) didn't have any effect,
    and holding the option key down gives me a screen with a circular arrow
    button on the left and a straight arrow (pointing right) on the right...
    clicking those two does nothing.

    Choosing an OS would be fine (though it would be best if the thing would
    just boot into Linux without having to make a choice) but the thing can't
    even find any OSs to present as an option.



  13. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    I had a similar problem a few months ago with Ubuntu (my error).
    Eventually I decided to cut my losses and re-install. Everything is now
    tickety-boo. Ubuntu rocks.

    >
    > Choosing an OS would be fine (though it would be best if the thing would
    > just boot into Linux without having to make a choice) but the thing can't
    > even find any OSs to present as an option.
    >
    >


  14. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    John Yates wrote:
    > I had a similar problem a few months ago with Ubuntu (my error).
    > Eventually I decided to cut my losses and re-install. Everything is now
    > tickety-boo. Ubuntu rocks.

    If you do decide to re-install: make sure you wipe the entire drive
    first. When the Mac OS initializes the drive, it puts a bunch of small
    partitions at the beginning, for drivers etc. On my dual boot system
    (also a g4) my OS is on partition #10.

  15. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Mon, 30 Apr 2007, Eric wrote:

    > On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 13:04:46 -0600, John Yates wrote:
    >
    >> Stab in the dark . . .
    >> reset your pram (start up holding down the command option p r keys) let
    >> it chime 3 times
    >> if that doesn't help
    >> then start again holding down the option key - the default is to allow
    >> you to choose an os

    >
    > Thanks, John... the first step (resetting pram) didn't have any effect,
    > and holding the option key down gives me a screen with a circular arrow
    > button on the left and a straight arrow (pointing right) on the right...
    > clicking those two does nothing.
    >
    > Choosing an OS would be fine (though it would be best if the thing would
    > just boot into Linux without having to make a choice) but the thing can't
    > even find any OSs to present as an option.
    >
    >
    >

    I've honestly just been having similar problems recently, although I
    wasn't able to install YDL at all on my machine. The thing that sticks
    out is your comment on the "circular and straight arrow". If you don't
    seen anything else on the screen, that is telling me the firmware is not
    finding a bootable drive at all, so something didn't get setup correctly
    with the install.

    Normally, you will see an "icon" or two of the bootable partitions and
    select one of them, then click on the "straight" arrow to boot with that
    partition.

    Not a solution, but I too ended up going with Ubuntu. It installed fine
    and booted (with yaboot) correctly the first time thru. So, while I did
    want to try out YDL, I think I am just going to stick with Ubuntu, as it
    hasn't let me down thus far!

    Daniel James Koepke
    Fort Wayne, IN

  16. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Wed, 02 May 2007 11:21:53 -0600, John Yates wrote:

    > If you do decide to re-install: make sure you wipe the entire drive
    > first. When the Mac OS initializes the drive, it puts a bunch of small
    > partitions at the beginning, for drivers etc. On my dual boot system
    > (also a g4) my OS is on partition #10.


    Good evening, John.

    Mac OS never initialized this drive. I removed the Mac OS drive and
    installed a fresh unpartitioned drive, and let the FC6 (and after that the
    YDL) install DVD do all the drive partitioning and formatting.

    I'll try Ubuntu. Nothing to lose I guess.


  17. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Thu, 03 May 2007 14:28:32 -0400, Daniel James Koepke wrote:

    > Not a solution, but I too ended up going with Ubuntu. It installed fine
    > and booted (with yaboot) correctly the first time thru.


    Good morning, Daniel.

    Well, I tried Ubuntu, and I can't get past the initial X startup on the
    installation CD ... and so far I haven't been able to find a
    text-mode-only installation process (similar to "linux text" on FC6).

    So, still batting zero...


  18. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)

    On Fri, 4 May 2007, Eric wrote:

    > On Thu, 03 May 2007 14:28:32 -0400, Daniel James Koepke wrote:
    >
    >> Not a solution, but I too ended up going with Ubuntu. It installed fine
    >> and booted (with yaboot) correctly the first time thru.

    >
    > Good morning, Daniel.
    >
    > Well, I tried Ubuntu, and I can't get past the initial X startup on the
    > installation CD ... and so far I haven't been able to find a
    > text-mode-only installation process (similar to "linux text" on FC6).
    >
    > So, still batting zero...
    >
    >

    Did you try the Live "portion" first? Those ISOs for Ubuntu are LiveCDs
    as well, so you don't need to install anything first. I used that on my
    pismo (g3 powerbook) first and once everything looked good, I went through
    and installed it.

    I wish I could help more, but with distros, I normally just keep looking
    until I find something that works with my hardware...not the best way to
    go, but I have about 5-6 distros that are my "go-to's" and if Ubuntu is
    not working, I fear that there is really more of a hardware issue than
    anything else...you might want to do some research on installing linux on
    your particular machine and see what that turns up...

    Daniel James Koepke
    Fort Wayne, IN

  19. Re: Can ANYONE please help? (Mac G4 won't boot Linux)


    >
    > Well, I tried Ubuntu, and I can't get past the initial X startup


    At this point I'm starting to wonder if its a hardware issue. Mine is a
    G4 PPC AGP (Sawtooth) machine and I had no problems.

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