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Tkil

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installing linux on a tibook [Nov. 1st, 2009|06:10 pm]
Tkil
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[Current Location |home]
[mood |accomplished]
[music |Delerium - Faces, Forms, and Illusions - Certain Trust]

I'm trying to install a modern Linux (Fedora 11) on my old TiBook (PowerBook G4 1GHz/DVI/GigE, from 2002 or so).



Ideally, I'd be able to just boot from an install DVD, but that doesn't seem to work -- and various install media all failed in the exact same way.

My initial attempts were described here:

http://www.yellowdog-board.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6714

But I didn't get much further. I don't remember how I got to it, but this thread is the one that really got me going again:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1107066

It looks like my TiBook has the same confusion w.r.t. where the optical drive really lives in device space. (Although the "option" boot screen does seem to find it at least long enough to see the penguin icon, so who knows what's going on.)

Anyway, using some tips on how to deal with Open Firmware:

http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/ancient/whatismacosx/arch_boot.html

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

We can run a telnet server on the mac by using these incantations [noting that I already had a second network card in my main linux box, talking to the 192.168.2.x subnet]:
   dev /packages/telnet
   " enet:telnet,192.168.2.10" io

I managed to get a snapshot showing the device aliases:
   hd                  /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-4@1f000/disk@0
   cd                  /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-3@20000/disk@0
   zip                 /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-3@20000/disk@1
   ide0                /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-3@20000/disk@0
   ide1                /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-3@20000/disk@1
   ultra0              /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-4@1f000/disk@0
   ultra1              /pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-4@1f000/disk@1

Just as described on the ubuntu forum, "ide1" talks to the optical drive, while "cd" goes off in the weeds:
   0 > dir cd:\  can't OPEN the DIR device
    ok
   0 > dir ide1:\

   Fedora 11 ppc DVD
        Size/        GMT                     File/Dir
        bytes   date     time   TYPE CRTR    Name
           36  6/ 2/ 9 18:22:39  ???? ????  .discinfo
         1917  6/ 2/ 9 18:22:49  ???? ????  .treeinfo
               1/ 1/ 4  0: 0: 0             etc
        18363  7/ 3/ 7 18: 6:50  ???? ????  GPL
               1/ 1/ 4  0: 0: 0             images
           95  6/ 2/ 9 18:27: 7  ???? ????  media.repo
               1/ 1/ 4  0: 0: 0             Packages
               1/ 1/ 4  0: 0: 0             ppc
        10581  5/14/ 9  0:59:28  TEXT ttxt  README-BURNING-ISOS-en_US.txt
               1/ 1/ 4  0: 0: 0             repodata
         1653  5/11/ 9 18:45:33  ???? ????  RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-11-primary
         1694  5/11/ 9 18:45:33  ???? ????  RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-ia64
    ok

So I ought to be able to boot something off that media. Again, from the Ubuntu forum thread:
   boot ide1:,\ppc\mac\yaboot

OK, that got me to the yaboot prompt. It looks like I need to specify the configuration file more specifically. From the yaboot "help" output:
   To load an alternative config file rather than /etc/yaboot.conf,
   enter its device, partno and path, on Open Firmware Prompt:

      boot conf=device:partno,/path/to/configfile

   To reload the config file or load a new one, use the "conf" command
   on Yaboot's prompt:

      conf [device=device] [partition=partno] [file=/path/to/configfile]

It looks like only the "yaboot" bits are mac-specific; the rest of the stuff is in the ppc32 directory (under "ppc" on the Fedora 11 PPC DVD). So, at the yaboot prompt, we try:
   conf device=ide1 partition= file=/ppc/ppc32/yaboot.conf

Ok, so now we have a single boot option "linux". Let's see where that goes...

Much better!

Unfortunately, I got an error during drive format. Let's see if using a simpler format makes it happier. (It might simply be that this drive is dying -- it's a few years old...)

Doing another format (didn't make any changes, but I did ask to review it first this time) and it worked.

The install proceeded fine from there, although it was very slow -- it turns out that it was downloading and installing all the most recent updates for everything!

After restarting, the graphics would not come up: just a blank screen. I got into a shell by restarting the machine and booting with
   linux single

Once there, I first tried asking Xorg to autoconfigure itself:
   cd /root
   Xorg -configure

But that crashed out, trying to initialize int10 handling.

After asking around on the freenode #fedora channel, it turns out that what I want to do is:
   system-config-display --reconfig

But I didn't have that installed, so I had to manually configure my network. Not a huge deal; in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts, I simply edited "ifcfg-eth0" and then ran
   service network start

At that point, I could use "yum" to download and install the config program that I needed. The command ran, and it managed to start graphics (at least enough to give me a mouse pointer), but it wouldn't do anything else.

After a reboot, however, and letting the system come up in full multiuser mode (instead of "single" mode as before), it brought up the "firstboot" stuff.

Which is normally not an issue, but for some reason the tzdata files got blown away -- the install log shows that they were installed, but anaconda croaked when it couldn't find the Denver zoneinfo data. So I had to configure it the rest of the way manually, but it seems to be working now.
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