[kismac] Re: Linux on a PowerBook G4. PLEASE HELP!

  • From: Andrew1300@xxxxxxx
  • To: kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 09:51:54 EST

>Does anyone have any information on getting a PowerBook G4 to run on
>both Linux and MacOS X?  I want to use ethereal and all of those linux
>programs but I am not very linux savey and I wanted to know if anyone
>had any detailed install instructions and how to install the programs.
>I donit understand how to compile, etc.  

Hey, check out http://penguinppc.org/

I have successfully installed Linux Mandrake 9 PPC, OS-X 10.3, and OS-9 
with a bootloader (yaboot) that lets you pick which OS to boot upon 
startup.  That website above has tutorials, examples, and other great 
resources for running linux on your mac.  On that website, on the left is 
a section called ":: distributions".  In there are like 7 of the major 
distributions that have a PPC blend.  After trying Yellow Dog Linux, 
Gentoo, and Mandrake, I have had the best experience with Mandrake.  It 
has a flawless installer (the others has "issues") and it has awesome 
programs built-in that let you use the special buttons on your laptop 
(Eject, Volume Up/Down/Mute, Brightness, etc.)  But, if you want to dive 
into compiling, you can technically use all those tools from any 
distribution if you want to try compiling it yourself.  Try any of these 
distributions if you want, you can download a bootable ISO and burn it 
from your mac or PC.  Each has their plusses and minuses, as you'll 

A fair warning though, it may take a few installs to get everything 
perfect because you have to partition it just right.  To give you an idea 
of what the FAQ you'll find on that website will tell you to do, is 
pretty much...

#1: From a OS-9 Boot-CD, partition about 6-10 different partitions in 
different sizes (you'll find more information on how big and what they 
are for from the FAQ.  One will be for linux Swap, one for a boot 
partition that lets you select which OS to boot, one will be for OS-9, 
one for OS-X, one for Linux.  After you install OS-9, it adds more 
partitions for drivers and such, and after a OS-X install, it adds one 
extra partition in addition to the data partition for os-x drivers.

#2: Then, install OS-9, OS-X, then Linux last.  It needs to be in that 
order because of the extra partitions they all install, and that the last 
install, Linux, will install the bootloader and set the openfirmware's 
booted partition to be the small partition with yaboot.

Those two steps, if you want Mac and Linux to exist on the same computer, 
will prolly be repeated a few times until you perfect it.  I have done 
this on two of my laptops, my 12" G4, and my white iBook successfully.  
The first time on the iBook it took about 12 installs, and the Powerbook 
only 3 installs (meaning, repartition, and install each OS, only to find 
out I did it wrong, so I could start all over again).  It's time 
consuming, but once you get it just right it's perfect and works great.  
I wish there was a tool, or a perfect repeatable way to do it, but there 
really isn't.  Not enough people want to do this, although it is VERY 
awesome to be showing off in a Starbucks, with your Mac, with Linux on 
it.  =)  And... REALLY cool is that there is a program called MoL (Mac on 
Linux) that lets you run OS-X or OS-9 from Linux using direct hardware 
calls to your computer, so it runs about 80% the speed it would run if 
you booted directly from the Mac OS.  It's just like Virtual PC.  =)  
Anyway, good luck.

 - Andrew

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