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macoman

How to Install Debian 7.4 on PowerPC G4?

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Wow, I didn't know that Ubuntu etc still support PPC! 

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more to try http://www.mintppc.org/ supports the G4 and seems to be semi up-to-date

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I already tried Lubuntu 13.10 and same issue as Debian: Nvidia Graphic issues. I need to know how I can at least be able to logon to be able to install the proper drivers.

I have no idea if nvidia provides Linux binary drivers for PPC, but I know I had a lot of trouble with the opensource driver (nouveau) on a system with a PCI (not express) GT 430, so I understand your pain. I followed a guild something like this:

 

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia

 

There is a section on switching from the driver using the terminal (see "Removing Nouveau) which is what I had to do. I don't know if this would work with Debian or if it's just Ubuntu. I was trying to install Ubuntu 13.04 at the time.

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Can someone with yaboot command knowledge tell me how I can make the following tutorial to work with Debian 7.4? this guide was extracted from the Ubuntu 13.04 forum

 

 

OK, here's what works on my Sawtooth, with an nVidia gForce4 MX 64MB card installed. I used a usb flash drive attached to a USB 2 PCI card, and was connected to the internet via ethernet cable. I don't know if it will work for your nVidia card--that's a flashed pc card, right? Anyway, I just verified it works with mine. I was able to boot to the live desktop and everything ran normally.

I got some of this from the "Known Problems" wiki.

At the yaboot prompt, type:

live video=offb:off nouveau.modeset=0 single

This will freeze the screen or give a blank screen. Mine freezes at the screen when the video card is recognized. That's ok. You have to judge when the machine has finished booting, which can be longer than you think. I waited until the flash drive stoppped blinking fast for at least 60 seconds. For the next step, you will not be able to see what you're typing, so take it slow so you make no mistakes.

Now type:

modprobe nvidiafb mode_option=1920x1080-32

Substitute your monitor's screen resolution (where I typed 1920x1080-32). When you hit the return key, you will find yourself in a terminal screen.

Now type this:

start lightdm

In 30 seconds or so, you should be looking at the booted desktop.

I know this sounds complicated, but it's really only three steps:

live video=offb:off nouveau.modeset=0 single

modprobe nvidiafb mode_option=1920x1080-32

start lightdm

This worked perfectly for me. I hope it works for you. Please let us know. Good luck!

When I try to boot with video=offb:off nouveau.modeset=0 single or modprobe nvidiafb mode_option=1920x1080-32 I have the following errors:

 

x2jawy.jpg
 

My screen froze when I booted on "nomodeset"

 

34il386.jpg

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Are you sure the yaboot configuration is correct? That's odd

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Are you sure the yaboot configuration is correct? That's odd

do you know the correct configuration?

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do you know the correct configuration?

I don't, I've never done it, but it seems odd that it is trying to execute the kernel boot options as if they were binaries/files that's what leads me to suspect something is wrong with the configuration.

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Well i gave up... Debian or even Lubuntu on the PowerMac G4 MDD with Nvidia Geforce TI 4600 is really a pain in the butt... This is not for noobs... It's has been impossible to install so far.

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You may try this detailed install guide: http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/powerpc/

I tried all kind of guides, the problem I have is that I have Nvidia and there is not way to boot on the most basic mode to logon and configure because the openfirmware is a pain in the ass. I think that's why not one care about Linux on the PowerPC. Because it's not easy to install.

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^ Well PowerPC is a dead architecture these days

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^ Well PowerPC is a dead architecture these days

That's true but a dual 1.42ghz plus 2GB of ram plus updated OS with Linux or even FreeBSD is a beast machine... the architecture is dead but they still powerful enough to last few more years. It's a shame that still a great machine can't have an easy transition to alternative OS.

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That's true but a dual 1.42ghz plus 2GB of ram plus updated OS with Linux or even FreeBSD is a beast machine... the architecture is dead but they still powerful enough to last few more years. It's a shame that still a great machine can't have an easy transition to alternative OS.

I won't disagree there. What about netBSD?

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I won't disagree there. What about netBSD?

I was looking into FreeBSD... saw a video in how to install a desktop GUI into it.

 

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I have the same problem.

 

I installed Debian 7.5.0 Jessie but booted up to a black(blank) screen except with cursor. When I pressed ctrl-alt-f1   , got the login prompt, logged in, then typed startx. I got a lower resolution desktop of Debian. I was so excited especially after I did modified the file with 'blacklist nouveau' like the other guide said.

 

I followed the other guides to the 't' but still get a blank screen.

 

I installed Fedora 12 for powerpc successfully. The only thing was no updated firefox browser for ppc in fedora 12. For what it's worth, fedora 12 works quite well minus an updated browser. I installed midori as another browser and that works too.  I had trouble installing vlc. The respository for fedora 12 ppc seems limited. Perhaps I should learn to compile all the programs from source?

 

Still trying to find a good gnu/linux solution for the powerbook G4.  (I don't have to use any ubuntu derivatives since I think they most come with non-free software and spyware to my knowledge).

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