[lug] Installing Linux on PowerPC G3

Paul E Condon pecondon at mesanetworks.net
Sun Jul 11 14:14:33 MDT 2004

On Sun, Jul 11, 2004 at 06:57:41AM -0400, Zichary O`Tea wrote:
> The God of Hand Me Down Computers has given me a PowerPC G3 (Beige,
> Deskop).  Its currently running OS 9.1, but I would much rather have it
> run Linux. 

I also recently became the care-giver to a Beige G3. I have a number of 
CDs of various Mac OSes. I never got to the point of attempting to install
Linux because my G3, if left unattended for more than an hour, would go into
a sleep from which it could not be awakened without pulling the wall plug.
To me, this indicated that there was something sick in the hardware, so I
put it in a box awaiting an idea of what to do with it. 

I think I can make useful copies of some of my Mac OS CDs. Which ones would
you like to have? 

> However, I'm having some problems getting the installation to work.... or,
> even, start. :) 
> As I understand it, all "OldWorld" Macs need to retain some porition of
> Mac OS 7.5-X, regardless of what else is being ran.  Also, if you're only 
> using one drive on the machine (like I am), you need to re-partition the
> drive, which requires booting off of something other than the harddisk
> that you want to partition with MAC OS installation media.  I don't have a
> copy of any Mac instalation media on CD.  I did, however, find the System
> 7.5.3 floppy images on apple.com. 
> http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/
> Ostensibly, I could write all of these images to disk, and re-partition
> the drive during the system 7.5.3 installation.  However, I can't seem to
> get the Disk Copy utility to write any of the images to disk on the
> PowerPC (after uncompressing them) and I can't find a utility for windows
> that will write the image to a floppy either (there different kinds of
> images than the kind you can use with rawrite).  Do any mac people know
> how I could do this? 
> Preferably, however, it would be nice if there was a System 7.5.3 bootable
> iso image pre-made out there somewhere.  Googling for help with this
> problem, I saw that a few people had made something like that with Toast.
> But, I don't have Toast, or a Mac CD writer. :)  Do any mac people know of
> something like this available online somwhere? 
> Before you answer that last question, I also must be missing something
> about mac keyboard.  I downloaded the yellow dog 3.0.1 isos and was
> attempting to boot with CD 1/3 (which should be bootable).  Holding down
> C, or pressing Command-Option-Shift-Delete at start up won't make it boot

Holding down C key while booting -should- cause boot from CD (or floppy).
I never heard of using Command-Option-Shift-Delete for this. Maybe Beige G3
only boots from HD or CD, and you apparently don't have CD (yet).

> from the CD -- even though it can read it just fine after start up, and
> will even let me select it as a "Start Up Disk" to restart from.  Even
> then, however, it still won't boot from the CD. 
> And, once I get this taken care of, What Linux distribution would you
> recommend fora PowerPC?  I was leaning towards yellow dog over other
> distros that are more focused on x86.

Debian supports PowerPC. I use Debian on all my Linux machines, but have
no experience with the PowerPC specialization of Debian. I do know that
Debian makes a serious attempt to keep all supported platforms in sync.
with one another.

Paul E Condon           
pecondon at mesanetworks.net

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