Mandrake Linux PPC on a Macintosh G3

Posted on 2005-04-06
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I am new to Linux (no experience).   I took a iMac G3, and tried to install Mandrake Linux PPC on it.  The installation seemed to go fine except for a message referring to a missing "Apple Boot Strap Partition".   Since I did not intend to double boot nor do I intend to put Mac software on the machine, I ignored the message.   After the apparently successful Linux install, I rebooted and expected to see a Linux login prompt.  Instead I get a flashing folder that alterantes between a smiling face and a big "?" in the middle of it.   Nothing I did took me to a Linux signon.  
I finally rebooted holding down multiple keys at the same time (I don't have the sheet in front of me but I think it was SHIFT-COMMAND-F-O)....and I went to a Linux text prompt.   At the prompt I could move around in Liinux....but not knowing what exactly to do, I didn't accomplish anything.     SUMMARY:
1.  During the install of Linux, I used the Mandrake disk format utility, which erased everything Mac and loaded Linux partitions.  
2.  This utility completed successfully.
3.  The installation step related to the "Boot Strap" gave me several nasty messages but also completed.
4.  The remainder of the installation (GNOME, KDE, etc. all ran without me touching a key.  No problems.  

I'm told (by well meaning stander's by) that "yaboot" is somehow lost and that's my problem.   I have no idea what to do next.
Question by:photog53
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    > The installation step related to the "Boot Strap" gave me several nasty messages but also completed.
    Could you provide more details about this position?
    The Drakx installer will attempt to allocate a 1MB partition as an "Apple Bootstrap" partition during the installation.

    You might reference the following link:



    Author Comment

    The Linux Disk Partition portion of the installer, said that it could not format the Apple Bootstrap partition.    
    (I tried to give it 5MB for an Apple bootstrap partition)
    Later in the process, after Linux couldn't find the Boostrap, I got a message that said I could "use DiskDrake to create the partition".    
    Does this info help???
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Are you sure a PPC is the same or compatible to a G3? Aren't those completly different processors and architectures?

    Author Comment

    The Mandrake website clearly states that this version of Mandrake Linux was created specifically for the Macintosh platform.   Even the PPC desintaion (PowerPC) refers to the Macintosh CPU.   The problems I am encountering appear to be related to the fact that I am trying to install Liinux on the Mac without dual booting to the Mac 9.0 OS.     I'd hoped to find an answer on Experts Exchange....before zapping the hard drive, reinstalling Mac OS and going to a dual boot box.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    > trying to install Liinux on the Mac without dual booting to the Mac 9.0 OS.
    The boot loader serves for both dual boot and non-dual boot.
    But you need to install it on the bootstrap partition.

    Author Comment

    Hmmm......perhaps I should just give up on fixing this, check with the Mac guys on reloading Mac OS...and stick to the proven dual boot method.

    Expert Comment

    Exact same scenario the T. I got past the bootstrap fail be creating the Partition table space. Here is where I am and where I am hung up.
    * Trying to install Mandrake 10.1 PPC on G3, 400Mhz, 20GB IDE HD, 128MB RAM
    * Entire drive erased.  New partitions I created are:
          hda1: Macintosh Partition table
          hda2: Macintosh Boot Partition | 5MB (not formatted)
          hda3: Linux native - mountpoint /
          hda4: Linux native - mountpoint swap
          hda5: Linux native - mountpoint /home
    * Completed full installation of Mandrake with no errors
    * Rebooted and set OpenFirmware to load from correct partition.
    * Yaboot runs but when I select "l" (small L), to launch the Mandrake kernel, the following error occurs:
         Welcome to Mandrakelinux!
         Welcome to yaboot version 1.3.13
         Enter "help" to get some basic usage info
         boot: vmlinuz-rs6k
         Please wait, loading kernel...
              Elf32 kernel loaded...
         chrpboot starting: loaded at 0x008000000
         gunzipping (0x00010000 0x00806c4c:0x0093bd4a)...
         DEFAULT CATCH!, code=900 at SRRO: (blah blah blah)
    * Then the OpenFirmware prompt loads

     We must be missing a step.

    Author Comment

    Yes...something is not right, but I can't figure it out.  I started all over from scratch,
    - reloaded Mac OS 9.1..
    - reformated the Mac hardrive (leaving 1/2 of it as unallocated space for Linux)....
    - reloaded Mandrake
    - Rebooted...

    The boot allows me to boot into Mac OS 9...but nothing I do (including setenv...) allows me to access Mandrake Linux..

    Accepted Solution

    I did not have the MAC OS 9 CD and did not want to take up space with it anyway. So, I moved on and downloaded the ISO's from the Yellow Dog distribution and proceeded flawlessly with the installation, using the same partitions created with the Mandrake install.  My G3 now speaks Linux!  I have concluded that Mandrake 10.1 is a bad distribution for PPC which will surely be fixed soon or there is some undocumented procedure required. I did not want to wait.


    One heads-up.  My plan was to use this box for web entertainment.  I us heavy flash sites so I downloaded the flash pluggin for linux and found that it is not supported for the ppc architecture. BIG LETDOWN! I did my duty and signed the petition requesting Macromedia support that platform.  

    One wall to hurdle after another.  That is the Linux world for us newbees.

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