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Mandrake Linux PPC on a Macintosh G3

Posted on 2005-04-06
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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.
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Question by:photog53
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:wesly_chen
ID: 13723018
> 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:
http://www.mandrakelinux.com/es/demos/PPC/Install/doc/mandrake-ppc.html

Regards,

Wesly
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Author Comment

by:photog53
ID: 13723552
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???
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 13724972
Are you sure a PPC is the same or compatible to a G3? Aren't those completly different processors and architectures?
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Author Comment

by:photog53
ID: 13727625
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.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:wesly_chen
ID: 13729512
> 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.
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Author Comment

by:photog53
ID: 13731230
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.
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Expert Comment

by:computinkcc
ID: 13775929
Exact same scenario here...to 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.
0
 

Author Comment

by:photog53
ID: 13782547
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..
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Accepted Solution

by:
computinkcc earned 750 total points
ID: 13783598
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.

See: http://yellowdog.open-mirror.com

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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