Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005 for PPC Release Notes

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Note that unlike the x86 release notes this document includes installation instructions and other ppc-specific information.

Welcome to Mandriva Linux for PowerPC

Like 10.1/PPC, Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005 for PPC is not an official product but a volunteer effort. If you want to help with releases, PPC-specific problems with packages, or testing, subscribe to the cooker/ppc mailing list and/or join us on IRC, in #mandriva-ppc on Freenode. Both places can also be used for support questions.

Hardware requirements

  • A PowerPC and PCI (not Nubus) based computer, see the PPC Hardware page for details. Automatic bootloader configuration is only supported on "new world macs" (Blue&White G3/iMac and newer, PowerBook G3 "Lombard" and newer).
  • At least 96 MB is required (less for text-install); 128 MB or more is recommended.
  • At least 500MB is required, 2GB is recommended.

What's new

See the 10.2/x86 announcement for more information.



Unless a non-Apple system was installed (i.e. you're upgrading an existing linux system), the disk(s) must be partitioned. Mandriva Linux PPC can coexist with MacOS and MacOSX: the yaboot bootloader will allow you to select any of the three systems at boot, as well as setup a default OS for automatic startup. You will need either a spare disk drive with an Apple partition map setup, or free up some additional space on your existing hard drive. For best results, keep the Apple OS(s) at the beginning of the drive, allocating free space at the end of the drive for Linux. If you need to free up space on your existing drive and you have access to Norton Utilities and Hard Drive Toolkit, you can optimize your drive with Norton Speed Disk for disk resizing, moving all the data to the beginning of the drive and then use Hard Disk Toolkit to split the drive. This free partition should not be formatted but left as "Apple Free". Alternately, MacOS offers Drive Setup as a tool to repartition the drive, but your existing data will not be preserved. As always, be sure to make backups of all important data/settings before using any tool on your hard drive. If you should have to do a destructive re-partition, you can safely re-install MacOS before the Mandriva install, so the Mandriva installer can detect and setup your MacOS partition(s) for booting.

Partitioning can be done either in MacOS (X) or in the Mandriva installer. The Apple tool and pdisk are a bit more user friendly (they warn more about destroying data), while the installer can do some things automatically.

Below is the output of pdisk on an iMac, setup with a 2.3GB partition for MacOS (hda5), a 1MB bootstrap partition on hda6, and hda7, 8, and 9 used for Linux "/", swap and "/home".

Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/hda'
 #:                type name             length   base     (  size  )
 1: Apple_partition_map Apple                63 @ 1
 2:    Apple_Driver_ATA*Macintosh            54 @ 64
 3:    Apple_Driver_ATA*Macintosh            74 @ 118
 4:       Apple_Patches Patch Partition     512 @ 192
 5:           Apple_HFS MacOS           4921725 @ 704      (   2.3G )
 6:     Apple_Bootstrap bootstrap          2048 @ 4922429  (   1.0M )
 7:     Apple_UNIX_SVR2 root            1900215 @ 4924477  ( 879.0M )
 8:     Apple_UNIX_SVR2 swap             368235 @ 6724692  ( 179.8M )
 9:     Apple_UNIX_SVR2 home            1325889 @ 7092927  ( 647.4M )

If you are unfamiliar with names such as hda5, this is how Linux names the disk partitions. "hda" means the first IDE hard-drive, where the 2nd would be named "hdb". Likewise SCSI drives are name sda, sdb and so forth. Finally, the trailing number is the actual partition number on the disk. As you can see in the example above, an Apple partition table often has a number of small partitions, generally at the beginning of the disk, that are used by MacOS for drivers. These should be left alone. Another item to note is that the partition table itself uses the first partition, so your operating system will always reside on partition number 2 or higher.

The bootstrap partition should be created as shown above, all other linux partitions have type Apple_UNIX_SVR2. For original (rev.A) iMacs the bootstrap partition must be placed in the first 8 GB. The same restriction applies to kernels, so if you use such a machine with a large disk, make a separate /boot partition at the start of the disk (format it later as ext2, for example). Otherwise, the order of partitions doesn't matter. The swap partition's name must contain "swap", its size is usually 1x-2x the amount of RAM in the machine (with more RAM you probably need less swap). The root partition can be anywhere between 500MB and 10GB, depending on how many packages you'll install. The remaining space can be used for home, which will contain user settings and data.

If you leave enough free space (1MB) the installer will automatically create the bootstrap partition if none is found. This partition should not be visible from MacOS, but is configured as a "blessed" boot partition that the Apple Open Firmware will see as the boot device, allowing you to boot either Linux or MacOS.

Using Drive Setup

Using pdisk in MacOS

You can download a MacOS version of the Linux PPC disk partitioning tool, pdisk.

Using pdisk from the installer or rescue mode

Using the Mandriva installer

Booting the installer

New world macs

  • Reboot with the first CD in the drive and hold down C.
  • On the yaboot prompt, hit enter unless you are trying to install on a Power Macintosh (or Xserve) G5. For these machines the install-gui-power4 option should be used. If, for any reason, you have trouble with the default graphical installation, you can do a text mode installation. To use it, select a -text yaboot entry here (tab shows the available options). If you need to rescue your existing Mandriva system, select one of the -rescue entries.

If both install-gui and install-text produce a black screen, try adding video=ofonly, so e.g.

install-text video=ofonly

Old world macs

Boot into MacOS, insert the first CD, unpack the BootX archive in the misc folder. Run the BootX application and select as kernel "vmlinux" in the boot folder on the CD, and as initrd ("Use specified ram disk") "all.gz" in the same folder. Then click the "Linux" button.

Net booting

All supported macs allow for netbooting the OS from another machine. This section only describes booting new-world macs with yaboot, however. Netbooting can be used to kick-off an install without burning a CD. To do this you'll need to setup a dhcpd daemon or bootp daemon on your server, as well as tftpd.

tftpd daemon:

/etc/inetd.conf should have the following line enabled:

tftp    dgram   udp     wait    root    /usr/sbin/tcpd  in.tftpd

should be opened up for tftp on your local network:

in.tftpd:  192.168.192.

If you have to change these, be sure to stop/start inetd:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/inet restart

The default directory is /tftpboot. Put all the files in the Mandriva Linux PPC boot directory (except README) here:

bash-2.03$ ls -l /tftpboot/

-rw-r--r--   1 root     root      1243868 May 22 17:16 all.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root      2455573 May 22 17:16 vmlinux
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root        58556 May 22 17:16 yaboot
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root         1396 May 22 17:20 yaboot.conf

dhcpd daemon:

For the dhcpd setup, you'll need the MAC (ethernet) address of your machine. In MacOS you can find this by going into the TCP/IP setup. If you're already running Linux on the machine try:

[stew@powerbook linux]$ dmesg | grep eth0
eth0: BMAC+ at 00:50:e4:b9:07:70

The series of hex numbers seperated by colons is the MAC address of the ethernet adapater. Now you need to setup /etc/dhcpd.conf:

default-lease-time            21600;
max-lease-time                21600;

option subnet-mask  ;
option broadcast-address;
option routers      ;
option domain-name-servers;
option domain-name            "";

shared-network WORKSTATIONS {
    subnet netmask {

group   {
    use-host-decl-names       on;
    host imac {
        hardware ethernet     00:05:02:6B:45:29;
        filename              "/tftpboot/yaboot";

Then start or restart dhcpd:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/dhcpd start

If the server starts up normally, you should see something like this in /var/log/messages:

May 22 17:19:06 moe dhcpd: Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 The Internet Software Consortium.
May 22 17:19:06 moe dhcpd: All rights reserved.
May 22 17:19:06 moe dhcpd: Listening on Socket/eth0/WORKSTATIONS
May 22 17:19:06 moe dhcpd: Sending on   Socket/eth0/WORKSTATIONS
May 22 17:19:06 moe dhcpd: dhcpd startup succeeded

That should be it. Instead of holding down the "C" key on the Apple machine, use the "N" key and you should see the Mandriva PPC (yaboot) boot prompt.

Stage 1

This shows a list of install methods. Use CD-ROM to install from the CDs.

Stage 2

Now the Mandriva graphical installer called DrakX should run and you'll be prompted through a series of questions designed to assist you in configuring your system. DrakX will run either in text mode or in graphical mode, depending on the boot options you chose. This section only describes some PPC-specific issues, see the Mandrakelinux 10.0/x86 installer documentation for more information.

Because many Macintosh machines have only a one button mouse while Linux GUIs, which use the X Window System, really need three buttons to be fully productive, the DrakX installer will prompt you for which keys you would like to use to emulate the second and third mouse buttons. If you have a three button mouse, the actual buttons will still be used, and you can set the emulation to "None | None".

If linux partitions were created earlier or an existing system is being replaced, select the "Use existing partitions" strategy.

Once the package install finishes you will be prompted to setup a password for the "root" user. In Linux, the "root" user has full control over the system, and can also do the most damage. For normal, day-to-day use, you will want to setup a second "user" account, as well additional accounts for any friends or family members that may be going to use your system. If the machine is going to be utilized as a server, setup accounts for whomever may need direct access to the machine. Users can also be added anytime after the install.

The next step is the bootloader setup. The DrakX installer should detect and setup at least one MacOS partition if it is available on your machine. If for some reason it doesn't, or you wish to add additional OS versions, use the "Add" button and specify the operating system and partition number.

Finally, an overview is given of configuration options. Here you may want to setup the timezone, sound, graphics (X), and network. If the "radeon (fglrx)" driver is suggested, select "radeon" instead (or "radeon 8500" for 8500/9000/9100/9200 cards, but it's the same driver).

Booting the installed system

New world macs

After a successful install, the system should boot into linux after waiting on 2 yaboot prompts. The first prompt allows choosing between linux and MacOS. Type "l" for linux to bypass the menu's waiting time. The second menu gives a choice between installed linux kernels. The default kernel should be used when hitting enter or after the sleep time passed. If that doesn't work, hit the tab key and then type the label of the kernel, which should look like


Old world macs

For these machines, the kernel and initrd must be copied to a MacOS-readable partition. This can be done in the installer before rebooting or from rescue mode, and requires some shell commands. Here's an example for the installer, with /dev/hda2 a HFS partition:

switch to VC2 with ctrl+alt+F2,

chroot /mnt
mkdir /mnt/macos
mount -t hfs /dev/hda2 /mnt/macos
mkdir /mnt/macos/mandriva
cp /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.11-6mdk /boot/initrd-2.6.11-6mdk.img /mnt/macos/mandriva/
umount /mnt/macos

switch back to VC7 with alt+F7, and reboot normally. If the MacOS partition is HFS+, replace hfs by hfsplus in the mount command and load the module with

insmod hfsplus
before chrooting.

In MacOS the kernel and initrd must be moved to the BootX "linux kernels" folder, and selected in BootX. The kernel arguments should contain root=<your root device> (as shown in the installer).

Known problems

  • Radeon framebuffer console apparently doesn't work on the mac mini with the 2.6.11 kernel, use video=ofonly as described in "Booting the installer", but note that install-gui should also work.
  • USB printer detection may not work in normal printer setup mode - try the expert mode
  • Mac Mini sound is only partially supported, the volume cannot be changed
  • rescue mode does not work - use the installer's shell on VC2 instead
  • Keymapping defined during install not present at first boot. It seems harddrake wipes out the key settings. You can restore them with a manual edit of /etc/sysctl.conf (example is F11/F12):
dev.mac_hid.mouse_button_emulation = 1
dev.mac_hid.mouse_button2_keycode = 87
dev.mac_hid.mouse_button3_keycode = 88

You can find out the keycode you'd like to use using "showkey" from the console. To load the settings after editing use "sysctl -p".
Alternatively, you can download and install mouseemu from contribs and edit /etc/sysconfig/mouseemu to configure your keys.

Sleep mode (suspend to ram): this should now work on most iBooks and powerBooks with an ati videocard (such as Radeons). Sleep mode on nVidia is not possible. You need to install the pbbuttonsd rpm. pmud is currently untested. The following problems are known:

Wakeup fails on a iBook G4 with a radeon 9200. The Solution is to add:

Option "AGPMode" "4"

to the "Device" section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and restart X.

Wakeup fails on iBook G3 because hal polls the cdrom too early. The solution is to shutdown haldaemon before sleep. This should happen automatically with pbbuttonsd but sometimes shutdown happens to quick. It may help to insert:

sleep 3

after '/etc/init.d/haldaemon stop' in the file /etc/power/event.d/hal.

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