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My iBook has a broken Hard Drive, can I run a live linux usb?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by DVNO, May 31, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    My iBook has had a broken hard drive for a while now. I have tried loading a Linux live cd on it, but it's mostly useless because of having no storage. I want to be able to use it on the go. Is it possible that i could use a linux live usb, such as damn small linux, and use the memory on said flash drive instead of a hard drive? How would I go about doing this if I could. Keep in mind that it wont bother me that I won't have much storage space. I really only want to use it for web browsing on the go.
  2. macrumors 604

    I don't think the PPC macs can boot from usb.
  3. macrumors 6502

    ^^Correct. Your options (apart from replacing the HD) are:
    1. Boot from livecd, use flash drive for storage (horrible)
    2. Boot from FW400 drive (potentially faster than your old drive)
  4. macrumors newbie

    So, when I run my live cd it says most of the apps won't work because of having no place to store memory. What would fix this?
  5. Moderator emeritus


    You can use USB for that, I think. If you have a linux distribution that supports a user defined location (i.e. doesn't need a casper-rw or somesuch on the same device as the boot volume), then you should be able to store changes to the live environment ("persistence") on the USB drive.

    However, it's going to be an awfully clunky solution. It'll be loud -- because of the optical drive. It'll take 2-3 minutes, most likely, to boot. It'll have a USB drive sticking out the side.

    Why not just spend $30 or $40 and buy a replacement HD?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Im just killing time until I scrape up enough cash for a used macbook. I really am just looking for something semi-portable until then. I have been using an iPod touch in the meantime, but I need something to store files in. Could you please explain how I could change it to save on the usb? I am not very familiar with any Linux distribution.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Does Damn Small Linux even have a PPC version available? PPC Linux distros are kinda limited these days...
  8. macrumors newbie

    I'm not sure, I'm currently just running a Ubuntu live CD.
  9. macrumors 68020


    What version? Ubuntu dropped (official) PPC support in early 2007.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Dapper Drake. I think its in the 6 series, 6.06 if I'm not mistaken.
  11. macrumors 6502

    It's still being maintained by the community, however:


    To the OP: Just get a portable firewire drive if you don't want to crack open the machine, otherwise 2.5" drives start at like $60. Running from a livecd for day-to-day use would be unbearable.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Oh yes they can.

    Well at least the NewWorld ones can -- your iBook will happily boot off of a USB storage device, provided that you've setup said device correctly.

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