(another) eMac G4 & Lubuntu Graphic issue

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by DonDiegoFerrer, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. DonDiegoFerrer macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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    Jul 12, 2018
    #1
    I've gone through several forum threads, guides, etc. and I just can't make this work.

    This is the story: I'm working at a school with the "computer lab" room, but the machines I work with are from 1998-2002 and this eMac G4. I'm trying to install Lubuntu into it, but I've been struggling for a year now with the graphic issue common to AMD 9200.

    Boot parameters I've tryied so far:

    Code:
    video=ofonly
    (didn't work)
    Code:
    radeon.modeset=0
    (loads the GUI but everything is just wrong regarding colors and it's all dotted)
    Code:
    radeon.modeset=1
    (didn't work)
    Code:
    radeon.modeset=1 video=radeonfb:eek:ff video=offb:eek:ff radeon.agpmode=-1
    (didn't work)
    Anyother variation of settings in the above parameters.

    *By "(didn't work)" I mean just a black screen, not even console display.

    So far, I don't know what I haven't tryied so any help is greatly apreciated. I will try to post a picture of the screen so you guys can see what I mean when I manage to boot with a GUI. And sorry if something is badly written, English is not my first language.
     
  2. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #2
    Just wait for the resident Linux priest @z970mp to do the rounds, he can probably help you :)
     
  3. DonDiegoFerrer thread starter macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #4
  5. DonDiegoFerrer thread starter macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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    #5
    I already used all the variations on that thread. Gonna give them another try, I hope something wasn't spelled correctly. Thank you! I will come back with the results!
     
  6. z970mp, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

    z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  7. DonDiegoFerrer thread starter macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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    #7
    So, I totally failed again. Maybe they work for another version of the Hardware, but thank you @Dronecatcher!


    I'm using lubuntu 16.04 for ppc rigth now I have no longer access to the eMac until tomorrow, in case you need any hardware related info.
     
  8. z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Try adding radeon.noaccel=1 as a boot parameter, perhaps temporarily to see if it will make a difference.

    This will disable all GPU acceleration, which will slow down videos, games, etc., but at least you might have a working GUI.

    Keep us posted.
     
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #9
    This one used to work for me:

    video=ofonly radeon.agpmode=-1
     
  10. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #10
    Not sure what you're attacking me over... Rather petty of you.
     
  11. z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    :D

    Look who's talking.
     
  12. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #12
    Who is this “both” you’re referring to? I only see Daniel commenting on the fact that you’re the Supreme Omni-King of Linux on PPC. Would be a pretty low blow to call someone out when they haven’t even said anything at the time of writing that post...
     
  13. z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    This is not the time. This is not the place.

    Let's not hijack this guy's thread.
     
  14. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #14
    Seems like he's gotten it in his mind that my dislike of Linux is a personal attack on him, and everything I write about him is meant negatively. Sad that he has obtained such a fanboy ideology, but I suppose his signature says it all.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2018 ---
    I don't quite think you're the person to make this call, when your insulting behaviour started this derailment.
     
  15. z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    You fired first, buddy.
     
  16. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #16
    [​IMG]

    Alright, Champ, put us back on the track to Linux Enlightenment!

    BTW, it doesn’t help if you continue to quote us and keep attacking back, that just further de-rails the thread... ;)
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #17
    Maybe you should lighten up and realize not everyone is out to get you, and not every comment is a personal attack. You're muddying the waters with your toxic behaviour otherwise.
     
  18. LightBulbFun macrumors 65816

    LightBulbFun

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    #18
    alright seeing as @z970mp dosent seem to actually helping much

    ill step up to the task :)

    which models of eMac do you have exactly? you mention 1998-2002 so I suspect some of your machines may be iMac G3s?

    sadly Linux on an iMac G3 is a bit of a lost cause the Rage 128 does not have much support under Linux.

    as for the machines which are actually eMacs

    depending on the eMacs specs you will ether have a GeForce2 MX ATI Radeon 7500 ATI Radeon 9200 or ATI Radeon 9600 GPU (however for the Radeon models you need radeon.agpmode=-1 as one of your kernel arguments, this Forces the Video card into PCI mode notice its negative 1 forcing the card into PCI will stop some freezes you may experience as AGP under PPC linux does not play ball half of the time)

    luckily all of these GPUs are supported by various flavours of Ubuntu 16.04 I personally recommend ubuntu mate 16.04 if you insist on linux on PPC

    however its worth mentioning that the eMac uses a Fix frequency CRT display which means it can only display the resolution options you see in OS X

    and with VGA displays (which is what the eMacs CRT runs internally on) Linux will more often then not switch to some Generic VESA mode once the Proper video drivers load, which will cause the eMac to just blank the CRT. (this is the black screen your experiencing)

    this issue also happens with iMac G3s running linux as they also have fixed frequency CRTs

    the way to get around this is by making a custom xorg file which specify defines the rez and display refresh rate options available to x11 etc, there are a few guides on the internet on how to do this and I have done it in the past but I dont remember the exact details. this whole xorg stuff can be a Real Pain in the Arse FYI

    so I will say you would be MUCH better off just giving all the PowerPC Macs (eMac or iMac) there a Fresh install of 10.4.11 Tiger or 10.5.8 Leopard and sticking tenforfox/LeopardWebkit on them that should get them up and running very nicely you would be surprised at how much of a difference just a clean install of OS X can do for a machine :) Linux wont be any faster then Tiger or Leopard will be anyhow.

    Hopefully this helps you get your Lab of Macs up and running :)

    (PS if you wanna have some fun you can also play with MorphOS, it does run very fast however I dont personally think its worth purchasing a licence for I just play with the 30 minute trial thing for sh*ts and giggles from time to time :) )
     
  19. DonDiegoFerrer, Jul 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

    DonDiegoFerrer thread starter macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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    #19
    Wow, guys. Stop. This was suposed to be some friendly thread! Anyway, putting diferences aside, I'm back. School closed for 2 weeks so I couldn't do anything this past 2 weeks. So, let's get back on track.

    @z970mp
    Code:
    radeon.noaccel=1
    didn't work. This time I got a completely black screen instead of the weir blueish-black letterless GUI (I can't describe it better). Can't drop to console with ctrl-alt-F1.

    @Dronecatcher
    Code:
    video=ofonly radeon.agpmode=-1
    Gave the same result as z970mp's suggestion.

    @LightBulbFun This eMAC is a G4, from 2004, let me see if I can get it to boot into console again and get the specs so we can confirm the model. Oh, by the way, this is the only Mac I got here, haha. All the other computers are PCs.

    I am really considering just using it as a console-only ftp/http local server for my students. So I might just give up and install Ubuntu Server FTW lol. But I have to push this a little bit so I can get the GUI working.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2018 ---
    This is how it looks like with
    Code:
    radeon.modeset=0
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2018 ---
    this is the output from lshw
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2018 ---
    I guess it's this one: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/emac/specs/emac_1.25.html
     

    Attached Files:

  20. LightBulbFun macrumors 65816

    LightBulbFun

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    #20
    as I explained if you want to run the GUI properly

    you need 2 things

    radeon.agpmode=-1 to disable AGP mode

    and a custom xorg config file due to the fixed frequency CRT this last part can be a Major PITA

    if you can do these 2 things properly then you will have a fully working GUI with OpenGL/GPU acceleration working where applicable

    when you do radeon.modeset=0 or nomodeset your disabling the display driver completely so Linux cant change anything to do with the display and as such while the GUI works Linux is forced to use the OpenFirmware broken 256 colour framebuffer so you get a really messed up GUI, the same sort of thing happens with OS X if you force it to use the OF frame-buffer too BTW, and you also dont have any sort of GPU acceleration when you disable the drivers like this in linux

    I would recommend just sticking Leopard 10.5.8 on the machine it can still be a fully capable Server while also giving your students a chance to mess with OS X :D
     
  21. z970mp macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    That's what I thought. I apologize for the needlessly provocative first reply one of our members decided to post as a response to your question, and for myself entertaining it for as long as I did.

    But I agree, let's get back on track.

    If I may ask, is there a specific reason you want to install Lubuntu 16.04? Are you open to other distributions? And how important is getting a GUI running?

    Ubuntu Server is a good idea. Unlike Lubuntu, it will be supported until 2021, and (if you wish) you can still try installing other desktops.
     
  22. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #22
    And I apologize profusely for making a lighthearted joke, I did not realize this member would take it so poorly and antagonize me over it to the point of derailing this thread. Had I known, I'd have avoided that.

    On topic: It would probably be best to just run OS X on this Mac. I realize the prospects of being able to run a more modern OS on your eMac is nice, but due to the odd frequency of the CRT, it requires some serious wrangling to get working, and I think any serious software update could undo all that hard work in a snap of the finger. To be fair, Linux on pretty much all PowerPC Macs can be finicky, but the eMac is exceptionally so. Maybe a cheap iBook or PowerBook, if you could find one, would be a better Mac to put Linux on? Or maybe a PowerMac, if you have the space for it? Just a few alternatives to consider.
     
  23. DonDiegoFerrer thread starter macrumors newbie

    DonDiegoFerrer

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    Jul 12, 2018
    #23
    @LightBulbFun How can I get the Xorg config file? It's the first time I ever heard about the need of tdoing so. If you can point me in any direction, I will apreciate it!

    @z970mp I want any Debian/Ubuntu based distro because of how familiar I am with it, nothing more. If I can't get a decent GUI, I'm sticking to console-only.

    @Daniël Oosterhuis We don't have the budget to fetch new PCs for now, school changed administration and I've been trying to take out the best of every machine we got. Jesuschrist, I have a Pentium III with 176~ MB of RAM working here. I have already explained the new administrators the need of more modern PCs but in the meanwhile, I'm stuck with this hardware.
     
  24. Daniël Oosterhuis, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018

    Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #24
    Terrible to hear that you're stuck with such ancient technology due to the administration. Sounds like typical bureaucracy to me. Messing with these Macs is fun, but it sounds like a nightmare trying to continue to use them in production environments.

    Anyways, could you tell me why you want to run Linux on the eMac specifically? That way, we could work out if Linux is truly required, or if we could mangle OS X into doing it instead. Given you're already trying to get the most out of ancient hardware, I suppose doing the same for software might be necessary as well.
     
  25. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #25
    When i was installing Linux on my G3 iMac years ago I was at a similar impass for the graphics - the solution was to use wget at the console to insert a xorg file from the web...if you do enough Googling you might turn up the one relevant to your eMac.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 27, 2018 ---
    This might be the one - I've only scan read it:

    https://www.linuxquestions.org/ques...ing-xorg-on-my-emac-a1002-774509/#post3785786
     

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