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DonDiegoFerrer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2018
6
0
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.
 

DonDiegoFerrer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2018
6
0
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!
 
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DonDiegoFerrer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2018
6
0
So, I totally failed again. Maybe they work for another version of the Hardware, but thank you @Dronecatcher!


Which version of Lubuntu are you using?
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.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
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3,648
The Matrix
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.
 
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Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,238
1,353
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
@Daniël Oosterhuis

Yes, yes, and I'm sure you both love having weekly anti-z970mp slumber parties too.

@DonDiegoFerrer

Which version of Lubuntu are you using?

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...
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
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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...

This is not the time. This is not the place.

Let's not hijack this guy's thread.
 
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0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
713
857
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...
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.
[doublepost=1531496791][/doublepost]
This is not the time. This is not the place.

Let's not hijack this guy's thread.
I don't quite think you're the person to make this call, when your insulting behaviour started this derailment.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
3,294
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The Matrix
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.
[doublepost=1531496791][/doublepost]
I don't quite think you're the person to make this call, when your insulting behaviour started this derailment.

You fired first, buddy.
 
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Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,238
1,353
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
This is not the time. This is not the place.

Let's not hijack this guy's thread.

007579d3732c38920ccf5dcf65a305bd.gif


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... ;)
 
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0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
713
857
You fired first, buddy.
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.
 
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LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,445
2,469
London UK
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.

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 :) )
 
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DonDiegoFerrer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2018
6
0
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.
[doublepost=1532633809][/doublepost]This is how it looks like with
Code:
radeon.modeset=0
[doublepost=1532634222][/doublepost]this is the output from lshw
[doublepost=1532635234][/doublepost]I guess it's this one: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/emac/specs/emac_1.25.html
 

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LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,445
2,469
London UK
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.
[doublepost=1532633809][/doublepost]This is how it looks like with
Code:
radeon.modeset=0
[doublepost=1532634222][/doublepost]this is the output from lshw
[doublepost=1532635234][/doublepost]I guess it's this one: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/emac/specs/emac_1.25.html

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
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
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The Matrix
Wow, guys. Stop. This was suposed to be some friendly thread!

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.
 
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0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
713
857
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.
 
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DonDiegoFerrer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2018
6
0
@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.
 
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0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
713
857
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.
 
Last edited:
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Dronecatcher

macrumors 601
Jun 17, 2014
4,051
4,501
Lincolnshire, UK
@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!

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.
[doublepost=1532710058][/doublepost]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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