Debian Sid Installation Guide (PowerPC)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by swamprock, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. swamprock, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited by z970mp: May 30, 2019

    swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #1
    This guide is directed at images 2019-04-12 and newer. Those with older images can refer to this archive:

    (https://web.archive.org/web/2019041...ebian-sid-installation-guide-powerpc.2146795/)

    DISCLAIMER: This guide comes with absolutely no warranty and has been tested for certain G4s and Late 2005 G5s ONLY. Your millage may vary with G3s.

    This is a wikipost, so if anyone has any contributions/suggestions/corrections, feel free to contribute. z970mp deserves all of the credit for keeping this information up to date. I'll continue to eye the thread and help out as much as I can.

    NOTICE: As Sid = unstable, the installer may at times prove to be unpredictable and may fail for any reason any point along the way. These instructions are not guaranteed to make installation a success, and remember to always back up your data before making any changes to your hard disk and its partitions. Thank you.

    ---------------

    Installing Debian Sid on PowerPC - Last Update: May 30, 2019

    1. Download the netinstall CD image from:

    (http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/2019-04-20/)

    1a. Note: The 'powerpc' ISOs will work across G3s, G4s, and G5s. The 'ppc64' ISOs will only work on G5s, and will take the most advantage of the G5 hardware, making both the kernel and userspace fully 64-bit, as apposed to the 32-bit 'powerpc' variants. The catch is that as of May 2019, the ppc64 environments are fairly buggier than their powerpc counterparts, so you'll need to be prepared to file a couple simple bug reports with the 'reportbug' package. Otherwise, choose the 'powerpc' ISO.

    2 (On A Linux System). Open a terminal and paste the following text, then edit to your specifications:

    sudo dd if=~/Downloads/debian-10.0-powerpc-NETINST-1.iso of=/dev/device name of drive - sdb, sdc, sdd, etc.

    Once it has been edited to the correct specifications, hit Enter, and wait for it to finish, which should usually take under 10 minutes.

    2a: Alternatively, you may boot from a CD, but this method can be wasteful, and installation will be slower.

    3. Follow this excellent video's instructions to boot your USB drive from Open Firmware:



    4. The yaboot prompt will come up. If you are running a G4 (or G3), enter without quotes: 'install32'. If you are running a G5, enter without quotes: 'install', or just hit Enter.

    5.
    Connect your Mac to your network via Ethernet, then follow the very straightforward prompts. For partitioning, use the 'Guided - use entire disk' and 'All files in one partition' for easiest installation. Note that this will destroy any previous system installs on the selected disk, so be sure that you want to do this before proceeding.

    5a. However, if you wish to optionally partition for efficiency and reliability, follow these instructions instead:



    6.
    When you're prompted to choose an archive mirror, scroll all the way up to the top of the list, choose 'enter information manually, enter 'ftp.ports.debian.org' for the mirror, and '/debian-ports/' for the directory. When manual package selection comes up, install 'Standard System Utilities' and 'SSH server' when prompted (an asterisk will be present next to the Standard System Utilities choice. If it isn't, press the Space Bar to select it, then tab to move to the Continue prompt), and make sure nothing else is selected for now. Choose 'yes' when you are asked if you want to install Popularity Contest, because we want the maintainers to know that the powerpc / ppc64 port is actively used!

    6a. If you are on a G4, there is a chance that GRUB installation may fail. If this is the case, press 'Esc' after you are told GRUB installation has failed. Choose 'Continue without bootloader', confirm, and once you are given the dialog to remove your install medium and reboot, do not hit Enter. Instead, press Alt + F2 (Alt + Fn + F2 on some keyboards), and enter the following commands in order:

    Code:
    1. chroot /target
    2. mount -t sysfs none /sys
    3. apt install hfsutils
    4. yabootconfig -b /dev/sda2
    5. ybin
    6. Alt + F1
    7. Once installation is complete, your disc (if you used one) will eject, and you will be told to remove your installation medium. Do so, and select continue to reboot your system.

    8.
    Once your system reboots, log in with your credentials.

    9.
    Type ‘sudo apt edit-sources’ and press Return. Enter your password if necessary.

    10.
    Delete the CD line. Now add the Ports repos:

    Code:
    # Sources
    deb http://ftp.ports.debian.org/debian-ports/ unstable main
    deb http://ftp.ports.debian.org/debian-ports/ unreleased main
    deb http://incoming.ports.debian.org/buildd/ unstable main
    
    # Non-Free
    deb [arch=all] http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
    11. Press Control-X, answer 'Y', and press Return.

    12.
    Type 'sudo apt update' and let the repos update.

    13.
    If you've got a Radeon card, install the non-free firmware by typing 'sudo apt install firmware-linux-nonfree'. If you're running a machine with an Nvidia chip/card, skip this step and the following one.

    14.
    Type 'sudo reboot' and let your machine reboot to be sure everything is stable with the non-free video firmware. You'll find yourself back at your login prompt. Log in with your username and password.

    15.
    Install the Wi-Fi firmware by downloading b43-fwcutter and firmware-b43-installer from the Debian Jessie archive with the commands below. This is necessary because b43-fwcutter hasn't been updated for Sid as of yet, while the firmware has. You'll end up with an unresolved dependencies error if you try to install the firmware from the Ports repo.

    Note: This will not work if you're on a ppc64 install. Fully 64-bit environments will need to remain on Ethernet.

    Code:
    wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/firmware-b43-installer_019-3_all.deb
    
    wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/b43-fwcutter_019-3_powerpc.deb
    Install using 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb'. Reboot.

    (OPTIONAL): If you're on a ppc64 install, add the PowerProgress repository to get optimized applications and Debian-specific 64-bit browsers.

    Code:
    1. sudo -s wget -O - https://repo.powerprogress.org/debian/conf/public.gpg.key | sudo -s apt-key add
    2. sudo apt edit-sources
    3. Add:
    
    deb [arch=ppc64] https://repo.powerprogress.org/debian/ sid main
    
    4. sudo apt update
    ---------------

    This covers the installation of a base system with most of the hardware packages needed. 3D acceleration is now standard on both Radeon and Nvidia chips without the need to downgrade any packages or by using any other hacks.

    At this point in the guide, you can now proceed to install a desktop environment. It is highly recommended that you install a login manager to have a graphical login to your DE, rather than doing it from the command line via 'startx', as this will pull in other video packages that your DE will need. LightDM is heavily recommended. Install with 'sudo apt install lightdm'.

    Here's a small summary for each desktop environment:

    Post-Install List:

    After everything's installed, drop by The Linux Thread to grab some awesome speed tweaks, bug fixes, and configuration pointers so you can get settled in. Find it at:

    (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/the-linux-thread.2178457/)

    Once your DE is up and running, visit the Arctic Fox git page and don't forget to visit the thread on Arctic Fox below for information regarding bugs, features, and other cool stuff:

    (https://github.com/wicknix/Arctic-Fox/wiki/Downloads)
    (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/arctic-fox-web-browser-for-10-6-32-64-bit.2133051)

    SpiderWeb is another great web browser available to PowerPC Linux users. SpiderMail is also a wonderful email client and faster alternative to GNOME Evolution. Check them out:

    (https://github.com/wicknix/SpiderWeb/wiki/Download)
    (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pale-moon-28-is-ported-to-powerpc-linux.2179097/)

    To-Do:

    - Add instructions for adding the Fienix repository for powerpc
    - Give life back to music
     
  2. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #2
    Hi @swamprock and thank you for this awesome tutorial... I'll admit I have been a bit lazy in these last weeks... With this I would be finally able to get Debian Ports on my iBook G4. I don't have a modern Mac, so I was wondering, Step 11: it is possible to do it with a PowerPC Mac or with a Windows PC?
     
  3. swamprock, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018

    swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #3
    Yes, I'm pretty sure you can use ssh/scp with a PowerPC Mac running Leopard (and probably Tiger as well). Just follow the same steps. I'm 99% sure it'll work. I only mentioned a modern Mac since that's what I used. Let me know if it works and I'll update the post.

    EDIT: Post was updated to include PowerPC Macs running Leopard or Tiger. I'm not sure if it would work in Panther or below, although it should. My concern is with the outdated security in those older versions and whether there'd be an issue with Debian, and how far back Remote Login was available anyway. I'm almost 100% positive that you can ssh into those old versions of OS X due to their unix underpinnings.
     
  4. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    Dubai, UAE
    #4
    This is freaking awesome Swampy :D thx for you and the other guys over at the Artic Fox thread's hard work.

    I gotta ask mate, how responsive is the system?
     
  5. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #5
    The faster that your G4 is, the better. On my 1.33 ghz iBook G4, everything is quite responsive. Arctic Fox does use 100% CPU when loading pages, but is quite snappy once pages are loaded. I've posted many of my testing results in this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/powerpc-linux-support-to-continue-in-debian-ports.2128808/
     
  6. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #6
    Updated link to Arctic Fox browser for PPC32 linux.
     
  7. swamprock, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

    Joined:
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    #7
    Midori 6 (web browser) is out, and I will attempt to compile it for sid once my move back home is complete. I know it can be compiled for PowerPC, but there are issues with certificate management, and Midori 5.11 on PowerPC is built without gcr support. GCR is now built and working in sid, so there's only one more issue to get around, and that is an error while configuring the build. I have a theory that it's actually an issue with the syntax of newer builds of cmake clashing with older syntax (the error is "add_custom_command Wrong syntax. A TARGET or OUTPUT must be specified." in ValaPrecompile.cmake), and will try to figure out how to get around this even if it means opening a new bug report. I compared the file from 5.11 to that of 6.0, and they're identical. My attempt to build this a few weeks ago has failed so far due to this error, and I'm not exactly a genius when it comes to figuring out these sorts of issues.

    If someone else wants to give it a go, the source is here: https://www.midori-browser.org/download/

    Updated the OP with the link to the latest build of Arctic Fox for PPC Linux.
     
  8. sparty411 macrumors member

    sparty411

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2018
    #8
    I followed your guide, and succesfully installed Debian with XFCE on an iBook G4 the other day. However, while installing it on my PowerBook today, I encounter an error while trying to install certain applications. Aptitude is telling that I hold broken packages for some reason. My install is vanilla. nothing else has been installed aside form what you've listed in your guide.
     
  9. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #9
    According to the Debian Ports mailing list, some required packages were dropped over the past week. They’re currently figuring out which packages are missing and are now trying to fix the issue.
     
  10. sparty411 macrumors member

    sparty411

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    Nov 13, 2018
    #10
    I see. Guess I'll have to wait a bit to fiddle around with it again.
     
  11. wicknix macrumors 6502

    wicknix

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    Wisconsin, USA
    #11
  12. sparty411 macrumors member

    sparty411

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    Nov 13, 2018
    #12

    Just curious, how in the world does one do a "right click" in Debian?
     
  13. sparty411 macrumors member

    sparty411

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    Nov 13, 2018
    #14
  14. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #15
    F11 works as right-click on MOST machines. I've seen others that use F10 for some odd reason. I think it's due to having obmenu and menu-xdg installed in Openbox, which maps either F10 or F11 to the Openbox menu.

    OP updated with link to Arctic Fox's GIT page.
     
  15. wicknix macrumors 6502

    wicknix

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    Location:
    Wisconsin, USA
    #16
    Well.... It built on Lubuntu without issue. Using it however is buggy. Some pages load, some do not. I have to disable JS for it even load anything. However, the pages that do load (MR is not one of them sadly) it's fast. I tried to build with /opt for install prefix, however it couldn't find it's libraries until i rebuilt and used /usr. Anyway, here it is if you want to play with it. I backed up /usr/bin/midori and /usr/lib/midori before i dropped this there. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GyfGS70gpI58GU-vuwTxo64CdfDFy3jC/view?usp=sharing

    Cheers

    2018-11-15-224744_1920x1080_scrot.png
     
  16. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #17
    Ahh that's too bad. it would have been cool to have another up-to-date browser for PPC linux. I don't suppose filing a bug report would do anything, unfortunately.
     
  17. swamprock, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018

    swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #18
    I got it to build as well, and you're right. Nothing seems to work. Too bad...

    I'll be back in my house this week, and will do an update to this How-To once I'm unpacked. I've been following the mailing list and have added the buildd repo to my machine, which puts it on the bleeding bleeding [sic] edge...
     
  18. swamprock, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019

    swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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  19. G4fanboy, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

    G4fanboy macrumors 6502

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    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Andalucia Spain
    #20
    Time to learn how to deal with Debian+ Mac OS X+ Mac OS 9 on same drive.

    In this guide http://ppcluddite.blogspot.com/2012/03/installing-debian-linux-on-ppc-part-i.html mentions troubles around mixing them and how to avoid.

    Last time I tried the ATI Rage 128 were a pain in the ass to work with downgrading mesa and such.
    Now I have most of my machines with nVidia 4 MX.

    I see a quantum leap from "no longer being a release architecture" to a new more mature state then when this http://powerpcliberation.blogspot.com/2018/07/debian-ppc-status-update.html?

    were written.
     
  20. Steve newcomb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    #21
    Your prescription worked great except for the wireless, alas. Here's the glitch:

    Code:
    wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/b43-fwcutter_019-2_powerpc.deb
    
    ...is not there any more. Aptitude claims that firmware-b43-installer depends on b43-fwcutter-019-4_powerpc.deb, which is not available. And duckduckgo can't find such a .deb, either. Any ideas, Swampy?

    My pokey old g4 seems to work a lot better with Sid than I expected, BTW. FYI, lshw says the wireless is BCM4318. The hardware is OK, so it looks like it would work if I could find a way around this trivial-sounding (and possibly 100% officiousness-driven) dependency issue.

    Steve
     
  21. Amethyst1 macrumors 6502

    Amethyst1

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    Germany
    #22
  22. Steve newcomb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    #23
    Nope. I already tried that. The current sid dependency of firmware-b43-installer is b32-fwcutter_019-4_powerpc.deb. I installed 019-2 and it made no difference. It still demands 019-4.
     
  23. z970mp, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  24. swamprock, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019

    swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #25
    Thanks for that. Yeah... Jessie’s repo has been moved to /archive, so the URL for fwcutter is no longer valid. I need to update the how-to later tonight when I get home (or someone else can fix it. It’s a wiki post).

    EDIT: Done...
     
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