Debian Sid Remix (ppc32/ppc64)

wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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Seeing as how installing Sid can be painstaking (downloading keyrings to a usb stick, missing wifi firmware, grub breaking and post-install hacking in yaboot, etc) i decided to respin a custom netinstall.iso. This iso uses yaboot by default so there are no hoops to jump through there. There is a nice walk through INSTALL.txt on the CD once the iso is burned. It will take you step by step to get everything set up (thanks @swamprock and @z970mp for the how-to's i borrowed some things from). PLEASE read it before (and while) installing. Copy it to another machine if you have to so you can look at it during install. There is also an "extras" directory on the CD. It includes arcticfox-27.9.19.deb, firmware.debs for wifi and the updated debian keyring.deb. Like ubuntu-ppc, this will install a 32-bit rootfs, but is able to use a 32 or 64-bit kernel depending on your machine. (G3/G4/G5)

Note: G5 users, after installing do not apt upgrade right away. The 5.4 kernel doesn't work on some G5 models (7,2 for instance). In order to keep the working 4.15 kernel from being upgraded type this as root user : apt-mark hold linux-image-4.15.0-2-powerpc64 ,then run apt upgrade.
If you already updated and get a kernel panic you can still boot the old 4.15 kernel. At the boot: prompt type: old
or see this post
To fix keyring issue with the archive snapshot try this

If you'd like to install Mint, after installing Sid, head over to: https://www.u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl/installation/manual-installation-mintppc/ and follow the instructions.

If you'd like to install 32-bit Fienix, after installing Sid, update your packages, install Mate, then follow these instructions: https://fienixppc-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/stop-gap-install-for-powerpc-macs.html

I hope this iso will be useful to anybody who tried debian sid before but had no luck. I tested everything twice. Follow the install.txt and you'll have a working sid install.
Once installed, look here for tips/tricks/troubleshooting: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/the-powerpc-linux-wiki.2178457/
Download (384mb): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qC6uw1IlHKm9CJiEj1u6T0XYe7rs6h-T/view?usp=sharing

Cheers

debian-sid-macmini-g4.png
 
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sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
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I wonder if it will actually work on my G5 with the 32 bit userland! Debian 64 bit has never worked on my G5's, due to what i believe to be endianness problems with Xorg on AGP based machines. Will test later 👍
 
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wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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@sparty411 : Installing on a spare drive on my dual G5 now. It works fine, with 1 issue. Once it upgrades to the 5.4 kernel it kernel panics on boot. At the boot prompt type old
Code:
boot:old
to boot the 4.x kernel and all is well. I will test other kernels eventually.

Cheers
 
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Elijah Carder

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2020
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I registered for this site just so I could say “thank you” I was struggling to get anything to work on it and your instructions and walk through was super helpful. So thanks for this I appreciate.
- - Post merged: - -

I had the same issue with the newer kernel but using old at boot worked fine.
 
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Elijah Carder

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2020
9
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I am getting a an issue with the display it’s kind of like white pixels randomly racing across the screen. Kind of like over the air tv back in the day with an antenna where it skips a scan line or an old vcr tape with tracking issues. And if I leave it in for a long time the display screws up. Even the text characters get garbled. I will take some photos and video. In the meantime any ideas what that is? If I was to guess it’s either the video card is going bad or I don’t have the right drivers?
 

wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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I'd rule out video card failure. I'm guessing it's a kernel/module bug in newer kernels. My G4 macmini doesn't have this oddity at all, and can even use the 5.4 kernel w/out issue, but i noticed my dual G5 does. It doesn't always happen, but more often than not it does "screen tear" sooner or later. Logging out, then back in solves it for a little longer. I never experienced this with kernel 4.4 on Lubuntu. It might be the same problem that @sparty411 mentioned with AGP gfx cards.

I wonder if it's worth trying to "borrow" lubuntu 16.04's 4.4 kernel/modules/initrd etc and drop it in debian sid. I know that kernel works fine on G5's. At least it'd narrow down if it's a kernel issue or not.

Cheers
 

z970mp

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2017
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I wonder if it's worth trying to "borrow" lubuntu 16.04's 4.4 kernel/modules/initrd etc and drop it in debian sid. I know that kernel works fine on G5's. At least it'd narrow down if it's a kernel issue or not.
I've never seen this with Buster's 4.19 either, so that would probably work as well.
 
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wicknix

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Yep, my G5 on Sid has that exact same gfx issue. I'm curious to see if using an older kernel fixes it. Let us know how it goes.

Cheers
 

Elijah Carder

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2020
9
2
Well I thought I knew how to switch kernels but it’s not what I thought. Going to have to do some research on how to do that.
 

wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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That explains it then. That machine has the GeForce 5200 in it. What changed? Kernel 4.4 doesn't have an issue with that card.
 

Elijah Carder

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2020
9
2
I noticed I got errors saying all the nvidia files were drivers were missing and it doesn’t like the nouveau drivers
 

Elijah Carder

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2020
9
2
buster works on yours? Honestly I just one that works. It’s just going to be a DVD player streaming pc for the lift work out area
 
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wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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I don't recall exactly, but a late 2018/early 2019 iso that still included a working yaboot by default before the broken grub iso's took over.
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2020
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Now, I don't really know if this has been found before, but I was getting keyring issues, even following your instructions, and I found what is, if not new, an easier way around.

deb [trusted=yes] http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian-ports/20190707T221412Z/ sid main

Yeah, all i had to do was throw in [trusted=yes] at the start of that, and it stopped complaining, and just worked. I can't imagine it's the most secure solution, but I'll take it. I'm still setting the system up, but it looks to be going better than the last time I tried already,
 
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wicknix

macrumors 6502a
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Jun 4, 2017
714
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Wisconsin, USA
Awesome. Thanks for the tip.
At the time I made the remix the keys worked, but just recently I started getting that error. I just removed that entry in my sources. Granted I lost some software availability doing that. I will give your workaround a spin.