Mac and Linux... sittin' in a tree (help?)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Zkitty, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Zkitty macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    So, here's my dilemma. I apologize now to the Mods if this is in the wrong spot, I was trying to figure out where to put it, but just couldn't sort that out.

    I have my beloved iMac (PPC). I also have a Linux netbook. The netbook ran out of it's meager HD space so badly it won't start up. I ordered a larger SSD HD for it. Because the old HD won't start up, I can't transfer everything over to the new one. So, I've tried everything I can find online to make a Start up disk on a USB drive, from the Mac. I finally got that down this morning. It still won't load. So, I've gone one step further. The new SSD HD came with a kit to make it an external HD (for the presumed transfer of old to new on the netbook). I put it back in its kit and plugged it into the Mac, via USB.

    Anyone know how (other than Fink, which doesn't seem to like me) to install Linux onto the little SSD HD direct from the Mac?

    I know this is beyond just Mac stuff... but surely there are folks here somewhere who are familiar enough with Linux as well as Mac (since there's a subforum on Windows) to help guide me through this?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I've done the 'sudo dd' stuff in Terminal, I've played in Disk Utility... there has to be a way to do this...

  2. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    hm as i understand you want to install linux on your ppc Mac
    there is one question which linux? there are quiet a few distros for ppc Mac's or can be made to work but many will not run on any ppc Mac
    the easiest distros are debian and ubuntu for ppc , how to's are easy to find with google and explain the how to better then i can ,and make yourself familar with the comand line first and how to boot from open firmware and some alterations to it
    but one thing for sure once you installed linux whatever distro on a harddive in or on your mac you cant just take out the drive with linux on and fit it in your netbook as the kernels differ

    its like if you had osx leopard , installed on your ppc mac and tried to fit the harddrive in a intel Mac , its the same operatimng system , but not interchangeable

    here some distros
  3. Zkitty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    close, but no. I have two computers
    1. my iMac. I want it to stay Mac.
    2. my little netbook. It's been running Ubuntu. Here's the issue:

    the netbook had a 4Gb SSD HD in it (yeah, I know, what was I thinking, but hey, I didn't have the extra cash at the time to upgrade the HD). It ran out of room... so badly that it refused to start up because it couldn't create a temp folder (or whatever) to complete startup.

    I just got a 16Gb SSD HD for it. But i couldn't do a ghost transfer from the old to the new because the old (4Gb) wouldn't start up.

    I have tried, with no real success, to create a USB boot drive (which I did finally, but the netbook gave me an error in start up) and install that way. I have looked at various programs to help the process along, but the only one I could download was Fink, and it installed, but then the next step was to drag a (non-existent) file over to Apps to help install Ubuntu onto the other computer. All the others are for PC/Linux only or if they do have a Mac option, it's Intel Mac.

    I'm not trying to install Linux on the Mac... I'm trying to use the Mac to install Linux on the netbook (which does not have a CD drive, as netbooks typically don't).

    I've gone in and done sudo stuff in Terminal on the mac to make a USB drive an install drive... and it worked but got NTLDR on the netbook. I followed the instructions of folks online who were doing the same thing I'm trying to do. I did have to change one thing, as found on a different blog, which is what ended up working, but I still got the NTLDR error.

    Sorry if I sound terse with you, but I'm tired as I've been fighting this thing for two days now... I just want to get it done and have things back to relative normalcy.

  4. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    so the only thing you actually need is a program that can read from the linux partitioned 4gb harddrive thats easy just get
    that done you can read the 4gb harddrive
    so now you only need a working usb version of ubuntu ,
    for creating this usb version i think this is the best instruction site , but as mentioned there the easiest way is to make a cd ,a external cd drive needed for the netbook , not even a dvd drive needed so you could pick one up for next to nothing (also handy in the future to have one )
  5. racasper macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2009
    So you have a PowerPC Mac and an Intel netbook.. that complicates things!

    Here is what I would do in your place:

    1. Download the Desktop CD .iso image for Ubuntu 10.04 PowerPC from here:

    2. Use DiskCopy on your Mac to burn the .iso to a blank CD.

    3. Make sure your Intel disk image is stored on the Mac hard drive.

    4. Boot your Mac from the PPC CD by putting it in the drive and restarting with the C key down. DO NOT install Ubuntu - just use the LiveCD environment.

    5. Plug in your USB drive - make sure it's at least 1GB. (and blank - all files will be erased)

    6. Go under the System menu to: System/ Administration/ Startup Disk Creator

    7. Select your Intel disk image as the "source" disk. Select your blank USB drive as the "Disk to use". Click "Make Startup Disk" and wait.

    When it's done shut down your LiveCD Ubuntu Mac and you should have a bootable USB drive that works on the netbook. This assumes that Ubuntu will be able to read your disk image on the Mac hard drive, which is the only thing I'm not sure about.

    I hope this helps!
  6. Zkitty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    It's all been resolved now. I had to bite the bullet and buy an external CD/DVD drive, and burn an install CD, but it's up and running now.

    I hope that External comes to good use for a while... it better pay for itself at some point. but it's all happy now. I had to chuck Dell's proprietary networking software in order to set up my wireless, but I'm totally fine with that... The more I make that thing MY computer and not a 'hamster on a wheel' machine... the more I'm happy....

    Thank you!

Share This Page