Installing Linux

SAbsar

Mac Graduate
Hi.

I've got a Wallstreet PowerBook G3 233MHz. I wanted to install Fedora Core 4 on it, just to get my hands clean with it. How do I boot the first CD :p

I've currently got OS 8.1 running on the PB.

Thanks in advance!
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
You can't boot from the Linux install CDs on anything short of a G4/AGP machine (new world ROM), if I'm not mistaken.

Same way with YellowDog Linux.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I know you can install Ubuntu on it, but as for FC4 I'm not sure. They don't have any wikis on how to install on OldWorld Macs (like your PowerBook, for instance).

OldWorld and NewWorld refer to Macs that use a hardware ROM (OldWorld) or OpenFirmware (NewWorld). OpenFirmware is similar to a PC's BIOS, but is much better. OpenFirmware simulates the Mac ROM in memory, so it's all software based as opposed to a piece of hardware ROM.

Macs that are OldWorld can't boot other operating systems from a CD other than Mac OS. If you were to install Linux, you would have to use a bootloader that runs on the Mac OS like BootX. Not a big deal since you wouldn't need a large partition for the Mac OS...just enough to get it installed and have BootX and the kernels there. There is also an extension that is included with BootX that kicks in BootX before any other extension or control panel is loaded, allowing you to boot right into Linux once the Mac OS boot process has started. There's also another bootloader called quik that will allow you to have a Linux only system, but it's rather risky and could leave you with a doorstop. :(

NewWorld Macs are those that have AT LEAST USB capabilities BUILT-IN to the logic board. They will boot from a Linux CD (for the most part) and don't require a Mac OS to be installed. This means you can have a Macintosh computer with Linux only if you wanted to. Yaboot is the bootloader used in NewWorld Macs and resides in OpenFirmware.

Now, it might be possible to install FC4 on your OldWorld PowerBook, but it's goign to take some work. I have Debian installed on my StarMax and I've thought about installing FC4 on it, but it's such an old machine that to go through the trouble isn't worth my time. Of course, that might not be the case for you. Give it a try and let us know what you need help with.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
nixgeek said:
NewWorld Macs are those that have AT LEAST USB capabilities BUILT-IN to the logic board. They will boot from a Linux CD (for the most part) and don't require a Mac OS to be installed. This means you can have a Macintosh computer with Linux only if you wanted to. Yaboot is the bootloader used in NewWorld Macs and resides in OpenFirmware.
Not entirely true. I have USB ports built-in. I have OpenFirmware (NewWorld). Yet I cannot boot from a Linux install CD (NONE of them -- I've tried). Perfectly normal.

NewWorld machines starting with the AGP-based PowerMac G4 computers can boot Linux install CDs. Older NewWorld Macs, like the G4 Yikes! and B&W G3 machines cannot boot a Linux install CD.
 

cdubks88

Registered
I've never had an issue booting a Linux CD on the B&W, but you may need to have some sort of version of Classic on a small partition on the drive so that you can install BootX or something that will boot the CD for you.....at least that's how YDL handles it on systems that can't boot the CD....and since YDL is really running Fedora core, well......

HTH,

C.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
That's what I mean -- no native booting from the CD by the tradtional "Command-C" combo. You must use a bootloader from within Mac OS 7/8/9 in order for it to work. Your B&W machine will not boot the YellowDog Linux 4 or Fedora Core 4 install CDs without a bootloader and a pre-installed OS from which to configure the bootloader.

Meaning, you can't have just a single Linux OS residing on your machine. You must have a second OS.

The G4/AGP NewWorld machines and later can have Linux and Linux only installed, as they do not require a software bootloader to reside in another OS. They can boot the CD natively, just like Mac OS X install disks.

YellowDog Linux, as of version 4, no longer supports bootloaders for machines that cannot natively boot the CD. It is possible to boot 4 on older machines like you could with 3, and there is a modified boot kernel available, but not from YellowDog Linux, and they won't offer support in doing so.
 

SAbsar

Mac Graduate
Wow! That's great help! Thanks evreyone, especially nixgeek and EDCC! I've had experience installing YDL2 before with BootX, but I just wanted to find out if I could skip all that and directly install FC4! Guess that's not gonna happen... I'm stuck with a wasted partition :)

Thanks for the incredible help!
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I did this on a B&W G3 and it did accept the Ubuntu CD on boot when I held down the C key. The only thing I encountered was a problem with yaboot. That required me going into OpenFirmware and manually telling it to launch yaboot from the CD. Then the installation worked. I had to pass the "video=ofonly" to get any video for the installation.

I've also installed YDL 2.x way back when on a Bondi iMac. No problems there either booting and I didn't even need a Mac OS partition...well, except for the bootstrap, but that's just HFS...no Mac OS.
 
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