How to install Debian Squeeze on Apple iBook G3 with PPC architecture

This instruction describes how to install Debian Squeeze on an iBook with a G3 PPC CPU. It is the way that worked for me and it might be usefull for others who want to bring back some live to a nice little machine.


0. Preparations
1. Shrinking the Mac OS partition
2. Installing Debian Squeeze
3. Configuring Debian Squeeze
    3.1 Right-click by Ctrl+click
    3.2 Function keys and eject key
    3.3 Soundcard
    3.4 Keyboard mappings
    3.5 Airport
    3.6 Power management
    3.7 LXDE

 


0. Preparations

  1. BACKUP YOUR DATA
    Even if the method described here is usually safe, there is always a risk when re-partitioning a harddrive, so I strongly recommend to BACKUP YOUR DATA or even the entire Mac OS volume before we continue.
  2. We will need a working internet connection during the installation of Debian. Since the Airport card will not work out of the box, grab a network cable and connect the iBook to your router or DSL modem. Make sure the internet connection is working by disabling the Airport card and opening a website in your favourite browser or sending a ping to your favourite website and receiving some pongs.
  3. Write down the IP adress, netmask and router adress. You can find this information in your System settings -> Network where you select the ethernet connection and click More options and then TCP/IP.
  4. Download Ubuntu 5.10 Mac (PowerPC) install CD from http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/5.10/ and burn the image using Apple’s Disk Utility. We’ll need this CD to partition the harddrive.
  5. Download debian-6.x.x-powerpc-xfce+lxde-CD-1.iso from http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/#stable and burn the image using Apple’s Disk Utility.

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1. Shrinking the Mac OS partition

  1. In Mac OS, open a terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and type

    $ diskutil enableJournal /

    and then

    $ diskutil disableJournal /

    to disable journaling on the hfs+ partition. We need this in order to change the size of the Mac OS partition.
  2. Insert Ubuntu 5.10 install CD and restart.
  3. Hold down “c” key during restart to boot from CD
  4. Follow the installation steps of 5.10 until the partitioner shows up. Instead of clicking Continue hit Go back and then Go to a Shell
  5. Once the Shell has started type

    $ parted

    to start the partition editor. In the parted Shell type

    (parted) print

    to list your partition table. It should look something like this:

    (parted) print
    Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0kb - 74GB
    Disk label type: mac
    Minor Start End Filesystem Name Flags
    1 0.000 32.000 Apple
    32.001 128.030 unused
    3 128.031 74347.612 HFS+ iBookHD boot
    74347.613 74348.120 unused

    Note down the Minor number and the Start block of your Mac OS partition,
    in this case 3 and 128.031.
  6. To resize the hfs+ partition type

    (parted) resize MINOR START END

    In my case I typed

    (parted) resize 3 128.031 37237.821

    The resizing process should take less than a minute.

    Important note: parted can not move a hfs+ partition, so it is essential to success that you DO NOT MOVE the volume further to the beginning of the harddrive!

  7. After resizing has finished, type

    (parted) print

    again to verify that the volume has been properly resized. The output should look something like this:

    (parted) print
    Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0kb - 74GB
    Disk label type: mac
    Minor Start End Filesystem Name Flags
    1 0.000 32.000 Apple
    32.001 128.030 unused
    3 128.031 37237.821 HFS+ iBookHD boot
    37237.822 74348.120 unused
  8. Type

    (parted) q

    to quit parted and then

    $ exit

    to exit the Shell.
  9. Remove the Ubuntu 5.10 CD and select Quit the Installation to reboot to Mac OS.
  10. Back in Mac OS open the terminal and type

    $ diskutil enableJournal /

    to re-enable journaling. You can also verify the new volume size by ctrl-clicking on your HD and selecting Information.

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2. Installing Debian Squeeze

  1. Insert Debian Squeeze install CD and restart.
  2. Hold down “c” key during restart to boot from CD
  3. Follow the installation instructions until the partitioner.
  4. Select the free space to install onto and select Automatic partitioning. This will create a boot partition, a swap partition of sufficient size and of course the system partition.
  5. When done, continue following the installation instructions.
  6. When asked, enter the IP adress, netmask and router adress you noted down during preparations.
  7. When done, continue following the installation instructions.

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3. Configuring Debian Squeeze

After the installation, log in to Debian as user via the graphical interface. If it does not appear after startup, log in on the console as user and type

$ startx

The default session is xfce, so we will install the more lightweight window manager called lxde, but we will do this later. First we will configure trackpad and keyboard to behave like in Mac OS.

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3.1 Right-click by Ctrl+click

  1. Open a root Shell and type

    $ apt-get install mouseemu
  2. After installation type

    $ nano /etc/defaults/mouseemu

    and add the following lines:

    RIGHT_CLICK="-right 29 272" # Ctrl + click
    MID_CLICK="-middle 56 272" # Alt + click

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3.2 Function keys and eject key

  1. Open a root Shell and type

    $ apt-get install pbbuttonsd
  2. In some cases the sound keys do not work properly with pbbuttonsd. You can work around this by configuring keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Go to Menu -> Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts
  4. Click add and enter

    amixer -c 0 set Master 4+ unmute

    in the text field, then click ok. Now press fn key and F5 key. Click ok.
  5. Click add and enter

    amixer -c 0 set Master 4- unmute

    in the text field, then click ok. Now press fn key and F4 key. Click ok.
  6. Click add and enter

    amixer set Master toggle

    in the text field, then click ok. Now press fn key and F3 key. Click ok.

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3.3 Soundcard

  1. Open a root Shell and type

    $ nano /etc/modules

    and add

    snd_powermac

    This will automatically load the modul at startup.
  2. To load the modul ad hoc type

    $ modprobe snd_powermac

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3.4 Keyboard mappings

  1. The easiest way to have the iBook’s keyboard behave like in Mac OS is to remap all the third level key functions in a new keymap and then load this keymap at the start of X.
  2. Open a root Shell and type

    $ xmodmap -pke > /etc/X11/Xmodmap.pc

    This will write your current keymap, which is compatible with a standard PC keyboard, to /etc/X11/Xmodmap.pc.
  3. You can find my personal Xmodmap-file here and place it in /etc/X11/. Note that the third level key (Alt Gr on PC keyboards) is mapped to KP_Enter (the key to the left of the arrow keys) and NOT to the Alt key like in Mac OS. This is due to interactibility with Debian.
  4. To load the keymap at the start of X type

    $ nano /etc/X11/Xsession

    and add

    [ -f /etc/X11/Xmodmap ] && xmodmap /etc/X11/Xmodmap.mac

    to the file before exit 0

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3.5 Airport

  1. To make the Airport drivers load on system boot open a root Shell and type

    $ nano /etc/network/interfaces
  2. Edit the file so it looks like this:

    # This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
    # and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

    # The loopback network interface
    auto lo
    iface li inet loopback

    # The primary network interface
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet dhcp

    # The wireless network interface
    #auto eth1
    iface eth1 inet dhcp
    pre-up modprobe airport
    wireless_mode Managed

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3.6 Power management

  1. Open a root Shell and type

    $ apt-get install powernowd

top

 

3.7 LXDE

  1. Open a root Shell and type

    $ apt-get install lxde
  2. Logout
  3. Click Sessions and select LXDE

top

 

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About h0nk3ym0nk3y

h0nk3ym0nk3y is one of the three LinuxM0nk3ys from Linux M0nk3ys @ WordPress Linux M0nk3ys @ YouTube Linux M0nk3ys @ Twitter

Posted on June 29, 2012, in Configure, Install and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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