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Old 04-13-2004, 07:38 PM   #1
Thymox
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Installing Linux onto an "oldworld" PPC Apple?


Hi all.

I recently aqcuired an Apple PowerMac 5500/225 (and "oldworld" PPC machine) for the princely sum of 2. It currently has a single 2Gb harddrive in it that has OS 8.5.1 (or something) on it. My intention is to remove that drive and replace it with a single 6Gb drive onto which I want to install Linux - probably either YellowDog or Mandrake PPC, since these are the only PPC distros that I currently have ISOs for . It would seem that if I had a "newworld" Mac I would be able to boot from the CD, but since I have an "oldworld" one I cannot. Everwhere I look I seem to find information about using "BootX" in order to get the installer going... but I won't be able to use BootX since I won't have an Apple OS running!

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I could install Linux onto this lovely machine without using Apple OS? Does anyone have a boot floppy I could use?

PS I have no intention of getting rid of OS 8. The harddrive with OS 8 will not be present when I install Linux onto the machine.

Cheers all.
 
Old 04-13-2004, 09:31 PM   #2
jailbait
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"Does anyone have any ideas as to how I could install Linux onto this lovely machine without using Apple OS? Does anyone have a boot floppy I could use?"

Would it be possible to run with both hard drives until you get Linux installed and then remove the old drive? If there is not space inside the case you could remove the cover and make one of the drives "external" until you get Linux installed.

-----------------------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 04-13-2004 at 09:37 PM.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 05:28 PM   #3
Thymox
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It would be possible if I really wanted to... the Mac comes with a single double-ended cable, so there's currently not the opportunity to have more than one drive. I could replace it with another cable, but that'd require me to take it apart (the cable seems to go right up into the machine, rather than just plugging in somewhere accessible). As you can imagine, I don't really want to have to take apart the whole machine just to swap a cable Especially if there is another method that is staring me in the face!

<ramble>
One thing that I was very impressed with, though, was the ease with which you can swap Apple hardware! I bought this PPC Mac for the princely sum of 2 (English) at the local "recycling center". It was a little wet where it had been in the rain, but for 2 I can cope with a piece of junk that may not boot. So, I took the motherboard out and noticed that it has the same edge connector as an older M68k Mac I have lying around (another prize from the "recycling center" - I could never get my 15-pin Apple to 15-pin VGA connector working, but I knew the machine at least POSTed). So, whilst waiting for the PPC Mac to dry out (and then clean the contacts on everything) I slid the M68k Mac motherboard into the PPC Mac housing and tried it... and it worked! Everything worked. So I know have an M68k board (with 300Mb harddrive) that requires a housing (or at least a graphics connector that works) so I can try Linux-on-M68k too.
</ramble>
 
Old 04-14-2004, 06:34 PM   #4
jailbait
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" the Mac comes with a single double-ended cable,"

On some Macs you can daisy chain hard drives. Check to see if there is a second connector on the hard drive, perhaps plugged with a terminating resistor. If there is then you might be able to daisy chain the two hard drives with the terminating resistor in the last hard drive.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 04-14-2004, 06:39 PM   #5
Thymox
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Nope. This is a standard IDE harddrive. I even managed to read all the data on it under Linux (using my IDE-->USB 2 adaptor). It's not SCSI, although it does come with a SCSI CD drive. Curious.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 06:48 PM   #6
jailbait
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You have got my curiosity up. Every computer that I have ever owned has been the result of merging parts from my latest second hand purchase with my previous conglomerate computer. But I have never tried Mac. I looked at buying a new Mac laptop during Christmas, 2002 but they were too expensive. Maybe I should take a look at buying some old Mac laptops and building a Mac laptop for myself.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 04-14-2004 at 06:49 PM.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
Thymox
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I thought I was onto a good thing just then. I found a file hidden deep within the BootX package that looked suspiciously like a boot floppy... it was 1.5Mb and called miBoot.img. So, I dutifully dd'ed it to a floppy disk using my x86 Linux (this box I'm typing on now) and tried it. Wow! I got the Mac computer logo in the center of the screen, then it changed to a Tux... we're onto a winner here. Then it dropped to a text mode and went to the familiar Mandrake booting screen... wow, it's going to work. Then it hangs and the screen blanks before I have a chance to see what it made it hang! Damn!

I guess I'll have to dig out a larger harddrive. I am *ahem* getting Mac OS 9 and X.2 soon. I'm guessing they'll have a boot floppy to install, so I may put a spare 15Gb drive in and partition it. Have a dual boot... and a spare 2Gb Mac OS 8 drive too.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
kendall14
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Question

I know this is an old thread but by any chance do any one of you have a bootable floppy image for the powermac 5500/225 and know how to make a working boot floppy in windows xp?
 
Old 03-22-2006, 04:48 PM   #9
Thymox
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As a matter of fact, yes! I found that Debian was the saviour of the day... for the boot floppies, look here:
http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dist...mages/powerpc/
Either of the "floppy" or "floppy-2.4" directories... both contain 1.4MB images that can be put onto floppies either using "dd" from Linux or by using "rawrite" (http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/rawwrite.htm) under Windows.

I never did manage to get my 5500/225 to boot Linux only... I ended up installing MacOS 8.6 onto a really small partition and using BootX... and I can tell you that upgrading to a newer kernel was a headache! I had to install the package for the new kernel, copy it over the network to a fileserver, boot back into MacOS 8.6, connect to the fileserver, copy the kernel file back to the Mac and put it in the appropriate directory. Doesn't sound hard, until you realise that the software available that lets Macs connect to an NFS server is severely out of date and doesn't work... so then I had to install NetATalk on the fileserver, etc, etc. All fun and games.
 
Old 03-22-2006, 05:26 PM   #10
kendall14
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Red face

Will this really boot it? The mac I have (5500/225) is crashed and it doesn't boot.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 02:10 AM   #11
Thymox
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So long as your Mac isn't actually "dead", then yes it'll boot into the installation routine for Debian Linux. When you turn your Mac on, you should hear a "zhing" sound. It may take a few moments for the monitor/screen to come up, but it should show a little computer icon in the centre of the screen whilst it's looking for a boot-image. If (without a CD or Floppy inserted) it does that and then gives you a small icon of an "unhappy Mac", then the issue is that it either can't find a drive to boot from (so check the harddrive is connected up nicely) or that it can't find a boot-image on the harddrive.

Note that I couldn't get my 5500/225 to boot into Linux without having an installation (however small) of MacOS. It would appear that the 5500/225 is an odd model in that neither of the two native Linux boot loaders will work (I forget their names) and the handcrafting of the OpenFirmware options doesn't play nicely either!
 
Old 03-23-2006, 12:23 PM   #12
kendall14
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I checked (with a emulator on this computer) and I know they can't boot it now. I just wish it would take a cd that can be booted because so for thta is the easy thing it was for me to do (I was mad when I found out that it won't boot from cd, even if the cd can real boot a mac ).I found some stuff on the disk tools disk and next time I get access to a floppy drive I'm going to try to make it (have the software and image but need a floppy ).
 
  


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