LinuxPPC Release4 Installation

Stefan Jeglinski

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  1. Copy installer.coff as the only file onto a freshly formatted floppy.

  2. Using the BootVariables control panel, set the following parameters:

    • boot-device = fd:installer.coff
    • boot-file = root=/dev/hda4 vmode=6

      • Note 1: hda4 refers to the 4th partition of the a-th (first) IDE drive found. This is related to the FWB formatting and partitioning step.

      • Note 2: vmode=6 is 640x480 67Hz, which is the monitor I had at the time. Even though the Installation PDF document notes that this is the installer default, my monitor was all messed up unless I explicitly specified this. This vmode will work on a 17" multisync monitor that is normally set to 1024x768.

    • load-base = 100000 (required for 6500)

  3. Instruct BootVariables to Write data [to Open Firmware] and reboot.

    • Note 1: selecting Write&Reboot caused my computer to crash several times. I started writing and rebooting separately when using OF.

    • Note 2: make sure the installer floppy is in by the time the chime sounds. Missing this may require pushing it in again and doing the three-fingered salute.

  4. The RedHat installer is now engaged. This process may take a while (minutes). Listen closely to the floppy to hear it (the 6500 is a very quiet machine).

  5. There are no screenshots here for the RedHat installer. The RedHat 5.0 installer book (available from LinuxPPC, Inc. along with Release 4) is somewhat helpful, but the following brief descriptions will be more than enough if it is working correctly. A brief descriptive title of the particular option is given, along with the suggested response:

    • color monitor? yes
    • welcome: OK
    • keyboard: us
    • install media: local cd-rom: OK
    • insert cd: OK (repeat if error - it takes moment to mount)
    • initializing cd-rom...
    • installation path: install
    • recommended partition for 1.2G drive: OK (ignore unless you have 1.2G drive)
    • need to edit partition table? /dev/hda - Model WDC AC34000L (specific to the stock 6500)
      (note the absence of the "4"because the reference is to the whole disk now, not a specific partition)
      -> hit OK if no.
      -> hit edit if yes.
      select yes - you are now running fdisk - hit ? for help.
      you are running fdisk purposefully
      because you are an explorer
      and you will not back down from the Linux challenge
      besides, it ain't that hard, and it'll be good fer ya.

    • The following are details of the use of fdisk to change the partitioning, because the FWB partitioning was purposefully "incorrect" (fooled ya!). The numbers below exactly apply only for the WDC AC34000L drive that was partitioned with FWB as described previously. Results will vary otherwise, but the principles are the same. The goal is to break the /usr partition into a smaller /usr and a /home partition, while preserving the MacOS partition.

      • Type p to print the partition table to the screen. For the FWB format/partition step, the result is:

           #          type                    name            length         base     (size)
           1:  Apple_partition_map           Apple               100  @         1
           2: FWB Driver Components   FWB Driver Components     1024  @       101
           3:    Apple_Drive_ATA           Macintosh              76  @      1125
           4:    Apple_UNIX_SVR2              root            511990  @      1201    (250.0M)
           5:    Apple_UNIX_SVR2              swap            262134  @    513191    (128.0M)
           6:    Apple_UNIX_SVR2               usr           4184000  @    775325    (  2.0G)
           7:        Apple_HFS                MacOS          2854691  @   4959325    (  1.4G)

      • note that /usr partition is #6 with length 4184000 and base @ 775325
      • note that Apple_HFS MacOS partition is #7 with length 2854691 and base @ 4959325
      • the question is how do we squeeze the new /home partition in?
      • note that the block size is 512.
      • type r then 7 then 8 - this changes partition 7 to 8. So far so good!!
      • hit p to proudly view the result. It didn't work!
      • be brave - hit d then 6. This removes the /usr partition.
      • hit p again. See that the old /usr partition is now type Apple_Free and name Extra.
      • calculate the precise size of 2 blocks that will fit into this free space
      • type n (new block)
      • set first block: 775325
      • set length: 2092000
      • set name: usr
      • type n (new block)
      • set first block: 2867325
      • set length: 2092000
      • set name: home
      • type p to review your work. the last 3 partitions now read:

           #          type                    name            length         base      (size)
           6:    Apple_UNIX_SVR2               usr           2092000  @    775325    ( 1021.5M)
           7:    Apple_UNIX_SVR2              home           2092000  @   2867325    ( 1021.5M)
           8:        Apple_HFS                MacOS          2854691  @   4959325    (    1.4G)

      • type w (no, you haven't written the partition table yet - you can still recover))\
      • ok to overwrite partition map (the moment of truth) - type y
      • type q

  6. The RedHat installer will now continue. Select Done.

  7. partition for swap? - /dev/hda5 and OK

  8. select root partition - /dev/hda4 and OK

  9. Mount the other partitions (set mount points):

    • /dev/hda4 Apple_UNIX_SVR2 mount point = / (already entered)
    • /dev/hda6 Apple_UNIX_SVR2 mount point = /usr
    • /dev/hda7 Apple_UNIX_SVR2 mount point = /home
    • /dev/hda8 Apple_HFS mount point = /macvolume (call this what you want)

  10. format partitions - select 4,6,7

    • Note 1: 5, the swap partition, was earlier taken care of
    • Note 2: 8 is the MacOS partition and you'd better not mess with this.
    • Hit OK

  11. what to install: put star by everything except "everything" and hit OK -

    • Note: everytime I explicitly selected "everything", the installer would eventually choke trying to install some rpm. I do not know why. If you do, send me e-mail.

  12. install log in /tmp/install.log - OK

  13. making ext2 filesystems...

  14. Important Note: I have installed LinuxPPC about 6 times for various reasons. I noted that after I installed MkLinux on an external SCSI drive, the subsequent LinuxPPC installs on the internal ATA drive created all kinds of mesh log entries and SCSI resets, many many black letters on a blood-red background. The resets and errors appear to be harmless, but still occur even if the external SCSI is completely disconnected. Weird...

  15. Configure Network - if you know in advance what will go here, proceed to set it up; however, for me at the time I was first installing, I understood what all the entries were but I didn't understand what was being done with them. When I had ethernet problems, I found that this blind trust in the installer obscured my deeper understanding of network settings on this computer, and I ended up needing the equivalent of industrial strength Viagra to get my internet connection up. A separate section of this site covers building the network connections step-by-step.

  16. config timezones
    • do not select hardware clock set to GMT?
    • timezone = US/Eastern
    • OK

  17. password
    • set root password
    • repeat
    • OK

  18. Quik bootloader - y
    special pass options? - none and OK
    select how the machine will boot in general when it is on its own.

    (Note that vmode 6 is specified. This is relevant only if you have a 640x480 67Hz monitor or use a multisync monitor that can do 640x480. You may select it to your liking)

    to boot into linux using the installer floppy, set

    • boot-device: fd:installer.coff
    • boot-file: root=/dev/hda4 noinitrd vmode=6

    to boot into the Redhat installer again using the installer floppy, set

    • boot-device: fd:installer.coff
    • boot-file: root=/dev/hda4 vmode=6

    to boot into linux with the hard drive, set

    • boot-device: ata/@0:0
    • boot-file: ata/@0:4/boot/vmlinux root=/dev/hda4 vmode=6

  19. the install is complete, hit OK!
    if you selected booting off the hard drive, your computer should now be booting into LinuxPPC
    your journey has begun