My original R4 pages contain most of what you need to know to partition a drive for Linux. The version of Drive Setup supplied with OS9 is designed to accomodate Linux and can be used if its defaults are acceptable.
In order to boot Linux on a Mac box, some kind of MacOS partition is required. For NewWorld machines (any colored Mac) a method using yaboot is necessary, with a small (albeit "fake") MacOS partition. OldWorld machines (beige G3s and earlier, including the 6500-class or 9500-class machines) can use BootX (an easier approach, especially if the MacOS is still an important component of the computing enviroment). It may be prudent to have a MacOS partition (HFS, not HFS+) that can be mounted in Linux, for file transfer. Finally, if Mac-On-Linux is being installed, a separate partition for it and its install of MacOS, although not 100% necessary, is helpful.
original R4 pages
OS9 Drive Setup
- Drive Setup (1.8.1 in OS9.0, 1.9.2 in OS9.0.4) provides new partitioning options that earlier versions did not provide. To use it, boot from a CD that has version 1.8.1 or higher of Drive Setup, or launch it from a floppy.
- Select the drive to be partitioned and click Initialize.
- Click Custom Setup to see the following window.
- Select Preferred LinuxPPC to see an example partitioning scheme. The problem with this selection is that you cannot change the sizes of the individual partitions; however, it is reasonable to use this selection as a model.
- To create the partitions, hit OK then simply hit Initialize. The drive will be initialized and partitioned as defined in the Custom Setup.
FWB HardDisk ToolKit 3.0.2
- The final partition map of an 8 gigabyte Maxtor ATA drive, split into 8 partitions (not including disk drivers, partition maps, etc.) is shown below as an example. All 5 Mac partitions are HFS-formatted to make them generally suitable for copying to and from Linux. Not all partitions must be HFS, and any partition for Mac-On-Linux can be HFS+. In this example, all partitions were created (with HardDisk ToolKit 3.0.2) in much the same fashion as described for R4. For Linux, all partitions are of type Apple_UNIX_SVR2: a 2Gig partition to be used as the mount point for /root, a 128Meg /swap partition, and a 700Meg partition to be used as the mount point for /home.
- There is always a lot of discussion about how best to partition a drive for Linux. There is no requirement to make a separate physical partition for anything other than the /root and /swap mount points AFAIK. The other well-known directories (/usr, /var, /home, /opt) are not required to be separate partitions; if not separate, they will still be created under the /root partition. Whether it is advantageous to make separate partitions or not seems to be subjective and a matter of debate, depending on the exact needs of the administrator of the Linux box.