Installing Debian Linux
on a G4 Cube
Over the past 2 days I've dedicated my waking hours to making Debian GNU/Linux
on my shiny new G4 Cube
. Well, alright, the Cube isn't new, but the 80 gig Seagate ATA IV
is. So, armed with a brand spanking new 80 gig Seagate ATA IV
and a cable modem
, I set out to install a new system on my G4 Cube
This document assumes a little knowlege with Debian
Step One: Partitioning
- Well, first and foremost, I assume you're keeping Mac OS around somewhere on hand. So, boot from your System CD. Find Drive Setup and use it to blow everything away.
- Set to 4 or 5 paritions.. My setup uses a 'big /' philosophy.
- Leave the first parition 'Unallocated' and make it as large as you want all of Linux's drives to be.
- After that, make a small Mac OS Standard Drive and then all your Mac OS Extended drives for Mac OS.
- Initialize at will.
- Install Mac OS 9.
- Go to http://debian-imac.sourceforge.net/ and download the sit. Uncompress it to your Mac OS Standard drive.
- Uncompress pdisk, it is a part of the debian-imac package. Run it.
This part is sort of tricky unless you're comftorable with basic fdisk
'e' puts you into edit mode, try using /dev/hde for your drive's ID.
Once in edit mode, you have some options:
- 'p' prints the partition table. Make a note of the 'Unallocated' Mac OS drive you created before. It should be listed as Apple_Free.
- 'd' lets you delete drives. Wipe out the 'Unallocated' Mac OS partition.
- 'c' or 'C' creates Linux and other drives respectively.
'p'rint the partition table
, note the partition
number of the now empty space. Create a bootstrap partition
with the following:
C #p 800k boot Apple_Bootstrap
Where # is the partition
number of the free space. Next, your swap
c #p 256M swap
Where # is the partition
number of the free space. Be careful, the # will be one greater than last time since you made a new parition.
Finally, make your Linux
. This is most easily done by checking the partition
table and using the 'c' command interactively. The partition
starts at the base of the free space and extends for its length. 'w'rite the partition
Before you reboot
, make a note of the partition
numbers of your bootstrap partition
, your '/
' partition, your Mac OS
Standard drive and the drive that Mac OS
is installed on.
Step Two: The Install
You're back in Mac OS
. You have a fancy new partition table
and now you have to populate
- There is a folder in debian-imac called 'drag contents to disk icon'. Open it, drag everything out of it to your Mac OS Standard drive.
- Double check that drive contains the uncompressed debian-imac package.
Now, to the Open Firmware
. As you reboot, hold Cmd-Opt-O-F
. Release when prompted. Welcome to the Firmware. Type
Where # is the partition number of your Mac OS
Standard drive. Type 'install' at the next prompt.
You should be whisked away to a Debian
installer. I hope you're fairly familiar with it!
The rescue image and base system can be found with the 'harddisk' option, located on the Mac OS Standard partition.
After hitting Enter
until your finger is numb
from it, the Debian
base system should be installed.
Do not let the installer reboot the computer
Hit Opt-F2 to get to a shell
mkofboot --boot /dev/hda$ -m /usr/lib/yaboot/ofboot --root /dev/hda# --partition #
where $ is the number of the boot partition
and # is the number of the '/' partition
You may now reboot
Step Three: Some last problems.
Hopefully you've rebooted to a sane state of computing. Complete the Debian
install first. I suggest using 'woody
' for your apt
sources. Hooray for broadband
After you're done with your install, log in as root. Edit /etc/yaboot
It is more or less straightforward, with the same paramaters as you used in 'mkofboot'. One note though, this line should be added to your kernel image section:
where # is the partition
with your Mac OS
System on it will allow you to boot back into Mac OS
' to update the boot record.
Time to tackle that monstrosity that we call X11
. The debconf
generated config file is almost good enough. Be sure you tell it that you wish to use the Framebuffer. A few things need to be added to the conf file that it generates.
Under the graphic card 'Device', change 'ati' to 'r128' and add
DRI will not work unless you install a new kernel. I'm not going there, it's been covered.
I've never found a complete document of this type.. So I've created it. /msg me if I'm dead wrong please.