PB G4 Installation

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PB G4 Installation

userm57
Hello,

I installed Debian SID from the 4/19/2020 installation CD to a PowerBook
G4, 1.5 GHz, 1.25 GB memory.  It seems to have installed well -- thanks
to everyone who is working to maintain Debian for PowerPC!

This system has valid installations of Mac OS X Tiger and Mac OS X
Leopard.  During installation, these operating systems were detected:
  Mac OS X (32-bit) (on /dev/sda3) <-- This should be Mac OS X Tiger
  Mac OS X (64-bit) (on /dev/sda3)
  Mac OS X (32-bit) (on /dev/sda4) <-- This should be Mac OS X Leopard
  Mac OS X (64-bit) (on /dev/sda4)

After installation, if I select either the first or third choice, I see:
error: can't find command `xnu_kernel'.
error: can't find command `xnu_mkext'.
Press any key to continue...

I'm not sure why the second and fourth choices exist at all on this system.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the GRUB configuration to
allow booting of Mac OS X partitions?  I'll study the man pages, but if
I can't get it to work, I'll need to install yaboot instead.

And I have these additional comments and suggestions (some of these may
be out of scope of the Debian PPC unsupported port):

1) I know Debian has opted to use systemd instead of sysvinit; however,
there are valid reasons (mostly resource related) to opt for sysvinit on
some systems.  For example, on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, 266 MHz, 384
MB memory, sysvinit runs better than systemd.  This is not an invitation
to re-open (or start a new) systemd discussion, it is a request to allow
installation of packages that shouldn't require systemd, such as
synaptic, to be installed without also installing systemd.  Fortunately,
Xfce can still be installed without systemd.

2) Is there a way to change the Ethernet interface from "enP2p32s15f0"
back to "eth0"?  I'm sure there are many very good reasons to have the
longer names on modern systems, but on the PB G4 I'm not likely to
change out the Ethernet interface, and it would be easier to manage it
as "eth0".  Again, I'm not inviting discussion about why the choice of
the longer names is better, I'm just trying to determine whether there
is a user-configurable option for switching it back to "eth0" (as it was
in Debian 7.8).

3) The trackpad on the PB G4 is a little slow and unpredictable in
Debian SID, especially when the system is doing other things (like an
apt-get update or apt-get upgrade).  The problems go away if I use a USB
mouse, but I'm wondering if there is any way to tune the trackpad
performance (or if not to just disable it altogether).

thanks!

-Stan Johnson

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Re: PB G4 Installation

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
On 5/20/20 10:12 PM, [hidden email] wrote:
> I installed Debian SID from the 4/19/2020 installation CD to a PowerBook
> G4, 1.5 GHz, 1.25 GB memory.  It seems to have installed well -- thanks
> to everyone who is working to maintain Debian for PowerPC!

Great to hear!

> This system has valid installations of Mac OS X Tiger and Mac OS X
> Leopard.  During installation, these operating systems were detected:
>   Mac OS X (32-bit) (on /dev/sda3) <-- This should be Mac OS X Tiger
>   Mac OS X (64-bit) (on /dev/sda3)
>   Mac OS X (32-bit) (on /dev/sda4) <-- This should be Mac OS X Leopard
>   Mac OS X (64-bit) (on /dev/sda4)
>
> After installation, if I select either the first or third choice, I see:
> error: can't find command `xnu_kernel'.
> error: can't find command `xnu_mkext'.
> Press any key to continue...
>
> I'm not sure why the second and fourth choices exist at all on this system.
>
> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the GRUB configuration to
> allow booting of Mac OS X partitions?  I'll study the man pages, but if
> I can't get it to work, I'll need to install yaboot instead.

Someone on this mailing list explained how to fix that. I think that was
last month or so. Or maybe the mailing list member in question will read
your mail.

> And I have these additional comments and suggestions (some of these may
> be out of scope of the Debian PPC unsupported port):
>
> 1) I know Debian has opted to use systemd instead of sysvinit; however,
> there are valid reasons (mostly resource related) to opt for sysvinit on
> some systems.  For example, on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, 266 MHz, 384
> MB memory, sysvinit runs better than systemd.  This is not an invitation
> to re-open (or start a new) systemd discussion, it is a request to allow
> installation of packages that shouldn't require systemd, such as
> synaptic, to be installed without also installing systemd.  Fortunately,
> Xfce can still be installed without systemd.

This isn't really something I can change, sorry. You can just install sysvinit
and it will work. Whether certain desktops work without systemd is basically
a decision that has been made upstream.

> 2) Is there a way to change the Ethernet interface from "enP2p32s15f0"
> back to "eth0"?  I'm sure there are many very good reasons to have the
> longer names on modern systems, but on the PB G4 I'm not likely to
> change out the Ethernet interface, and it would be easier to manage it
> as "eth0".  Again, I'm not inviting discussion about why the choice of
> the longer names is better, I'm just trying to determine whether there
> is a user-configurable option for switching it back to "eth0" (as it was
> in Debian 7.8).

See: https://wiki.debian.org/NetworkInterfaceNames#How_to_get_it_back

Apparently, it's enough to pass "net.ifnames=0" on the kernel command line.

> 3) The trackpad on the PB G4 is a little slow and unpredictable in
> Debian SID, especially when the system is doing other things (like an
> apt-get update or apt-get upgrade).  The problems go away if I use a USB
> mouse, but I'm wondering if there is any way to tune the trackpad
> performance (or if not to just disable it altogether).

Did you try asking on the corresponding Linux kernel mailing list?

Adrian

--
 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - [hidden email]
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - [hidden email]
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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Re: PB G4 Installation

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
On 5/20/20 10:32 PM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
>> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the GRUB configuration to
>> allow booting of Mac OS X partitions?  I'll study the man pages, but if
>> I can't get it to work, I'll need to install yaboot instead.
>
> Someone on this mailing list explained how to fix that. I think that was
> last month or so. Or maybe the mailing list member in question will read
> your mail.

Btw, contributors to fix this issue are welcome.

>> And I have these additional comments and suggestions (some of these may
>> be out of scope of the Debian PPC unsupported port):
>>
>> 1) I know Debian has opted to use systemd instead of sysvinit; however,
>> there are valid reasons (mostly resource related) to opt for sysvinit on
>> some systems.  For example, on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, 266 MHz, 384
>> MB memory, sysvinit runs better than systemd.  This is not an invitation
>> to re-open (or start a new) systemd discussion, it is a request to allow
>> installation of packages that shouldn't require systemd, such as
>> synaptic, to be installed without also installing systemd.  Fortunately,
>> Xfce can still be installed without systemd.
>
> This isn't really something I can change, sorry. You can just install sysvinit
> and it will work. Whether certain desktops work without systemd is basically
> a decision that has been made upstream.
And I would like to add here: Not a single Debian Developer is opposed to
such changes, it's just that the majority doesn't care which is why the
people who want such flexibility will have to help with that work.

I think there is still the debian-init-diversity team [1] which certainly
is always looking for new contributors.

Adrian

> [1] https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/debian-init-diversity

--
 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - [hidden email]
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - [hidden email]
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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Re: PB G4 Installation

userm57
On 5/20/20 5:59 PM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:

> On 5/20/20 10:32 PM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
>>> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the GRUB configuration to
>>> allow booting of Mac OS X partitions?  I'll study the man pages, but if
>>> I can't get it to work, I'll need to install yaboot instead.
>>
>> Someone on this mailing list explained how to fix that. I think that was
>> last month or so. Or maybe the mailing list member in question will read
>> your mail.
>
> Btw, contributors to fix this issue are welcome.

Thanks.  Google found some articles related to this; I will take a look
at those and see if there is anything helpful.  Meanwhile, yaboot works
on the PB G4 in Debian SID to boot Mac OS Tiger, Mac OS Leopard, Debian
7.8, Debian SID and Gentoo.  The Debian 7.8 version did not work, likely
because that version's ofpath was somewhat buggy.

>
>>> And I have these additional comments and suggestions (some of these may
>>> be out of scope of the Debian PPC unsupported port):
>>>
>>> 1) I know Debian has opted to use systemd instead of sysvinit; however,
>>> there are valid reasons (mostly resource related) to opt for sysvinit on
>>> some systems.  For example, on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, 266 MHz, 384
>>> MB memory, sysvinit runs better than systemd.  This is not an invitation
>>> to re-open (or start a new) systemd discussion, it is a request to allow
>>> installation of packages that shouldn't require systemd, such as
>>> synaptic, to be installed without also installing systemd.  Fortunately,
>>> Xfce can still be installed without systemd.
>>
>> This isn't really something I can change, sorry. You can just install sysvinit
>> and it will work. Whether certain desktops work without systemd is basically
>> a decision that has been made upstream.
> And I would like to add here: Not a single Debian Developer is opposed to
> such changes, it's just that the majority doesn't care which is why the
> people who want such flexibility will have to help with that work.
>
> I think there is still the debian-init-diversity team [1] which certainly
> is always looking for new contributors.
>
> Adrian
>
>> [1] https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/debian-init-diversity
>

ok, thanks.  I'll see whether I'm able to contribute anything to that
team.  Strictly speaking, though, I'm just asking for non-systemd
versions of packages when possible, such as synaptic.  I think there's
also a non-systemd version of Gnome.  I can always download these myself
from their respective authors and compile without systemd options, or
use versions from Gentoo.

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Re: PB G4 Installation

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
On 5/21/20 2:49 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

> On 5/20/20 5:59 PM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
>> On 5/20/20 10:32 PM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
>>>> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the GRUB configuration to
>>>> allow booting of Mac OS X partitions?  I'll study the man pages, but if
>>>> I can't get it to work, I'll need to install yaboot instead.
>>>
>>> Someone on this mailing list explained how to fix that. I think that was
>>> last month or so. Or maybe the mailing list member in question will read
>>> your mail.
>>
>> Btw, contributors to fix this issue are welcome.
>
> Thanks.  Google found some articles related to this; I will take a look
> at those and see if there is anything helpful.  Meanwhile, yaboot works
> on the PB G4 in Debian SID to boot Mac OS Tiger, Mac OS Leopard, Debian
> 7.8, Debian SID and Gentoo.  The Debian 7.8 version did not work, likely
> because that version's ofpath was somewhat buggy.

Yaboot is unmaintained and doesn't support modern ext4 filesystems. It isn't
really an option therefore.

>>>> And I have these additional comments and suggestions (some of these may
>>>> be out of scope of the Debian PPC unsupported port):
>>>>
>>>> 1) I know Debian has opted to use systemd instead of sysvinit; however,
>>>> there are valid reasons (mostly resource related) to opt for sysvinit on
>>>> some systems.  For example, on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, 266 MHz, 384
>>>> MB memory, sysvinit runs better than systemd.  This is not an invitation
>>>> to re-open (or start a new) systemd discussion, it is a request to allow
>>>> installation of packages that shouldn't require systemd, such as
>>>> synaptic, to be installed without also installing systemd.  Fortunately,
>>>> Xfce can still be installed without systemd.
>>>
>>> This isn't really something I can change, sorry. You can just install sysvinit
>>> and it will work. Whether certain desktops work without systemd is basically
>>> a decision that has been made upstream.
>>
>> And I would like to add here: Not a single Debian Developer is opposed to
>> such changes, it's just that the majority doesn't care which is why the
>> people who want such flexibility will have to help with that work.
>>
>> I think there is still the debian-init-diversity team [1] which certainly
>> is always looking for new contributors.
>>
>> Adrian
>>
>>> [1] https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/debian-init-diversity
>>
>
> ok, thanks.  I'll see whether I'm able to contribute anything to that
> team.  Strictly speaking, though, I'm just asking for non-systemd
> versions of packages when possible, such as synaptic.  I think there's
> also a non-systemd version of Gnome.  I can always download these myself
> from their respective authors and compile without systemd options, or
> use versions from Gentoo.

The problem is that it isn't a "just non-systemd versions". What you are
asking for requires tremendous efforts from a distribution point of view.

It's hard to justify such efforts when in the end there are just three
users for such a configuration.

Adrian

--
 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - [hidden email]
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - [hidden email]
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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Re: PB G4 Installation

userm57
On 5/21/20 12:50 AM, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> On 5/21/20 2:49 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>> ... Google found some articles related to this; I will take a look
>> at those and see if there is anything helpful.  Meanwhile, yaboot works
>> on the PB G4 in Debian SID to boot Mac OS Tiger, Mac OS Leopard, Debian
>> 7.8, Debian SID and Gentoo.  The Debian 7.8 version did not work, likely
>> because that version's ofpath was somewhat buggy.
>
> Yaboot is unmaintained and doesn't support modern ext4 filesystems. It isn't
> really an option therefore.

Adrian, thanks for your response. I realize that yaboot isn't maintained
and that it doesn't support ext4 filesystems; however, all of my
filesystems are ext3.  If I have a choice between a product that is
unsupported but still works, even if only in a limited way, (such as
yaboot, BootX, Penguin), or a supported product that I can't figure out
how to configure (GRUB), then I'll pick the unsupported product.  But
YMMV, as they say.

...
>
> The problem is that it isn't a "just non-systemd versions". What you are
> asking for requires tremendous efforts from a distribution point of view.
>
> It's hard to justify such efforts when in the end there are just three
> users for such a configuration.
>
> Adrian
>

Sorry, I wasn't meaning to minimize the effort of maintaining a parallel
set of non-systemd packages.  And if there are only three users who are
requesting such a thing, you are absolutely right, it isn't worth the
effort.

thanks

-Stan Johnson

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Re: PB G4 Installation

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
On 5/21/20 4:56 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

>> Yaboot is unmaintained and doesn't support modern ext4 filesystems. It isn't
>> really an option therefore.
>
> Adrian, thanks for your response. I realize that yaboot isn't maintained
> and that it doesn't support ext4 filesystems; however, all of my
> filesystems are ext3.  If I have a choice between a product that is
> unsupported but still works, even if only in a limited way, (such as
> yaboot, BootX, Penguin), or a supported product that I can't figure out
> how to configure (GRUB), then I'll pick the unsupported product.  But
> YMMV, as they say.

The problem is that it doesn't move us forward. If you used GRUB and then
bothered to help fixing the aforementioned issues, we would be able to
improve the experience for everyone.

At some point, Yaboot might stop working completely depending on what
other changes are coming in the future to the kernel. Who knows.

Riding a dead horse in the software industry is most often not a good
idea.

>> The problem is that it isn't a "just non-systemd versions". What you are
>> asking for requires tremendous efforts from a distribution point of view.
>>
>> It's hard to justify such efforts when in the end there are just three
>> users for such a configuration.
>
> Sorry, I wasn't meaning to minimize the effort of maintaining a parallel
> set of non-systemd packages.  And if there are only three users who are
> requesting such a thing, you are absolutely right, it isn't worth the
> effort.

As I said, there is the debian-init-diversity project run by Ian Jackson.
I don't know about the current status, but they are most likely looking
for contributors.

Adrian

--
 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - [hidden email]
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - [hidden email]
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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Re: PB G4 Installation

Riccardo Mottola
Hi,

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
>> Sorry, I wasn't meaning to minimize the effort of maintaining a parallel
>> set of non-systemd packages.  And if there are only three users who are
>> requesting such a thing, you are absolutely right, it isn't worth the
>> effort.
> As I said, there is the debian-init-diversity project run by Ian Jackson.
> I don't know about the current status, but they are most likely looking
> for contributors.

isn't that at the end what Devuan is all about?  there are more than "3
people" asking for no-systemd.

I would have preferred to have all this inside Debian, of course. "Init
Freedom".

I "Devuanized" two older computers and on a very low-end machine (128MB
of RAM 233Mhz ...) the difference is immense. Debian was totally
unusable clogging up all resources... and I attribute part to this to
systemd.

sysV-init or OpenRC is a personal choice, I tried both.

It would be happy very to try that, if it did such wonders on x86!

Reading in debian-init-diversity it seems possible, would be worth
trying on MacPPC - since most of our Macs are older and limited in
Memory and CPU.

So... I hoped new directions for debian, to reconsider, but "the mass"
just likes RedHat following, for convenience I guess.
I use debian "since ever" I use Linux and...it is home of so much nice,
especially in the past. It used to run on a lot of systems, almost like
NetBSD!

But things like forcing systemd, removing videocards, killing "official
PPC" show that the general sentiment of the project changed over the years.

Riccardo

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Re: PB G4 Installation

John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
On 5/28/20 9:27 PM, Riccardo Mottola wrote:
> isn't that at the end what Devuan is all about?  there are more than "3 people" asking for no-systemd.

There are certainly more than three people but certainly not more than ten.

> I would have preferred to have all this inside Debian, of course. "Init Freedom".

Not sure what you are missing in Debian in this regard. Nothing prevents you from
running sysvinit instead of system in Debian.

> I "Devuanized" two older computers and on a very low-end machine (128MB of RAM
> 233Mhz ...) the difference is immense. Debian was totally unusable clogging up
> all resources... and I attribute part to this to systemd.

I wouldn't recommend using Devuan as their project lacks professionalism [1].

> sysV-init or OpenRC is a personal choice, I tried both.
>
> It would be happy very to try that, if it did such wonders on x86!
>
> Reading in debian-init-diversity it seems possible, would be worth trying on
> MacPPC - since most of our Macs are older and limited in Memory and CPU.

FWIW, I'm running systemd on an Amiga 4000 with an 68060 CPU with 50 MHz and
128 MiB RAM. And I'm not sure how compiled C code is supposed to be slower
than interpreted shell code.

> So... I hoped new directions for debian, to reconsider, but "the mass" just
> likes RedHat following, for convenience I guess.

"The mass" is following the technical superior solution. Maintaining system
services with the help of shell scripts with no proper means of process
accounting and inter-process communication isn't really suitable for servers.

There are a lot of problems associated with sysvinit, claiming that these don't
exist and systemd didn't solve anything would be really dishonest.

> I use debian "since ever" I use Linux and...it is home of so much nice, especially
> in the past. It used to run on a lot of systems, almost like NetBSD!
>
> But things like forcing systemd, removing videocards, killing "official PPC" show
> that the general sentiment of the project changed over the years.

Maintenance isn't free, it never was. Things are removed because they become
unmaintained. As you know, I'm currently the only primary maintainer of the
PowerPC port and unless more people are stepping up to help me, things will
get killed off.

As the saying goes "Talk is cheap, show me the code".

Adrian

> [1] https://lwn.net/Articles/786593/

--
 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - [hidden email]
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - [hidden email]
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913