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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:31 am    Post subject: Looking for real answers : GOT EM! Reply with quote

Hello,

I would like some REAL answers about ppc installation. Everytime I install Gentoo on a ppc (always Macs), something goes wrong, and I spend a lot of time Googling for answers. I can install Gentoo on x86 architecture without using the instructions - that's how many times I've done it, and when I use the instructions for ppc, I follow them quite well. I think the ppc installation handbook needs massive work. Here are my questions:

1. Is it true that the bootstrap partition needs to come before any Mac or Linux partitions in the partition table? If so, why is that not in the instructions?

2. Is it true that the partition that has the kernel image needs to be either ext2 or ext3 filesystem?

3. Is it not possible to have a separate boot partition? I want to. Why does it complicate things? I want to know. Should there not be instructions for this? Why is it NOT needed (according to the instructions)? I want to make my root partition a different filesystem, so if the answer to #2 is yes, then it makes absolutely perfect sense for there to be a separate boot partition, no?

4. Will XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS work or not? I want to use XFS. If the answer to #2 is yes, then I will be fine using ext3 for the boot partition and XFS for the root partition. Why is none of this discussed?

5. Does it not make perfect sense that people who have dished out massive $ for Mac hardware, yet love Gentoo, would want to dual boot between OS X and Gentoo? Why are the instructions (in the handbook) for doing this non-existent?

6. Is it true that after installing Yaboot, one needs to reboot holding option-apple-p-r in order to reset the openfirmware? If so, why is this not in the install instructions?

7. Where can I see a list of different scenarios that the install instructions have been tested on?

8. Is there a reason why Genkernel has NEVER worked for me on any of my ppc's? I have an old G3 powerbook, a Titanium Powerbook, many G3 iMacs, many G4 iMacs, many G4 Powermacs, one dual processor G4 powermac, and a cluster of G5 X-Serves. I have never tested it on the X-Serves, but Genkernel does not work on the other machines (it's latest reason why it does not work - it changes - is that /usr/src/linux/include/linux/version.h does not exist - that is, using the gentoo-dev-sources).

Here are some of my observations:

* It appears that the bootstrap partition needs to come before other os-related partitions.
* It appears that sometimes, a user needs to reset the firmware in order for Yaboot to show it's penguin piss covered self.
* It appears that the root partition cannot be XFS for some reason. I hope I am wrong.
* It appears that other Gentoo lovers with Macs don't want OS X on their machines - otherwise the install instructions would mention it even in a tiny way.
* It appears that the ppc is not an architecture where Gentoo's main selling point - freedom - is a reality.

I hope I am wrong about the negative parts of all that. I really want to get Gentoo working on my systems. In particular, I want to have my root, usr, var, and home partitions be XFS, or any other filesystem I choose. I wish there could be a definitive guide for which ones work, and which ones do not. I want to dual boot between OS X and Gentoo. I have users who use the workstations at times who are not ready for Linux, and need the simplicity of the one-button OS. When I work at the workstations, I want to use Gentoo. I want to be able to read the ppc handbook, and not feel like it is a bastardized version of the x86 instructions. It's beyond me why x86 installs have to work on so many more possible configurations, yet, somehow the instructions are good enough that they actually work on ALL of the different configurations I have ever used (and that is quite a few), but the number if configurations for Macs, is like, what?, 10 or less? Maybe 20...surely not on par with x86, and the instructions are shorter, less complete, and sometimes incorrect.

All that said, I am willing to help. I have enough Macs under my supervision that I could try the install many different ways - one with ReiserFS, one with XFS, one with JFS, one with multiple partitions, one with dual booting, one G3, one G4, one G5, etc... Is the ppc team missing the resources to get this right? If the ppc team is interested in adding to their numbers a person who will thouroughly test the install instructions on many different ppc's and report, I can be that guy. Please PM me if you are interested. Also, please address this post and it's many questions. Thanks!

Best,
Bob


Last edited by rwgeorge on Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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robind
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate this post. I've attempted installation on a G3 and it failed miserably. And I agree that the manual for ppc is pretty lousy. Bob, maybe you're right. Maybe the interest in Mac in a Linux world just isn't...big enough.
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danomac
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 5 x86 gentoo boxes, so I tried installing gentoo on my iBook. I followed the guide and found only three bit of confusion, one was eth0 was detected and not auto-configured, 2 was hardware in the kernel, and three was with yabootconfig. The issues with the kernel were mostly because I am not familiar with Mac hardware. I figured that out after some modprobe-ing and whatnot.

Otherwise it did install fine. I did mess up installing stuff after I had X and everything installed and decided to retry a week later, but that was my own fault. The part that got me was after the `yabootconfig --chroot /mnt/gentoo` - when it asked me for a kernel I entered /boot/<kernel> and it didn't work (I figured it was going to chroot and it didn't.)

After I got the kernel working, the rest went OK, although X needed me to add a line to get it to start, but that was brought up in these forums a few times.

However, mine didn't come with OS X so I just wiped the disk and started from scratch.

From your observations:
-When I was installing gentoo, it told me to create partitions, and that the Apple partition table had to be first, and the bootstrap second. I'm assuming after that partitions can be created in whatever order, although I didn't try this.
-I didn't need to reset the firmware.
-Under the filesystems part of the guide, it does not recommend ReiserFS due to issues, JFS is totally unsupported, and XFS only if you have a specific setup. Which leaves ext3. :?
-Mine didn't come with OS X, so I can't comment here.

Regarding the documentation, there are a few things that could be cleared up, I agree with that.
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are serious about getting Gentoo on your machine, and don't really want any options, I can help you get it on that G3 of yours. I have successfuly put Gentoo on ppc's before, I just want to do it cooler now. I want options. I want other filesystems. I want a separate boot partition. Hell, I want separate usr, var, and home partitions. I want Yaboot to work. Not just sometime, but, how about 75% of the time. I want yabootconfig to not run mkofs on partitions it hasn't been directed to do so. I want instructions for dual booting OS X and Linux. I want to see less x86 handbook crossovers. All of this I am willing to help with. I suppose I need to track down the ppc documentation people and discuss all this with them.

As for your machine, if you want to PM me, I can help you get Gentoo running on it, as long as you are willing to go without dual booting, and if ext3 is okay for you.

Best,
Bob
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danomac,

Did you try to have a separate boot partition? The manual does not say that you can't use XFS, JFS, or ReiserFS...if it really mattered, they would not include the programs to make these filesystems on the live disk. The sparc disk doesnt even include mkfs.xfs or mkfs.jfs, because they are not supported (so therefore not included). It does include tools to make reiser, but it DOES require ext2 or 3 for the partition containing the boot stuff.

Glad you have it running! Some minor problems aside, Gentoo is the most kick ass software I have ever used. My wife uses it now, and she doesn't seem to miss windows at all. Also, since I have switched to using Gentoo, I have learned more about Linux than I did in all the previous 4-5 years of using other distros. :D

Best,
Bob
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danomac
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the offer, but I've got everything sorted (for now, anyway.) I'm installing kde right now... poor thing has been compiling for a day already.
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

muuuhahahaha.....yeah, KDE is a monster emerge....second worst I have done has to be OpenOffice...Glad it is working!

Best,
Bob
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fu.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent thread rwgeorge,

i also read your post in my thread.

Since you got it up and running on PPC machines, what do you think of it so far?

I just want to hear people's opinions about running an OS other than MacOS on Apple hardware.

Also what do you do? I mean do you use your Linux boxes for fun or work?

I just finished installing gentoo from the 2004.3 LiveCD on a Pismo PowerBook (upgraded with a G4 cpu) and I'm not sure I like it.

I am a filmmaker running a Film Production studio which is all about Macs and stuff but I always wanted to try a Linux distro (on spare machines not @ the studio :) ).

So I thought to give gentoo a try and see what I can do with it, (not high-end video work but just Office/Net stuff). It just takes too much tweaking to get everything working.

Cheers,

fu
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use my machines at work and at home. At work, we develop bioinformatics software, and other science related projects. Gento works great for almost anything I do, but having put it on laptops before, I have to say, nothing is more annoying than the one mouse button (even with the key tools that help). As a workstation, you can use any mouse you want (you can toon a laptop, just not the buit in one). I like Gentoo on alternative architectures, but the support is real iffy. I'm hoping someone from the ppc team will answer this post.
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there no one who cn answer the questions I posted at the beginning of this thread? Really hoping to hear from anyone on the Gentoo PPC team. Thanks!

Best,
Bob
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bruda
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:47 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for real answers Reply with quote

Hi,

I am by no means a developer, but I will try to answer those questions of yours that I have some knowledge on.
rwgeorge wrote:
1. Is it true that the bootstrap partition needs to come before any Mac or Linux partitions in the partition table? If so, why is that not in the instructions?

It should not be necessary, but also see below.
rwgeorge wrote:
3. Is it not possible to have a separate boot partition? I want to. Why does it complicate things? I want to know. Should there not be instructions for this? Why is it NOT needed (according to the instructions)?

I believe that it is possible to have a separate boot partition, the handbook just states that the system will work well without it too. Your reason is a good one to actually go ahead and provide a boot partition by itself.
rwgeorge wrote:
5. Does it not make perfect sense that people who have dished out massive $ for Mac hardware, yet love Gentoo, would want to dual boot between OS X and Gentoo? Why are the instructions (in the handbook) for doing this non-existent?

Insert in /etc/yaboot.conf the following lines:
Code:
macos=/dev/hdaXX
macosx=/dev/hdaYY

to be able to boot OS X and OS9 (replace the XX and YY with your partitions holding the respective OSes).
rwgeorge wrote:
6. Is it true that after installing Yaboot, one needs to reboot holding option-apple-p-r in order to reset the openfirmware? If so, why is this not in the install instructions?

No, though it might be necessary if the bootstrap partition comes after the Mac OS partitions.

I personally don't use Mac OS on my Macs, though I do have it installed (but almost never used) on one of my Powerbooks. I agree though that the PPC dev team's activity is (perceived or for real) on the low side, especially on the PPC64 side.
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome, thanks for the feedback....do you use alternate filesystems? or just ext2/3 ? Thanks!

Best,
Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for real answers Reply with quote

Hi there, I've been away on holiday (still am actually) but I've got a minute to answer some of your questions here.

Quote:

1. Is it true that the bootstrap partition needs to come before any Mac or Linux partitions in the partition table? If so, why is that not in the instructions?

To be honest, it depends on the OpenFirmware version included with your Mac. On older yaboot compatible Macs, it most definitely needs to be the second partition (the first is the partition table). On newer macs, it should be possible to put the partitions in a different order, but it can cause problems. For the easiest install, keep it as the second parition.

Quote:

2. Is it true that the partition that has the kernel image needs to be either ext2 or ext3 filesystem?

No, it should work with XFS as well, but I haven't tested it personily. We recommend ext3 or ext2 because it is known to work well.

Quote:

3. Is it not possible to have a separate boot partition? I want to. Why does it complicate things? I want to know. Should there not be instructions for this? Why is it NOT needed (according to the instructions)? I want to make my root partition a different filesystem, so if the answer to #2 is yes, then it makes absolutely perfect sense for there to be a separate boot partition, no?

We don't recommend having a separate boot partition because it really isn't needed. If you want to have a separate partition, go right ahead and make one, but tools like yaboot config may not work properly. If you're having problems booting off of XFS then you may need to create a separate boot partition, but since this isn't really a standard configuration it isn't included in the manual. If you'd like to write up a how-to for the FAQ, then I'd be happy to review it when I get back from holiday.

Quote:

4. Will XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS work or not? I want to use XFS. If the answer to #2 is yes, then I will be fine using ext3 for the boot partition and XFS for the root partition. Why is none of this discussed?

XFS and JFS should work, but you can only boot off of XFS. You can boot off of ReiserFS, but it isn't really a safe option on ppc as it tends to destroy data fairly often.

Quote:

5. Does it not make perfect sense that people who have dished out massive $ for Mac hardware, yet love Gentoo, would want to dual boot between OS X and Gentoo? Why are the instructions (in the handbook) for doing this non-existent?

It isn't documented here because it's documented in the FAQ. The handbook is for installing Gentoo and concerns itself primarily with installing Gentoo as a stand alone system.

Quote:

6. Is it true that after installing Yaboot, one needs to reboot holding option-apple-p-r in order to reset the openfirmware? If so, why is this not in the install instructions?

No, this is not true.

Quote:

7. Where can I see a list of different scenarios that the install instructions have been tested on?

I'm not sure what you mean by this. The instructions should work for all New World Macs and may work for Old World macs. I'll be updating the old world sections when I get back from holiday in a few months.

Quote:

8. Is there a reason why Genkernel has NEVER worked for me on any of my ppc's? I have an old G3 powerbook, a Titanium Powerbook, many G3 iMacs, many G4 iMacs, many G4 Powermacs, one dual processor G4 powermac, and a cluster of G5 X-Serves. I have never tested it on the X-Serves, but Genkernel does not work on the other machines (it's latest reason why it does not work - it changes - is that /usr/src/linux/include/linux/version.h does not exist - that is, using the gentoo-dev-sources).

I've never used Genkernel and can't comment on this.

Quote:

Here are some of my observations:
* It appears that the bootstrap partition needs to come before other os-related partitions.
* It appears that sometimes, a user needs to reset the firmware in order for Yaboot to show it's penguin piss covered self.
* It appears that the root partition cannot be XFS for some reason. I hope I am wrong.
* It appears that other Gentoo lovers with Macs don't want OS X on their machines - otherwise the install instructions would mention it even in a tiny way.
* It appears that the ppc is not an architecture where Gentoo's main selling point - freedom - is a reality.


So to sum it up:
* Yes, the bootstrap should come before the other partitions, you'll have fewer problems that way.
* If you needed to reset the firmware, you've got some other issue.
* The root partition can be XFS, but may require some extra work to get working. We recommend ext3 because it is the most stable and easiest FS on the PPC arch.
* Many Gentoo users have OSX on their macs, myself included. Please read the FAQ if you need help setting this up. We could include a note regarding this in the Handbook, I'll write something up when I get back.
* I'm not sure what you mean regarding freedom, many of the issues you've listed here are more general then Gentoo. Unfortunately most code isn't written with non-x86 architectures in mind so we're usually at a disadvantage anyway. ppc does have *many* packages marked stable or testing, it's a fairly well supported arch (at least I'd like to think so :) ) If you have a package that can be marked ppc or ~ppc, file a bug. It isn't going to get fixed otherwise.

The documentation is actually based on the x86 instructions, this is to minimize the ammount of work that the documentation team has to do. If you're willing to help fix the documentation, write up your changes and offer a diff to the documentation team via bugzilla. We'd appreciate the help!

Hope that helps!
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was awesome. Thank you very much. One last thing, do I need to start over, or ill it be fine to use mac-fdisk's re-position tool to make the bootstrap partition the second one? Thanks! As I wrote, I will be installing Gentoo on all of my available Macs. I will document each machine's hardware and configuration that worked. I'll PM you when I have something useful. Thanks again.

Best,
Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rwgeorge wrote:
do you use alternate filesystems? or just ext2/3 ?

I always meant to convert to something better but never got to it, so I am using the good ol' ext2/3. In light of the more pertinent answer that has been already posted it does not matter though.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One last thing, do I need to start over, or ill it be fine to use mac-fdisk's re-position tool to make the bootstrap partition the second one?


i didnt tried the "re-position tool" ( whats this btw ?? ), i just deleted the partition table ( excluding the first one, which cannot be erased afaik), told mac-fdisk to write the bootstrap partition and then made the partitions for gentoo. ( ... and a few gigs for osx ;) )

cheers
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rwgeorge
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac-fdisk allows you to reorder the partitions. Since I originally created my apple bootstrap partition after I had OSX installed, it came "after" my OSX partition. I am pretty sure I need it to go in slot /dev/hda2, so instead of taking a trickier path to solving this, I would like to knwo if the mac-fdisk reorder tool is solid enough to let me just move the bootstrap partition. I'm at the stage where, I will do anything to not have to re-install. I imagine I could make myself a "stage 4 tarball" by taring up my root partition and boot partition, and uploading them to a safe place for now...then I could create a fresh partition table, and then restore my files. Has anyone done this before? are there any tricky things to look out for? if I do this, when I tar, do I need to tar cjfp my files (the important part here being -p)?


Best,
Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am pretty sure I need it to go in slot /dev/hda2


yep, thats right

As said, didnt know about the reposition thingy ( thanx for the explanation), try out and let us know ;)

cheers
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I´ve read an article/post somewhere (url lost alas) by someone who needed to do exactly that and he used the repositioning feature. It worked for him, so it should work for you too.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject: reposition tool Reply with quote

I first touched Linux one week ago and was starting to think I wasn't smart enough to use it, until I read this post. Anyway after the final "magical" reboot my computer went straight into OS X. I tried the reposition tool in mac-fdisk and put my bootstrap partition in the /dev/hda2 slot. Now my computer boots in to yaboot. Yaboot dosen't currently boot anything for me, just a grey screen for Linux and OS X, but at least it's there. Just thought I would share my experience.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that I have noticed quite a few installation related issues in the PPC forum. It seems strange to me, because I was able to install a dual boot OSX / gentoo system with little effort on my new powerbook g4. I too, have used Gentoo for a long time, and Linux/UNIX even longer, and maybe that's part of it, too. I more or less obtained the same setup I have used on x86 quickly. To be honest, the documentation does need a good reaming though.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've hade quite the same experience as the author of the thread.
I tried installing the latest Gentoo PPC on my iBook G4, and as I have done quite a few x86 installations so i got some experience. First time i screwed it up, but the second time i did exactly what the handbook said, by the word. All i got was a rescue shell because they couldn't find my boot partition and check its ext2 filesystem, which I had not created.
Well I had problems with the x86 edition in the beginning, so I'll try again some day soon and then come back to you alla =)

Excuse me for any poor English.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:24 am    Post subject: dualboot issues Reply with quote

I just installed Gentoo on my iBook G4 and had a problem with the computer freezing when booting to Gentoo (2.6.10-gentoo-r6). I found out that by default the option to share IRQ's is enabled in the kernel... GET RID OF IT!!! That was the source of the problem.

Questions:

1) I have Gentoo and OS X on my iBook. When I start it up, just before the OF list of boot options comes up it looks UGLY! The screen does some wierd color changing that ends with it going from grey to having a white bar at the top and the rest grey. It just seems to me that it should be a nice smoth tranition... Any idea why mine flickers?

2) I read somewhere that instead of using the standard yaboot stuff that you (in theory) should be able to let the system boot as if it only ran OS X and hold option to see a list of bootable volumes. In this list linux should show up... is this true and how would you configure that?

3) I have the same pbbuttonsd problems as the above post. My eject and volume dont work and in the console put a ~ up. In Gnome I can adjust the brightness but there is no OSD showing up. I have gtkpbbutons installed, does it need to be configured or added to startup or what?

4) Also on pbbuttonsd, sleep seems screed up, it is the default config.... any ideas?

Thanks!!!
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