Pick a Free OS

Linux on your powermac

Debian GNU/Linux is a free software downloadable from www.debian.org under Software in the Public Interest (SPI). Most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux. Debian GNU/Linux supports numerous architectures other than Intel, viz. PowerPC, Alpha, ARM, Motorola and SPARC. Download the CD image from the nearest ftp site (I downloaded from an Australian site ftp://ftp.au.debian.org). Download the NON-US image, remember to download the MD5SUMS along with it and also download in binary format. (I downloaded with NcFtp, which does some retries if any error occurs in between and runs in background). Download the second CD image also, because it contains a lot of useful applications. After downloading check the integrity of the ISO image with the MD5SUMS using the program md5.

Start installation of Debian GNU/Linux on a Mac

Creating installation boot/root floppies

Use two new floppies to create the boot and root floppy. Initialize one floppy from MacOS with Macintosh format. Mount Debian CD 1 on a Linux machine and insert the hfs-initialized floppy in the first floppy drive. Then issue the command

dd if=/mnt/cdrom/install/powermac/boot-floppy-hfs.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 count=1 conv=sync ; sync

as root to create the boot floppy. This phase is very important as I failed a lot in using dos/ext2-formatted floppies for creating boot image. Similarly create root floppy from the image root.bin in the CD (there is no need of hfs formatted floppies for this image).

Installing the system