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View Full Version : [ubuntu] 7.10 iMac G3 boot freeze



Steve the Pocket
April 26th, 2008, 09:57 PM
I recently was given a pair of iMac G3's, as I like to call them (the cobalt blue slot-loading kind) with the hard drives wiped. I decided to take the opportunity to try out Linux on a Mac. Unfortunately, it got to the "Loading...please wait" screen and then the computer hung up. On the other one it's even worse: it completely powers down!

So I tried the hacks mentioned here (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCKnownIssues). Without the break=top option it gives me this error after I type "exit":

cp: unable to open `/root/var/log': No such file or directory
mount: Mounting /root/dev on /dev/.static/dev failed: No such file or directory
mount: Mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: Mounting /proc on /root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have /sbin/init

With the break=top option, it's even worse: it gets to the BusyBox screen but the font is different (more like a PC text-screen-mode font) and the keyboard doesn't respond.

So, based on my extremely limited understanding of Linux, I have no idea what might be going on here. Any ideas? This workaround fails exactly the same way on both machines.

stream303
April 26th, 2008, 10:21 PM
I know that unless you have upgraded the firmware, the original tray-loaders had an 8gb partitioning limit, and I believe that the slot-loaders had a 128gb limit. If your machine has upgraded hard drives, this might be the case. Perhaps try installing and limiting the partitioning to under 128gb? (say 7.5gb for tray loaders, and 125gb for slot-loaders)

The screen shutdown is usually symptomatic of someone trying to install OSX, or using OSX utilities on a machine that had original firmware. I have long wondered if trying to load Ubuntu on one of these affected machines would show the same problems - it appears that it does.

At least you have a spare box good for parts to make one super-iMac out of it. :)

Unfortunately, upgrading the firmware requires you to have OS9 on a hard drive to do the upgrade. Ok, we can get beyond that with the working one perhaps.

To try and revive that broken one, see if anything here helps:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050218164736471

I'd be sure to use the "alternate" install images, rather than the live-cd desktop versions for install. And, you may be better off trying Feisty, since Gutsy had some problems - which could be fixed, but if you need something on your box *today*, Feisty "alternate" might be your best bet. Try out that partitioning limitation too.

Note that after installation, you may have to manually edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file, as mentioned here for Xubuntu (but should apply to all ppc as well now I think...)

http://www.xubuntu.com/news/hardy/ports

Steve the Pocket
April 26th, 2008, 10:51 PM
Perhaps try installing and limiting the partitioning to under 128gb? (say 7.5gb for tray loaders, and 125gb for slot-loaders)

Well, that's just the problem: the installer needs to be able to run, period, in order to do that. Neither one will get past the BusyBox screen.

Either way, both computers should have the right firmware; the one that was built prior to 2001, the one that shut down on me, had been running Tiger up until they wiped it so they must have upgraded the firmware at some point.

stream303
April 26th, 2008, 11:00 PM
Ah, so they took the disk away and you put in a new one? I know that macs like to complain when hardware is removed or changed without telling it about it. :)

If this is the case, have you tried zapping the pram and / or doing a smu/pmu reset?

Steve the Pocket
April 27th, 2008, 03:36 AM
Ah, so they took the disk away and you put in a new one?

No, there were hard drives already in there. I finally figured out how to open the little buggers up and check. *edits OP accordingly* Sorry about the confusion.

stream303
April 27th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Hmm... make sure you try the "alternate" non-live installer. I'd also try the Feisty 7.04 "alternate" as well. If nothing else than as a troubleshooting hint that you can get Feisty loaded, but something else down the line is wrong for 7.10.

Or just jump in with a Hardy 8.04 Ubuntu and see how far that takes you. I'm scratching my head over this one since if it worked with Tiger there should be no screen shut-downs with a simple Ubuntu install...thinking....