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Thread: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    9

    Question Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    I can't get the Ubuntu 10.4 Live CD for PPC to work on my old 800 MHz flat screen iMac G4. I believe it's supposed to work, but the installation dies with a magenta screen about a minute after selection of any boot option in the yaboot dialog.

    I tried all the sensible boot choices and options, all with the same result: some trundling of the CD reader, display of the messages related to the ramdisk, more trundling, then a blank magenta screen and no more trundling. The iMac becomes totally unresponsive: no more messages, can't enter any command shell. I get the impression (complicated story) that it begins to install the X server and then aborts.

    This iMac has a PPC G4, 512 MB of working memory, and a GeForce2 MX video card with an nVIDIA chipset and 32 MB of video memory. There seems to be no hardware problem: OS-X 10.3 and OS-9 run just fine including wireless networking.

    Any suggestions to get this working?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Could try hitting any key as the cd is booting and selecting "Check Disks for Defects"
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    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Now I end up with a black screen...

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
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    17

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    We've had the same problem on an iLamp (G4 LCD) and a similar problem on a PowerMac G4 MDD. Install goes just fine, after reboot we get blank screen, no alt terminals available. Have tried nosplash video=ofonly, etc with no change. Any ideas??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    7

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Hi there,

    same macs (iLamp and G4 MDD), same Lucid (cdimage for PPC), same prob (black or magenta screens...)

    Any solutions found by now?

    Thanks a lot!

    Rabendoktor

    PS: Whereas installation on my VERY old PowerBook G3 succeeded without any probs...
    Last edited by Rabendoktor; May 27th, 2010 at 07:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    May 2008
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    9

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Debian 5.04 works, after some doing. You get the same magenta screen on first startup but Debian has a trapdoor on the X server: if X doesn't start in time then init drops you into a command shell.

    Which is very convenient, since you can then log in as root, run "Xorg -configure" and follow instructions. Move the new xorg.conf in place, restart, et voilà: a working albeit somewhat slow desktop.

    On Ubuntu this doesn't work, apparently because Xorg can't find the nVidia drivers (you can get into a simple CLI shell via the installation disk).
    Last edited by Stanver; May 27th, 2010 at 06:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    7

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Hi, there,

    at least for my G4 MDD (PowerMac3,6, with Radeon 9000 Pro) a firmware-update fixed my probs - although I had 4.4.8f2 installed, running the update (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=120171) enabled me to install Ubuntu 10.0.4 from the alternate-cd without any probs now...

    Have a wonderfus sunday!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    9

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    I think this bug exists only for this specific iMac model and video card, and only in Debian-type distros. I've tried a few more out of curiosity. Yellow Dog Linux works (but seems years behind, and thus of little use); Fedora produces a useless scrambled screen but doesn't crash.
    Now I've gotten hold of a second-hand copy of Tiger. Which, of course, works flawlessly.

    Have a wonderful sunday!
    Thanks, and to you! This sunday is past now, but I'll save it for the next...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    117

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    Hey Stanver,

    I just installed 10.04 on my work G4 Mac. This is what you have to do. 10.04 won't work from the beginning because the old G4 Macs aren't supported. Start with an alternate 8.04 download for the old macs. When 8.04 is installed then upgrade to 10.04 with the update manager. There is a direct upgrade from 8.04 to 10.04. Do a search to find it. I just did it so I know it works. I should say though that my sound doesn't work on my G4 after all this. There is some sound issues with 10.04.

    Good luck man.
    EeePC 701 - 4G SSD - 2G RAM - 16G SDHC Card
    hp Compaq d530 CMT - 160G - 3G RAM
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)
    Registered Linux User: #486660

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    9

    Re: Installation fails: Lucid Live CD on iMac G4 PPC

    kgarbutt,

    Perhaps I'll try this later, when I have more time. My intention originally was to try out the 10.04 live CD to see if it could replace Panther, and then I got carried away...

    If I remember well, the PPC was still officially supported on 8.04 Hardy. This is an excellent tip for anyone trying to install Ubuntu on an iLamp (i.e. the 2002 800 MHz 15" flat screen iMac with the GeForce2 MX). Another option is installing Debian.

    ... my sound doesn't work on my G4 after all this.
    Exactly. Judging from my experience with Debian, there are many functions that don't work out of the box (for playing music, ditch ALSA and switch to OSS only). Note that support for the PPC doesn't necessarily mean support for the Mac. Nice for the kids to play with, or for Dad hacking away rainy afternoons. I'm typing this on a home-built system which works quite well with Kubuntu 10.04 as it has generic PC hardware, an Intel processor and no wireless, but still, it can't mount Samba shares.

    For now however my little old iMac is functioning crisply with this ancient copy of Tiger, although I had to replace the hard disk after all these Linux experiments .

    Good luck man.
    Thank you!
    Last edited by Stanver; May 31st, 2010 at 07:39 PM.

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