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Thread: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

  1. #11
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    Okay, found a bit more time to have a look into this. The easiest thing is probably to install a newer version of unity. There should be a newer version in oneiric-updates, but maybe it has been missed off for powerpc (EDIT: yep here is the fail https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source...+build/2875419, but it was built later for 12.04)? The powerpc time stamp is a few days later than for other architectures. This is what I think is causing the problems. So see if you can install the new version manually....

    Code:
    wget -P/tmp http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/u/unity/unity_4.24.0-0ubuntu2b1_powerpc.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /tmp/unity_4.24.0-0ubuntu2b1_powerpc.deb
    Then you will be able to install ubuntu-desktop.

    EDIT: This fix nolonger works because the unity package in 12.04 has been upgraded. You can download it directly from launchpad instead https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source...+build/2882663 , or install an older version of unity-common:

    Code:
    wget -P/tmp http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/u/unity/unity-common_4.22.0-0ubuntu3_all.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /tmp/unity-common_4.22.0-0ubuntu3_all.deb
    You will then be able to install ubuntu-desktop. There is also a new unity package in the proposed repository that you could alternatively enable or download as above? See https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity and http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/u/unity/ .
    Last edited by rsavage; February 21st, 2012 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #12
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    So I'll answer your points from your second post now....

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWeinberg View Post
    Quick question - if I haven't yet installed the GUI, why are the video drivers needed, as the command prompts seem to work during bootup, up to a point. I wasn't aware that they would be needed for a CLI only.
    As I understand it some sort of framebuffer thingy (that's the extent of my technical knowledge!) has to load as well so that things like the ubuntu splash screen can be displayed.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWeinberg View Post
    Also, do you know if the AirLink101 AWLL6077v2 USB wireless adapter has worked with this setup? It was one of the few Mac OS X-compatible wireless adapters available (no airport in this one), and I would love to be able to still use it.
    No idea I'm afraid.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWeinberg View Post
    As to your directions, they are very much appreciated. I found them very thorough. I use Ubuntu every day on other PCs, however. I could see how they might be hard to follow for a newcomer. It is a lot of information to process. It also requires reading completely from top to bottom a few times to pick out what is relevant for your situation, and even then, I found myself needing to reinstall a few times before I got it right. I think as an overall resource, it is fantastic, but perhaps it could be reorganized a bit to make it easier for newbies. I will try to put together some notes on ideas and shoot them off to you, if you would like. I think what you are working on is one of the most important aspects of the community, making Ubuntu accessible to all.
    I know it is a cop out, but they were never written for a newcomer! Basically, the instructions started off as my bookmarked pages with a few notes inbetween. They are notes I wrote for myself to allow me to install again. I just wrote them down in a public place in the hope that they would help others. As the number of bookmarked pages have grown I appreciate the workarounds section has become a bit unwieldy. I have tried to put in more info for the newbie, but the result is they always get longer and consequently look more intimidating. I'll be happy to listen to your thoughts.....

    I don't own a working PPC machine (although I'm still hoping to resurrect my ibook) and so it is hard for me to maintain the instructions at the moment. It is now down to others with working PPC machines to find solutions and post them for the rest of the community. If others showed an interest in creating a new wiki or updating the existing FAQ then I'd help out, but it is pointless me doing it by myself. I know there are smart people out there using powerpc ubuntu, but (with the exception of a few) they just don't come on the forum. More people need to file bug reports too (to my shame I have never done one) so that things like the missing unity package get fixed and we wouldn't have to write workarounds for them!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWeinberg View Post
    By the way, if this works out well, you will have made my 10 year old daughter very happy. She has always loved the looks of the "lamp" iMac (me, too), and when I found one to set up for her, it was perfect for homework with OS X 10.4.11, but it couldn't handle many websites very well, due to its lack of updates for a few years.
    I just hope she doesn't want flash for games......

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWeinberg View Post
    Thank you for all of your efforts!
    No problem, I enjoy the challenge of getting things to work and helping people!

  3. #13
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    Post 11 above was exactly the problem. It is interesting that the date stamp supercedes the version number. I was able to install, and then install ubuntu-desktop. Unfortunately, even after updating and rebooting, I am still having the crazy colored desktop. This is the same whether I choose Ubuntu or Ubuntu 2D. Classic is not an option, but I will install the Gnome desktop and let you know.

    When I am finished with this (I will keep at it until I get this working!), I will try to put together a document on how to get 11.10 running on an iMac G4 (lamp model) geared towards newbies, and you can let me know your thoughts. Maybe it could of some use to people.

    I am hoping that with gnash and lightspark, she will at least be able to watch some stuff on YouTube. Who knows? I will let you know. I can always revert back to OS X 10.4.11 if need be, but I am hoping this will be a better experience. I will repost when I get the graphics working again.

    Thanks again for all of your help.

  4. #14
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    Okay well I'm glad you got ubuntu-desktop installed. It is good to know the solution.

    Maybe you have to setup an xorg.conf to fix the colours? Are you still using nouveau.modeset=0?

    I'd be interested in the speed of unity on your imac. When I tried it in natty it was dog slow and I much preferred xubuntu.

    I should warn you gnash and lightspark have been problematic on recent firefoxes. It would be good if you could track down the problem!!! Not that you need any more problems......

    YouTube/Vimeo can be watched using html5 or the firefox extension FlashVideoReplacer.

    Good luck!

  5. #15
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    To All Americans, Happy Thanksgivings!

    > @rsavage
    > I should say first it's great to get some feedback on them.

    Don't feel that your sweat and assistance isn't greatly appreciated, even if some are too shy/lazy to tell you. It's because of you I've just created a dual boot 10.4.11/Ubuntu 11.04 700mhz iMac -- and I am a tech-rookie just playing it by ear! Thanks.

    Now I've encountered a roadblock.

    To kill the white screen problem I performed the "Linux nouveau.modeset=0" trick at the second yaboot prompt as cited here and I popped into 11.04 -- however it's in psychedelic 16-bit color mode I believe, nearly impossible to navigate though I can drop a terminal screen with effort. There, I used the suggestion of "echo options i915 modeset 0 > etc/modprobe.d/i915 - kms.conf mentioned here but nothing happens.

    My question is -- and I'm not lazy but just not tech savvy so am asking for the simplest path -- how can I fix this and make the fix permanent on bootup? I am withholding upgrading to 11.10 until I hear more success stories from those with my home school system.

    Thanks for any help!

    James Greenidge

  6. #16
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    Ok. I have found two xorg.conf files that are supposed to work for the iMac G4 (lamp model). I have tried both, but have had no success with either.

    With the one list for that iMac at this site (under heading iMac G4 800 Mhz): http://www.ppcnux.com/?q=g4-macs-and-xorg

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Gforce2MX"
    BusID "PCI:0:16:0"
    Driver "fbdev"
    Option "UseFBDev" "true"
    EndSection

    # EDID version 1 revision 3
    Section "Monitor"
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
    Identifier "iMacLamp"
    VendorName "APP"
    ModelName "Color LCD"
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
    # DPMS capabilities: Active off:yes Suspend:no Standby:no

    Mode "1024x768" # vfreq 60.004Hz, hfreq 48.363kHz
    DotClock 65.000000
    HTimings 1024 1048 1184 1344
    VTimings 768 771 777 806
    Flags "-HSync" "-VSync"
    EndMode
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fe
    # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Device "Gforce2MX"
    Monitor "iMacLamp"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    Modes "1024x768"
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Default Layout"
    Screen "Default Screen"
    EndSection

    The video crashes and goes straight to a command line. I get the following error message from the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file:
    (EE) FBDEV(0): FBIOPUT_VSCREENINFO succeeded but modified mode
    (EE FBDEV(0): mode initialization error

    Fatal server error:
    AddScreen/ScreenInit failed for driver 0

    From what I can gather from the X.org wiki:
    I keep getting the message: "AddScreen/ScreenInit failed for driver 0"

    You get an error message like:

    (EE) R128(0): (Ron = 12288) + (Rloop = 17) >= (Roff = 12012)
    Fatal server error:
    AddScreen/ScreenInit failed for driver 0

    This kind of problem typically occurs when you're using a big monitor with an old graphics card. You can solve it by deleting some of the highest resolutions of the deepest colour mode in the Screen section of your xorg.conf, or even the whole last Display subsection.

    I have tried lowering the bit depth from 24 to 16, but that seems to do nothing. Also, this configuration does at least the correct nvidia card that is in the machine, even if it is nothing more than a label.

    From the instructions under post 2 here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1741817 , I tried this xorg.conf:

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "X.org Configured"
    Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
    InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    EndSection

    Section "Files"
    ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi"
    FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi"
    FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
    FontPath "built-ins"
    EndSection

    Section "Module"
    Load "dri"
    Load "dri2"
    Load "extmod"
    Load "record"
    Load "dbe"
    Load "glx"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Keyboard0"
    Driver "kbd"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Mouse0"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "Protocol" "auto"
    Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Monitor0"
    VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
    ModelName "Monitor Model"
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    ### Available Driver options are:-
    ### Values: <i>: integer, <f>: float, <bool>: "True"/"False",
    ### <string>: "String", <freq>: "<f> Hz/kHz/MHz"
    ### [arg]: arg optional
    #Option "SWcursor" # [<bool>]
    #Option "HWcursor" # [<bool>]
    #Option "NoAccel" # [<bool>]
    #Option "ShadowFB" # [<bool>]
    #Option "UseFBDev" # [<bool>]
    #Option "Rotate" # [<str>]
    #Option "VideoKey" # <i>
    #Option "FlatPanel" # [<bool>]
    #Option "FPDither" # [<bool>]
    #Option "CrtcNumber" # <i>
    #Option "FPScale" # [<bool>]
    #Option "FPTweak" # <i>
    #Option "DualHead" # [<bool>]
    Identifier "Card0"
    Driver "nv"
    VendorName "nVidia Corporation"
    BoardName "NV18 [GeForce4 MX with AGP8X (Mac)]"
    BusID "PCI:0:16:0"
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device "Card0"
    Monitor "Monitor0"
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 1
    EndSubSection
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 4
    EndSubSection
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 8
    EndSubSection
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 15
    EndSubSection
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 16
    EndSubSection
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    Again, the video crashes and goes straight to a command line. I get the following error message from the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file:
    (EE) Failed to load module "nv" (module does not exist, 0)
    (EE) No drivers available.

    Fatal server error:
    no screens found

    At least here, I have a clue, and tried:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
    but that is not available.

    I am not certain what the name of the "nv" driver is, and have not had much luck locating that online. Nor am I sure if that will resolve the problem, but it certainly looks like I need to try that next. If anyone knows the file name for "nv", I would greatly appreciate it. I will let you know how I fare.

  7. #17
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    I found this:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1143179

    It seems a bit old, but I will see where it takes me.

  8. #18
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    No luck. I also tried the suggestion in this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1691595 ) of changing the 'nv' in the xorg.conf to 'nouveau', but that didn't help either.

    I will keep trying.

  9. #19
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    @BrianWeinberg Stop!

    Okay, let's review. Are you still using nouveau.modeset=0 because that will give you poor colors I think? Have you tried it without this in 11.10?

    If you still need nouveau.modeset=0 then what used to be the case was you setup an xorg.conf file with the driver as 'nv'. However, it looks like the 'nv' driver has been dropped from 11.10 http://packages.ubuntu.com/natty/xserver-xorg-video-nv for all architectures.

    You can download it manually

    Code:
    wget -P/tmp http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/x/xserver-xorg-video-nv/xserver-xorg-video-nv_2.1.17-3ubuntu3_powerpc.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /tmp/xserver-xorg-video-nv_2.1.17-3ubuntu3_powerpc.deb
    and see if that works with an xorg.conf file. You can try something simple like

    Code:
    Section "Device"
        Identifier "Card0"
        Driver "nv"
        BusID "PCI:0:16:0"
    EndSection
    I'm not a big fan of downloading xorg.conf files from random sites/threads as I think they introduce more problems than they solve.

    It could be the case (whether you are using nouveau or nv) that you need to specify a more detailed xorg.conf file by using the output of the 'cvt' command. I try to explain how to do this in the instructions.


    @jimwg Happy thankgiving to you too! I hope you said over your turkey "I am thankful that ubuntu still compile packages for the powerpc architecture!!!".

    however it's in psychedelic 16-bit color mode I believe, nearly impossible to navigate though I can drop a terminal screen with effort. There, I used the suggestion of "echo options i915 modeset 0 > etc/modprobe.d/i915 - kms.conf mentioned here but nothing happens.
    Unity-2d in 11.04 did have a colour problem due to endian issues I believe so that could be one of the problems. You need to switch to a Ubuntu Classic session by logging out to test it. As I explained to brian above, nouveau.modeset=0 will also give reduced colours and you need to turn on the 'nv' driver. i915 sounds like an intel video card so it won't have any effect on your machine.

    Thanks for the feedback. It seems I still need to work on my instructions to convince you guys that configuring an xorg.conf file is not scary!
    Last edited by rsavage; November 25th, 2011 at 11:16 AM.

  10. #20
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    Re: iMac G4 minimal install cli 11.04 leads to white screen

    @jimwg Happy thankgiving to you too! I hope you said over your turkey "I am thankful that ubuntu still compile packages for the powerpc architecture!!!".
    Oh I Am and DO!! Especially since Apple left all our "vintage" machines -- even just measly security updates -- in the dust! Guess they can't spare a few coffee-machine thousands of bucks out of their billions rewarding the long faithful who spent lots at a time way back when Apple was a "dying platform". I hope PPC Ubuntu and its Snow Lion equivalent features lives forever!

    Unity-2d in 11.04 did have a colour problem due to endian issues I believe so that could be one of the problems. You need to switch to a Ubuntu Classic session by logging out to test it. As I explained to brian above, nouveau.modeset=0 will also give reduced colours and you need to turn on the 'nv' driver. i915 sounds like an intel video card so it won't have any effect on your machine.
    Forgive my naive dense mode but I didn't even know there was a Ubuntu Classic much less how to get there! Also it's actually impossible for me to manage around in 11.04 with the screwed-up colors like that making even text too f'ed to read much less CLI or Terminal up. I suppose ideally the only access to the program to fix these twin white-out and 16-bit color situation is via the boot-up prompts I guess -- but what could I put in there?? Is there any info can offer? Please treat me like a total Linux-eager novice!!

    JimWG

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