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Thread: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

  1. #1
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    Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    This post is for nVidia users who can't get the nouveau driver working. Early iMac G4 users typically seem to fall into this bracket. For more detailed information see here https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#Troubleshooting .

    These instructions are for 12.04 only.

    1. Download an 'alternate' iso or 'mini' iso and install as normal. If you want to use a 'live/desktop' iso then you can follow or adapt the instructions in this http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...8#post12336938 post.

    2. After installation, make sure you have an ethernet cable connected and boot into single user mode. So at the yaboot prompt type:
    Code:
    Linux nomodeset single
    This will boot you into a root prompt so be careful what you type next!

    3. The best alternative to the nouveau driver is the nv driver. You can compile it yourself (there are instructions linked in the FAQ), or you can install a pre-compiled version:
    Code:
    wget -O /tmp/nv.deb http://ubuntuone.com/6QVpmfHCU3YmHlik7lred9
    dpkg -i /tmp/nv.deb
    4. Now you need to create an xorg.conf. This is a basic one:
    Code:
    Section "Device"
        Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
        Driver        "nv"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Monitor"
        Identifier    "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Screen"
        Identifier    "Default Screen"
        Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
        Device        "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    The following will download the above file and move it into the right place for you:
    Code:
    wget -O /etc/X11/xorg.conf http://ubuntuone.com/6loNPRkiKluH2ZOXt8HENV
    5. Edit your yaboot.conf file to add the 'nomodeset' parameter permanently:
    Code:
    nano /etc/yaboot.conf
    Add 'nomodeset' at the end of the append line(s). For example:
    Code:
    image=/boot/vmlinux
        label=Linux
        read-only
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="quiet splash nomodeset"
    Every parameter inside the quotes should be separated by a space. Save (ctrl+o) and exit (ctrl+x), then type the command
    Code:
    sudo ybin -v
    to copy the file across to the boot partition.

    6. You can now reboot into a desktop:
    Code:
    reboot
    Lots more information in the FAQ and Known Issues pages:

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCKnownIssues
    Last edited by rsavage; April 2nd, 2013 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: "iMac G4 700/800 for Dummies"

    Not certain, but in addition to iMac G4 users, I think this workaround may apply to any PPC with geforce mx or geforce go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    3

    Re: "iMac G4 700/800 for Dummies"

    Thank you for this set of instructions. It appears to have gotten me past the hang on boot problem that I was having with my PowerMac 3,5 Nvidia GeForce2 MX. However, when I ran the dpkg command I got errors, saying it couldn't configure the installation. Is it OK to ignore this?

    Thanks,

    Kurt

  4. #4
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    Re: "iMac G4 700/800 for Dummies"

    What is the error message? It doesn't sound like it has installed correctly, and if that is the case it won't work.

  5. #5
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    Re: "iMac G4 700/800 for Dummies"

    Oh I see the problem from the other thread you are posting on.

    I used the mini-iso CD to try and install the base system (without even any desktop yet)
    If you haven't got any xorg packages installed then it will throw an error.

    Sometimes when you install the missing package dependencies (in this case the xorg packages) the failed package will continue with its installation. Sometimes you will have to re-run the dpkg command. I can't say with certainty what it will do.

  6. #6
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Thanks for a good guide. I added some advice for the G4 in case someone else is struggling to get it working.

    Is there a chance of getting a pre-compiled nv driver for 13.04, please?
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  7. #7
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgs View Post

    Is there a chance of getting a pre-compiled nv driver for 13.04, please?
    i think we have same hardware http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...fp_macosx.html

    you can try a usbstick with live Lubuntu 13.04 and use nvidiafb driver (in my case 768 mb memory but i think you can have less to get it work

    read https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#H...a_USB_drive.3F

    To copy an iso to a USB stick
    and
    Persistent Live USB

    both work for me ( Persistent Live USB work very well too try if things works )

    i choose OS/HDD/USB with alt key pressed
    Last edited by abtabt; June 27th, 2013 at 03:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Thanks, I'll give it a try.
    Do you have a guide for activating nvidiafb?
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  9. #9
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgs View Post
    Thanks, I'll give it a try.
    Do you have a guide for activating nvidiafb?

    you need to unhash nvidiafb in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf

    code

    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf

    change to
    #blacklist nvidiafb


    you need a xorg.conf

    code

    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    ###with this xorg.conf , if not you get 8 bit
    ###TBA@
    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Configured Video Device"
    Driver "nv"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device "nVidia"
    Monitor "Monitor"
    DefaultDepth 16
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 16
    Modes "1024x768"
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    this is for Persistent Live USB

    if you will use only Live usb read this http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2090462

    and the boot time will take some time (usb 1.1 and if the usb is slow so wait some minutes)
    Last edited by abtabt; June 28th, 2013 at 07:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    I know this thread is ancient and unlikely to be followed much any more, but I'm going out on a limb here.

    I've successfully installed 12.10 on my flowerpot, but can't get x to run for the life of me. I've compliled the nv driver and written an xorg.conf file, but when I try and start xfce I get a black screen with a non-blinking cursor and nothing useful in three Xorg.log.0 file.

    Any ideas and/or suggestions would be great!

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