Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ubuntu 7.10 on Powerbook G4

Installation

To boot from the livecd, hold the key c until the screen turns black and you get the "boot:" prompt. Type the boldfaced text below:
boot: live-nosplash-powerpc break=top
and hit enter. After a few seconds, you reach another "(initramfs)" prompt, where you type in:
(initramfs) modprobe ide-core; exit
and hit enter. If you don't do this, it hangs with a cursor on the top left corner of the screen.

Now, proceed with the installation process as usual. When the computer reboots after installation, wait until you get the "boot:" prompt again. This time, type in
boot: Linux break=top
hit enter, and do the same initramfs drill as above.

In order to avoid doing the initramfs drill everytime you boot, add a line to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules that says "ide-core", and then run "update-initramfs -u", i.e.
$ sudo sh -c 'echo ide-core >> /etc/initramfs-tools/modules'
$ sudo update-initramfs -u
The next time it boots, it still appears to hang, but you can hear the hard drive working. After a while, you'll see the Ubuntu login screen.

Pending problems
  • Compiz-fusion doesn't appear to work because my Radeon 7500 supports only 1024x1024 texture. Tried to run compiz using the command:
    $ SKIP_CHECKS=yes compiz
    but I get the desktop background chopped off at the 1024 width boundary. Haven't tried the xorg.conf virtual hack.
References
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