Since recently it is possible to run Linux Mint XFCE on top of LXDE.

To install this one has to first install MintPPC. Then:
sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop
wget https://www.u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl/repo-64/pool/mint-xfce-default-settings_1.0_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i mint-xfce-default-settings_1.0_all.deb

cp -r /etc/skel/.config /home/your_user_name

SeaLion update

Wicknix released SeaLion 32.5.1. Note that this package has been built in an old Linux environment. To get it working in MintPPC32 I had to do the following:

install libffi7 from snapshots:
wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian-ports/20210222T080642Z/pool-powerpc/main/libf/libffi/libffi7_3.3-6_powerpc.deb
sudo dpkg -i libffi7_3.3-6_powerpc.deb

install multiarch-support from snapshots
wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian-ports/20190502T022320Z/pool-powerpc/main/g/glibc/multiarch-support_2.28-10_powerpc.deb
sudo dpkg -i multiarch-support_2.28-10_powerpc.deb

install libjpeg8 from snapshots
wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20141009T042436Z/pool/main/libj/libjpeg8/libjpeg8_8d1-2_powerpc.deb
sudo dpkg -i libjpeg8_8d1-2_powerpc.deb

I will add sealion 32.5.1 for powerpc to the server. If you want to install this, you will have to do it manually as I do not want to bother too many people with installing all those old libraries.
wget https://www.u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl/wicknix/powerpc/sealion-32.5.1_powerpc.deb
sudo dpkg -i sealion-32.5.1_powerpc.deb

The 64-bits version I still need to check first.

systemd-less and temporary installation instructions

For the people who would like to try booting with sysvinit instead of systemd I wrote a page dedicated to this. The instructions can also be used to install MintPPC under the current circumstances as debian-installer is broken: grub installation fails again. With the instructions of systemd-less installation one can also install MintPPC by using a hack to install the grub bootloader manually.

Sysvinit – no systemd

Lately I have been experimenting with a Debian sid ppc64 system without systemd. Systemd is the default nowadays in Debian. In the old days all ‘services’ or ‘daemons’ were managed by init scripts. I was able to install sysvinit and to dump systemd from a base Debian install. I then installed a desktop (LXDE). It took me a while to get the network to work in LXDE but I know now how that is done. If people are interested I can make a page dedicated to achieving this in a verbose manner. The advantage of a systemdless system is a much faster boot, especially on these old devices we use.

Fixed lxpanel lxpanel-data

I built new lxpanel and lxpanel-data from source, patched by numerous patches as found upstream in lxde-continued. There is a bug report in Debian reporting these patches. These packages have been added to the repositories of MintPPC32 and MintPPC64, so they will be automatically installed on your computer. Numerous problems are fixed now, for example adding a desktop pager will not give a broken panel (half panel) or if you have many applications open the panel will not stretch out of the screen.

Be sure to pin these packages in apt, otherwise they will be automatically upgraded if Debian releases a newer lxpanel and lxpanel-data in the 0.10.1 line (currently 0.10.1-4). To do this do the following:

Go to /etc/apt/preferences.d/ and make a file called 99-mintppc.pref. In that file you write the following:

Package: lxpanel
Pin: origin u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: lxpanel-data
Pin: origin u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl
Pin-Priority: 700

If you do a
apt-cache policy
you will see that both packages are now pinned with a priority 700.

Problems with lxpanel should be solved now. You can check for example if you login from LXDM, choose LXDE (vanilla Debian LXDE). You will see that the panel now stretches until the right part of the screen (see here). If you use the original packages, the panel is broken in half (see here).

Grub failure

I tried an apt upgrade and it tried to upgrade grub-ieee1275 on a G5 iMac (ppc64) which failed.

 Setting up grub-ieee1275 (2.12~rc1-12) …
Installing for powerpc-ieee1275 platform.
grub-install: error: cannot backup `/boot/grub/powerpc-ieee1275/adler32.mod’: Read-only file system.
Failed: grub-install –target=powerpc-ieee1275
WARNING: Bootloader is not properly installed, system may not be bootable
/usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig: 274: cannot create /boot/grub/grub.cfg.new: Read-only file system
dpkg: error processing package grub-ieee1275 (–configure):
 installed grub-ieee1275 package post-installation script subprocess returned error exit status 2

Also during boot I see an error.
Nov 14 12:34:33 debian systemd[1]: Mounting boot-grub.mount – /boot/grub…
Nov 14 12:34:34 debian systemd[1]: Mounted boot-grub.mount – /boot/grub.
Nov 14 12:34:38 debian systemd[1]: Starting grub-common.service – Record successful boot for GRUB…
Nov 14 12:34:39 debian grub-editenv[503]: grub-editenv: error: cannot open `/boot/grub/grubenv’: Read-only file system.
Nov 14 12:34:39 debian systemd[1]: grub-common.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Nov 14 12:34:39 debian systemd[1]: grub-common.service: Failed with result ‘exit-code’.

To solve this problem I had to do a filesystem check in the boot partition:

fsck.hfs /dev/sda2

Slow airport connection

If you are having trouble with a slow internet connection with your wireless airport card, you might want to upgrade firmware-b43-installer or firmware-b43legacy-installer, depending on what you use. It has to be either b43 or b43legacy. I ported an older version (019-3) and renamed it to a version later than 019-8, so it can be automatically installed by people who have 019-8 already running. To get this package:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade firmware-b43-installer

Replace firmware-b43-installer by firmware-b43legacy-installer if you use the latter.

If you have both packages installed remove them both and install only the one you need. See the installation instructions for more information about wireless connections.

You can also look at the airport page.