Installation instructions

Update 28 November 2023
Added systemd-less installation.

Update 13 November 2023
I added instructions how to get Airport cards working.

Update 30 October 2023
Did some small tweaks and added MintPPC64.

Update 13 October 2023
I changed the instructions to no longer choose a 6.3 kernel. The kernel panic issue in 6.5 kernel has been fixed. Furthermore I added to change the default display manager from LightDM into LXDM.

Update 4 October 2023
The installation instructions have changed. The old instructions no longer lead to a working MintPPC installation.

Let’s get started with installing MintPPC.

For people who would like to use the live MintPPC USB for trying out MintPPC or who would like to install MintPPC with the live USB, I refer to this page.

People who would like to install MintPPC manually, can try the following instructions (updated and tried again on November 28 2023).

For people who would like to install MintPPC without systemd and with sysvinit (faster boot time), see here. Note that this installation is more difficult and requires more hand work. The instructions are verbose though.

The usual way of installing MintPPC is done with “Debian-installer” using the net installer (most packages are taken from the internet during installation). This page is dedicated to install MintPPC in this way.

You have to take into account that you are going to try to install a working MintPPC system with a LXDE desktop from the internet, package by package. You run the risk that some packages on the Debian server are in a broken state. If that is the case, your installation of MintPPC will fail. It is also possible that my website is down from time to time. Please ensure that the website is working before installation. I did everything I can to ensure that all Mint related packages install properly. If your installation of MintPPC using the netinstaller fails, you can opt for the installation with the live USB image.

We first download the Debian installer images that I know are working at the following links:

32-bits Debian (G3, G4)

64-bits Debian (G5)

The image can be burned onto a CD-R. I refer to the internet how to burn CD’s.

Make sure it’s a CD-R, not CD+R or CD-RW or any kind of DVD. I’ve got a couple of older machines that have trouble with anything but pure and simple CD-R (and won’t even recognise DVDs!)

Flashing USB sticks is quite easy under OSX or Linux with the following command:
dd if=/path/to/debian.iso of=/dev/sdx
(x being a number).
Please consult the internet if you want more information on this subject.

Before you continue, make sure that your computer is connected to a stable fast internet connection with an ethernet cable. If the downloading of a package fails during installation, you will have to start the whole thing again.

We then have to boot into the CDROM or the USB. For booting CD’s, you normally hold down the ‘c’ key after the boot chime.

Another way to boot the CDROM is using open firmware. To do this, hold down the “Command,” “Option,” “O” and “F” keys simultaneously as the computer boots, and then at the 0 > prompt, type

boot cd:,\boot\grub\powerpc.elf

and then press Return/Enter.

Booting from USB is done from open firmware by the following command:

boot ud:,\\grub.elf

You will see the Debian installation menu and then select the second option:
Automated install

The preseed file can be found at the following addresses (note: it is web zero zero nine three):

for 32-bits (G3, G4):

for 64-bits (G5):

The first thing you need to do is to partition the drive you are going to install MintPPC onto.

I use the following setup, which I created manually but you can also let the partitioner do the job for you automatically (this is recommended by the way):
#1 32.3 kB Apple driver partition
#2 256 MB B (flag) hfs /boot/grub
#3 1.0 GB swap swap swap
#4 39.0 GB ext4 Linux /

It’s important to leave the Apple driver partition from an old Apple OS installation. Create an 256 Mb bootstrap partition for GRUB and create swap space at least the size of your RAM. The fourth partition we will format in ext4 and will give it the / (root) mountpoint.

After the partitions are made, the installer will install MintPPC automatically.

Then boot into freshly installed MintPPC.

If you see a black screen, go to this page.

At the display manager (login screen) use your username and password and select ‘Mint-LXDE’ as session. If you don’t choose this option you will run a standard LXDE session, without the MintPPC goodies. Mind that the display manager you are using now is LightDM. We want to change that later into LXDM.

First we need to make sure we have the right PATH settings, so as root:
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin

Then we need to make sure you as user is added to the sudoers list to perform administrative tasks in your system.

edit /etc/sudoers and add under %sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

username ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
Make sure you change “username” with the name of the user that you want to grant access to.

To get sound working install alsa-utils and launch alsamixer

sudo apt install alsa-utils

Then hit fn+F6 (SoundByLayout)
go to the right and make sure you have PCM at 80<>80
ESC to exit alsamixer

You should have sound now…

To tweak Debian to Linux Mint Debian, install debian-system-adjustments:

sudo apt install debian-system-adjustments

Make sure you also edit /etc/apt/sources.list and remove or add an # in front of the deb-src entry for Debian, as there is none in Debian-ports. You also want to add the following line in the sources.list:
deb unreleased main

We are going to change the default display manager for our system. Do the following:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lxdm

Select lxdm as diplay manager and save the file.

To make SeaLion browser work in MintPPC64 do the following in /usr/lib/powerpc64-linux-gnu:
sudo ln -s
SeaLion was compiled in an older version of Debian, therefore we need to soft link the old library to the newer one.

To make the Airport card work, have a look at the Airport page.

Reboot into MintPPC. At Grub you now see LMDE 6 Faye. Boot into MintPPC and that’s it folks. Enjoy your MintPPC desktop!