Installation instructions

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.

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. 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 latest Debian installer images at the following links:

32-bits Debian (G3, G4)
debian-10.0-powerpc-NETINST-1.iso

64-bits Debian (G5)
debian-10.0-ppc64-NETINST-1.iso

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):
http://u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl/d-i/mintppc32/preseed.cfg

for 64-bits (G5):
http://u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-klant.nl/d-i/mintppc64/preseed.cfg

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:
#1 32.3 kB Apple driver partition
#2 128MB B (flag) boot bootstrap
#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 128 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.
At the display manager (login screen) use your username and password and select ‘Mint-LXDE’ as session.


After logging in, we want to fix the PATH for root:
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin

To get sound working install alsa-utils and launch alsamixer

sudo apt install alsa-utils
alsamixer

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…

That’s it folks. Enjoy your MintPPC desktop!