Installation with live USB

This section is meant for people who are interested in trying out MintPPC without the need of installing MintPPC onto the hard disk as well as those who would like to install MintPPC by using a USB live version of MintPPC.

The advantage of installing MintPPC using a live USB is twofold.
First, you don’t need to install with a working internet connection. Simply download the image, copy it as an image onto a USB and copy the image as a file on another USB. Boot in the first one and dd the image from the second USB onto the hard drive.
Secondly, there is no way that the installation will fail because of broken packages on the Debian-ports server. The image contains a working, stable MintPPC system. When this system is running on the computer, it can be easily maintained by updating and upgrading packages.
The disadvantage of installation via the USB method is that after installation of MintPPC onto a hard drive, things need to be corrected manually. For this you need to have a basic knowledge of Linux.

The first thing that will be explained is how to get a live version of MintPPC onto a USB stick. This is a useful start for both groups of people (people who like to try MintPPC without harming the contents of the hard drive and people who would like to install MintPPC with a live USB).

For the bootable USB stick you need an 8Gb stick. For the second stick you need at least 4 Gb.

How to create a live MintPPC USB stick
Download the image at the following address:

From a running Linux environment, we will now copy the contents of the image (not the image itself as a file) onto a stick. The image is in a compressed form, so we will decompress the file and copy it onto the USB stick. You have to find out what the device name of the stick is (use gparted or issue a df command). In my case it is /dev/sdb. Don’t write the image onto a partition (e.g. /dev/sdb1) but onto the whole device.

as root:
dd if=/path/to/mintppc-live.img.gz | gunzip | dd of=/dev/sdb

Go grab a cup of coffee as this may take a very long time.

How to boot from the USB stick
There are several manuals and videos on the net which explain how to boot from USB on G3, G4 or G5.

Booting the USB stick
I will explain what I did to boot the USB stick on an iBook G4. Insert the stick into a USB slot and boot with Option Command O and F all pressed at once. You will now enter Open Firmware. We first need to find out what the USB device and disk is called in open firmware.

dev / ls

The last command will list all the devices. Scroll down and you will see the USB section. In my case it was /usb@1b which had a disk underneath with name /disk@1. The whole path looks like this:
/pci@f2000000 / usb@1b / disk@1
We want to find out the alias for the device usb@1b. Fir this we do:


We will now see that usb@1b has, in my case, the name usb1. Booting now goes like this:

boot usb1/disk@1:2,\grub

Note the 2, as grub resides on the second partition of the USB stick.

On the iMac G5 I found my USB device plus drive as ud , booting worked like this:

boot ud:2,\grub

Username, password and root password are all

Installation of MintPPC using the live USB
We now have a bootable live USB of MintPPC. What we also need is a second USB stick with the image file on it (mintppc32-live.img.gz). We cannot put that file onto the bootable stick as there is not enough room in the partition. Now boot into the live USB stick (don’t put the other stick in the computer just yet, as it complicates booting). In the live version of MintPPC we will have a running Linux system where we can do all sorts of things. One of the things we are able to do is completely destroy the contents of the hard disk. This is exactly what we are going to do: if we are to install MintPPC using the image, we will destroy everything that is on the hard disk, beware!

The next things we are going to do, requires good reading, a bit of balls and preferably some knowledge of Linux. Boot into MintPPC live via the first stick. Log into MintPPC using mintppc as username and mintppc as password. Note, you are in a live environment, booting takes more time and once you are in the system, everything goes a bit slower than what you are used to as it you are running Linux in RAM. Ok, that is clarified. Open a shell from the panel in the bottom and login as root.


The password is also mintppc. Stick the second USB stick into your computer. Find out where your image file is on the second USB stick. We are now going to copy the contents of the image file onto the hard drive. So, you need to know what the device name of the hard drive is. Use gparted for example to find out all the devices you have. In my case the hard drive is /dev/sda, my live MintPPC runs in /dev/sdb and the second stick is /dev/sdc.

dd if=/path/to/mintppc-live.img.gz | gunzip | dd of=/dev/sda

Make sure you have this correct as it will destroy everything that is on /dev/sda and it will take a long time.

Once this is finished we will have a copy of the image onto the hard drive. The image is around 8 Gb big, so MintPPC now resides on the first 8 Gb of its capacity. We want to make sure that you have more disk space in the root partition of MintPPC. For that we are going to resize the root partition and move the swap partition to the end.

Open up gparted. Frist we move the swap partition to the far end (the right). Then, we select the root partition of MintPPC on the hard drive (in my case it was /dev/sda3, which has an ext4 file system). We click “Partition”, “Resize/Move” and we slide the right side of the partition to the right, to its maximum size. If you are satisfied, click Apply. I had a small space between the root partition and swap. I deleted the swap partition and created a new one right after the root to make use of all the hard disk space. I then did “Apply”. This operation will also take some time as it has to move the swap partition and resize the root.

When this operation has finished you might want to boot into your new system from the hard drive. If you boot into MintPPC from the hard drive for the first time, you will see some error messages in the kernel log. You will also see some strange entries in the Grub menu. We will have to solve these problems now.

To update the grub menu, we will do the following as root in a shell:

sudo update-grub

The other problem is that you moved or recreated the swap file. Your system does not know where it resides now. What we first need to do is adapt the /etc/fstab file. With the following command we will find the UUID for all partitions:

sudo blkid

The UUID for swap we need to put into the /etc/fstab file. For this you need to edit it as root. You will see that the UUID for swap in the /etc/fstab file is not correct. Adjust it to the right UUID.

Another thing that needs to be done is updating the file /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume.

sudo leafpad /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

Make sure you have the right UUID for the swap partition in that file. Save and close the file. Then we will make it ‘stick’ by doing the following:

sudo update-initramfs -u

If you now reboot, you will no longer encounter error messages and the booting time will be normal again. From here you will have the same system as an installation as performed by Debian-installer. Enjoy your new MintPPC system!