Grub problem

I just tried to install MintPPC on a gifted PowerBook G4 (thanks Martin from Austria). I found out the the grub-installer failed to install grub. It is unfortunate that people do not report this. It is possible that MintPPC was not installable for months. If I would have known this, I could have looked at this issue much earlier.

The problem has been fixed.

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Developer of MintPPC

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  1. Just tried using the automated installer on my G4 PowerBook and everything went well until at the very end I got this message: Failed to run presseeded command Execution of reseeded command “in-target export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin” failed with exit code 127.
    When I hit “continue” and rebooted everything seemed OK.

  2. I am aware of it. You can disregard the message. The execution of that command works and you don’t need to do it manually afterwards anymore. Welcome back by the way!

    1. I’m a high school Special Education teacher with many dilemmas to deal with. Linux is my escape to something logical and predictable.

  3. I understand, everyone needs an escape. For me it’s also something logical and worthwhile spending free time on it.

  4. I’ve attempted to install Mintppc 32 on an ibook 4g about 10 times without success, the problem seems to be at Select and Install Software. It can fail before finishing, but today it went almost all the way loading 1071 files of 1072 before giving the failure message. I pressed on with the rest, ignoring the error 127 regarding PATH.
    I can now boot in , and enter Username and Password,
    and appear to be in terminal at root. Instructions are to Select Mint-LXDE, Where How ???
    Tomorrow is another day and Hope may triumph over Experience. All suggestions welcomed.

  5. Debian GNU/Linux bullseye/sid debian tty1
    debian login:
    After logging in , at root command ls
    does not appear to do anything
    after cd /usr then ls shows
    bin games include lib libexec local sbin share src
    I have little experience of terminal use, having installed Ubuntu and Mint on old machines. Thanks.

  6. This is not how it should be. If MintPPC would have been installed correctly, you would see a graphical login screen. I would be interested to see the syslog of the installation. Next time you retry, get the syslog of the installation. You will find in the menu to see the installtion log. The computer will act as a webserver and with another computer extract that logfile.

  7. Attempted to install again, the Failure message appeared after Select and Install Software . Its probably not a good idea to repeat a step expecting a different outcome, but I did, again got the Failure message. I continued to the end and Success Success !!!
    I know there are a few adjustments to make for Sound .
    Thanks to all who made this possible.

    1. I think I will have to re-install mintppc 32bit on G4 ibook. When I boot, I see no option for Select Mint-LXDE at log in, one screen shows LDME before moving on to eventually reach the LM logo screen where, after logging in, I see the desktop with Applications in the top right corner and 6 icons bottom centre.

      Web browser does not work with established Wi-Fi Network or Ethernet Network.

      In Libre Office , files can be created in Libre Calc but once saved cannot be opened.
      I’ll try install again as this cannot be correct.

      1. There are icons in the top right corner in the login screen. One of them you can use to change the desktop manager.

        1. After 2 more re-installs , I’m in Arctic Fox on IBook G4 using Mintppc. All appears fine, I’ll test out other applications during the day.
          Great work, Jeroen. It would be a shame to abandon such great looking old computers.

  8. Hi!
    Just tried to install MintPPC on a Mac mini and the grub-installer does not install the bootloader. Tried two times – same result. I’m doing a 32bit install following your instructions closely, partitioning is done automatically for the whole disk.

    Any suggestions what I could do?


  9. You need to get the syslog of the installation and make it available to the people in powerpc email list.
    I am not a specialist in this kind of stuff. Mr Glaubitz in the mailing list should be able to help. In the installation menu (in the Debian installer that is) there is a possibility to make the computer you want to install MintPPC / Debian onto, a local webserver. Another computer can then read out that syslog.

    1. I just read the message there with date november 7 2020. As I’m kind of newbie in Linux & Linux developement, and english is not my native language, I couldn’t understand if it’s already fixed and the files attached there are the new ones. If so, what do we need to do with those files? Thanks in advance.

  10. Just ran into this problem myself with my iBook G4. Can the grub be installed later or is this installation now lost and I must start from scratch when the solution is found?


  11. You can install Grub later from the installer by doing a ‘rescue’. It is a choice in the Debian installer. You have to wait until this is fixed in Debian.

  12. It seems like the grub problem can be fixed. A new problem has now shown up: the Debian-installer hangs in the partitioning tool partman. People are looking into this problem. This new problem looks a bit more difficult to debug.

  13. I just tried the installation twice on a PowerMac G4 running MacOS X 10.4. When I Instlled MacOS X I left 40 Gb as free space. Installation went ok and the partition manager used that free space perfectly. Then when the GRUB installation stage cam, it failed. As I thought it was because GRUB couldn´t replace MacOS’s boot manager, I installed a second hard drive (yes, I had two 80 Gb IDE HDDs!) and performed installation again. Everything was OK until the GRUB installation that failed again. Then I came here and found out what’s going on! I guess I’ll wait for the bug to be fixed. Sorry about my written english.

  14. I tried installing with 32bit install on Mac Mini G4 PPC and am getting the same Grub install issue. Has there been any updates?

    1. Since their is a grub install issue with this version, is their an older version of MintPPC that I can install? Thanks in advance for the info since I’m new to trying this.

    1. Just so you know, Debian Sid is a mess right now. I just install it from an old installer that used Yaboot instead of GRUB. A base system installed and updated just fine, but when I went to install LXDE using tasksel I got the following, “tasksel: apt-get failed (100)” Dozens of new updates are being uploaded each day lately so they must be revamping everything all at once. As soon as the dust settles they might get around to fixing GRUB but I’m not holding my breath.

    2. Thanks for the info. Is there a way I can install it without getting to the desktop? The nouveau xorg driver and framebuffer do not work with the Nvidia that I have. Debian-installer went fine and I could see the screen perfectly. Only problem is GRUB not installing.
      Thanks in advance and sorry for my english.

    3. A quick and dirty fix, since the issue is hfsprogs:
      When debian-installer fails with grub-install, open a new console (Ctrl+Alt+Fx) and download an older version of hfsprogs. I found one in Fienix.
      cd /target/root
      chroot /target
      cd /root
      dpkg -i hfsprogs_332.25-11+b2_powerpc.deb
      Go back to the debian-installer and retry a grub install.
      I worked perfectly on my macmini (but I admit it is a dirty hack).

      1. Like I said, they are pushing updates by the dozen as of late. I went back to tasksel and this time was able to install LXDE, and was also able to download all the MintPPC apps. Still no progress on GRUB, though. I’m sticking with Yaboot until they get around to fixing it.

        1. Is there a ppc64 version of this version of hfsprogs anywhere? I’m trapped at the grub install step fail on an imac g5 isight. I booted from iso burned on a cd-r so I cant seem to use apt-src to build it? Does version 540 fix it? I cant find a ppc64 .deb for that either… any more tricks?

      2. Thanks for sharing, David! I’ll give it a try on my G4… By the way, I love dirty hacks! Thanks so much!

      3. I got my G5 as far as the “new console” but being a computer ignoramus who can only blindly follow recipes without knowing what it means I assume my not knowing how to properly input what you shared with us here gives me the result of “-/bin/sh: cd /target/root not found”.
        Admittedly I also would not have known how to get back to the debian installer.

      4. Thanks for this info. I am unable to get a console window: how do I type Ctrl+Alt+Fx on an iBook G4? Is Fx any function key? Because I’ve tried them all and it won’t open a new console, but after the GRUB install fails, it just stays on the Debian Installer Main Menu. Thanks!

    1. I managed to download the file. Don’t know how to get it to incorporate into or replace the bad one in the GRUB boot loader, though. Instructions to that effect are not readily available. Will it require in depth study of Linux programming or could I be directed to a source which will allow me just to follow steps to achieve this?

  15. Have you already suggested a solution for Arne? I would like to benefit from it too, because I feel like him.

    1. Well mano, looks like we’ll just have to surrender to the final obsolescence of our antiquated machinery if even the knowledgeable folks can’t solve this issue. Not a bad thing, really, if you consider you can run a modern pc for a year on the electricity the turbofan space-heater (G5) consumes in an hour.

      1. Arne, you don’t have to surrender, just because GRUB and partman have been broken for months. Yaboot still works and the older version of partman does as well. Follow this tutorial…

        But, use this installer image…

        After updating the /etc/apt/sources.list as directed, do a dist-update to bring everything up to date, install LXDE and MintPPC manually. It works every time. I have MintPPC working just fine on a G4 Quicksilver, numerous G4 Mac minis, and a G4 PowerBook.

  16. I´m trying to install it on a G5 iSight and no success so far. GRUB is not installing on the HD. And without GRUB the IMac does not boot into anything, besides this weird IconThing. As you may think now, I am not an expert.

      1. Before you try another distribution, remember that Yaboot works just fine on these old machines. If you use one of the older installers that installs Yaboot instead of GRUB, you can do a dist-update and then install MintPPC manually as per the excellent tutorial on this site. Works every time…

        1. Does not appear to be designed to work with the G5. From the Yaboot instructions site:

          HOWTO-Booting with Yaboot on PowerPC
          Chapter 2 – System Requirements

          Motorola PowerPC processors have been used on at least three different kinds of systems: NuBus, OldWorld PCI, and NewWorld PCI. Nubus systems include the 6100/7100/8100 line of Power Macintoshes. OldWorld systems are most Power Macintoshes with a floppy drive and a PCI bus. Most 603, 603e, 604, and 604e based Power Macintoshes, including the 7200, 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, and 9600 are OldWorld machines. The beige colored G3 systems are also OldWorld.

          yaboot will not work on NuBus or OldWorld machines, those will require quik or (for Mac OS Pre-9.0.4 only) BootX/miboot.

          The NewWorld PowerMacs, for which yaboot is designed, are any PowerMacs in translucent colored plastic cases. That includes all iMacs, iBooks, G4 systems, blue colored G3 systems, and most PowerBooks manufactured in and after 1999.

          1. I wasn’t aware of that. Yaboot works just fine on my gaggle of G4s. Thanks for the information.

  17. I’ve been trying for weeks to get Mint installed on my dual 2-Ghz G5, and have so far had no luck. Between installer failures for an number of things, GRUB will not install, regardless of how I try to do it. I even went as far as making a USB installer stick to try that. I got this done, but for the life of me, cannot figure out how to boot from it.

    Now I hear that some are trying Yaboot instead of GRUB. Anyone had any success with this?

  18. All right…so I have a complete install of Mint, minus the GRUB installation which I would need to boot it from Mac OS X. Is there a way to boot the installation of Mint from the hard drive it is on without relying on GRUB? It seems if I know the Open Firmware command string, it should be simple to force Mint to boot. Correct? Let me know! Thanks!

  19. I tried to install the last PPC64 version from 2021 but here comes the Error Install Grub.Dummy at least it gets further than with older versions. Any Idea ?

    1. It is my opinion that this version of Mint with GRUB is just broken from the get-go, and we are all stuck trying to make it work.

        1. Not exactly. Being unable so far to boot Mint from my hard drive, running anything from a command line in the Rescue environment is iffy, to say the least. The CL won’t let you run many things from the Rescue environment, like Apt, so updating is out of the question.

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