Debian-iMac

Debian-iMac is a collection of files and instructions needed for installing Debian linux on an iMac PPC computer, without needing a floppy drive. Actually, these files may be installed on any PowerPC computer; but the instructions are slanted toward iMac and other NewWorld users who don't have a floppy drive. Floppy installation is not supported with this package; the new-powermac kernel is too big to fit on a floppy.


If you don't have a floppy drive, it's difficult (to say the least) to burn a boot floppy image. But yaboot provides a nifty way to boot the installer directly from OpenFirmware, so NewWorld users actually have it easier not having to burn floppies.

Please download one of the debian-imac packages from our Project Release page, or checkout the debian-imac CVS repository, and you'll have all the files you need to install. Instructions are included, let us know if you run into any hitches.

Available Versions

The archive now comes in two, no, three versions. 2.2r3 represents the 'potato' Debian release for powerpc. A base tarball is included within the .sit file, which accounts for its size. Debian 2.2 is not well suited for Apple computers manufactured after late 2000, particularly the G4 PowerBooks and iBook2. The Debian 3.0 version will be easier to install and more of a pleasure to run on those machines because the hardware is more well supported in Linux kernel 2.4.

The second version available here is 3.0r0. It represents the current release of Debian 'woody' 3.0 (8/10/2002) for the 'new-powermac' flavor.

Both versions are derived from the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The 2.2 version was a snapshot on 4/15/2001 from

http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/potato/main/disks-powerpc/current

while the 3.0r0 was a similar snapshot on 8/10/2002 from

http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/main/disks-powerpc/current

Version 3: No Base or Base

The instructions for installation are contained in the Stuffit archive you will download. The instructions in this document are intended to help you figure out which archive to get.

For version 3, the Debian installer has been enhanced such that users with a direct Ethernet connection to the Internet will be able to download the base system from the Debian archive during the installation, rather than needing to download it ahead of time. If you use PPP to connect to the Internet, which is most likely if you connect through a standard modem, then you will _not_ be able to use the network installation. That's because PPP is not included in the boot image; it's part of the base system (so it can't be used to fetch the base system, natch).

If you will be unable to use the network installation, you will need to download the

debian-imac-base-3.0.sit

which is about 27MB. When installing the base system, you will then point the installer to the debian-imac/debian folder on your hard disk where you unstuffed the archive. Deep in the hierarchy, a basedebs.tar which was current as of the release date lurks.

If you can use the network installation, you will only need to download

debian-imac-no-base-3.0.sit

which is about 13MB. You will choose network installation during the install, and the latest base system will be downloaded directly to your new linux system.


We also have made available an Applescript which is convenient for burning floppies from Linux floppy images. Obviously this won't be any good for you if you don't have a floppy drive; it should be helpful to those with OldWorld Systems.
SourceForge Logo