Handbook:PPC/Blocks/Booting

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Default: Booting the installation CD with yaboot

On NewWorld machines place the Installation CD in the CD-ROM and reboot the system. When the system-start-bell sounds, simply hold down the C until the CD loads.

After the installation CD loaded, a boot prompt will show up at the bottom of the screen.

We provide one generic kernel, ppc32. This kernel is built with support for multiple CPUs, but it will boot on single processor machines as well.

It is possible to tweak some kernel options at this prompt. The following table lists some of the available boot options you can add:

Boot Option Description
video This option takes one of the following vendor-specific tags: nvidiafb, radeonfb, rivafb, atyfb, aty128 or ofonly. Follow this tag with the resolution refresh rate and color depth to use. For instance, video=radeonfb:1280x1024@75-32 will select the ATI Radeon frame buffer at a resolution of 1280x1024 with a refresh rate of 75Hz and a color depth of 32 bits. When uncertain about what to choose, and the default doesn't work, video=ofonly will most certainly work.
nol3 Disables level 3 cache on some PowerBooks (needed for at least the 17")
dofirewire Enables support for IEEE1394 (FireWire) devices, like external harddisks.
dopcmcia To use PCMCIA devices during the installation (like PCMCIA network cards) this options needs to be enabled.
dosshd Starts sshd. Useful for unattended installs.
passwd=foo Sets whatever is after the = as the root password. Use with dosshd for remote installs.

To use the above options, at the boot prompt, type ppc32 followed by the desired option. In the example below, we'll force the kernel to use the Open Firmware framebuffer instead of the device specific driver.

boot:ppc32 video=ofonly

If no options are needed, just type ppc32 at this prompt, and a complete Gentoo Linux environment will be loaded from the CD.

Alternative: Booting the installation CD on a Pegasos system

On the Pegasos simply insert the CD and at the SmartFirmware boot-prompt type cd /boot/menu.

bootcd /boot/menu

This will open a small bootmenu that allows users to choose between several preconfigured video configs. Any special boot options can be appended to the command-line just like with Yaboot above. For example:

bootcd /boot/pegasos video=radeonfb:1280x1024@75 mem=256M

The default kernel options (in case something goes wrong) are preconfigured with console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 init=/linuxrc looptype=squashfs loop=/image.squashfs cdroot root=/dev/ram0.

Alternative: Booting the installation CD with BootX

With an OldWorld Mac the bootable portion of the livecd can't be used. The most simple solution is to use MacOS 9 or earlier to bootstrap into a Linux environment with a tool called BootX.

First, download BootX and unpack the archive. Copy the the BootX Extension from the unpacked archive into Extensions Folder and the BootX App Control Panel into Control Panels, both of which are located in the MacOS System Folder. Next, create a folder called "Linux Kernels" in the System folder and copy the ppc32 kernel from the CD to this folder. Finally, copy ppc32.igz from the Installation CD boot folder into the MacOS System Folder.

To prepare BootX, start the BootX App Control Panel. First select the Options dialog and check Use Specified RAM Disk and select ppc32.igz from the System Folder. Continue back to the initial screen and ensure that the ramdisk size is at least 32000. Finally, set the kernel arguments as shown below:

CODE BootX kernel arguments
cdroot root=/dev/ram0 init=linuxrc loop=image.squashfs looptype=squashfs console=tty0
Note
The kernel parameters in the yaboot section above are also applicable here. Append any of those options to the kernel arguments above.

Check once more to make sure the settings are correct and then save the configuration. This saves typing just in case it doesn't boot or something is missing. Press the Linux button at the top of the window. If everything goes correctly, it should boot into the Installation CD.

Setting the keyboard map

After boot, a root ("#") prompt appears on the current console. It is possible to switch to other consoles by pressing Alt + F2, Alt + F3 and Alt + F4. Get back to the first one by pressing Alt + F1. Due to the keyboard layout, it may be necessary to press Alt + fn + F# on Apple machines.

When installing Gentoo on a system with a non-US keyboard, use loadkeys to load the keymap for the keyboard. To list the available keymaps, execute ls /usr/share/keymaps/i386.

root #ls /usr/share/keymaps/i386

Now load the keymap of choice:

root #loadkeys be-latin1