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  1. #1

    mac57's Avatar
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    Experience Installing Ubuntu "Dapper Drake" on PowerMac G5?
    Does anyone have any successful experience installing the latest Ubuntu (6.06, "Dapper Drake") on a PowerMac G5? I would like to dual boot with Mac OS X. I am guessing that an external drive is needed for this (i.e. install Ubuntu on an external drive) but I have heard that Ubuntu itself doesn't support Firewire, and the Mac won't boot from a USB 2.0 drive).

    Does this mean that Ubuntu and Mac OS X can't be run on the same Mac, or is there a way to install both on the same disk?

    By the way, I don't really want to use Parallels or boot camp if I can get away with it - ideally, just two disks and two boot selections. I seem to recall that there is some magic key you can hold down during boot and the Mac firmware will present a list of available boot disks. If one could be Mac OS X and the other Ubuntu, I would be done!

    Any and all insights appreciated.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    You need to install Ubuntu on the primary system disk. This requires repartitioning the hard drives and doing a clean install of OS X. You can't install it on a firewire disk unless you use Parallels
    Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System

  3. #3

    mac57's Avatar
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    Thanks, I was afraid of that. Pretty much means that it can't be done without more trouble than it is likely worth!
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  4. #4
    Logan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac57
    Thanks, I was afraid of that. Pretty much means that it can't be done without more trouble than it is likely worth!
    The magic key is ALT. I use it to boot off a LiveCD (like SLAX or UBUNTU). You *might* be able to hold ALT and boot off a firewire hard drive. (This isn't tested or in any way guarenteed, I don't have a second HDD via firewire to test.)

    If you can get a second hard drive to boot, then that's that.

    But if not, GRUB may be able to do it. (You would hold ALT, select a CD as boot up drive, have it boot up the second hard drive).

    If that's possible you'd need to:
    Get ubuntu CD iso open it up and hack the ubuntu GRUB loader to install/boot off the second hard drive.

    Once done:
    Mac starts. Hold ALT. Select CD. (it boots) , select second hard drive option. Kboom, second disk boot. In theory at least.

    <-- Uses intel mac.

  5. #5

    mac57's Avatar
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    Thanks Logan, I will try this. It does give me a shiver though. I once had a Linux installer stuff GRUB onto my boot sector without even asking me first, wiping out my ability to boot Windows, which was dual booted on the same PC. I ended having to re-install Windows, which was no fun, I can tell you.

    Does the Ubuntu installer offer you a choice of where to place your boot loader, or in fact not place one at all? I would HATE to see it trash my ability to boot OS X. I would want the boot loader to go onto the first sector of the second drive where I was installing Ubuntu, not the first sector of the first drive. Do I have that option?
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  6. #6
    Logan
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mac57
    Thanks Logan, I will try this. It does give me a shiver though. I once had a Linux installer stuff GRUB onto my boot sector without even asking me first, wiping out my ability to boot Windows, which was dual booted on the same PC. I ended having to re-install Windows, which was no fun, I can tell you.

    Does the Ubuntu installer offer you a choice of where to place your boot loader, or in fact not place one at all? I would HATE to see it trash my ability to boot OS X. I would want the boot loader to go onto the first sector of the second drive where I was installing Ubuntu, not the first sector of the first drive. Do I have that option?
    Hmm I'm actually not sure. I know what you mean, Slackware prompts you, Solaris does NOT prompt you, if you install solaris it just assumes it should have ABSOLUTE POWAH and steals your MBR. Obviously windows too. I installed Ubuntu but I don't recall if it was a ninja or not.

    Plus you do have a G5, so Ubuntu for PPC may have some different sets of instructions than my x86based one. I'm half tempted to buy a G5 just so I can test this kind of stuff out.

  7. #7

    mac57's Avatar
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    I've decided to try out the liveCD first and then if I like it, post the question to the PPC group of the Ubuntu forums. This issue is critical enough that you need to know the answer BEFORE you start! When I have done this, I will post back to this forum to let everyone know how it went.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  8. #8

    mac57's Avatar
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    Well, an update. Not so good so far. I downloaded the live CD, burned it and loaded it into my Mac. Then I restarted and after a bit of fiddling (have to hold down the OPTION key while booting) I was able to select the CD and boot from it. The initial loader came up and so I know that the CD burn was sane. I hit ENTER and off it went. It churned through all the expected startup stuff, I saw X Windows come up (the distinctive "X" cursor showed up in the middle of my screen) and then.... well, it sort of stopped. The "X" was replaced with a proper pointer arrow head, the screen painted itself a flaming red color, and that was it. It just sat there, and sat there, and sat there.

    Finally, I clicked a button on my mouse. Now I have never seen a kernel panic on my Mac, but I am guessing that this is what happened at that point, since immediately after clicking, the fans on my G5 suddenly revved up to full throttle, making enough noise to drive any living soul out of the room. The Mac did not respond to keyboard, mouse OR the on/off switch. I had to turn off the power bar to kill the infernal noise.

    So, not much success, and it left me a little scared. Would OS X boot again? Thankfully it did. I am not sure I am going to take any further steps with Dapper Drake!

    ...unless of course someone else has had this experience and knows just what the trouble was. If so, please let me know.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

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