Ubuntu on B&W 350 Yosemite

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Joined: Oct 7 2006
Posts: 7

I dug out my old B&W 350 yesterday, it has OSX 10.1, So I thought great I can install linux on this!

Firstly I gave it a good clean out as it has got very dusty over the last few years, I managed to find 4x 256Mb of ram and stuck that in as well. I didnt want to lose OSX in caase i needed it sometime, so I install a second hard disk drive (Maxtor 20Gb)

Booting Ubuntu,
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First of is to invoke Openfirmware, so I booted the Mac and help command-option-O-F

Booting the install CD,
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To get the Mac to boot from cd , I restarted it and held option-comand-shift-del, After a few moments the CD booted up.

Partitioning the disks,
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I decided to remove the Macs primary drive and hook up the new one as primary for the installation, I am planning to install a switch on the back of the case to switch drives. (like with xbox). So I decided to use the entire 20Gb disk for the installation and swap.

Installing,
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After selecting a few regional options and told it I would setup the network later, It started copying the system onto the disk, this took a long long time!

Wireless networking....
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I have an old belkin wifi PCI card lying about that wouldn't work with OSX, so later I am going to install it. I know this card works with Ubuntu on a i386 machine I have, so what the hell.

Still installing!
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As I am writing this the Macs giving me a plain blue screen with a grey line under it.

I will continue to write -up my progress..

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
You're making it a bit harder

You're making it a bit harder than it has to be. If your original drive had enough space to house both MacOS and Ubuntu, the Ubuntu partitioner can resize the HFS+ to make space for it's own stuff. The B&W also supports the Startup Manager, which is what happens if you hold Option a the startup chime. It will search for bootable media and let you choose which to boot from. No need for an external switch. Also, the Yaboot boot manager than Linux uses on PPC will let you choose what to boot if it's configured correctly.

Also, to boot a CD just hold 'c' at the startup chime. Why bother with booting to OF, do nothing, then rebooting and holding down the 4 key sequence?

I haven't tried it yet, but I've got a PCI wifi card tht may or may not work on a Mac undre MacOS or Linux. I'm fairly sure it won't. Since yours already works under i386 Linux, it may have a chance of working on PPC, but it may not if it was using something like madwifi to work by wrapping Windows drivers for Linux.

EDIT: Maybe I'm wrong about Startup Manger on the B&W, but holding 'c' to boot a CD does work, and Ubuntu will install yaboot for a boot manager...

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Joined: Oct 7 2006
Posts: 7
Only if simple was simple

1, Mac primary drive is 4 gig
2, Mac doesnt respond to pressing 'c'
3, Apple keyboard is borrowed and needs to be returned soon
4, Usual keyboard is windows based
5, Wireless card is natively supported by ubuntu 5.10 +
6, A toogle switch is easier for me as I tend to wander from computer to computer

Anyway, The base system is now install and the wireless seems to be working fine (54Mbps on 128Mbps connection) will probably install KDE to replace gnome as it can be setup to look more MAC-like, I will finish this write-up after some more testing.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
What's the CD drive in the B&

What's the CD drive in the B&W? Not the OEM? If it's a third party brand, like a pull from a PC, then it's probably not Mac bootable which would explain why "C" doesn't work. I assume the c key works fine otherwise.

I don't understand your need to only have one hardrive turned on at a time. My experience with turning on and off ATA drives on a B&W is that it completely confuses the motherboard making it a real hassle to get it back to booting from either drive. I have a switch mounted on the front of my B&W for turning on and off SCSI drives in the case, but not a toggle switch. Anyway, if you want to easily turn on and off drives, my suggestion is that you switch to SCSI. I use a DPDT switch to turn on and off the drives.

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Joined: Oct 7 2006
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Random DVD

The drive is just some random dvd drive I fitted into a few years ago, it is brandless. I am going to fit DPDT toogle switch across the power for the drives, the same way it is done with the orginal xbox. It is simple and it works. I only use this unit for streaming music, so I doubt I will use the OSX drive, its just there for emergancies.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
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If it's just for emergencies,

If it's just for emergencies, then why bother with a switch? Just open the case and switch the power cords, and also, switch the cable. I suspect the problems I had with turning on and off ATA drives had something to do with one drive being off but still connected by the cable. That was with an PCI ATA controller and each drive on a seperate channel and each set to master. If you're going to use the onboard ATA bus, then you'll have to have a slave/master setup which would make turning on and off not possible anyway if you just want the slave on at any time.

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Joined: Oct 7 2006
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Outside The Box

Not at all, I can have both running as master's because only one will be operational at one given time. The Onboard controller is completely unaware of the 'non-powered' drive.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Oh yes, that's right. Let us

Oh yes, that's right. Let us know if it works.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Possible explanation?

Hmm, now that you've got me thinking about it, my experiences possibly start to make sense. It'd be nice if someone else could better illuminate this situation, but here's my go at it:

Since I was using a PCI controller card with two channels, then each channel has a different code in the firmware's device tree (would that be the NVRAM?). The onboard ATA bus also has its particular identifying code, and the onboard's ATA bus code is also the default in the boot process. By turning on and off a drive on one of the PCI channels, then the firmware's device tree changes, changing the setup of codes in the boot process so that the priority no longer goes to my system on the PCI ATA channel, but rather will go back to the default of the onboard ATA, thus losing my previously established boot direction and sending me to the folder with the blinking question mark. If this is what's happening, then your putting two master drives which you toggle between on the same single channel onboard bus should work since you will not be affecting the device tree in any way. Both drives will have the same code.

If this is what's happening, then the question is, why doesn't the default get triggered when I turn on and off SCSI drives that are connected to a dual channel SCSI controller? It makes sense that there's no problem with my internal SCSI drives because all my internal drives are on the same SCSI channel, but I also don't have a problem when I turn on and off an external drive on the second SCSI channel. Why doesn't the onboard ATA default get triggered by this change in the device tree and screw things up like it does with the ATA controller? Does this get to the heart of the difference between ATA and SCSI? And the difference between master/slave setups and SCSI ID's?

With both PCI ATA controller card system setups and PCI SCSI controller card system setups--either one--if I connect a harddrive to the onboard ATA bus--whether or not that harddrive's got a system on it--I usually get the folder with the blinking question mark--which in my scheme here, would simply be caused by my activating the onboard ATA bus, thus changing the device tree, and thereby triggering the default in the firmware, taking priority away from the system on the ATA or SCSI controller channel and giving boot priority back to the onboard ATA.

Does this all sound like BS, or am I onto something?

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Joined: Oct 7 2006
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Simplify

Well my experience with SCSI & ATA is to only use one or the other. I find that it is not alwas the controllers that are to blame when things get fuzzy, but the drives. As the intregated drive electronics of ATA and SCSI differ so widely between drives my process does not alwas work. With an ATA setup to have two masters on the same channel with only one powered up, it is important that the other drive is 'quiet' I have had a few drives before that even when disconnected by power leave an echo on the channel which causes the coontroller to go nuts. To answer your question about the blinking box, yes it is caused by a change in the device tree, It happens on my system when I which drives by only delays the boot process by a few seconds. My guess is that if your utilising both SCSI, activating the onboard ATA would cause the device tree to change forcing the Mac to look into each drive to find the OS. As with PC's the boot process always starts on ATA 0,0 then 0,1 then 1,0 and so on unless the SCSI has priority or the onboard ATA has been disabled. With such a simple setup as mine it only adds a few seconds to the overall boot time, but then I usually walk round the office hitting all the power buttons and then disappear for a coffee before starting work. If only I had some hardware to trigger boot on Lan over the network.