Linux on the Powerbook 3400

We recently got a couple of powerbook 3400's from the dumpster. After a bit of work we ended up with some spare parts and a working machine:

180mhz 603ev
256kb L2
6 gig hard disk
CD rom
80 mb ram

running 8.6 quite nicely. Just need to find an 802.11b network card with the lucent chipset and the wireless will be working. Then i came across a retail box set of yellow dog linux ver 2.3 with 3 cd-roms. So we decided to create a dual boot machine.

We booted from the mac OS 8.6 install cd and used the drive setup utility to partition the hard disk into 2 partitions. This program works with apple rom hard drives (and some models from certain vendors). We choose custom setup and 2 partitions. The 1st partition will be 4gig and unallocated which is where linux will go. The second partition is 2 gig and formatted as mac os standard. We label this os8 and install the mac operating system to the 2 gig partition.

After booting into mac os8 we put the linux install cd in and run the bootX_installer, actually first we had to unstuffit it first to the hard drive. The installer then sets up the install program and restarts the machine.

When the machine boots you have a menu choice of linux or macos along with some options. This menu is timed so if you do not make a choice it starts up linux. The linux installer now runs and X comes up.

There are 2 choices, default and custom. We choose default and it will setup a 10mb bootloader, a 256mb swap and the rest as root. The text is confusing as it says automatically but you have to manually setup the partition table by clicking the edit button. We set up /dev/hda7 as swap, /dev/hda9 as boot, /dev/hda10 as root and click save. The partitions are formatted.

We now have to choose the type of installation, base (minimal), home/office, server, development workstation. We choose development workstation which takes 1.7gig. We go for a break...

We then set up the root password, add a user and set the time zone and networking. It then says to boot into Linux you must set the root device in BootX to /dev/hda10 and uncheck the ramdisk option.

We then have to set the X configuration. We set the screen rez to 800x600 @60hz and 16bit color. The system now reboots but the rebooting leads to a kernel panic. Exception in kernel mode: sig 4

We restart into mac os and untick the Use specified Ramdisk option. Boot into linux. Everything comes up ok - the text mode login is displayed but then it starts flashing over and over. Maybe should have chosen the text mode login...we do a hard restart and now set it to use /dev/hda10 and no video driver. The tux logo is pixelated but this is a known bug on the 3400.

A fsck is forced due to the shutdown. We note the clock is wrong - Fri Jan 1, 1904. This is because the battery is bad so the time is not kept in cmos.

The localhost login: prompt is displayed for a few seconds and then disappears. We assume it is trying to run X. System seems locked up.Another hard reboot. We put the video driver back in and the tux graphic is now fine.

Boots up ok but same problem. Will have to re-install tomorrow using a text mode login and then configure X.

The third Cd is called tasty morsels.