Target: G3MT/300, 128MB RAM, 6GB IDE, CD, ATI Xlaim 3D 4MB PCI VGA
OS(s): Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary) PPC official CD set, Mac OS 9.0
Reason: OS X started having problems with the G3, probably due to PRAM settings being lost all the time. OS 9 boots fine even is the PRAM is reset, and Ubuntu boots from inside OS 9 on Old World machines.
1. Install OS 9 as desired. Really, almost any Classic OS will do if you just want it to boot load Linux. Make a partition just for MacOS and leave plenty of blank space for Ubuntu. Don't create partitons for it, just leave the space unallocated. You'll need at least a couple GBs. I gave MacOS 250MBs HFS and left the rest of the 6GB empty. Remember if you use MacOS Standard (hfs) or MacOS Extended (hfs+).
2. Use new install to grab a copy of BootX. Version 1.2.2 worked fine for me.
3. Install and unpack BootX. Drop the files "BootX App" " BootX Extension" "Linux Kernels" onto the System Folder. The Extension should automatically go where it needs, as should the CP. The Linux Kernels folder should be inside the SF.
4. Insert Ubuntu Install CD and open the folders install:powerpc on it. Copy the "vmlinux" file to the "Linux Kernels" folder. The "initrd.gz" file should be in the SF, but not in Linux Kernels.
5. Open BootX from the Control Panels menu. It should be available without restarting. Select "Save to prefs" button to crete a prefs file. Quit BootX.
6. In the unpacked BootX folder open the Utilities:GrabG3CacheSetting folder. Double-clcik the "GrabG3CacheSetting" script. It will modify the prefs file a bit and stop.
7. Open BootX again and click the "Options" button. I had to uncheck the new "Set G3 cache" button to get it to boot during startup. If you use SCSI disks, check "Force SCSI ON", check "Use specified RAM Disk" and select the initrd.gz file in the SF. Click "Ok", don't hit return, as that might boot Linux.
8. Look at the "Mac OS" and "Linux" buttons. Decide which you want to default boot to and use tab to select which button has the highlighted border. Click "Save to prefs".
9. If you are ready to get going on the install press "Linux" and watch the system start up.
10. It should launch into the Ubuntu Installer. Follow it along per usual, except don't format the whole drive. Select the "Use max free space" option or whatever it was called.
11. Keep note of the partition numbers (hda7, hda8) When the install is about done you'll need to get the new initrd.img file over to MacOS. There are various ways to get it done, some of which seem overly complex for 5.04. My way seemed to work just fine. Your MacOS install should be the first partition before your Linux ones. So, if you had Linux on hda7 and swap on hda8 you probably have MacOS on hda6. So, there are a few commands we will need to do on a second terminal to get the fies over to MacOS. When the install is about over, it'll warn you about not having a boot loader, but before it reboots press Opt-F2 to switch and press Enter to start the terminal. Many commands and file paths are complex, so you can just start a few letters of it and tap "tab" to auto-complete or if it doesn't with the first tab, hit it twice and it'll show all possible completions, type a few more letters of what you want and tap "tab" again to complete it.
Enter these commands:
mount /dev/hda6 hfs -t hfs #The /dev/hda6 is where your MacOS probably is, use -t hfs for Std, use -t hfsplus for Ext
cp /boot/initrd.img-2.6.10-5-powerpc /target/mnt/hfs/System\ Folder/ #this is where "tab" helps a lot. You can type the /boot/i and hit tab to get /boot/initrd.img then press '-' and hit tab again to get the rest of it. For the rest do /target/mnt/hfs/S watch the capitals here, hit tab and it'll fill in the rest with the slashes and all.
Then press Opt-F1 to go back to the installer and let it reboot.
12. When it boots BootX should start up pretty quick. Tap tab twice before the times runs out to stop it. Clcik the "Options" button and select the file you just copied above. Click the "Ok" button, don't just hit enter. Then click the "Save to prefs" button. Now your system is ready for that first full boot. Press "Linux" and let it chug away for a while. You should eventually get a login or the Gnome desktop.
13. Enjoy. Use the BootX at startup to boot either Mac OS or Linux. If you change your mind on what to boot by default, use "tab" to select which you want in BootX and "Save to prefs".
This is pretty rough, but it's how I got Ubuntu going on one of my new towers. It works pretty smoothly in Ubuntu with 128MB. It operates about as fast as a similar PC.