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10. Tips

10.1 Giving proper rights

I will assume you created a user called seb.

10.2 Audio

addgroup seb audio let him play with the soundcard on the next login.

10.3 Cdrom

You should have symlinked /dev/hdc to /dev/cdrom: ln -s /dev/hdc /dev/cdrom
chown root:cdrom /dev/hdc && addgroup seb cdrom let him eject the cdrom

10.4 Make it pretty !


I have been using it for many years now, I have a button executing this:
aterm -bg black -fg antiquewhite -tr -sh 50 -trsb -cr cyan3
(the -bg black parameter is only to prevent the window from flashing when you load aterm)


I use gnome-session along with gnome-panel and sawfish,
Installing nautilus will give you desktop icons with a basic Debian wallpaper.
You should also install metacity, and the packages gnome-themes, gnome-themes-common, gnome-themes-extras, it will give you much nicer widgets and the possibility to change their colors.
If you want to have small applets (applications embedded in the panel), you should install gnome-applets, you will be able to monitor your battery with one of them (right click on the panel to add them).


I found some quickly usable wallpapers in kdewallpapers, I also really like this one:

10.5 Running Mac OS X applications

I wanted to be able to play Tony Hawk :D

Building the kernel modules and installing MOL

apt-get install mol-modules-source
cd /usr/src/modules/mol && tar xzvf mol-modules.tar.gz
cd /home/seb/linux-2.6.3
make-kpkg modules_image
dpkg -i ../mol-modules-2.6.3_0.9.69+10.00.Custom_powerpc.deb
apt-get install mol-drivers-macosx

Configuring MOL

As root:

Read carefully the instructions, I tested the three first, went on with the TFT section where I put N to any resolution greater than 1024x768 and put No to all the rest.

I also edited /etc/mol/

resolution:             1024/768/75     # width/height/Hz
depth:                  24               

Running MOL

It has to run as root:
startmol --osx

You will need to have selected CONFIG_MODVERSIONS for it to work.

Once you are in MacOSX, open the MOL-Install drive that appeared on your desktopand run MolPackage.pkg, it will install fake sound and network drivers to have MacOSX hand over all this to Linux.

Sadly, Tony Hawk does not work, Deimos Rising does though.

10.6 Fixing (Emergency boot)

I hope you will not need this but here are a few tips if you get lost:

Booting the system without yaboot

Insert the installation CD and boot it, (c when the machine starts), at the boot: prompt press enter.
Configure your keyboard (it is convenient to use this now), select the alternate action "Activate a Previously-Initialised Swap Partition", and now carefully select the alternate action "Mount a Previously-Initialised Partition" (the default would format it), select your Linux native partition and mount it as root.
Now, scroll down the list of actions to "Execute a shell", type
chroot /target
mount /proc
The chroot will do as if you had booted from the harddrive, and the mount proc is necessary if you need to use ybin or things like that.
Keep in mind that since the installation kernel does not support ATA-100 your hard drive will be seen as hdc and your cdrom as hda...)

Booting only the kernel and a shell

On the second stage of yaboot, type at the boot: prompt:
Linux init=/bin/bash

Good luck !

10.7 Links

You probably want to check the home of the linux/ppc port.

Technical informations

Introduction to RISC Technology (1995)
IBM: Introduction to assembly on the PowerPC
Altivec Engaged
Motorola documentation about the MPC7455
(We are not sure if it is the same processor).


You can register on the following site to let the whole wide world know you have an iBook running Debian :]

Werner Heuser's tuxmobil
Linux on Laptops

Other guides


Colin Leroy's guide to the installation of Gentoo (:p) on iBooks G4

MIJ's Linux PPC on iBooks (2.2) short guide

Branden Robinson's guide to Installing Debian 3.0 onto an Apple iBook Dual USB


David Decotigny's guide to the installation of Debian 3.0r1 on Apple iBooks 2.2
(It is in French but contains valuable informations for older laptops, with all the commands, so that it does not require to know French)
Traduction du guide de Branden Robinson par Jean-Baptiste Fargier


Mirko Maischberger's guide to Gentoo on ibookG4

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