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Re: Mac G3 testing - desktop .iso


As a reminder, we would all be known as "geeks" or "hobbyists" to the folks who originally bought iMacs. I'm trying to get Lubuntu to work on computers that folks just pulled out of box, plugged in, and away they went. The command line stuff is a barrier for them.

So any progress in getting that r128 bug fixed is greatly appreciated. 
And the solution recommended at bug report 949288 sounds like a great plan.

But I've been testing Ubuntu and variants on these vary same iMacs since 2008, and I've never had a live CD work, so while one problem may have been introduced in 11.04, not all the problems were. The best luck I've had was with the last official PPC versions of Fedora and OpenSUSE. I've haven't tried the PPC version Fedora that's in development now.

And Debian folks are pretty glib and proclaim their product works on the iMac without "those Ubuntu problems" but not on my iMacs.
Debian 6.0.4 standard install process boots to a black screen of which there is no coming out of.
And MintPPC 11 mini-iso, based-on 7, does the same thing.

Thanks for the advice, I'll try the module solution so I can get the iMacs up and running so I can continue tests.


Paul Gorski


-----Original Message-----
From: o jordan <ojordan12345@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Paul Gorski <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>; lubuntu-qa <lubuntu-qa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 1:44 pm
Subject: RE: [Lubuntu-qa] Mac G3 testing - desktop .iso

In the past there were many problems.  This is not necessarily the case anymore.  The one you hit first is this:

       Option "UseFBDev" "boolean"
              Enable or disable  use  of  an  OS-specific  framebuffer  device
              interface  (which  is not supported on all OSs).  See fbdevhw(4)
              for further information.  Default: on for PowerPC, off for other

The r128 video driver is trying to use a framebuffer you don't have loaded (it is blacklisted).  That is why I have raised this bug https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/949288 .  Please confirm.

Until the aty128fb gets built back in, the fix for the problem on an installed system without editing the xorg.conf is explained here https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#How_do_I_load_a_kernel_module.3F .  Add aty128fb to /etc/modules and the initramfs-tools file as explained.  You'll need to use video=offb:off when booting.

You shouldn't have to mess around disabling dri as you shouldn't have hardware acceleration in 12.04.

On reboot, if you still hit a command prompt then you'll have to adjust your frequency settings in an xorg.conf.  

Section "Monitor" 
     Identifier "Monitor0"
     HorizSync 58-62 
     VertRefresh 75-117

That's all you should need to put in, but it could be the case it works without it now.

To: ojordan12345@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; lubuntu-qa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Lubuntu-qa] Mac G3 testing - desktop .iso
From: paul@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 12:00:57 -0500

I appreciate the interest in the problem. The PowerPC FAQ does little to explain the root cause of the problem, but does offer a wealth of information regarding temporary fixes, usually through xorg.conf.

I'm all for getting the problem fixed correctly. At one time the live CD wasn't work on iBook G4's or Powerbook G4's, but that problem has been resolved. (12.04 boots fine on iBook G4, although desktop installer screens are dark).

If there are any logs or screen shots that I can supply to help out, let me know.

Also, is there anything I can do, other than modifying the xorg.conf, to get the live installer to work or the alternate to not boot to a command prompt. I'd just like to test 12.04 on the G3 iMac.

For example, at Yaboot prompt:

live video=aty128fb:1024x768-24@60 video=offb:off  NoUseFBDev

(I'm guessing at the correct syntax based on the PowerPC FAQ and some other notes I have. Not even sure if I can invoke NoUseFBDev at this point.)

I'd still have to write some sort of permanent changes to the new install, wouldn't I?



Paul Gorski


-----Original Message-----
From: o jordan <ojordan12345@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: lubuntu-qa <lubuntu-qa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 2:28 am
Subject: Re: [Lubuntu-qa] Mac G3 testing - desktop .iso

Paul and Jim,

If you read the PowerPC FAQ there is a large section on graphics, much of it based around the imac G3.  It explains what is going and why it fails to load.  It explains it much better than I can put in a single post to a message list.

In 11.04 and 11.10 (and at the moment 12.04) the appropraite framebuffer is not built in.  I'm going to file a bug to get the ones used by Apple hardware built back in to the kernel.  This is why the openfirmware framebuffer is loading and causing you problems.

In the past the r128 caused dri lockup.  This is not going to happen in 12.04 because you won't have 3d hardware acceleration.

Please do not include a 5 year plus old xorg.conf file in a recent version on Lubuntu.  The problems are not the same.
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