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(!) ?Discussion


This page describes the status of the Debian Port for PowerPC. Older models work without any problem.The new models have some issues to be solved

iBook G4

There are some howtos to install Debian on it:

We need to merge them in this wiki, with updated info ;-)

Sleep-to-RAM just works with all kernel >= 2.6.13 out of the box (I think is was 2.6.13...just use the latest, It'll work)

Sleep-to-disk does work with 2.6 kernels.

Second head out

There is a patch for OpenFirmware which enables the second head of the Radeon iBooks. Read the info here

One button mouse

On iBook G4, editing with

echo 0x61 > /proc/sys/dev/mac_hid/mouse_button2_keycode
echo 0x64 > /proc/sys/dev/mac_hid/mouse_button3_keycode
echo 1 > /proc/sys/dev/mac_hid/mouse_button_emulation

makes the Fn-CTRL and Fn-ALT combinations behave as a middle and right button.

PowerBook 15"

Airport Extreme

It works, using the bcm43xx (reverse engineered) driver. Use at least 2.6.17 kernel.


As of Nov 2, 2004, a working patch exists for 2.6.9 kernel.

2D, 3D acceleration

The video cards are suspected to be manufactured by ?[Nvidia] (unconfirmed, but this hase been seen on Apple Power PC Desktop computers). The Nvidia series of cards do not currently support open source 3D acceleration, however 2D functionality is provided and a proprietary 3D driver is available for Nvidia series cards.


Videoprojection (TV out?)

A working patch for 2.6 kernel exists. Julien Blache writes that this patch works only on Rage 128 chipsets (see output of lspci). (However, I have Mobility Radeon 9600 M10 and it works.)


It works fine.

keyboard backlight

You have to add i2c-dev support and ic-keywest. The download and compile lmud Read

PowerBook 12"

There is a lot of information on the Powerbook G4 12" install HOW-TO by Matthias Schmidt

Also here

For Powerbooks manufactured February 2005 on, installation is easier. See this Powerbook G4 12" install HOW-TO

PowerBook 15" Aluminium / Squeeze

September 2009

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
cpu             : 7447A, altivec supported
clock           : 1333.333000MHz
revision        : 1.1 (pvr 8003 0101)
bogomips        : 73.47
timebase        : 18432000
platform        : PowerMac
model           : PowerBook5,4
machine         : PowerBook5,4
motherboard     : PowerBook5,4 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh
detected as     : 287 (PowerBook G4 15")
pmac flags      : 0000001b
L2 cache        : 512K unified
pmac-generation : NewWorld
Memory          : 1280 MB

Out-of-the-box-Support: Keyboard, USB 2.0, Firewire, Ethernet, Display, Touchpad (use Mouseemu for right click), Sound, Power-Management (Suspend-to-Memory, Display), Function-Keys with On-Screen-Display for brighter/darker-Display and Mute/Volume Up/Down (KDE/Gnome), DVD/CD-RW


Install MacOS first, because it will erase a GNU/Linux installation. Use Disk-Utility in MacOS to make a partition for debian. Recommendation 5 GB to test, better 10 GB for debian plus Swap-Partition (double amount of RAM) and one New-World-Bootblock (mine has 16.2 MB).

0. BACKUP data from MacOS-Partition!!

1. Debian Net-Install download: Recommendation: Testing / Squeeze Installation-CD.

2. Reboot ?PowerBook and press 'c' while or before Apple-Boot-Sound to start from CD.

3. Recommendation: Choose Graphical Installation.

4. You need at least a /-Partition, a swap-Partition and one New-World-Bootblock boot partition for yaboot (mine has 16.2 MB).

5. Boot-Manager has to be installed in New_World_bootblock.

6. Follow the next hardware-configuration steps. Important: X-Server and Wireless

Wireless - Airport Extreme

Just install this package from contrib:

# aptitude install b43-fwcutter wpasupplicant

With WPA:

# cat /etc/network/interfaces

 allow-hotplug wlan0
 iface wlan0 inet static
        dns-nameservers #
        wpa-ssid 2000AP
        wpa-psk SecretPassword

See also bcm43xx.

X-Server - 2D, 3D acceleration

For ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10] install the following firmware for radeon driver from non-free for 3D-Acceleration, Compositing, etc.

# aptitude install firmware-linux

# cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Configured Video Device"
    Driver      "radeon"
    Option      "EnablePageFlip"        "on"
    Option      "AccelMethod"   "EXA"

Section "Extensions"
    Option      "Composite" "Enable"

Multimedia-codecs & Tools

Package w32-codecs doesnt exist for PowerPC. Some from non-free and

# aptitude install amarok gtkpod gnupod-tools kino ffmpeg libavcodec52 gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-nice gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly mjpegtools lame libquicktime1 mencoder mplayer avidemux easytag dvdrip libdvdcss2



See also: InstallingDebianOn/Apple