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SuSE Linux 7.3 on Old World PowerMacs

Kernel Location Issues
Mounting a SMB Share from an OS X Box
Issues with Netatalk
SuSE Linux 7.3 on PowerMac 5500/250
5500 Networking Card Problems
SuSE Linux 7.3 on PowerMac 7200/90
7200 Install Issues
7200 BootX Extension Issues

Kernel Location Issues

The instructions in the SuSE documentation are unclear for setting up the kernel on the MacOS side. The following works well with MacOS 9.1. Locate BootX App and • BootX Extension using find, or the following directory path on the CD-ROM:

	'SuSE-Linux-PPC-7.3.0#0':SuSEboot:BootX App
	'SuSE-Linux-PPC-7.3.0#0':SuSEboot:• BootX Extension

Drag them onto the System Folder and they will go to the appropriate places. Otherwise, the former goes into the Control Panels folder the later into the Extensions folder. It may be handy to have an alias of the BootX App on the Desktop. Create a folder named 'Linux Kernels' at the root level of the System Folder. Locate the vmlinux-2.4.10.gz and vmlinux-2.4.12.gz files using find, or the following directory path on the CD-ROM:


Copy the gziped kernels to the 'Linux Kernels' created previously. The next part is critical, as the files must be gunziped as binary. Using MacGzip (a copy is in the 'tools' directory in the same path as BootX App was above), drag the gziped kernels onto MacGzip's icon while holding the 'b' key on your keyboard. This forces MacGzip to retain the files as binary, you should see the word 'bin' in the gunzip progress dialog while they are processed. When BootX App is launched, the kernels should show in the list. Choose the appropriate one to boot the installation, where 2.4.12 is preferred as it is more current. Further documentation is found at SuSE or mirror ftp sites at the following path /pub/ftp.suse.com/ppc/7.3/docu, also this support knowledge base link may help olh_ppc_bootx.

Mounting a SMB Share from an OS X Box

Since OS X client doesn't have a simple way of doing NFS exports, the easiest way to access whole portions of a directory tree is via Samba on OS X and the Linux box. Set up the OS X box to share via SMB by following the instructions in Apple's technical document 107083, 'Mac OS X 10.2: How to Set Up Windows File Sharing.' Create an appropriate directory for the mount point on the Linux machine ahead of time, here I have just created a directory within my home. Run smbmount as root (or sudo) on the Linux box.

sudo smbmount // /home/rds/smb/ -o username=rds

Issues with Netatalk

Was getting fault whenever trying to start daemon.

7200:/home/rds # rcatalk start
Starting netatalk (this may take a while) ...
  Starting atalkd:/usr/sbin/rcatalk: line 3:   746 Segmentation fault      /usr/sbin/atalkd
  Starting papd:  Starting afpd:-g nobody -c 20 -n 7200

Added eth0 to bottom of /etc/atalk/atalkd.conf Surprisingly restarting the daemon caused atalkd to write the rest of the interface parameters to that line. The daemon is working, but the machine still won't mount on OSX despite the conf files reading the same as a working netatalk X86 box in use. Will have to look into this further.

SuSE Linux 7.3 on PowerMac 5500/250

My neighbor sold me a 5500 when they bought a new PC. I have been wanting a replacement for the 7200 as it is loud and the CD-ROM is failing. I still need an old world machine to act as a LocalTalk print server and to use my Wacom tablet. We had a Maxtor 5400 160GB drive laying around at work as it was the internal mechanism from a returned UltiFire drive. I took it home to see it the 5500 would recognize it, and was astonished when it worked without a hitch. I was subsequently allowed to keep the drive. Had to purchase a new mobo battery and upgraded the RAM to the maximum 128MB. The CS II ethernet card was not working although this system could see a card in the slot. At first I guessed that some of the necessary information for the card was in PRAM, so I waited for the mobo battery replacement. When that didn't work I had to purchase another card off eBay (cost more than the RAM and battery). The card works great under MacOS, and I stress tested it extensively. Unfortunately, the card is not working right under SuSE.

5500 Networking Card Problems

This is the message I posted to comp.os.linux.powerpc on 02/25/2003. I still have not had a response. I will continue trying to get this to work, as the machine is quite useless without networking. I may install a PCI card temporarily to run YOU in hopes that the newer kernel and support libs will fix the problem. However, my intention is to use that slot for an ATI card to use a second monitor, so switching permanently to a PCI NIC is not an option. I will be happy to hear from anyone with a viable solution.

PM5500/225 with Apple CS II Ethernet
SuSE 7.3 Kernel 2.4.12 (CD Install, no updates)
eth0 module options set to blank or options=0 or full_duplex=1 (on unmanaged
100base switch) 

Ethernet will work for short periods of time and then fail. Sometimes
running the init scripts bring it back up, sometimes a reboot required. The
following message is logged every time the interface fails:

Feb 25 00:28:28 5500 kernel: NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
Feb 25 00:28:28 5500 kernel: eth0: 21041 transmit timed out, status
fc660010, CSR12 45e1d2ca, CSR13 ffffef09, CSR14 fffff7fd, resetting...

Had timeouts with an x86 BSD box once, the work around was to change several
values via sysctl. However, the Linux kernel takes different parameters.
Does anyone know the correct sysctl settings, or any way to get a reliable
network connection with this machine?

SuSE Linux 7.3 on PowerMac 7200/90

My 7200 used to have MkLinux on a secondary SCSI disk for years. I remember doing an ftp install over a 56K modem, and if memory serves, it took around three days to download. Despite the initial inconvenience, having a working Linux distro when that was the only box I had at the time was great for keeping up since I had been (thankfully) out of IT for several years. One day the distribution was damaged beyond repair and I never had the inclination to fix it. When my manager bought a copy of SuSE PPC 7.3 for some projects he was working on, I borrowed it and tried resurrecting Linux on the 7200.

7200 Install Issues

The CD-ROM drive on the 7200 is failing.

7200 BootX Extension Issues

BootX Extension loads at startup and behaves as if it is going to work correctly, but when Linux is selected the system just sits idle with no way to exit except a command-control-power. Disabling the extension and launching BootX App once Mac OS has started works fine.