Installing Debian GNU/Linux on a PowerPC APUS Machine
Apus is the "Amiga PowerUp System", and consists of an Amiga computer, A1200, A3000 or A4000, together with one of the PowerPC/m68k accelerator boards from the now dead company Phase5, the BlizzardPPC or CyberStormPPC board.
There are some issues involved with bootstrap on systems which don't use either PowerUp or WarpUp only, but some hybrid mutant of them both. I am not very familiar with this stuff as I use plain powerup only, so I hope someone will contribute a more complete description of it.
Also the SCSI controller of the CyberStormPPC is not yet supported by Linux, so you cannot use disks attached to it.
Partitioning from the AmigaOS side
amiga-fdisk is the fdisk variant for RDB partition tables
used by the Amiga hardware. It is working, but I recommend you use the
Amiga partitioning tools to do it from AmigaOS instead.
HDToolbox, being the official Commodore partitioning tool, should be installed on every AmigaOS system. Just launching HDToolbox should partition the IDE disk of the onboard IDE interface. If you want to access the SCSI disk on your BlizzardPPC board SCSI controller, you should use the "hdtoolbox blizzppcscsi.device" command.
Another option is to use SCSIConfig, the partitioner from Phase5 which is on the floppies that came with your accelerator board.
You will need to set the partition type to custom, and provide the following partition type IDs:
* Linux partition: 0x4c4e5800 * Linux swap partition: 0x53575000
You will find the
bootstrap program in the
apus/bootstrap directory of the powerpc boot floppies
distribution (found at /debian/dists/woody/main/disks-powerpc/current).
bootstrap program consists of three programs. All
three need to be executable and in your AmigaOS path. They are the
bootstrap executable and the ppcboot_wup or ppcboot_pup
part, that is the actual launcher (ppcboot_pup for the powerup system
and ppcboot_wup for the warpup system).
You will launch
bootstrap with a line like this:
# bootstrap --apus "kernel options"where "kernel options" are defined in the following sections.
bootstrap will then give some output, then blank the
screen for 10 to 30 seconds, and then you will have the Linux console.
bootstrap command to launch the Debian
installer system would be:
# bootstrap --apus -k apus/linux -r apus/images-1.44/root.bin root=/dev/ramAfter installation, to launch Debian, use:
# bootstrap --apus -k apus/linux root=/dev/sda3where sda3 is my Debian root partition, change it to the partition that is hosting your root partition.
You will need to add some kernel options depending on your actual configuration, which will be explained in the following sections.
Graphic Card Options
The graphic device to be used is an option prefaced with video=. Some examples are shown below. To enable the native graphics in vga mode (640x480):
video=amifb:vgaTo enable the Bvision/CyberVision graphic card in 1152x864 at 60Hz mode, with the SUN12x22 fonts:
video=pm2fb:mode:1152x864-60,font:SUN12x22To disable one of the graphic devices:
video=amifb:disableYou can map virtual consoles to the different devices being used. Use video=map:01 to map virtual console (vc) 1 to device 0, vc 2 to device 1, and after that repeat the same pattern (vc3 to device 0, vc4 to device 1, etc.). To map vc 1,2,3,5,6,7 to device 0 and vc 4,8 to device 1 you would use
The nobats Option
Blizzard users with scsi disks will need to use the "nobats" option.
# bootstrap --apus -k apus/linux root=/dev/sda3 nobats
The 60nsram Option
People with 60ns ram can also use the 60nsram option.
# bootstrap --apus -k apus/linux root=/dev/sda3 60nsram
If you are experiencing problems, you can use the debug option to specify console message output to go to a serial console or memory instead of the normal console. This is useful for debugging when the kernel output doesn't come to the console output.
# bootstrap --apus -k apus/linux root=/dev/sda3 60nsram debug=memThen you can read the result with the bootmesg utility from the apus/bootstrap directory.
Another useful tool is the dmesg utility which will give you the bootstrap process debugging info.
Apus Particularities in
There are some specific differences for apus in the use of
Partitioning the Hard Disk -
The apus subarch uses the
amiga-fdisk partitioning tool. As noted
above, you can also use AmigaOS-side partitioning tools.
Installing the OS Kernel and Modules
This option is actually not working. I am in the process of proposing an "Install the OS Modules" option to replace it, but in the meantime you can just skip this step. The kernel is not needed anyway, since it resides on the
Options Not Applicable for apus
Well some options simply don't make sense on apus, so until I exclude them from the menu, just ignore them. They should not work anyway.
These options are:
* Make System Bootable directly from the Hard Disk. * Make a Boot Floppy. * Eject the Floppy.
Links for Further Information
The official Linux-apus doc and FAQ is at:
Another source of valuable information is the Linux-m68k web site and faq found at:
There you will find lots of information regarding Linux on the amiga platform that is common to Linux-m68k and Linux-apus.
Well, this little guide tries to explain all the particularities of the Linux-apus installation of Debian. The rest of it is quite similar to any other Debian/powerpc installation, as well as the generic Debian installation. You will thus find further info in the Debian documentation directory as well as in the other generic Linux information sites and docs.