Your system's first boot on its own power is what electrical engineers call the “smoke test”.
If the system fails to start up correctly, don't panic. If the installation was successful, chances are good that there is only a relatively minor problem that is preventing the system from booting Debian. In most cases such problems can be fixed without having to repeat the installation. One available option to fix boot problems is to use the installer's built-in rescue mode (see Section 8.7, “Recovering a Broken System”).
If you are new to Debian and Linux, you may need some help from more experienced users. For less common architectures like PowerPC, your best option is to ask on the debian-powerpc mailing list. You can also file an installation report as described in Section 5.3.6, “Submitting Installation Reports”. Please make sure that you describe your problem clearly and include any messages that are displayed and may help others to diagnose the issue.
If the machine fails to boot after completing the installation, and
stops with a
boot: prompt, try typing
Linux followed by Enter. (The default boot
quik.conf is labeled Linux). The
labels defined in
quik.conf will be displayed if
you press the Tab key at the
prompt. You can also try booting back into the installer, and editing
/target/etc/quik.conf placed there by the
for dealing with quik are available at
To boot back into MacOS without resetting the nvram, type
bye at the OpenFirmware prompt (assuming MacOS
has not been removed from the machine). To obtain an OpenFirmware
prompt, hold down the command-option-o-f keys while cold booting the machine. If you need to reset
the OpenFirmware nvram changes to the MacOS default in order to boot
back to MacOS, hold down the command-option-p-r keys while cold booting the machine.
If you use BootX to boot into the installed system,
just select your desired kernel in the
Kernels folder, un-choose the ramdisk option, and add
a root device corresponding to your installation;
On G4 machines and iBooks, you can hold down the option key and get a graphical screen with a button for each bootable OS, Debian GNU/Linux will be a button with a small penguin icon.
If you kept MacOS and at some point it changes the OpenFirmware
boot-device variable you should reset OpenFirmware to
its default configuration. To do this hold down the command-option-p-r keys while cold booting the machine.
The labels defined in
yaboot.conf will be
displayed if you press the Tab key at the
Resetting OpenFirmware on G3 or G4 hardware will cause it to boot
Debian GNU/Linux by default (if you correctly partitioned and placed the
Apple_Bootstrap partition first). If you have Debian GNU/Linux on a SCSI disk
and MacOS on an IDE disk this may not work and you will have to enter
OpenFirmware and set the
ybin normally does this automatically.
After you boot Debian GNU/Linux for the first time you can add any additional
options you desire (such as dual boot options) to
/etc/yaboot.conf and run ybin
to update your boot partition with the changed configuration. Please
read the yaboot HOWTO
for more information.