Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux or kFreeBSD kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux or kFreeBSD kernel, libc, gcc, etc. have been ported, and for which a Debian port exists, can run Debian. Please refer to the Ports pages at http://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/ for more details on PowerPC architecture systems which have been tested with Debian GNU/Linux.
Rather than attempting to describe all the different hardware configurations which are supported for PowerPC, this section contains general information and pointers to where additional information can be found.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 supports eleven major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as “flavors”.
|AMD64 & Intel EM64T||amd64|
|HP PA-RISC||hppa||PA-RISC 1.1||32|
|MIPS (big endian)||mips||SGI IP22 (Indy/Indigo 2)||r4k-ip22|
|SGI IP32 (O2)||r5k-ip32|
|MIPS Malta (32 bit)||4kc-malta|
|MIPS Malta (64 bit)||5kc-malta|
|MIPS (little endian)||mipsel||Cobalt||cobalt|
|MIPS Malta (32 bit)||4kc-malta|
|MIPS Malta (64 bit)||5kc-malta|
|IBM S/390||s390||IPL from VM-reader and DASD||generic|
|IPL from tape||tape|
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 6.0 supports two architectures.
|AMD64 & Intel EM64T||kfreebsd-amd64|
This document covers installation for the PowerPC architecture using the Linux kernel. If you are looking for information on any of the other Debian-supported architectures take a look at the Debian-Ports pages.
For Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 only the PMac (Power-Macintosh or PowerMac) and PreP subarchitectures are supported.
There are two flavours of the powerpc kernel in Debian, based on the CPU type:
Most systems use this kernel flavour, which supports the PowerPC 601, 603, 604, 740, 750, and 7400 processors. All Apple PowerMac machines up to and including the one marketed as G4 use one of these processors.
The power64 kernel flavour supports the following CPUs:
The POWER3 processor is used in older IBM 64-bit server systems: known models include the IntelliStation POWER Model 265, the pSeries 610 and 640, and the RS/6000 7044-170, 7043-260, and 7044-270.
The POWER4 processor is used in more recent IBM 64-bit server systems: known models include the pSeries 615, 630, 650, 655, 670, and 690.
Systems using the Apple G5 (PPC970FX processor) are also based on the POWER4 architecture, and use this kernel flavour.
Apple (and briefly a few other manufacturers — Power Computing, for example) made a series of Macintosh computers based on the PowerPC processor. For purposes of architecture support, they are categorized as NuBus (not supported by Debian), OldWorld, and NewWorld.
OldWorld systems are most Power Macintoshes with a floppy drive and a PCI bus. Most 603, 603e, 604, and 604e based Power Macintoshes are OldWorld machines. Those pre-iMac PowerPC models from Apple use a four digit naming scheme, except for the beige colored G3 systems, which are also OldWorld.
The so called NewWorld PowerMacs are any PowerMacs in translucent colored plastic cases and later models. That includes all iMacs, iBooks, G4 systems, blue colored G3 systems, and most PowerBooks manufactured in and after 1999. The NewWorld PowerMacs are also known for using the “ROM in RAM” system for MacOS, and were manufactured from mid-1998 onwards.
|Apple||iMac Bondi Blue, 5 Flavors, Slot Loading||NewWorld|
|iMac Summer 2000, Early 2001||NewWorld|
|iBook, iBook SE, iBook Dual USB||NewWorld|
|Power Macintosh Blue and White (B&W) G3||NewWorld|
|Power Macintosh G4 PCI, AGP, Cube||NewWorld|
|Power Macintosh G4 Gigabit Ethernet||NewWorld|
|Power Macintosh G4 Digital Audio, Quicksilver||NewWorld|
|Power Macintosh G5||NewWorld|
|PowerBook G3 FireWire Pismo (2000)||NewWorld|
|PowerBook G3 Lombard (1999)||NewWorld|
|PowerBook G4 Titanium||NewWorld|
|PowerBook G4 Aluminum||NewWorld|
|Performa 4400, 54xx, 5500||OldWorld|
|Performa 6360, 6400, 6500||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh 4400, 5400||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh 7200, 7300, 7500, 7600||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh 8200, 8500, 8600||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh 9500, 9600||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh (Beige) G3 Minitower||OldWorld|
|Power Macintosh (Beige) Desktop, All-in-One||OldWorld|
|PowerBook 2400, 3400, 3500||OldWorld|
|PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (1998)||OldWorld|
|Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh||OldWorld|
|Workgroup Server 7250, 7350, 8550, 9650, G3||OldWorld|
|Power Computing||PowerBase, PowerTower / Pro, PowerWave||OldWorld|
|PowerCenter / Pro, PowerCurve||OldWorld|
|UMAX||C500, C600, J700, S900||OldWorld|
|APS||APS Tech M*Power 604e/2000||OldWorld|
|Motorola||Starmax 3000, 4000, 5000, 5500||OldWorld|
|Motorola||Firepower, PowerStack Series E, PowerStack II|
|MPC 7xx, 8xx|
|IBM RS/6000||40P, 43P|
|Power 830/850/860 (6070, 6050)|
|6030, 7025, 7043|
|IBM RS/6000||B50, 43P-150, 44P|
|Genesi||Pegasos I, Pegasos II|
|Amiga Power-UP Systems (APUS)||A1200, A3000, A4000|
NuBus systems are not currently supported by Debian/powerpc. The monolithic Linux/PPC kernel architecture does not have support for these machines; instead, one must use the MkLinux Mach microkernel, which Debian does not yet support. These include the following:
Power Macintosh 6100, 7100, 8100
Performa 5200, 6200, 6300
Powerbook 1400, 2300, and 5300
Workgroup Server 6150, 8150, 9150
A linux kernel for these machines and limited support is available at http://nubus-pmac.sourceforge.net/.
Macintosh computers using the 680x0 series of processors are not in the PowerPC family but are instead m68k machines. Those models start with “Mac II” series, go on to the “LC” family, then the Centris series, and culminate in the Quadras and Performas. These models usually have a Roman numeral or 3-digit model number such as Mac IIcx, LCIII or Quadra 950.
This model range started with the Mac II (Mac II, IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIsi, IIvi, IIvx, IIfx), then the LC (LC, LCII, III, III+, 475, 520, 550, 575, 580, 630), then the Mac TV, then the Centris (610, 650, 660AV), the Quadra (605, 610, 630, 650, 660AV, 700, 800, 840AV, 900, 950), and finally the Performa 200-640CD.
In laptops, it started with the Mac Portable, then the PowerBook 100-190cs and the PowerBook Duo 210-550c (excluding PowerBook 500 which is Nubus, please see the section above).
Multiprocessor support — also called “symmetric multiprocessing” or SMP — is available for this architecture. However, the standard Debian 6.0 kernel image does not support SMP. This should not prevent installation, since the standard, non-SMP kernel should boot on SMP systems; the kernel will simply use the first CPU.
In order to take advantage of multiple processors, you'll have to replace the standard Debian kernel. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.6, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 2.6.32) the way you enable SMP is to select “Symmetric multi-processing support” in the “Platform support” section of the kernel config.
Debian's support for graphical interfaces is determined by the underlying support found in X.Org's X11 system. Most AGP, PCI, PCIe, and PCI-X video cards work under X.Org. Details on supported graphics buses, cards, monitors, and pointing devices can be found at http://xorg.freedesktop.org/. Debian 6.0 ships with X.Org version 7.5.
Almost any network interface card (NIC) supported by the Linux kernel should also be supported by the installation system; modular drivers should normally be loaded automatically.
Wireless networking is in general supported as well and a growing number of wireless adapters are supported by the official Linux kernel, although many of them do require firmware to be loaded. If firmware is needed, the installer will prompt you to load firmware. See Section 6.4, “Loading Missing Firmware” for detailed information on how to load firmware during the installation.
Wireless NICs that are not supported by the official Linux kernel can generally be made to work under Debian GNU/Linux, but are not supported during the installation.
Support for encrypted wireless during installation is currently limited to WEP. If your access point uses stronger encryption, it cannot be used during the installation process.
If there is a problem with wireless and there is no other NIC you can use during the installation, it is still possible to install Debian GNU/Linux using a full CD-ROM or DVD image. Select the option to not configure a network and install using only the packages available from the CD/DVD. You can then install the driver and firmware you need after the installation is completed (after the reboot) and configure your network manually.
In some cases the driver you need may not be available as a Debian package. You will then have to look if there is source code available in the internet and compile the driver yourself. How to do this is outside the scope of this manual.
Support for braille displays is determined by the underlying support
brltty. Most displays work under
brltty, connected via either a serial port, USB
or bluetooth. Details on supported braille devices can be found on the
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 ships with