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Debian GNU/Linux installation on PowerPC machines

Check the following pages for specific information about installing Debian/PowerPC on your system:

There are four major supported powerpc flavors: PMac (Power-Macintosh), Apus, CHRP and PReP machines. Ports to other powerpc architectures, such as the Be-Box and MBX architecture, are underway but not yet supported by Debian. We may have a 64bit port in the future.

There are also four flavours of the powerpc kernel in Debian. These are based on the specific CPU type in use (and should not be confused with the architecture flavours discussed above):


Most systems use this kernel flavour, which supports the PowerPC 601, 603, 604, 740, 750, and 7400 processors. All Apple Power Macintosh systems up to and including the G4 use processors supported by this kernel.


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. The Apple G5 is also based on the POWER4 architecture, and uses this kernel flavour.


This kernel flavour supports the Amiga Power-UP System.

Apple (and briefly a few other manufacturers - Power Computing, for example) makes a series of Macintosh computers based on the PowerPC processor. For purposes of architecture support, they are categorized as Nubus, OldWorld PCI, and NewWorld.

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 6100/7100/8100 line of Power Macintoshes.

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. The beige colored G3 systems are also OldWorld.

The so called NewWorld PowerMacs are any PowerMacs in translucent colored plastic cases, all iMacs, iBooks, G4 and G5 systems. The NewWorld PowerMacs are also known for using the `ROM in RAM' system for Mac OS, and were manufactured from mid-1998 onwards.

Here is a list of powerpc machines which should work with Debian.

Model Name/Number Architecture
iMac Bondi Blue, 5 Flavors, Slot Loading powermac-NewWorld
iMac Summer 2000, Early 2001 powermac-NewWorld
iMac G5 powermac-NewWorld
iBook, iBook SE, iBook Dual USB powermac-NewWorld
iBook2 powermac-NewWorld
iBook G4 powermac-NewWorld
Power Macintosh Blue and White (B&W) G3 powermac-NewWorld
Power Macintosh G4 PCI, AGP, Cube powermac-NewWorld
Power Macintosh G4 Gigabit Ethernet powermac-NewWorld
Power Macintosh G4 Digital Audio, Quicksilver powermac-NewWorld
Power Macintosh G5 powermac-NewWorld
PowerBook G3 FireWire Pismo (2000) powermac-NewWorld
PowerBook G3 Lombard (1999) powermac-NewWorld
PowerBook G4 Titanium powermac-NewWorld
PowerBook G4 Aluminum powermac-NewWorld
Mac mini powermac-NewWorld
Xserve G5 powermac-NewWorld
Performa 4400, 54xx, 5500 powermac-OldWorld
Performa 6300, 6360, 6400, 6500 powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh 4400, 5400 powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh 7200, 7300, 7500, 7600 powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh 8200, 8500, 8600 powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh 9500, 9600 powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh (Beige) G3 Minitower powermac-OldWorld
Power Macintosh (Beige) Desktop, All-in-One powermac-OldWorld
PowerBook 2400, 3400, 3500 powermac-OldWorld
PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (1998) powermac-OldWorld
Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh powermac-OldWorld
Workgroup Server 7250, 8550, 9650, G3 powermac-OldWorld
Power Computing
PowerBase, PowerTower / Pro, PowerWave powermac-OldWorld
PowerCenter / Pro, PowerCurve powermac-OldWorld
C500, C600, J700, S900 powermac-OldWorld
APS Tech M*Power 604e/2000 powermac-OldWorld
Starmax 3000, 4000, 5000, 5500 powermac-OldWorld
Firepower, PowerStack Series E, PowerStack II PReP
MPC 7xx, 8xx PReP
MVME2300(SC)/24xx/26xx/27xx/36xx/46xx PReP
MCP(N)750 PReP
IBM RS/6000
40P, 43P PReP
Power 830/850/860 (6070, 6050) PReP
6015, 6030, 7025, 7043 PReP
p640 PReP
B50, 43-P150, 44P CHRP
Pegasos I, Pegasos II CHRP
Amiga Power-UP Systems (APUS)
A1200, A3000, A4000 APUS

Here is a list of machines which are not known to work with Debian. They may well work, and we'd like to hear if you test one and have some success.

Model Name/Number Architecture
IBM Longtrail II, First 'free' or 'open' PowerPC Board CHRP
7248-100,7248-120,7248-132 PReP
Notebook Thinkpad 820: 7247-821/822/823 PReP
Notebook Thinkpad 850: 7247-851/860 PReP