The easiest route for most people will be to use a set of Debian CDs. If you have a CD set, and if your machine supports booting directly off the CD, great! Simply insert your CD, reboot, and proceed to the next chapter.
Note that certain CD drives may require special drivers, and thus be inaccessible in the early installation stages. If it turns out the standard way of booting off a CD doesn't work for your hardware, revisit this chapter and read about alternate kernels and installation methods which may work for you.
Even if you cannot boot from CD-ROM, you can probably install the Debian system components and any packages you want from CD-ROM. Simply boot using a different media, such as floppies. When it's time to install the operating system, base system, and any additional packages, point the installation system at the CD-ROM drive.
If you have problems booting, see Section 5.3, “Troubleshooting the Installation Process”.
Currently, the only PowerPC subarchitectures that support CD-ROM booting are PReP and New World PowerMacs. On PowerMacs, hold the c key, or else the combination of Command, Option, Shift, and Delete keys together while booting to boot from the CD-ROM.
OldWorld PowerMacs will not boot a Debian CD, because OldWorld computers relied on a Mac OS ROM CD boot driver to be present on the CD, and a free-software version of this driver is not available. All OldWorld systems have floppy drives, so use the floppy drive to launch the installer, and then point the installer to the CD for the needed files.
If your system doesn't boot directly from CD-ROM, you can still use the CD-ROM to install the system. On NewWorlds, you can also use an OpenFirmware command to boot from the CD-ROM manually. Follow the instructions in Section 220.127.116.11, “Booting NewWorld Macs from OpenFirmware” for booting from the hard disk, except use the path to yaboot on the CD at the OF prompt, such as
0 > boot cd:,\install\yaboot
Booting from an existing operating system is often a convenient option; for some systems it is the only supported method of installation.
To boot the installer from hard disk, you will have already completed downloading and placing the needed files in Section 4.5, “Preparing Files for Hard Disk Booting”.
If you set up BootX in Section 4.5.1, “Hard Disk Installer Booting for OldWorld Macs”, you can
use it to boot into the installation system. Double click the
BootX application icon. Click on the
button and select Use
Specified RAM Disk. This will give you the
chance to select the
ramdisk.image.gz file. You
may need to select the No Video Driver checkbox,
depending on your hardware. Then click the
button to shut down MacOS and launch the
You will have already placed the
yaboot.conf files at the root level of your HFS
partition in Section 4.5.2, “Hard Disk Installer Booting for NewWorld Macs”.
Restart the computer, and immediately (during the chime) hold down the
Option, Command (cloverleaf/Apple),
o, and f keys all together. After
a few seconds you will be presented with the Open Firmware prompt.
At the prompt, type
0 > boot hd:
x with the partition number of
the HFS partition where the
kernel and yaboot files were placed, followed by a Enter. On some
machines, you may need to use
ide0: instead of
hd:. In a few more seconds you will see a
boot: prompt, type either
followed by a Enter. The
video=ofonly argument is for maximum
compatibility; you can try it if
doesn't work. The Debian installation program should start.
Currently, NewWorld PowerMac systems are known to support USB booting.
Make sure you have prepared everything from Section 4.4, “Preparing Files for USB Memory Stick Booting”. To boot a Macintosh system from a USB stick, you will need to use the Open Firmware prompt, since Open Firmware does not search USB storage devices by default. To get to the prompt, hold down Command-Option-o-f all together while booting (see Section 3.6.1, “Invoking OpenFirmware”).
You will need to work out where the USB storage device appears in the
device tree, since at the moment ofpath cannot work
that out automatically. Type
dev / ls and
devalias at the Open Firmware prompt to get a
list of all known devices and device aliases. On the author's system
with various types of USB stick, paths such as
Having worked out the device path, use a command like this to boot the installer:
2 matches the Apple_HFS or
Apple_Bootstrap partition onto which you copied the boot image earlier,
,\\:tbxi part instructs Open Firmware to
boot from the file with an HFS file type of "tbxi" (i.e.
yaboot) in the directory previously blessed with
The system should now boot up, and you should be presented with the
boot: prompt. Here you can enter optional boot
arguments, or just hit Enter.
This boot method is new, and may be difficult to get to work on some NewWorld systems. If you have problems, please file an installation report, as explained in Section 5.3.5, “Submitting Installation Reports”.
Booting from the network requires that you have a network connection and a TFTP network boot server (DHCP, RARP, or BOOTP).
The installation method to support network booting is described in Section 4.6, “Preparing Files for TFTP Net Booting”.
Currently, PReP and New World PowerMac systems support netbooting.
On machines with Open Firmware, such as NewWorld Power Macs, enter the
boot monitor (see Section 3.6.1, “Invoking OpenFirmware”) and
use the command boot enet:0. PReP and CHRP boxes
may have different ways of addressing the network. On a PReP machine,
you should try
Booting from floppies is supported for PowerPC, although it is generally only applicable for OldWorld systems. NewWorld systems are not equipped with floppy drives, and attached USB floppy drives are not supported for booting.
You will have already downloaded the floppy images you needed and created floppies from the images in Section 4.3, “Creating Floppies from Disk Images”.
To boot from the
place it in floppy drive after shutting the system down, and before
pressing the power-on button.
For those not familiar with Macintosh floppy operations: a floppy placed in the machine prior to boot will be the first priority for the system to boot from. A floppy without a valid boot system will be ejected, and the machine will then check for bootable hard disk partitions.
After booting, the
root.bin floppy is
requested. Insert the root floppy and press Enter. The installer
program is automatically launched after the root system has been
loaded into memory.
Many older Apple monitors used a 640x480 67Hz mode. If your video
appears skewed on an older Apple monitor, try appending the boot
video=atyfb:vmode:6 , which will
select that mode for most Mach64 and Rage video hardware. For Rage 128
hardware, this changes to