PowerPC 14.04 release notes

Before installing please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCKnownIssues#A14.04_Trusty_Tahr and have a quick look at the general information in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ . There is a wealth of information in those links, and they will save you a lot of time when you run into a problem (which you will).

The iso works like any other PowerPC iso (it was based on Lubuntu 14.04) and so I’ll only mention the bits I changed:

  • The boot message for yaboot was updated so it doesn’t give rubbish advice
  • The /install/pegasos file was removed as it seemed obsolete (although I can’t read FORTH!)
  • The /boot directory was added which includes the grub files
  • b43-fwcutter was added to /pool/main/b (Lubuntu don’t have it on the iso because they have it installed)
  • Some extra mate packages that are not part of the standard install were placed in the /pool/ubuntu-mate directory

To use grub to boot an iso file:

Those familiar with PowerPC will know that yaboot is the default bootloader, and that remains so on Ubuntu Mate, but I’ve also added grub to make booting directly from an iso file easier. There is no need to burn a DVD!

Open up the iso, navigate to /boot/grub and extract the file ‘grub’. You need to save it somewhere that you can see in openfirmware (i.e. not a linux partition!). Reboot into openfirmware and issue something like:

boot hd:2,\grub

Thanks to some grub trickery, it will look first for a real CD/DVD, and if it doesn’t find one it will look for an iso file. It expects it at the root of a partition (this can’t be hfs/hfsplus), but don’t worry if you’ve placed it somewhere else because you’ll be given the opportunity to edit the iso_path value. Marvelous!

It should work on a USB drive too (more info on that and how to use openfirmware is in the PowerPC FAQ).

Unlike with yaboot, there is an “install only” option which you might need if you are short of ram. If you’ve burned a real DVD and want to do this using yaboot then just add the “only-ubiquity” boot parameter. Or use grub from openfirmware:

boot cd:,\boot\grub\grub

The ubuntu-mate desktop:

Once booted you should see the Ubuntu Mate desktop in all its glory. If you are a radeon user and the colours are wrong then you didn’t read the Known Issues wiki!

The only mate/ubuntu-mate package that has been changed from the ppa source code was ubuntu-mate-meta:

  • Refreshed dependencies to create powerpc package lists
  • Removed acpid from core-powerpc
  • Removed grub2-themes-ubuntu-mate from core-powerpc

Note, the PowerPC ubuntu-mate desktop seed does not have LibreOffice and the live seed does not have the language packs. You can of course install these yourself, and in fact on first boot you should get a reminder about the language packs.

Ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu-mate is also not installed due to currently broken webkit on PowerPC.

I made the slightest adjustment to ubiquity (the installer) to fix a long standing issue with blacklisting sound modules on ‘newer’ machines. This has been patched upstream, but is not a complete fix (for that see launchpad bug 1296373, referenced on the Known Issues page).

Everything else (e.g. the kernel) is stock Ubuntu. I didn’t want to make too many changes as it just gets confusing.

If you want to install the powerpc packages I placed in /pool then you’ll have to do it manually.
For example:

sudo dpkg -i package_name.deb

This was needed because ppas do not compile/contain PowerPC packages. You will not receive any automatic updates to mate/ubuntu-mate “powerpc.deb” packages. However, any “all.deb” packages (e.g. themes) can be installed normally from the ubuntu-mate ppas.

Other issues:

I’ve noticed a slight graphical glitch with marco’s window tiling preview (launchpad bug 1406344). Though I personally don’t use marco, but use compiz 0.8.6 for that complete retro feel. I wrote my own grid/tile preview patch for that too, it still works in 14.04 with a little bit of adjustment. Probably at some point I’ll release some PowerPC compiz debs.

The file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mate.list was mistakenly left over from building the ISO. You can remove that file, or uncheck the following line from software sources: /trusty main

UPDATE: To stop problems due to package version mismatches you should also uncheck the ubuntu-mate ppa as a source before running an update.

If you need assistance then the best place to ask for help is on the Apple Ubuntu forum. However, most PowerPC related problems are already covered in the FAQ and Known Issues pages. Please help to update/edit/add to them!

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Compiz 0.8.6 (with my own hacks) as promised http://1drv.ms/1EOKDNU

More info here http://forums.mate-desktop.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3175

Due to me failing to write a working postinst script, you’ll have to run it again for each user. Run the command:

/var/lib/dpkg/info/compiz-mate-0.8.postinst configure
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The dbg and dev mate packages for PowerPC can be found here http://1drv.ms/15OCSes

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For those with an r300 radeon card, mesa packages with the patches from here https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=746272 can be found at http://1drv.ms/1CjA1IO

New compiz-mate package that should hopefully provide a proper fix - http://1drv.ms/1Lz2aR4

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Patched webkitgtk - http://1drv.ms/1hESOXy

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Hello, I'm seeking the 14.04.1 PowerPC testing .iso because it's the only live media version that will boot on an eMac. All the subsequent MATE PPC kernels are too modern, as Radeon stuff necessary for the eMac was removed after 3.13.

Successfully booted my eMac with Lubuntu 14.04.1 live DVD using the yaboot parameter:
live-powerpc video=radeonfb:1280x960-32

After that it's possible to GUI upgrade to 14.04.6

Upgrading the distro to 16.04 also worked, but after it completes must boot with the old kernel using the yaboot command:

Apologies for reviving such an old thread, but the Google+ link to reach Adam Smith is dead, along with all the Microsoft OneDrive links to download this version. Thanks in advance for your understanding, the Linux on PowerPC Macs fb community hopes to hear back from you!

edit: added link for reference

See this related topic - we need a hero to step up with the original ISO, otherwise it might be lost on the world wide web:

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Original ISO is now available at the Internet Archive :slightly_smiling_face: