Monolithic Linux on the PCI Power Macintoshes
Powermac/Linux is a monolithic linux kernel ( >2.1) for the PCI based Power Macintosh Computers. Currently it is known to run on the 7200, 7500, 7600, 8500, and assorted clones. There are drivers for most of the standard io devices (see below) and X support too. Powermac/Linux is binary compatible with mklinux and the other PPC linuxes. This should make a dual installation of linux-pmac and mklinux fairly easy
the monolithic kernel has consistently proven to be faster than the Mk kernel(s) in the benchmarks that I've seen (if you have evidence otherwise, I'd be interested to know)
- X Server and Mouse support
- RedHat style installer
- Linux 2.1.xx
- Standard ext2 fs
- 601, 603(e), 604(e)
- OpenFirmware interface to find device addresses and stuff
- 2.1.57 and later supports Pmac, PReP and CHRP (different binaries,
- Ethernet (MACE)
- SWIM Floppy
- SCSI for internal and external busses (MESH)
- QLogic SCSI controller
- EIDE for clones
- Serial and PPP support
- Sound support
- On-the-fly video mode switching for most video interfaces
- Console-only support for video cards that can initialize themselves
- 3400 & 2400
- fix the PCI stuff on the 9500 (one bus doesn't work or something...)
- the next _release_. (always)
- add DMA to the serial driver. (and anything else we can...)
- more video cards. maybe even some generic vga, since it seems to be
a standard in some [lower tech] communities. ;-)
- Video Input driver for 75/76/85/9500.
- Every PCI Powermac that doesn't work
- lots more
Check it out: comp.os.linux.powerpc
linux-pmac archive at linuxppc by Scott Sams
linux-pmac Mailing list archive
(this list is dead) linuxppc-dev
There is a mailing list for users of native/monolithic Linux on PCI-based
Power Macintosh (Powermac/Linux); to subscribe, send email to email@example.com
with a line in the body saying
subscribe linux-pmac [your name]
to unsubscribe; do the same; but say 'unsubscribe' instead, and omit [your
Information about the Debian lists can be found at
a page with (mostly) Linux benchmark results.
Dept. of Computer Science
Australian National University.
Paul is the primary author of the PowerMac port. (you, help!)
The first port of Linux to PowerPC was done by Gary Thomas.
People, and the stuff they do
(I know* I'm missing people, but not intentionally, so if you have something
that belongs here, let me know)
Geoff Keating, egcs,
Anthony Tong, ati,
Wesley Joe, StarMax Info.
Riccardi, 2400 & 3400
The "official" Bootvars source
Check the official STATUS.
check the status (mentioned above)
There are three ways to install Powermac/Linux:
get the Linux/PowerPC distribution (from www.linuxppc.org), which includes both Linux/PowerPC and Powermac/Linux, plus it does most of the install from the Linux side using rpm (RedHat Package Manager). best way to do this is to buy the CD. you could also download the packages you want/need. look around at www.linuxppc.org to find out more about this option. I had this running on a 170M drive, without X... without shared libraries either
get the PowerMac MkLinux distribution, install it, then install Powermac/Linux over it. basically you need to add the pmac specific things to a mklinux installation. i wouldn't recommend it.
see what the
debian folks are up to.
Getting the source
The kernel source and a bunch of useful/necessary stuff can be ftp'd from the ftp site:
even better, a US mirror (well, if you're in the US):
Or a european mirror:
(what happened to the french mirror?)
Or in Japan:
(MAKE SURE YOU DOWNLOAD STUFF IN BINARY MODE)
sorry, had to say it.
;-) a.k.a linux-pmac.
Local Info (old!)
mike .. tesch. i was working on random things, keeping this page current (haha, that's a running joke, i've been saying it for 2+ years now and i'm maybe not the best at it), kgdb, bootvars (i have various stages of enhancements to it, none of them complete of released, just no time). If you want me to add anything to this page, add a link to your (powerpc and linux) page, whatever... send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org. and NO, i DONT want any pheremones in a bottle.
this page last updated: (nov 3 '98) it has been hit many times since sunday june 29 '97, i think it averages about 1000 hits a week, but i lost my counter (and am too lazy to make another) and besides, hopefully people are using web caches so a counter wouldn't be accurate anyways
penguins (and kangaroo) (c)1996
and if you're going to use them elsewhere, you need to give credit to their source... sheesh. that means leave the signature on the image.
".naidnE elttiL etaH I"