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I am trying to install Linux on my Xserve G4, a NewWorld PPC Macintosh computer. The issue is: I have no CD drive, so all those helpful comments like "Just boot from Linux using a LiveCD" don't work for me.

I have disk images. I have a spare hard-drive that I can reformat until the blocks go bad.

  1. Is it possible to boot from a Linux disk with the standard PPC OpenFirmware bootloader?
  2. If not, how do I boot into Linux? All steps must be taken from the FreeBSD platform known as Mac OSX, or OpenFirmware

I asked a similar question on the AskDifferent forum, no more than 20 views and no replies, so I am coming here.

Thank you all.

share|improve this question
Just boot via network – Ulrich Dangel Jul 20 '12 at 2:53
Why not try a usb? – Ashu Jul 20 '12 at 5:52
Ashu, PPC Macs only support booting via USB indirectly, with some editing to the Open Firmware to make it possible. – Aviator45003 Jul 20 '12 at 11:35
@UlrichDangel, any advice on that? Google has turned up a blank... – Aviator45003 Aug 23 '12 at 19:43
@T.C. debian.org/releases/stable/powerpc/ch05s01.html.en for example – Ulrich Dangel Aug 24 '12 at 0:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you have another machine on the network capable of running a tftp server, then you could try a network install.

this URL may help:


it covers booting with open firmware from CD, hard disk, USB, and TFTP.

share|improve this answer
Ah, wonderful, it tells me how to get yaboot working on my root drive, regardless of OS... Now, how do I get those files? Every guide I have seen simply says "Those files you got from the Linux distribution" etc... All 3 PPC Linux distributions I have only have yaboot, maybe ybin, and yaboot.conf, none of the other files... Thank you! – Aviator45003 Jul 20 '12 at 11:44

You can mount a CD (not using any tray) using Daemon tools, or something similar, and then mount it a Drive (e.g. E:/). Then just reboot your Linux machine, and it should boot up with the CD image.

share|improve this answer
Don't have a Linux machine, only OSX. – Aviator45003 Jul 20 '12 at 11:45

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