Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am attempting to install Gentoo on my PowerPC Mac. I have reached the point where I can boot the Live CD (I have no functional CD Drive, so it is from a spare Hard Drive), but after the kernel is loaded, I get a message "No root found at /dev/hda. It then gives me the options: shell to get into a shell, q to skip, enter to try the same again.

q to skip doesn't work, but it prints a nice warning >> Skipping. This will likely cause a boot error. Then it can't find /newroot in /etc/SOMETHING (I can't remember).

The shell won't really help me, if I try: dev/hda (the only thing I can find in /dev that looks like the second internal harddrive I am booting from), I only get the nice warning No mountable filesystems!.

Within the /boot/yaboot.conf file, the root is by default: root=/dev/ram0. Am I possibly missing a swap partition?

I changed the device within the yaboot.conf file to ultra0: as it is for that drive.

I used dd to copy the entire disk image to the drive, and it acknowledges itself to be a Live CD. The 40 GB hard drive even thinks it only has a 143.2MB capacity with 0 KB free. The only issue is: /dev/cdrom (which it seems to want to access) doesn't exist due to the hardware failure of my internal drive. The kernel will only even consider mounting valid drives within the /dev structure, so any advice on how to make the CD point to my drive?

share|improve this question
Okay, does NOBODY know the answer to my question? A better one may be: If I cp something from my OSX /dev folder to the LiveCD /dev folder, does it point to the same device? If I add the option docache to the boot, and set root=ram0 as it is by default in yaboot.conf, could that work? – Aviator45003 Aug 12 '12 at 2:59
Sounds like something went wrong with the way you transferred the CD image to the hard drive. I'd recommend a utility like unetbootin – Patrick Aug 12 '12 at 3:59
@Patrick, I'll give it a try! However, what I did was: sudo dd if=/Users/TMC/Desktop/Linux/install-powerpc-minimal-20120624.iso of=/dev/rdisk0 – Aviator45003 Aug 12 '12 at 11:50
@Patrick, EDIT: unetbootin only works for Intel Based computers, I have a PowerPC-based... A web-search for similar utilities only returns dd as an option, so I'll try again with that. I think the greatest issue, however, is how /dev/cdrom is not valid, so I'll try solving this again by rebooting in a few minutes. – Aviator45003 Aug 12 '12 at 12:06

I ended up installing a Debian installation disk to a USB flash drive using 'sudo dd if="~/Desktop/mini.img" of="/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m", then from a successful install of Debian I could chroot into a Gentoo tarball, and install that way. To reformat hard-drives, I booted into the "rescue" mode of the Debian install disk. Same went for fixing yaboot problems after I finished my install of Gentoo, by execting a shell inside the gentoo partition, I was able to fix yaboot without needing to boot the operating system.

I was at last successful, thank you all for the help.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.