Mac mini and FreeBSD

Peter Grehan grehan at
Sun Jan 23 06:02:44 PST 2005

Hi Garance,

> Close, very close!

  Bummer, thanks for giving it a try.

> I repartitioned my disk (using the Apple Disk Utility), leaving one
> partition for FreeBSD, and one for FreeBSD-swap.  I booted up the
> most-recent FreeBSD/PPC install CD (by holding down the 'C' key while
> rebooting), and it works fine.  I get all the way to where I should
> select installation media.  I select "Install from a FreeBSD CD/DVD",
> and it says...
>        No CD/DVD devices found!
> (even though it's running off of it!)

  The loader uses OpenFirmware calls to load the kernel (and ramdisk),
so it's always possible for a kernel to be booted from media that
the kernel doesn't understand, but the ROM does.

> I don't know what would be the best way to work around that, but I
> have to head for home right about now.  (We're about to get hit with
> a major blizzard, according to the weather reports).  Should I copy
> some of the files off the install-cd to one of my other freebsd boxes,
> and then point to that as an "ftp site" for install?  I tried to say
> "use an existing filesystem", but that didn't get very far.

  I just had a scan of the NetBSD dmesg and OpenFirmware dump that
Matt Thomas posted:

  It's definitely an Intrepid-based system, pretty much identical to
my PowerBook G4.

  There are two ATA controllers. The hard drive is on the 'Kauai'
controller, which should show up in the boot log similar to:

   ata1: <Intrepid Kauai ATA Controller> mem 0xf5004000-0xf5007fff irq 
39 at device 13.0 on pci2

  The optical drive is the macio controller, which is a cell built into
Apple's south-bridge equivalent. It should show up very early in the 
boot sequence:

macio0: <Intrepid I/O Controller> mem 0x80000000-0x8007ffff  .....
ata0 mem 0x8700-0x87ff,0x8600-0x86ff ..... (lots of extra addrs here)

  And at the end of the boot, just before the screen switches over to
the sysinstall menu, you should see the disks being probed e.g.

Timecounters tick every 10.000 msec
acd0: DVDR <MATSHITACD-RW CW-8123/CA0T> at ata0-master BIOSPIO
ad0: 57231MB <Hitachi IC25N060ATMR04-0/M03AAD7A> [116280/16/63] at 
ata1-master BIOSPIO

  If you're having trouble with lines scrolling off the screen, you
can switch to a micro syscons font at the loader prompt:

OK set hw.syscons.fsize=8



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