Powerpc port

Bruce Cran bruce at cran.org.uk
Mon Mar 24 16:24:21 PDT 2008

K. Bradford wrote:
> I have installed 7.0-RELEASE on an old Mac G4.
> I have cvs'ed the latest sources (using the RELENG_7 tag)
> in order to track 7.0-STABLE.
> The problem:  I can boot only off the FreeBSD install CD,
> by breaking into open firmware upon bootup like this:
> 0 > boot mac-io/ata-3 at 20000/disk at 1:,\boot\boot.tbxi
> Open firmware loads this boot loader which then automagically
> loads and runs the FreeBSD loader.  Then, I interrupt using the
> space bar to get to the loader prompt and explicitly set the
> root device to be the hard drive partition.
> OK  set rootdev=mac-io/ata-4 at 1f000/disk at 0:3
> (My FreeBSD root partition is 3).
> Kernel boots up, mounts / off the hard drive and the system
> runs fine.
> Can someone advise me how to set up everything correctly
> on the hard drive so I don't have to jump through all these hoops?
> I'm guessing boot.tbxi is needed somewhere under /boot,
> but I don't think open firmware can read a BSD partition anyway.
> Documentation on the powerpc port  seems sparse.  Could
> someone please point me in the right direction, or provide
> brief instructions here.  As always, any help/advice is greatly
> appreciated.

Since Open Firmware doesn't understand UFS you have two options - you 
can either use the CD as a first-stage loader, or use an OS X partition 
to boot from.   Since I got rid of my OS X partition when I installed 
FreeBSD on my G4 I use the first option.  The simplest way is to just 
leave the CD in the drive and type:

 > boot cd:,\boot\loader hd:3

There are more instructions about booting Macs at 


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