Well, it looks like something roughly analogous to a define-the-relationship moment for my 17″ PowerBook and Debian Linux. These two are not meant to play together, and any level of functionality is going to be limited. I have confirmed this after days of kernel-compiling and trying various things. When I realized that the 2.4.23 benh kernel I had built was not even being used, it let me know just how improbable this whole use of Linux on my PowerBook would be.
I was really somewhat relieved to discover that it was my hardware that was giving me such grief. At least now I know that I should move on and not continue to try this with my current PowerBook. I had installed Linux and FreeBSD successfully a number of times on x86 (PC) hardware, and the setup of Debian on my former Titanium PowerBook had been so simple and straightforward. When Ben Herrenschmidt tells you that your particular PowerBook has no hope of ever fully working, that is a defining moment:
>On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 15:08, Barry Hawkins wrote:
>>I have been trying to get a 2.4.23(pre5_benh?) kernel up and running
>>on a PowerBook G4 17″. Currently I can get through the following steps
>Is this a first rev (nVidia based) 17″ albook ?
>If yes, then there is a problem with the cache coherency and the L3 on
>this model that I haven’t had a chance to figure out. Booting with
>”nol3″ should help. (Actually, you may experience all sort of data
>corruption without this option, OHCI crashing beeing just one trigger)
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes, you nailed it; an nVidia-based 17″ albook. I briefly got past the issue I had posted and experienced three different types of segmentation faults and weird hangs. Is there another kernel version I should try, or am I doomed with this unit?
This particular PowerBook model seems to be a collage of the worst of Apple’s hardware configurations when it comes to trying to run Linux. Does anybody have a recommendation on Apple laptops within the last two years that are kind of the most suitable for running Debian?
It looks like if I want to run anything other than Mac OS X, I need to look at switching rigs. I am eyeing the newer 15″ PowerBooks. Sigh…