Install Debian with unsupported graphics card - part 1
From: Tilman Heinrich (tilHeinrich_at_web.de)
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2004 13:50:09 +0100
this is the story of installing Debian on a 9500 PPC with a Permedia
graphics board not supported by the installed kernel. The card is a
FormacGA4 (no usable results from google) and finally identified as
equiped with a Permedia-chipset.
# Step 1.
After booting from hfs-bootfloppy and booting the root image with the
initial OF-framebuffer device I was able to partition the HDD's,
setting up the on-board network and fetching the base system from the
nearest mirror. But after setting up the bootloader (quik) and
rebooting the system there was a blank screen with no signal from card
- the suggested atyfb setting didn't work because there was no ATI-
# Step 2
Resetting the boot device by zapping PRAM (alt-cmd-P-R) gave me the
chance to boot the root image from floppy again as a rescue system.
After mounting all the previously installed partitions with the setup
program at tty1 I switched to tty2 and prepared the system to log in
from a serial console with:
- 'mount proc -r proc /target/proc' for successible running quik from
inside the chroot /target
- 'chroot /target' and setting a root password
- adding 2 serial getty lines to [/target]/etc/inittab _and_
T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 9600 vt100
T1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -hL ttyS1 19200 vt100
- adding this terminals to [/target]/etc/securetty (editor nano)
- rerunning quik
# Step 3
With the next boot there were two serial console connections possible,
ttyS0 with 9600 baud at the modem port and ttyS1 with 19200 baud at the
default console port with Xon/Xoff handshaking both.
For using the serial console I took an apple modem cable in combination
with a serial nullmodem cable to a PC...
After logging in, the first task was to kill the initial base-config
process and its childs running at the inaccessible tty1. (May be this
can also be done at Step 2?) Restarting the base-config from serial
console let me finish the installation.
# Next Tasks
The system is intended for server and so the current state may be
sufficient if the missing packages are installed by apt.
But a PowerPC without local consoles is unsatisfactory and so the
choice is a developping system to build a suitable kernel...
-- The only stupid question is the unasked one.