Mac OS forum


Installing Ubuntu on Powerbook G4 OSX 10.4 - Help!!

by robinhoodless / October 4, 2012 4:40 AM PDT


Best to start with the fact that I'm no expert so simple terms without acronyms work best for me

I have a Powerbook G4 17" running Tiger 10.4.11

I downloaded the Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS 32bit and burned to disk. I also copied it to USB.

After reading instructions on how to install I loaded the disk and restarted, holding down 'C' to boot the disk. Just went straight to OSX. I then tried booting to firmware and typing 'boot cd' and got error

'boot cd load-size=0 adler32=1 LOAD SIZE is too small'

I then tried booting to firmware and typed 'boot usb 0/disk@1:2, \\yaboot'

I tried this replacing 'usb 0' with 'usb 1' and 'usb 2'. I only have two ports so I guessed the one I was plugged into had to be named either 0, 1 or 2. Each time the screen flicked briefly to text appearing half way down the left side, but then flicking to a grey blank screen with a No Entry sign.

I read some information saying that a partition is required to install Ubuntu but when I tried this a message appears in disk utility saying I can't partition because the disk contains the start up volume.

Thinking about the error message booting with the disk 'LOAD-SIZE is too small' I wondered if maybe I'd burnt the wrong software. The disk space taken up for the download was under 700mb, is this right?

I looked on the Ubuntu website and discovered many different places to download from this page

At this point I realised that installing Ubuntu on an older Mac is by no means a simple task and now I'm just confused about what to do next.

Can someone please help me out here? It seems Ubuntu is the only way I'll be able to keep this fantastic piece of kit running safely.

Thanks in advance

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All Answers

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It's not simple but folk have done this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 4, 2012 5:09 AM PDT as well as google finds lots of articles at our disposal.

I'm not going to duplicate any of that but note a common issue you need to test for first. As this is an old unit, be sure that your CD/DVD drive is up to the task. Use your original CD/DVDs and boot those as a test before trying any of the other OS DVDs.

Often I find the CD/DVD drive has failed and the owner struggling needlessly.
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DVD Drive is all good
by robinhoodless / October 4, 2012 5:40 AM PDT

Thanks for the link Bob.

My Powerbook has been in the closet for many years after the camcorder port decided to stop working and my son ripped off most of the keys - Apple were less than useless with this, despite purchasing AppleCare. I managed to get most of the keys back and recently bought the rest on ebay. It's in very good condition and the dvd drive has had hardly any use, so I doubt there's any issue with it working. Besides which, I don't have the original boot disks, otherwise I might have tried the partition during installation. It works fine burning disks though so it works... Happy

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I think I need step-by-step advice on how to install Ubuntu
by robinhoodless / October 4, 2012 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: DVD Drive is all good

The link didn't really help but thanks anyway.

If anyone knows how to resolve this and can explain step-by-step then great. I'm just too confused with different ideas about what to do..... Sad

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 4, 2012 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: DVD Drive is all good

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