iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby kahlil88 » 2020-06-08 05:01

Just installed Debian 8.11 PPC on my iMac G4 800MHz and having trouble getting video working right. This model has the GeForce2 MX, which doesn't work well with the nouveau driver so I followed instructions on the Ubuntu PPC FAQ for backporting the xserver-xorg-video-nv driver. Managed to compile and install nv-2.1.20 (most recent is 2.1.21 but I get signature errors and unmet dependencies). Unfortunately it just boots to a black screen with cursor (not the mouse kind) and doesn't respond to keyboard input so I have to ssh.
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-06-08 06:04

Checkout the mailing list it's very active with lots of patches / fixes and most of all informed information on PPC

https://lists.debian.org/debian-powerpc/
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby stevepusser » 2020-06-09 03:11

Is Jessie the last version that supports your Mac? I thought Debian Buster also has PowerPC support.
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby kahlil88 » 2020-06-09 03:20

stevepusser wrote:Is Jessie the last version that supports your Mac? I thought Debian Buster also has PowerPC support.

Jessie is the last version that supports 32-bit PowerPC
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-06-09 07:51

From what I recall on the Debian PPC ports you'll end up running sid. Which is not a bad thing as the changes are specific and the devs eat their own dog food.

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/2020-05-30/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/de ... c.2146795/
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby kahlil88 » 2020-06-13 22:19

oswaldkelso wrote:From what I recall on the Debian PPC ports you'll end up running sid. Which is not a bad thing as the changes are specific and the devs eat their own dog food.

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/2020-05-30/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/de ... c.2146795/

Went ahead and installed (guess I'm on bullseye/sid now) but not sure if I'm any closer to functional video. The newer nv driver compiled but I'm still getting "machine check" errors and it seems to be trying to load nouveau (despite being uninstalled and blacklisted).
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-06-15 10:08

From what I understand there is only 2D support for the GeForce2-MX card on PPC. But you should be able to get a decent X display. PPC is a very close community with two main upstream's. Debian and Gentoo with any fixes quickly tricking down to the other distros. Ubuntu PPC, mintppc, Adélie Linux etc.
Most graphics issues can be solved with a decent xorg.conf file. You will read many saying you don't need to set one any more, it's all automagic. That's not true when it comes to PPC.

If you're not fussy on what distro then mintppc has always been very good, Jerome has been around PPC on Gnu/Linux for years. It looks like he has a new site, but there used to be a big list of xorg.conf files so I'd definitely try it.

http://mintppc.nl/
"The changes are all about the looks. Under the hood MintPPC is Debian sid."

I did a quick search and found a couple xorg.conf examples here. They should give you some idea of how to create one for your machine.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ILamp
https://www.linuxquestions.org/question ... pc-694548/

The gentoo forum has good info on PPC
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-24.html
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/PPC/FAQ

My memory if fading so I might be talking crap so you'll need to do your own research on this. It may give you some pointers. Sometimes needed to set boot parameters to fix graphic issues. I'm not sure if this requires reconfiguring yaboot. (I'm not sure if Debian now uses grub on PPC or still uses yaboot along with the whole blessing penguin pee thing but it's something to be aware of.)

http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/holy-penguin-pee.html

" holy penguin pee: n.
[Linux] Notional substance said to be sprinkled by Linus onto other people's contributions. With this ritual, he blesses them, officially making them part of the kernel. First used in November 1998 just after Linus had handed the maintenance of the stable kernel over to Alan Cox."
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby linuxopjemac » 2020-06-15 14:31

https://www.u58733p55594.web0093.zxcs-k ... d-mintppc/

@oswaldkelso I remember you from the Raiders of the lost Arch era :)
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-06-16 13:10

lol. raiders of the lost arch is still up. I thought it nicer to keep the data there even though I now have my own site and use nextcloud. I still have 7 PPC machines. G4 tower 733mhz, G4 tower 800mhz, eMac 1.ghz, 2x eMac 1.25ghz, G4 imac 1.25ghz lamp, G5 imac .They're mostly stuck on Jessie.

I have so many computers I rarely use PPC. Currently in the office I have 11 other computers. 7 switched off. One's an irc-box, one freedom-box, one torrent-box, and my desktop. If I was geeky enough and wanted a privacy-box then I'd probably dig one out because open firmware is the dogs-bollocks and I can see a time when wanting a machine clear of the likes of IME is getting harder and harder.

Back on topic I read in the Debian ppc list, talk of sticking the old drivers back in.
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Re: iMac G4 video issues, trying to backport nv driver

Postby linuxopjemac » 2020-06-16 18:42

Yes, they want to have r128 and mach64 back in. In MintPPC I have the r128 driver in the repo, I built it myself as Debian is very slow in making decisions.
I am also hoping that they will allow for a ppc64 kernel with 4K PAGES. This will help many nVidia driven G5's have a working X with the nouveau driver.
I am trying to build a custom ppc64 kernel myself but it is not easy. I tried it three times, each time segmentation fault somewhere after hours of building, very frustrating...
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