MKLinux questions

MKLinux questions

Post by Mark Kaima » Mon, 06 Jul 1998 04:00:00



I have never used any Linux or Unix variant before, so forgive me if my
questions seem really basic to some of you.

I was playing around with the BeOS last fall, but now that I have a G3
system I can no longer run Be. I am interested in MKLinux because it is
supported by Apple, but I really don't know a thing about it.

Installing the BeOS was incredibly simple - I created a partition on my
hard drive, installed Be, then used the boot manager to tell the
Macintosh which partition to start from each time I turned on the
computer. Can I do this with MKLinux? Is it possible to have System 8.1
on a 3GB partition, and MKLinux on a 1GB partition? If not, can MKLinux
be run from a Jaz cartridge?

Is my Apple hardware compatible? I have the 266MHz G3 desktop, 128MB
RAM, 4 GB hard drive. (IDE, I believe.) Are Macintosh peripherals like a
LaserWriter and Global Village modem supported by MKLinux?

What is the latest version of MKLinux? How often are updates posted to
the Apple ftp site?

How similar will Rhapsody be to MKLinux? Is X-Windows part of MKLinux,
or some other GUI? Or do I have to use the CLI?

I'd appreciate it if you would respond to my email as well as the
newsgroup so I will be sure to read all responses. Thanks!

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MKLinux questions

Post by Tom Harringt » Tue, 07 Jul 1998 04:00:00


: I was playing around with the BeOS last fall, but now that I have a G3
: system I can no longer run Be. I am interested in MKLinux because it is
: supported by Apple, but I really don't know a thing about it.

I wouldn't expect a whole lot of support from Apple.  But this newsgroup
and the MkLinux mailing lists are pretty good.

: Installing the BeOS was incredibly simple - I created a partition on my
: hard drive, installed Be, then used the boot manager to tell the
: Macintosh which partition to start from each time I turned on the
: computer. Can I do this with MKLinux? Is it possible to have System 8.1
: on a 3GB partition, and MKLinux on a 1GB partition? If not, can MKLinux
: be run from a Jaz cartridge?

Yes to all three.  With MkLinux, you get a dialog box at bootup that
asks if you want to boot MacOS or MkLinux.  If you don't respond within
a few seconds, it boots whichever one you've chosen as the default.

You can have MkLinux and MacOS on different partitions of the same
drive.  I've heard (but cannot confirm) that you need to boot from
either a SCSI drive or a floppy disk, but that once you get past the
initial boot, your internal IDE drive is OK.  Hopefully someone can
give more detail on this (I boot from a SCSI drive anyway, so I don't
know from experience).

: Is my Apple hardware compatible? I have the 266MHz G3 desktop, 128MB
: RAM, 4 GB hard drive. (IDE, I believe.) Are Macintosh peripherals like a
: LaserWriter and Global Village modem supported by MKLinux?

Not sure about the printer, but everything else is supposed to be OK.

: What is the latest version of MKLinux? How often are updates posted to
: the Apple ftp site?

The "pre-DR3" release is current.  I'm not sure how often it's updated.

: How similar will Rhapsody be to MKLinux? Is X-Windows part of MKLinux,
: or some other GUI? Or do I have to use the CLI?

Rhapsody as it's currently planned will "look and feel" a lot like
MacOS.  MkLinux will not.  It'll provide many of the same capabilities
(protected memory, multitasking, etc, etc) but will likely be very
different to use.  It does include X, as well as at least three
window managers (KDE, AfterStep, and fvwm).  I think KDE is the default.
For most user tasks, you can probably skip command lines.  But Linux
systems still require you to be a system admin as well as a user, and
most sysadmin stuff will be text-based.

--

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MKLinux questions

Post by Mark Kaima » Tue, 07 Jul 1998 04:00:00



> You can have MkLinux and MacOS on different partitions of the same
> drive.  I've heard (but cannot confirm) that you need to boot from
> either a SCSI drive or a floppy disk, but that once you get past the
> initial boot, your internal IDE drive is OK.  Hopefully someone can
> give more detail on this (I boot from a SCSI drive anyway, so I don't
> know from experience).

I don't like the sound of that. It reminds me of the dark ages when some
applications required the use of a floppy "key" disk to launch the app. I have
MkLinux on the way, but another person on the NG has suggested that I try
LinuxPPC. I think I'll experiment with both and see which I like better.

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MKLinux questions

Post by Tom » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00




> > You can have MkLinux and MacOS on different partitions of the same
> > drive.  I've heard (but cannot confirm) that you need to boot from
> > either a SCSI drive or a floppy disk, but that once you get past the
> > initial boot, your internal IDE drive is OK.  Hopefully someone can
> > give more detail on this (I boot from a SCSI drive anyway, so I don't
> > know from experience).

> I don't like the sound of that. It reminds me of the dark ages when some
> applications required the use of a floppy "key" disk to launch the app. I have
> MkLinux on the way, but another person on the NG has suggested that I try
> LinuxPPC. I think I'll experiment with both and see which I like better.

If it makes you feel any better, this isn't a license-key issue like
with some commercial software, it's just that the support isn't quite
there yet (it is still a "developer" release, after all).

Besides, I'm not even certain of this; I was posting it in the hope
that it'd smoke out a more accurate answer. :-)

--

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                         anybody." - Mark Twain
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MKLinux questions

Post by Tom Harringt » Fri, 10 Jul 1998 04:00:00


: I tried installing MkLinux last night, but it would not work. I could not even
: reformat my drives for A/UX partitions because the Apple utility wouldn't recognize
: the internal IDE drive, nor the PowerBook hooked up via SCSI. It seems that I
: cannot use MkLinux.

Which Apple utility were you using?  Drive Setup seems to like IDE drives
just fine.  It can only create MacOS partitions, though, so you'll need
to get pdisk (from the MkLinux FTP site) for that.  That's the way I
did it; use Drive Setup to create partitions in the correct sizes, and
then use pdisk to delete MacOS partitions and recreate them as Unix
partitions.

If you were using Apple HD SC Setup, then you're right, it does not
recognize IDE drives.  But it's not even supported by Apple any more.

As for the rest of the installation, well, it's kind of moot if you
can't get the partitioning done.

: I read on the LinuxPPC site that their version supports both the G3 and the
: PowerBook 2400. It seems strange to me that Apple's Linux won't run on its own
: hardware. What kind of support is that?

You didn't say what kind of hardware you have.  But if it's a PPC box, then
you can most likely run MkLinux.  I can personally attest to the fact that
it works on G3 PowerMacs.  The fact that you were unable to get
your drives partitioned and formatted really has nothing to do with
whether MkLinux will run on the system.  And although MkLinux is partially
sponsored by Apple, it's not really a priority for the company.  I
think that most of the MkL team is currently assigned to Rhapsody/
MacOS X development, since they use the same (or nearly so) micro-
kernel as MkLinux.

--

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MKLinux questions

Post by Mark Kaima » Fri, 10 Jul 1998 04:00:00



> If you were using Apple HD SC Setup, then you're right, it does not
> recognize IDE drives.  But it's not even supported by Apple any more.

I was. Thats the utility that came on the MkLinux CD. I could use the Drive Setup that
is on my G3, but that wont create A/UX partitions. I dont know what to do with pdisk!

Quote:

> You didn't say what kind of hardware you have.

I am using a G3/266 to install MkLinux onto a 2400. At least I'm trying to.

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MKLinux questions

Post by Tom » Fri, 10 Jul 1998 04:00:00




> > If you were using Apple HD SC Setup, then you're right, it does not
> > recognize IDE drives.  But it's not even supported by Apple any more.

> I was. Thats the utility that came on the MkLinux CD.

Do you mean the DR2.1 CD?  I don't think you want to use that.
It's horribly out of date by now, and I don't think it supports
your hardware.  Download pre-DR3 instead.

Quote:> I could use the
> Drive Setup that is on my G3, but that wont create A/UX partitions. I dont
> know what to do with pdisk!

OK, here's what you do.  First, use Drive Setup and create MacOS
partitions in the sizes that you want.  Then, convert them to
A/UX.  I'll use my before-and-after data as an example.  

You can get a list of pdisk commands by entering a "?".  One of the most
useful is "L".  It lists all partitions on all connected drives.  Then
there's "l" (lower-case L), which you can use to list partitions on
just one drive.

My goal was as follows: Take my 4GB IDE drive, and end up with:
* A 1GB A/UX "Root" partition to install MkLinux on
* A 128MB A/UX swap partition
* Everything else in a single MacOS partition.

I created three MacOS HFS partitions in Drive Setup with the sizes
listed above.  Then I ran pdisk.  Entering "l /dev/hda" (list partitions
on /dev/hda, the IDE drive), I got:

-------------------------------------------------------
Top level command (? for help): l /dev/hda

Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/hda'
 #:                type name             length   base    ( size )








Device block size=512, Number of Blocks=8421839 (4.0G)
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
Drivers-


-------------------------------------------------------

You can see partition #5 is the big MacOS partition, #6 is the one
I would make the Root partition, and #7 is the one for swap.

Make sure to save this information.  It'll come in handy later.

Now you want to edit the partition map.  Use the "e" command.  It'll
ask you what device you want, in my case /dev/hda.  I deleted partitions
6 and 7 (the "d" command).  Then I created new partitions with the
"c" command.  It prompts you for the base address (I forget the
exact phrasing, may be "start" address), size, and name of each
partition. Using the data above, I created a partition at base
address 6060736 that was 1GB, and one at 8157888 that was 128MB.
(This is why I saved the data from "l" before; it's easy if you
can look up the base addresses there).  Then you want to write
the partition table ("w") and quit editing ("q").

Then I did "l /dev/hda" again and I got this:
-------------------------------------------------------
Top level command (? for help): l /dev/hda

Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/hda'
 #:                type name             length   base    ( size )








Device block size=512, Number of Blocks=8421839 (4.0G)
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
Drivers-


-------------------------------------------------------

See?  It's just the same, except that partitions #6 and #7 are now
A/UX partitions.  After that, the installer ran without problems.

Quote:> > You didn't say what kind of hardware you have.

> I am using a G3/266 to install MkLinux onto a 2400. At least I'm trying to.

So you've got the 2400 in SCSI-disk mode, connected to the G3?
You should be able to partition using the scheme above.  In your case
the drive will not be /dev/hda, but /dev/sdX, where X is some letter
that depends on the SCSI ID of the 2400.  You can get a quick primer
on this in the README in either the DR3 or pre-DR3 directories (I
gorget which).  You could also just run pdisk and use the "L" command
to list all drives, and then look for one that looks like it's the
2400's drive.

This may all sound complex, but.... that's the way Linux tends to be.

--

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                            you want!" -Devo
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MKLinux questions

Post by Shimpei Yamashit » Sat, 11 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>I tried installing MkLinux last night, but it would not work. I could not even
>reformat my drives for A/UX partitions because the Apple utility wouldn't recognize
>wouldn't recognizethe internal IDE drive, nor the PowerBook hooked up via SCSI. It seems that I
>via SCSI. It seems that Icannot use MkLinux.

>I read on the LinuxPPC site that their version supports both the G3 and the
>PowerBook 2400. It seems strange to me that Apple's Linux won't run on its own
>hardware. What kind of support is that?

Apple doesn't do anything with LinuxPPC, so it's kind of silly to
expect support from them. MkLinux is developed by a few engineers from
Apple, but is also an unsupported product. If you do not like them, just
erase them from your hard disk and Apple will give you twice your money
back.

You can repartition the IDE disk using pdisk from ftp.mklinux.apple.com.
Don't worry about formatting it; the installer will do that part for
you.

--
Shimpei Yamashita               <http://www.patnet.caltech.edu/%7Eshimpei/>
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MKLinux questions

Post by Tom Harringt » Tue, 14 Jul 1998 04:00:00



: > How often are updates posted to
: > the Apple ftp site?

: Until the DR 3 will be released (if it will be released some day),
: daily. :-)

What's holding up DR3?  Right now pre-DR3 looks pretty darn solid to
me.  What do they hope to add/improve before they go ahead and declare
pre-DR3 to be DR3?  I don't mean to attack the volunteers for not
working faster, I'm just wondering what work they hope to get done
before they can call it a reference release.

: > Or do I have to use the CLI?

: If you don't like shells, you won't be happy at all with Linux.

: You have to pretty much EVERYTHING from the command line.

With window managers like KDE this is a lot less true than it used
to be.  You'll need to do command-line stuff to get things set up,
but once that's done you could conceivably do almost everything
through the GUI.

--

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1. MkLinux questions

Hi,

has anyone definitive information on the following?

- When will DR3 arrive (or, until when will it NOT arrive)? (It's not
that I can't wait, but I've delayed some upgrades because DR3 was to be
out "any day now" for several weeks.)

- Will DR3 finally support floppies? If not, when can I expect floppy
support to be implemented? (Floppy support has been under development
for at least a year now, acoording to reference material. MkLinux
development is beginning to resemble Copland...)

- Where can I look for up-to date information on current versions? (I've
given up on www.mlinux.apple.com because it's outdated by several
months. I don't expect flashy graphics, but I'd like to know at least
what the current release is.)

TIA,

- Wulf
--
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! Max-Volmer-Institut     Technische Universitaet Berlin !
! Strasse des 17. Juni 135     10623 Berlin      Germany !
!________________________________________________________!

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