ADB devices on G4?

ADB devices on G4?

Post by kd6.. » Fri, 15 Dec 2000 02:06:57

I tried looking at/for LINUX-related FAQ's on this question to no avail,
and someone is likely to have a quick answer to this.

I want consider replacing my Intel-based LINUX box with a PowerPC based
machine.  I already have a ADB keyboard and three-button mouse, which
i would rather not replace, since finding a keyboard that allows me to
type effectively has proven to be very difficult.  

Can i use ADB devices with a modern Mac or clone, or do i have to go
to the used market?  I don't mind writing my own drivers if i have to.
If it's better to go with a used PowerPC, what are some of the better

Simple answers, please; i don't want to be starting a ponderous thread
on this one.
                                -- KD6PAG  (On the 'Net for 25+ years)


ADB devices on G4?

Post by Dominic Dunl » Fri, 15 Dec 2000 18:58:50

> the new machines have gone to USB, there are dongles that allow you to
> use ADB on USB but don't know if those things work in linux.

My experience is that the iMate USB to ADB adaptor works with LinuxPPC
2000 for both keyboard and mouse.  It needs no driver beyond Linux'
standard HID (Human Interface Device) support.  However, there are

1. The power button doesn't work; you have to turn the Mac on with its
own switch;

2. Weird key combinations to make things happen, particularly at start
up, often don't work.  Foe example, holding down the option key to get
into the Mac's Open Firmware multiboot screen is unlikely to be
successful.  (Not that the multiboot firmware recognises my Linux boot
partition as blessed, but that's another story.)

3. Life under Linux is annoying without a multi-button mouse.  I happen
to have a multi-button ADB Kensington Turbo Mouse connected via the
iMate, but, because it has no driver, Linux treats all four buttons the

4. If, for some reason, you connect multiple keyboards and mice,
LinuxPPC may or may not recognise every HID you've got connected every
time (although recent kernels seem better -- I can't recall any problems
since I started using 2.2.17).

If you seldom need to delve into Open Firmware, you can get an iMate and
stick with your existing keyboard.  Just use the keyboard which came
with your G4 (* unless very recent) when you want quickly to do
something that's not supported through the iMate (although bear point 4
above in mind).  But I'd honestly advise you to get a multi-button USB
pointing device of some description.
Dominic Dunlop


1. LinuxPPC 2000 Q4 - Install Problems Dual G4 with ADB Monitor

I'm running an install of Linux PPC 2000 Q4 from an ISO image I downloaded
and burned.

The hardware I'm installing it on is a stock Dual G4 450 with the standard
28 Gb harddrive, no previous OS (I nuked it and setup the correct partitions
for Linux) and upgraded memory of 384MB.

It seems to be working through the install (in ultra safe Video Mode -
YUCK), but it's incredibly slow. The install has been running for nearly 2
hours, and I just chose the minimal install package set.

This isn't a slow machine (read the specs), anyone have suggestions?



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