View Full Version : select boot device on a mac

11-08-2007, 12:21 AM
I am not a mac person but i just got a mac g4 and am thinking about putting linux on it, but i dont know how to select a boot device on it, i know its the newest g4 with the dual cpus.

11-08-2007, 12:50 AM
Can't do that on a G4. You need an intel processor Mac, which is only the newer G5 models (the older G5s are still PowerPC systems). The term G5 seems to be being phased out, too. I doubt we'll see a G6.

So... if it is a G5, then you can use bootcamp.

The system is not setup right away for dual boot. You will download bootcamp from apple.com, and it's free. You can then set it up and prepare a driver disc as well as set the partitions. Restart, hold down the option key [alt] immediately as the screen turns gray, then you can wait and it will allow for multiple boot-- and select windows. Then it goes into BIOS. (It should do this automatically when installing after setting up bootcamp, anyway.)
Install windows (though I recommend an external USB PC keyboard for this to go smoothly), and then install the drivers from the disc you made.
And it will be running great.

As for a G4, I don't really think that's possible, at least not in any way it is intended. You can hold down C on startup to boot from a CD, but I have no idea if that'll even read. You might try switching out the hard disc to one that already has linux installed... no idea, really. You can control the boot setup in the system profiler, and choose that disc, but it might not even recognize linux.

11-10-2007, 04:08 PM
well, i got an os that supports the ppc archetecture, it boots from cd if i remove the harddrive, which means there is a way to do it somehow

11-10-2007, 08:18 PM
Well, you'll need to partition your harddrive, or add a second, with non-Mac formatting. That won't run windows or linux, ever, because it can't be read by them. Format to NTFS or FAT32. No real idea how, but maybe your disc has some tools.

Note: OSX systems, at least newer ones, run HFS+, I believe. That is completely incompatible with windows, but needed for OSX.

11-10-2007, 09:00 PM
That won't run windows or linux, ever, because it can't be read by them.Wrong. The Linux kernel has full HFS support built-in.
Format to NTFS or FAT32.Linux can read and write FAT32 and read NTFS with no problems (writing NTFS can also be done, but is, I think, legally iffy), but it won't run off either. They lack features that the Linux kernel and various GNU utilities require. The standard Linux filesystem is ext3, but Linux will run off various other filesystems; personally, I use ReiserFS. Also available are filesystems like ext2, XFS, JFS, GFS, and others. There was even a project to create an NTFS-compatible filesystem with the features necessary to run Linux, no idea how far it got.
Well, you'll need to partition your harddrive, or add a second, with non-Mac formatting.Partitioning is a completely separate process to formatting (or initialising) a partition. Linux installers usually provide a partitioning utility, and will also provide the formatting tools.

11-10-2007, 09:08 PM
They're the same process.... just two steps.
1. Make partitions.
2. Format them.

Thanks for the corrections.