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PowerPC Architecture

© 2002-2003 University of Karlsruhe

I have personal copies of the majority of the PDF documents referenced from this page, so send me a request if their official repositories disappear.

Supported Kernels

The L4Ka::Pistachio kernel offers support for the PowerPC architecture. See l4ka.org for more information about L4Ka::Pistachio.


power-on magic key presses

Some magic key presses that may help boot the L4Ka::Pistachio kernel:
Press the option key during Macintosh power-on.
Will present a selection of bootable partitions (including Linux if managed by yaboot).
Press option-command-o-f at power-on.
Will enter the Open Firmware user interface.
Press and hold n at power-on.
Force a net tftp boot.
Press and hold c at power-on.
Force a cdrom boot.

net boot

At the Open Firmware prompt, you can perform a netboot by executing
boot enet:0
The dhcp server must provide all information, including the boot filename.

Apple broke the DHCP client in the latest OpenFirmware implementations. The client no longer adheres to the DHCP standard and requires Apple's DHCP server or a patched non-Apple DHCP server. But if you specify the boot filename to the OpenFirmware command, the DHCP client will communicate with a standard DHCP server (and it will accept the DHCP setting for the tftp server). For example:

boot enet:0,filename

See ISC DHCP 3.0 Mac Netboot Patch for more information about fully supporting net boot with a DHCP server.

disk boot

And at the Open Firmware prompt, you can load a kernel from a disk partition (for example, kernel bootme on partition 5) by executing:
boot hd:5,bootme

boot loaders

For some documentation about the Darwin BootX loader (not to be confused with Linux's BootX) implementation, see http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~gerbal/BootX.pdf. It covers some of the differences of Apple Open Firmware implementations.

NetBSD's boot loader support for network boot. Gives good info in general about Open Firmware and booting.

PowerPC References

IEEE 1275 Open Firmware References