Boot the machine and start the installation program

In this chapter we will find out how to get the installation program up and running.

A note on partitions

Below we will be asked about what partitions to make. We should have at least these partitions:

You may of course add as many other partitions to your system as you may wish, but this is the very minimum.

It is a VERY good tip to find a piece of paper and write down which partitions you have made, what you want to use them to, and where you want to mount them. You will need this information later.

For Debian and SuSE, we will use the cfdisk program for partitioning. For those unfamiliar with cfdisk and partitioning in general, I have made two small appendices on this, just because I am a very kind person. See the Section called Appendix: Using cfdisk to partition your harddisk.

Boot the machine and start the installer

To boot the 7248, just insert the boot floppy and turn the machine on. If it won't boot off the floppy drive, check SMS settings (the Section called Setting up the hardware with SMS), and try to force a floppy boot by pressing F5 (or F6) at the bootscreen while the check icons pop up in the bottom of the screen. After a while, the screen blanks out, and Linux will boot. At this point, you can shout a little "hooray" for yourself, if there are not too many in the room, and Tux, the Linux Penguin will show up in the upper left corner of the screen. Insert the ramdisk floppies when prompted.

The Debian installer

You should just walk through the Debian installer like you would on any Debian installation. More information on how to use the installer can be found at your favourite Debian mirror, a good reference should be this document. You would maybe start here as you already have been walked through the preliminary steps. There are a few thing to remember though:

When you are finished installing the base system, reinsert the boot floppy and choose "Reboot the system".

The SuSE installer

The SuSE installer should work without any hassle at all. Prelimenary, I've only done ftp install, but any installation method should do, provided you have access to the media. I have not been able to find an online version of the installation instructions, but it should be quite strightforward. If you have bought the boxed set, you have probably got a printed manual on dead trees. A few things to look up for anyhow:

The Yellow Dog installer

Just before the installer starts, I have added a small pre-installation routine. Please follow the on-screen instrucions. For someone who has done some sysadmin earlier, the steps should be quite easy. For the beginner, it should not be to difficult. Hop to a virtual terminal by hitting Alt+F2. Type

cfdisk /dev/sda
to partition your first scsi harddisk. Change to sdb for your second, and so on. If you think this is a little difficult, I've written a small appendix on this the Section called Appendix: More on partitioning. When done partitioning, run for example
mke2fs /dev/sda3
to make an ext2 filesystem on your third partition on your first hard disk. When you are finished, hop back to the main screen by hitting Alt+F1, and press enter to continue

You should walk through the installer as you would walk through any Yellow Dog installation (though only text-based interface is availble). I have not found any comprehensive online installation manual, but there is some info here. If you have bought a boxed set, you should open the box and Read The Fine Manual if you have questions not answered here.

There are a few things to look out for, though:

The Mandrake installer

For the Mandrake installer, there are a few quite extensive prerequisites necessary. For a CD install, we need to replace the installer program on the first CD before burning out the CD ISO image. For a network install, we need a complete local ftp or http mirror, made from the Mandrake Bamboo ppc ftp directory, or the three CDs. Actually, we only need to replace one single file, but because the installer is unable to change package source during the installation (this is one reason why Debian is a wonderful distribution), we need local copies of all the files.

If we don't like to hazzle around and tune things, we'll stick to the CD installation. It's the easiest.

CD installation

First we have to download the three Mandrake ISO images from your favourite mirror. There exist ppc ISO images at least at a Sweedish mirror at

Then we must change the first image by replacing the installer inside it. This could be done on any operating system able to mount a CD ISO image. The instructions below are made for running on RedHat Linux. We presume the images are all put in /var/tmp.

First we mount the image by the loopback interface

mount -o loop=/dev/loop0 /var/tmp/MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD1.ppc.iso /mnt/cdrom
Then copy all files in the image to somewhere with plenty of space, eg. /var/tmp, and unmount the image again:
mkdir /var/tmp/bamboo1
cp -va /mnt/cdrom/* /var/tmp/bamboo1
umount /mnt/cdrom
Now replace the installer image:
cd /var/tmp/bamboo1/Mandrake/base
rm mdkinst_stage2.bz2
Finally rebuild the installer image and, if you want, remove the local copy of the cd contents:
cd /var/tmp
mkisofs -r -o MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD1.ppc.iso bamboo1/
rm -rf bamboo1
There. You now have a set of three working ISO images for the 7248. Burn them out on CDs. Then insert the boot floppy into the 7248 and turn the computer on. Disk-Jockey the ramdisk floppy when prompted. Just do a normal CD installation. See the installer notes below for details.

Network installation

First you need a local http or ftp mirror with a patched installer. This means that you need access to another computer able to run a web or ftp server. Any Linux distribution can do. A modern Windows or UNIX server should also be able to do the job. The trick is to download all necessary files, and change the installer file Mandrake/base/ with a patched one. Below the the steps to get this done with the Apache web server on a RedHat Linux installtion, and with the CD iso image files, is described. (A complete download of the ppc archive from a Mandrake ftp mirror should work allright too, but I prefer to have the iso images availble.)

Unless already done, install and start the Apache web server on the system. This is described in the RedHat documentation. Then download the three Mandrake CD images from your favourite mirror. There exist ppc iso images at least at a Sweedish mirror at

cd /somwhere/with/plenty/space
wget ftp://your.favourite.mirror/path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD1.ppc.iso
wget ftp://your.favourite.mirror/path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD2.ppc.iso
wget ftp://your.favourite.mirror/path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD3.ppc.iso
Mount the images via the loopback interface:
mkdir /mnt/bamboo1 /mnt/bamboo2 /mnt/bamboo3 /var/www/html/bamboo
mount -o loop=/dev/loop1 MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD1.ppc.iso /mnt/bamboo1
mount -o loop=/dev/loop2 MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD2.ppc.iso /mnt/bamboo2
mount -o loop=/dev/loop3 MandrakeLinux-9.1-CD3.ppc.iso /mnt/bamboo3
cd -
Copy the base files, and symlink the package directories, to a directory availble for the web server:
for i in base mdkinst share; do
cp -va /mnt/bamboo1/Mandrake/$i /var/www/html/bamboo/Mandrake; done
ln -s /mnt/bamboo1/Mandrake/RPMS1 /var/www/html/bamboo/Mandrake
ln -s /mnt/bamboo2/Mandrake/RPMS2 /var/www/html/bamboo/Mandrake
ln -s /mnt/bamboo3/Mandrake/RPMS3 /var/www/html/bamboo/Mandrake
Finally add my patched version of the installer image.
cd /var/www/html/bamboo/Mandrake/base
mv mdkinst_stage2.bz2 mdkinst_stage2.orig.bz2
cd -
You should now have a working local http mirror of the Mandrake installation files. Now boot with the boot floppy, and insert the ramdisk floppy when prompted. From the installation menus, select network install, select http and then give the address of the server where you just downloaded the files. The http directory from the example above is "/bamboo"

Installer notes

You will get an error when probing for a network and scsi drivers. The driver module files don't exist. We don't worry, as all necessary drivers are compiled into the running kernel.

If all package files necessary are availble, the installer should run without further errors.

The installer won't recognize the sound card, so sound won't work. Don't worry about this. We'll fix it in a jiffy. Same goes for XFree86, so we won't automagically get a working graphical user interface either.

No bootloader will be installed, as there are no availble bootloader for the PReP PPC platform (except the one that's piggybacked onto the kernel). After the installation is done, you will therefore have to boot again from a floppy disk. See the next chapter for details.