Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slackintosh 12.1

Slackintosh 12.1 PPC iBook G4 1.2 GHz 12" white

My adventures of installing and setting up Slackintosh on my 5 year old + iBook G4 that was running super slow with OS X Leopard.

This machine is only used for IM, Email, Twitter, eggdrop, and other small various tasks. OS X was just too much for it, wanted to use a lot of CPU for junk I never use. Therefore I decided to finally check out Slackintosh and see if its worth the effort. So far, I could not be happier and wonder why I did not do this a few years ago.

Download either the CD or DVD iso

md5sum /location/and/nameof.iso

If the md5checksum is correct, burn the file with verify. (This will do another md5checksum to make sure the burn was good)


Put the CD/DVD in the drive, reboot the computer

When you hear the apple sound as its booting up, press and HOLD the 'c' key until you see it is starting to boot up from the CD. You will know, it will look completely different than OS X boot. If you booted into OS X, you hit the 'c' key too late, or you did did not hold it down long enough. Try Try again.

login: root



mac-fdisk /dev/hda

This is the only way to run FDISK on your Macintosh. You can duel boot, but I did not.

Fdisk commands are straight forward there is even a nice helper in there for you. I deleted all partitions, and then made an Apple_Bootstrap, a Linux Swap, and a Linux partition. You can set your system up different if you want. Your choice really.

***Make sure to add an Apple_Bootstrap***
***Make sure you WRITE the partition table***

After you wrote the partition table quit mac-fdisk.

Run "setup" and complete the following steps:

* Remap your keyboard (mine is SV)
* "Swap Space detected": Select OK, if the displayed information is correct
* "Select Linux Installation Partition": Select the partition, which should contain the root file system (/)
* "Select other Linux partitions for /etc/fstab": Set the mount points for the remaining partitions
* Select the installation media. Choose "Install from a Slackintosh CD or DVD" and later "auto detect"
* "Package Series Selection": I selected all except for "k", "kde", "kdei" and "t"
* "Prompting Mode": I used "full"
* Time for a coffee or beer if its after 16.00
* "Next installation CD": Select "Quit", if you don't have other installation CDs
* "Yaboot configuration settings": OK
* "Yaboot Configuration": select N and C. Select also O if you also have OS X installed before.
If yaboot gives you errors about not finding directories, you did not make an Apple_Bootstrap.
Start all over again, this time during F-disk, make the Apple_Bootstrap like I told you to!
* Skip "Make Bootdisk"
* "Modem Configuration": choose "/dev/ttyS0" I chose none because, who uses a modem anymore?
* Enable Hotplug/UDEV -> Yes"
* Mouse Config -> choose ps2 -> OK
* GPM configuration -> Yes
* Configure Network -> Yes
* Enter Hostname: BeCreative
* Enter Domain: Yor.choice
* "Setup IP Adress for 'BeCreative.Yor.choice'": -> DHCP
* Confirm Setup complete -> Yes
* Confirm Startup Services to run: deselect PCMCIA
* Custom screen fonts -> No
* "Hardware Clock Set To UTC?" -> No (but you can do yes if you want)
* Timezone select
* Select default window manager to use -> XFCE (but you can choose a different one)
* "Warning: No Root Password Detected": set one!

Press CTRL+ALT+fn+Backspace to reboot your computer. If everything goes well, you will end up with a prompt like this:

**Sit at your computer and watch as this reboots and loads up. There are some messages about different commands you can throw at bootup if you get some funny things, like screen flickering etc..."

login as root:


useradd -G audio,cdrom,tty -s /bin/sh -m becreative
passwd becreative


Run these commands to setup ALSA: (Change any settings to what you need/want)

alsactl store


Run this command:

less -eX /proc/bus/input/devices

look for your mouse, if it says ADB Mouse then:

nano /etc/pbbuttonsd.conf

scroll down to [MODULE PMAC]

To turn off trackpad tapping: (I HATE tapping, so I turned this off)


(for other options man pbbuttonsd)

If it says anything else, especially Synaptic Touchpad or such. you need to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and use google because I am not going to go into this. You also need to create a few files for HAL to use... but again, google is your friend here.

/etc/rc.d/rc.pbbuttonsd restart

Enabling Right Click Emulation: **Requires a reboot to take effect**

I created a "/etc/sysctl.conf" with the following contents:

dev.mac_hid.mouse_button3_keycode = 96
dev.mac_hid.mouse_button_emulation = 1

This will make the keyboard key (to the right of the right apple key, your new right click button. It is NOT used in conjunction with the mouse button. This IS now a mouse button, your Right mouse button). Furthermore you can also add:

dev.mac_hid.mouse_button2_keycode = 125

This will emulate a middle button, but since I don't use that, I have never bothered with it.



Type this:
/sbin/modprobe therm_adt746x

Your cpu fan should start up a few seconds pressing enter. If not, then you did something wrong, check to make sure you typed it in correctly, double check, triple check! If its still not working, turn off the computer, get on another computer and use google.

If your fan did start then Add this line to /etc/rc.d/rc.modules by doing this:

nano /etc/rc.d/rc.modules

# ADT746x thermostat in iBook G4/Powerbook G4
/sbin/modprobe therm_adt746x


Setting up X11 on the iBook was simple. Run "xorgsetup" and choose the following options:

* 24 color
* generic 105-key (Intl) PC (unless you have a different keyboard)
* sv (Unless your using a different keyboard/language)
* nodeadkeys
* none - Do not select an additional layout

This created a new "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" which is directly usable. Of course your settings for the keyboard layout may be different. To verify, if X is able to start, login as normal user and run "startx"

quit X
type exit
login as root


Download the latest patches off the slackintosh website. I put them in /root/patches

(wget is a great tool)

Put the machine in single user mode:
telinit 1
upgradepkg /root/patches/*.tgz
telinit 3

(Why single user mode? Just to be safe, in case there is a kernel update or something major like that, its faster to telinit 1 and run upgradepkg than it is to check every single package and determine if it requires a telinit 1 session or not.)

You are now back in mulit-user mode, fully patched and up-to date.

Login as your user and run startx: (unless you already started X before, then skip to Editing/Configuring the Terminal)

logout of x


nano ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc

FontName=DejaVu Sans Mono 10

(These are my settings obviously, please do not be stupid and mindlessly copy what I have down, READ the file, everything is self explanatory if you understand English. Furthermore, there are a lot more functions you can place in here, man Terminal for more information).


nano ~/.Xmodmap

keycode 115 = ISO_Level3_Shift

This will turn both Apple keys into AltGr keys (both Apple keys have the same keycode.

Unfortunately Apple does not list "¶ { [ ] } \ ~ |" keys on the keyboard. Either remember where they are or use some sort of permanent marker to mark your keys. I just remember them.

Also currency keys from AltGr + 3 - 6 are arranged in a different order than you are use to. But you can of course change this if you want.


Reboot your system so the keyboard settings can take effect, there is probably a way to do this without the reboot, and the telinit 1 switching may have taken care of that, but I just reboot, that way I know everything is loading as my new defaults, so if something is broken, its easier to troubleshoot.

Login: user (don't type user, unless that truly is the username you chose).


Check your mouse/trackpad to see if it is functioning the way you set it up. Open a terminal session and see if that is configured the way you told it to. Do some typing with the keyboard, using the Apple Command keys (now AltGr) to make sure they function properly. Also use your right mouse (keyboard) button. All should be working if not, you typed something wrong, go back, and see.



simple, easy to use (little bit buggy)

Or if you like emacs:



Go to slackbuilds.org search for conky under 12.1 download source and slackbuild. You may need to edit the SBo script. Look at a Slackbuild script in the sources tree of slackintosh for a reference. Also may need kernel sources for this build.

**I could not get Conky 1.8.0 to compile**


Use fn + F keys to get their other uses to work (sound volume, screen contrast, eject cd numlocks) Eject cd has a slight delay, so be patient.


MSN not working? Then you probably did not apply the 2.7.0 patch. Grab it from the slackintosh website and upgradepkg. If you did and its not working... then that's something new that Micro$aft tried to do to screw the *nix community yet again. Use Google, sue Micro$aft, or abandon MSN and try to get your friends to follow you, you probably won't have much luck with that...


Heh... unless they either release the source code (doubt it) or they spend the 5 minutes to build a PPC Linux binary, then your out of luck here... I know, it sucks, but nothing we can do about it.


No idea, I never use it


Works fine with me, but since my iBook G4 battery is toast, I neverclose the lid. I did try it out once to see if it works. HDD sounded like it turned off and restarted like it did under OS X. As for going unplugged, again, my battery is toast. Some people have reported that battery power is sucked fast because the CPU is turned up, but I have not tested this. There are scripts out there where you can manipulate your CPU when it is plugged in or unplugged, I am unaware if any of them have been included in 12.1. Google it.

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