How to install Yellow Dog Linux on a Mac clone
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How to install Yellow Dog Linux 3.0.1 on a Power Computing - PowerCenter Pro 210 Mac (clone)

Here is some background info in case it helps:

The Mac was upgraded & has the following hardware:

  • 210 MHz 604e processor
  • 4 MB ATI Rage II video
  • 128 Mb ram
  • Adaptec Ultra SCSI PCI card; with the following devices connected to the SCSI bus.
    • Smart Friendly 2x CDRW (appears to read audio CDs ok; but data CDs are hit and miss)
    • original 16x SCSI CD drive (don't appear to work with any type of CD)
    • Iomega Zip-100
    • IBM 4 Gig SCSI hard drive
  • internal Ethernet adapter (works - connects to the LAN & works to surf the web.)

The rest of the hardware is all standard and untouched as far as I can tell... It does boot & is currently running Mac OS v8.6.

For all those whom may want to know how I did this I have documented it below...

The 2.4 stock kernels were from the YDL 3.0.1 CDs. All of the other kernels I tested (including the working 2.2.18-14 kernel) were downloaded from

I looked for the URL for this specific file & it appears has since removed the 2.2.18-14 kernel from their site. A fast Google search on the other hand, shows it can be downloaded from "". :-)

Also in case you want to get YDL 3.0.1 going yourself, here is a refined version of what I did... You can skip whatever steps that need not apply.

* Some Notes:

  • I'm working from memory here and may have messed up a few of the button's names; but you should get the idea what I'm talking about.
  • I recommend that you backup anything you need/want off your Mac before proceeding. However this should go without saying. :-)
  • If you are unable to find any of the files I used to get this going, search the web first. Google has been good for me... If you still cannot find the files, drop me a line & I will email them to you when I get a chance.

Ok, so your ready; here goes...

  • before starting, I disconnected non-working hardware (like my broken regular CD drive) from the SCSI bus.
  • booted into existing Mac OS
  • downloaded the 2.2.18-14 kernel ( & Adaptec Toast CD Reader v3.5.6 extension files ( to the Mac desktop
  • moved these downloaded files to zip disk (I needed these
  • rebooted off iMac 8.6 Restore CD on my working CD burner drive
  • deleted existing partitions & setup Mac with 700 meg HFS+ partition; with the rest of the drive left as free space
  • restored a clean copy of the Mac 8.6 OS to the 700 meg partition
  • rebooted Mac off hard drive
  • copied Adaptec Toast CD Reader v3.5.6 extension files from zip disk to the Mac system file extensions folder
  • copied 2.2.18-14 kernel from zip drive to the Mac desktop for later use
  • powered down the Mac and disconnected the internal zip drive from the SCSI bus
    [This left me with the 4 Gig SCSI hard drive & the CD burner attached to the internal SCSI bus cables.]
  • rebooted the Mac to allow the Toast CD Reader v3.5.6 extension to take affect; this is required so I can mount/read CDs on my CD burner via the Mac 8.6 OS.
  • put YDL 3.0 disk 1 in the CD burner
  • copied BootX 1.2.2, 2.4 boot kernel & ramdisk image files from YDL 3.0 CD on my Mac desktop.
  • setup files as necessary:
    • extracted BootX files (which created a BootX 1.2.2 folder on the desktop
    • put 2.4 boot kernel & 2.2.18-14 kernel in the BootX 1.2.2 kernel file folder
    • put the ramdisk image in the BootX 1.2.2 folder
  • ran BootX with 2.4 boot kernel.
    • No Video option off
    • No extra kernel parameters
    • Options were set to:
      • Force SCSI on
      • Force Video off
      • used ramdisk image from BootX 1.2.2 folder
  • clicked the Linux button and I was on my way to installing Linux...

* Note: Watch your hard drive's designation/detection during the Linux install boot process. With the 2.4 kernels & zip drive connected, Linux said my hard drive was 'sdb'. However with the 2.4 kernel & zip drive disconnected, it shows the drive was 'sda'. This is why I disconnected my zip drive from the SCSI bus before installing Linux; it is apparently very important that the drive's designation show the same across both the 2.4 kernel and the 2.2 kernel for Linux to boot correctly. Anyway, this should be one very important thing to look out for, as this caused me a great deal of problems on the post YDL 3.0 installation boot. If the 2.4 kernel sees the hard drive as 'sdb' & you install YDL successfully, and then 2.2 kernel sees the hard drive as 'sda'; YDL will fail on the 2.2 kernel boot with an error about not being able to see '/dev/sdbX' partition...

  • setup partitions & install Linux as usual
    • my hard drive shows my Mac partitions were on 'sda1' to 'sda5'
    • created '/' [ext3 format] on 'sda6' (filled to allowable space)
    • created 'swap' on 'sda7'
  • when YDL 3.0 install has completed, exit installer & allow machine to reboot back to Mac OS
  • boot YDL with BootX; with the 2.2.18-14 kernel, no ramdisk image and set your /dev/"something" ('sda6' on my Mac)
  • your done... should boot normally; except you will see a few non-critical failures due to some missing kernel lib modules

Enjoy... :-)

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