April 21st, 2003, 13:33
I have a Rev D iMac (Lime 333Mhz/160mb/6Gb hd) that was running OS 9.2.2/OS X 10.1.5/Mandrake 8.2 (flame on. at least it isn't XP :twisted:) and I wanted to try a BSD on it. OS X is kind of a dog on this setup so I was using some linux and MOL ( and used XDarwin to run apps off my *nix boxes when it was in OS X.

Round 1, NetBSD netboot:
I had a server setup with Linux Terminal Server Project( on it so I thought I would try installing off a netboot. I read the docs on and found how to look up the MAC address in openfirmware. Enter the MAC address and make an entry in dhcpd.conf on the server and specify the ofwboot.xcf for the bootfile. Copy ofwboot.xcf to the tftp server directory. Turn off auto-boot in openfirmware and manually enter the command to netboot. It booted the boot loader just fine but couldn't find the kernel to continue. I fought with it for a while then decided to load the minimal PPC iso instead.

Round 2, NetBSD CDROM:
Openfirmware is still set to manually boot so enter the command to boot off the cd. It boots fine a goes into a familiar setup. I played around too much and wiped the entire drive so I made it all for NetBSD. Setup went great but I still couldn't boot back into it. I later discovered that I had used the wrong ARC path in openfirmware or could have redone it with a small OS9 part at the beginning. I decided to see if OpenBSD would make this any easier.

Round 3, OpenBSD local bootloader/kernel and net install:
I made 1GB OS 9 setup and left the rest free space. I mirrored a snapshot for PPC on my webserver and grabbed the latest ports.tar.gz. I copied ofwboot and the kernel to the top level of the OS 9 partition and told openfirmware to boot ofwboot. It boots up to the install and looks just like any other OpenBSD install. Anyone who has not used an entire drive for obsd will appreciate a piece of paper and writing down where the existing partitions are at. I gave it an IP and pointed to the webserver with the install files and a few minutes later the install is done. With a little trial and error, I found the right command to load the kernel and I was sitting a login prompt.

I untarred my ports and started compiling. A little warning here, a G3 333Mhz can take a long time to compile if you get crazy like I did and tackle KDE, GNOME, etc. After a week or so of compiling, I went looking for some ready-made packages on openbsd's ftp.

This is a sweet little OpenBSD box. It took no time to get wheel mouse, grab an ipv6 address from the rtadvd server, etc. but I'm not sure which keyboard map I'm going to need. Everything was working great but now I am getting some weird acting keyboard problems. Every once in a while it will act like it has a stuck key and start repeating. I'll try borrowing a keyboard and see if it isn't my keyboard.

April 21st, 2003, 17:40
I've got OBSD on an iMac, a G3 as well as an old Powerbook G3 (bronze keyboard) :)

I too have seen the repeating key, I think it has to do with the Apple USB keyboards. It usually settles down to only be periodic.

You can have open firmware automagically boot your OpenBSD install if you go into openfirmware and fiddle with printenv (look for boot-device) and setenv. Something like:

setenv boot-device hd:,ofwboot

I had some fun getting my X up in a nice fashion but finally got it. I can post the config if you want.

OpenBSD on a Mac is sweet :twisted:

April 21st, 2003, 17:52
I went about a week before I set Openfirmware to boot directly into OpenBSD. X didn't give me too much trouble. I used my usual setup 'X -configure' and then go tweak it. It's worked like a champ.

That command looks right though I might have played with setenv boot-file too. I really tinkered a lot with this setup. It is a nice little box and fits on the right side of my corner desk so it is handy.

My son has been helping test how OpenBSD recovers from a power outage. That power cord is a little too accessible for a little boy that is less than a year and a half old. :roll:

April 22nd, 2003, 00:26
That power cord is a little too accessible for a little boy that is less than a year and a half old. :roll:

Funny, my son seemed to wreak havoc on my iMac as well!!! He liked to push the glowing green button on the front of it a lot :roll:

He's about 1 1/2 now and knows that Dad doesn't find it quite as amusing as he does. He's moved on to typing cryptic codelike messages in the middle of my emails :lol: He gave some scripting advice to old elmore there once... I tell ya... look out Theo.

April 22nd, 2003, 01:39
My son knows the difference between a running system and one that is off. He goes right past the other keyboards to get to my running system(s). It has to be the led's. :?

I realized a while back that my son is the son of a computer geek when I looked in his toybox. There's a P2 400Mhz (dead and no heatsink), a broken wireless keyboard and he likes to pull some bad laptop mem off the top of my monitor and play with it. :roll:

April 22nd, 2003, 02:13
that was some killer code your son sent to me minion.

I'm still trying to pick up on it.

September 5th, 2003, 00:01
I learn *nixish OS's on linux on PPC. Old World. Not good for newbies at all, although now I think i could pull off some cool stuff with one.

September 5th, 2003, 09:28
I too have seen the repeating key, I think it has to do with the Apple USB keyboards. It usually settles down to only be periodic.

I don't know if this is any help to you guys or not, but I bought a used G4 USB keyboard last week and attached it to my kvm at home. I started a new i386 OpenBSD install and right off the bat got the repeating key thing too. So I rebooted and tried the install process again. This time I specified my keyboard type as [U]SB right at the beginning of the process:

Welcome to the OpenBSD/i386 3.3 install program.

Specify terminal type: [vt220]
Do you wish to select a keyboard encoding table? [n] y

After selecting [U]SB as the keyboard type, I never saw the repeating keyboard problem again. This might not make a difference on an iMac as opposed to a PC but what the heck, I thought I'd post it anyway.