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#1 2021-05-02 19:35:44

rbit
Member
Registered: 2018-06-12
Posts: 9  

[SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

I was recently given an old imac computer.  It was running a very old mac os 10.6 and would not install a newer version.  So I've decided to put devuan on it.
The CPU (an Intel Core 2 Duo) is indeed 64-bit capable.  However, the computer refuses to boot devuan amd64 dvds.  I've tried both ascii and beowulf, full desktop and netinstall; tried from both the internal drive and an external drive.  It will not boot from these discs.  What I have been able to do so far, is install from the i686 disc, then install an amd64 kernel and boot from it.  I've been unable, at this point, to change all of the system packages over to amd64.  I can mount and read the amd64 desktop installer dvd, but can't seem to start the installer from there without booting from it (?)   I mainly want to use amd64 since it's required for most modern web browsers (most seemed to stop updating 32-bit versions several years ago).  Any advice?   I've read a few different "cross-grading" articles, but so far I've only managed to break apt/dpkg.

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#2 2021-05-02 20:50:33

snork
Member
Registered: 2021-04-05
Posts: 12  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

I had the same fight recently with a mid-2010 iMac.  I successfully got Devuan on it by installing Buster (to avoid grub problems I was having) and then migrating.  Here are the notes I took as I went along:

1. Use "dd if=/path/buster.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M" on existing machine to write the Debian Buster net-installer to a USB stick
2. Complete the install with only "standard system utilities" selected (deselect Debian desktop & print server)
3. Migrate to Devuan with a slightly modified version of this

# mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.buster
# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://mishka.snork.ca/devuan/merged beowulf          main
deb http://mishka.snork.ca/devuan/merged beowulf-updates  main
deb http://mishka.snork.ca/devuan/merged beowulf-security main

# apt-get update --allow-insecure-repositories
# apt-get install devuan-keyring --allow-unauthenticated
# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# apt-get install eudev
# apt-get -f install
# reboot

# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-get purge systemd libnss-systemd
# apt-get autoremove --purge
# apt-get autoclean
# nano /etc/network/interfaces

Change "new-style nic name" to eth0

# reboot

Then install whatever desktop environment you wish [if you wish].  If you are installing on an encrypted partition and are getting "blah blah busy..." during your reboots you should install cryptsetup-modified-functions and if your video just gives you a blinking cursor instead of your X login manager you may need to add non-free to your sources.list and install firmware-linux-nonfree.

PS: I happened to use my "mishka" mirror but you could of course just use deb.devuan.org if you don't want to.

Does that get you any closer to the goal?

Last edited by snork (2021-05-02 20:50:59)

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#3 2021-05-02 21:32:50

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,857  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

You should be able to boot the amd64 desktop-live iso on an old imac. The 32-bit bootloader is included for that specific purpose.

The live isos use refractainstaller. Here's a pictorial guide if you are not familiar with it: https://www.devuan.org/os/documentation … f/live-gui

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#4 2021-05-02 23:39:01

rbit
Member
Registered: 2018-06-12
Posts: 9  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

Thank you both for the replies.

Unfortunately, I am not able to boot the amd64 debian buster netinstall cd, either.  The prompt that comes up trying to boot any amd64 disc (so far) is:
1.
2.
Select CD-ROM Boot Type :
(and all keyboard input is ignored at this point)

Also, thanks for the hint on using the desktop *live* installer disc.  I'll try that next, I think I should be able to get that to work.  Even if I can't boot it directly, I should be able to mount it and run the installer from it.

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#5 2021-05-03 00:39:27

snork
Member
Registered: 2021-04-05
Posts: 12  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

It sounds like you might have a machine with a 64-bit architecture and a 32-bit EFI. :-(  I had one of these machines, and in the end used an image of MacOS El Capitan to get it working again and then gave it away.  If you look up your machine on everymac.com does it show as 64-bit arch with 32-bit EFI?

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#6 2021-05-03 01:38:49

rbit
Member
Registered: 2018-06-12
Posts: 9  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

It actually *did* boot the amd64 live desktop dvd.  :-)   Installation went pretty smoothly from there.

This machine doesn't look like the one pictured on your link, snork.  The EFI situation could be similar though, I don't really know.  It does seem to be from the same era, though.  This is an all-in-one thing (basically the hardware is all mounted behind/under the screen.  no tower, more difficult to replace individual parts).

inxi reports this as:

System:    Host: imac Kernel: 4.19.0-14-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 8.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.4 tk: Gtk 2.24.32 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: SLiM 1.3.6 Distro: Devuan GNU/Linux 3 (beowulf)
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Apple product: iMac6,1 v: 1.0 serial: <> Chassis: type: 13 v: Mac-F4218FC8 
           serial: <> 
           Mobo: Apple model: Mac-F4218FC8 v: DVT serial: <> UEFI: Apple v: IM61.88Z.0093.B07.0706281250 
           date: 06/28/07 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 T7400 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Core Merom rev: 6 L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 8645 
           Speed: 1589 MHz min/max: 1000/2167 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1101 2: 1049

Last edited by rbit (2021-05-03 01:40:05)

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#7 2021-05-03 02:27:03

snork
Member
Registered: 2021-04-05
Posts: 12  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

Awesome, I'm glad you got it going!  It sounds like you have this model of iMac.  If nothing else, hopefully the link will provide you with some helpful info about your Mac. :-)

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#8 2021-05-04 17:41:10

rbit
Member
Registered: 2018-06-12
Posts: 9  

Re: [SOLVED] Installing amd64 devuan beowulf 3.1 on an old imac ...

Adding to this thread, in case someone finds this useful, or needs the info at some later point.  To get the wifi (b43) working on this imac, I followed the steps at http://linuxwireless.sipsolutions.net/e … ivers/b43/ under "Other distributions" to build the driver manually.
In case that page goes down, basically it came down to this:

wget http://bues.ch/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2
wget http://www.lwfinger.com/b43-firmware/broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
tar xjf b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2
cd b43-fwcutter-018
make
sudo make install
cd ..
tar xjf broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o

a reboot or modprobe b43 should get the device driver loaded, and wifi available.  I also had to set the wireless interface to "wlan0" in wicd preferences., but this might be done automatically if you reboot rather than use the modprobe command.

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