Boot Error on new PowerPC Mac Mini Installation

Natman's picture


Hello! I'm totally new to Debian so I hope I'm posting in the right forum. I already tried sending this problem to a support mailing list, but I haven't heard back so I'm going to try here as well.

I'm trying to install Debian on an old Mac Mini with a PowerPC G4 processor. I downloaded the PowerPC iso file (debian-8.1.0-powerpc-netinst.iso) and burned it to an empty CD. I was able to successfully navigate the installation process. A couple points of interest:

* I chose to use the entire available hard drive space and set up LVM (unencrypted). So I wiped Mac OS and all my old files from the computer.
* I chose to use a single partition (the recommended/default choice) and after writing partition changes to the hard drive I received a warning that Yaboot would need its own partition. It asked if I wanted to return to the menu, so I did, assuming I would be able to make this change after reversing the changes (as there was a menu option to do so). However the "reverse changes" button seemed to do nothing, and I couldn't return to an earlier step to specify different partition settings, so I simply continued and wrote the changes again. (Probably should have read the manual before starting... sorry)
* At the end I was prompted to choose a partition for installing Yaboot. Although I had chosen to create only one partition, it offered me two choices: sda2 and sba1 (IIRC). Not knowing the difference I chose sda2, the first one from the list, and installation completed and the computer began to boot in Debian.

The yaboot boot log displays, with a notable error flashing by that I paraphrase here:

[FAILED] Failed to load Linux Kernel Modules

No other failures appear in the log. After everything finishes and the screen goes black, instead of a login screen, I get this message fullscreen:

"Oh no! Something has gone wrong. A problem has occurred and the system can't recover. Please log out and try again."

First I assumed this was due to a mistake when I chose to install Yaboot in sda2, so I ran a full installation again from the CD. Everything went the same, however there was no prompt to choose a partition and pick sba1 instead. And after the install finished, I got the same error message.

Googling, I read that I could open a terminal from this error window with Ctrl+Alt+F1. This works, and then I read that I should log in as root and run the command startx. And that the error should be fixed by installing x-window-system if the startx command isn't found.

However, the startx command *is* found, xorg is already installed, and when it runs, this again triggers the fullscreen "Oh no!" warning.

I read that the installer isn't meant to install on top of another full installation, and that most problems such as this can be fixed without a full reinstall, so I haven't made a third attempt at reinstallation. What else could potentially be the issue here?

Thanks for any help. I tried to give as much detail as possible, sorry if much of it is irrelevant. I can also supply more logs if you direct me to which ones might be helpful.