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Gentoo PowerPC Mac Mini HOWTO

Kernel Config

I don't know how to configure the kernel. Do you have a .config I can start with?

Configuring a kernel is no easy job to undertake for the first or fifteenth time. Hopefully this gentoo-sources-2.6.15-r5 kernel config will help.

~"all" core mac mini components enabled in the kernel
- Alsa sound is modular
- Firewire components are modular
- USB printers and mass storage are modular
- Hardware monitoring is modular

Rename the file as .config and place it in /usr/src/linux (2.6.15-r5 or greater for best results, but should work with previous versions as well.)

Sound Config

Note: Requires kernel versions 2.6.18 and later

Since kernel version 2.6.18 mac-mini toonie chip support has been moved from snd-powermac to snd-aoa (Apple Onboard Audio driver). See Gentoo PPC FAQ

In case you get errors that alsa is unable to load certain modules delete your /lib/modules/$(uname -r) directory and rebuild/reinstall your kernel modules.

Xorg.conf Config

We are on a roll. Hit me with an xorg.conf so I can configure Xwindows!

Have you always been spoon fed things like this? holds an xorg.conf file that should hopefully work for you. If you are using a custom tv output adapter, I cannot help you as I do not own one. my output is a flat panel of unimportant dimension through a DVI connector. Set your HorizSync and VertRefresh parameters for your system if auto detection doesn't work for you.

so how do you get DRIVER="radeon" to work? i cant emerge ati-drivers!!! how do you install the proper drivers?? are they in-kernel???

If you use xorg 7 make sure to add VIDEO_CARDS="ati" before emerging xorg-x11.

Ethernet Config

I can't get my wired ethernet to work! Hah! That was a trick. You don't have any problems with the driver and your mac mini. It will just work. Trust me.

Actually, I have only seen it work with a 2.6.15 kernel. The Sun GEM driver seems to compile and load fine with other kernel versions (I've tried between 2.6.15 and 2.6.20), but DHCP won't get an address (or sometimes it does but the interface still won't work). Any help with this would be very much appreciated.

I have now done this on X^n Mac Mini's and I haven't had an issue yet. Check out for details on configuring networking.

That last one was mean. Can you at least show me your make.conf? Here is my setup currently.

CFLAGS="-O2 -mcpu=G4 -fno-strict-aliasing -pipe -maltivec -mabi=altivec"
USE="a52 aac aalib bindist bl bzip2 dbus dga dlloader dri dts dv dvdr dvdread
     edl expat extrafilters ffmpeg flac gimp gimpprint gs hal ieee1394
     imagemagick insecure-drivers ipod lcms libcaca live mjpeg mplayer
     musepack musicbrainz mysql mysqli nsplugin rle samba sdk server sndfile
     subtitles svg tagwriting theora tiff usb v4l v4l2 wmf xml2 xvid yv12
     -arts -avi -ldap"
VIDEO_CARDS="ati fbdev"
INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse"

Config Hard Drive for better performance

The hard drive in my Mac Mini seems slow. What can I do to speed it up?

Well. Besides the obvious answer of, replace it with a faster hard drive. Add this to your /etc/conf.d/hdparm

hda_args="-d1 -A1 -m16 -u1 -a64"

Clock (/dev/rtc) Problems

If your mac gives a /dev/rtc "cannot set clock" error when booting make, you need to boot off of the live cd and update baselayout.

Should you experience just old dates back from the 1994 like this:

# hwclock
Sun Feb 27 20:15:01 1994  -0.311636 seconds

the problem is corrected a lot more easily such as writing the system time to the hardware clock:

# hwclock --systohc
# hwclock
Fri Dec 21 00:29:09 2007  -0.082641 seconds
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Last modified: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 05:37:00 +0000 Hits: 12,162