Gentoo Wiki


This article is part of the HOWTO series.
Installation Kernel & Hardware Networks Portage Software System X Server Gaming Non-x86 Emulators Misc

Mac OS Series







I, User:TroyGoodson, really want a MythTV box,, but I want to use the hardware I have. I have a Rev. 3 Beige G3 with the stock hardware. I hope that I'll be able to use a pchdtv card <> in it.

I'm not a novice user, but I've never actually installed a linux distro before. Nor have I installed MythTV before.

What I want to have here is a set of instructions for installing Gentoo on a Rev. 3 Beige G3.

After this, we move on to HOWTO Install MythTV on Gentoo Beige G3 PPC

Potential Issues



All feedback is welcome!

From Chad at mythtv-users list

Good Luck! It might just be my pessimism stepping in, but I don't know that you'd really have enough horsepower to do much with that system. Although you did seem to realize that and maybe you just want it as a cheap machine that holds your hardware mpeg cards and HDTV cards and just streams them to a drive that your myth boxes all access, in which case, it might work, and then the opener applies; Good Luck!  ;) (Says the pessimist in me with a beige G3 sitting 3 feet from my knees, untouched for about a good 2 years.)

From Warren at mythtv-users list

Let me know how it goes too - I have a couple of blue&whites that are being paperweights right now.

From Craig

First, if you've never actually installed linux or MythTV, then you are by definition, in fact, a novice.

Second, I've got an iBook (white) G3 900MHz that I've installed Gentoo on. I plan on installing the MythTV front end on it, and using it through the iBook's miniDVI-NTSC adapter, with Gentoo on my desktop, running the MythTV backend. If I'm successful, I will post my results.

The Plan

  1. read the Gentoo installation instructions for PPC -
  2. boot from Gentoo's Minimal Installation CD - I've done this!! :)
  3. read more of the Gentoo installation instructions
  4. refine my plan?
  5. install from Gentoo's Universal Installation CD
  6. install MythTV
  7. does it look like this will work?
  8. start over

Booting from Gentoo's Minimal Installation CD

Before I switched to a Desktop G5, I had installed OS X 10.2 on my Beige G3. It seems that OS X 10.2 made it kinda hard to get back a configuration from which I could boot into OS 9. I tried a few things (forgot the details) but this is what I did that worked

It worked! Everything looked OK, but the image of the tux penguin at the top-left of the screen had some funny pixels. The color on some pixels just didn't fit, like one might be yellow when it appeared that it should really be black.

Notes from Gentoo installation instructions

Installation of Gentoo from Universal Installation CD

Once booted from the Universal Installation CD, I want to record every single step, here

# ls /dev/hda
# ls /dev/hda/ # no such file or directory
# mac-fdisk /dev/hda
Command (? for help): p

and I saw pretty much what I expected, unfortunately, this is not quite what the installation instructions assume because my free space occurs around /dev/hda12

Command (? for help): c
First block: 12p
Length (in blocks, kB (K), MB (M), or GB (G)): 512M
Name of partition: swap

At this point I received an error message! "12" had been from /dev/hda12, which showed up as "Free" space. However, I had already made a partition I called "linux" as UFS. It must be that I had to delete that partition:

Command (? for help): d
Partition number: 11

and that seemed to do the trick as my "linux" UFS partition disappeared from the list I get with command "p"

Command (? for help): c
First block: 11p
Length (in blocks, kB (K), MB (M), or GB (G)): 512M
Name of partition: swap 

and, I think that worked! I got an "Apple_UNIX_SVR2 swap" as /dev/hda11 and it shows 512.0M and "Linux swap"

Command (? for help): c
First block: 12p
Length (in blocks, kB (K), MB (M), or GB (G)): 12p
Name of partition: root

and, I think that worked! I got an "Apple_UNIX_SVR2 root" as /dev/hda12 and it shows 2.3G and "Linux native"

Command (? for help): w
IMPORTANT: You are about to write a changed partition map...

Write partition map? [n/y]: y
The partition map has been saved successfully!

Synching disks...

Partition map written to disk...
Command (? for help): q
# mac-fdisk /dev/hda
Command (? for help): p

and I see the partitions as I made them...

now, to create filesystems!

# mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda12 

hda12 is my 'linux native partition' and ext3 is what the gentoo manual appears to recommend.

OS type: Linux
Block size: 4096 (log=2)
Fragment size: 4096 (log=2)

I saw the instructions mention a "-O dir_index" option, but I didn't know how to get it in. It certainly doesn't work with the "mkfs.ext3" command.

# mkswap /dev/hda11
# swapon /dev/hda11

just like the instructions say...

next is to mount

# mkdir /mnt/gentoo
mkdir: cannot create directory '/mnt/gentoo': file exists

so let's try the mount, anyway...

hmm, I had some trouble. 'mount' complained that there was no ext3 filesystem on hda12! Oh! I must ruined it when I tried "mkfs.ext3 -o dir_index /dev/hda12" and "mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda12 -o dir_index". So, I did it again

# mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda12
[some output, not copied here]
# mount -t ext3 /dev/hda12 /mnt/gentoo

and no error message! I guess it worked :)

I had to set the date because, although the time was right, it was in the UTC timezone.

# date -s 'may 11 01:25:29 pdt 2006'
Thu, May 11 08:25:29 UTC 2006

so that's good.

# ls /mnt/cdrom/stages

worked, too, so I can proceed (I didn't have to mount that one, I guess it was mounted automatically). Now to install files

 # cd /mnt/gentoo
 # tar xvjpf /mnt/cdrom/stages/stage3-g3-2006.0.tar.bz2

Part 2

It's been a while, but I'm back to continue my installation...

I've rebooted the machine back into linux via BootX and mounted, again, the hard drive. and set the date again to get the time zone to be PDT...

# mount -t ext3 /dev/hda12 /mnt/gentoo
# date -s 'jun 30 23:23:53 pdt 2006'
Sat, Jul 1 06:23:53 UTC 2006

next, I'm supposed to install portage, but I'm not sure if I can do that. I don't have networking up, yet. Perhaps I should skip that part and do it later? No, I think I'm going to have to figure out how to get networking going. probably the thing to do first is to plug my DSL into the Beige G3 and see if it works. I'll be back soon...

(that was quick) OK, I just moved the DSL ethernet cable from my Desktop G5 to my Beige G3's ethernet port. Let's check ifconfig:

# /sbin/ifconfig

that just showed l0 or lo (?). I guess I need to reboot...

# sync
# sync
# reboot

I booted into Mac OS 9.2 and ran Netscape Communicator (blast from the past) and it loaded up no problem! So, maybe I'll have networking under Linux?

We'll, the live-cd did not automatically figure out my networking. I have the stock configuration! I have to say that I'm a little suprised that a stock configuration was not recognized. I also typed "net-setup" and answered "wired" and "DHCP" but /sbin/ifconfig still showed just lo.

Out of curiousity, I typed

# modprobe pcnet32

but then my terminal hung and I'm still waiting for it to come back.

I think I'll just move my ethernet cable back to the Desktop G5 and try again another night.

I have a Belkin wireless card F5D7000 so maybe that's a better thing to try. I'll have to install it, first.

Part 3

Well, I found some info for my Belkin F5D7000 at

It says:

# lspci


# ndiswrapper -l /path_to_driver/bcmwl5.inf
# modprobe ndiswrapper
# iwconfig wlan0 key restricted XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
# dhcpcd wlan0

I also see the card listed at Wireless

And I found this forum discussion which looks promising ("Exact steps to getting Airport Extreme working in Dapper")

Please feel free to edit this page to add comments, suggestions, requests, or any other polite message :)

Retrieved from ""

Last modified: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 20:40:00 +0000 Hits: 6,556