FreeBSD 12.0 for PPC does not support my DVD-ROM -> Can't Install!!

consuli

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My wonderful Apple PowerPC G5 has got a non-Apple DVD-Burner .

The Apple OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) installation CD DOES boot from it.

However, FreeBSD 12.0 for PPC does NOT boot from this DVD-ROM.

To make this a real problem, the MAC PowerPC Firmware does not boot from USB, either.

How can I get FreeBSD 12.0 for PPC installed on this machine?
 

ucomp

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However, FreeBSD 12.0 for PPC does NOT boot from this DVD-ROM.
you have to tell us what exactly happens when you press the ALT(Option-)-key while booting(when DVD (or CD) is inserted, of course)..... "does not boot" is too thin a description

To make this a real problem, the MAC PowerPC Firmware does not boot from USB, either.
Mac OpenFirmware has nothing to do with USB,
you have to press "Command,Option, O,F" while booting if you want to goto OF-prompt.
 
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consuli

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you have to tell us what exactly happens when you press the ALT(Option-)-key while booting(when DVD (or CD) is inserted, of course)..... "does not boot" is too thin a description
Yes, I started the the apple boot manager by holding down the Alt-key on booting.

It recognizes the DVD, but when I try to boot the FreeBSD DVD the DVD Icon gets frizzy and the DVD is NOT booted.

When I change the DVD to the Apple OS-X 10.5 installation DVD (Leopard) directly afterwards, this one does not boot either any more (which works otherwise.)

Booted OS-X 10.5 can mount the Free BSD 12.0 for PPC DVD when inserted.

The FreeBSD 12.0 image has been burnt two times with different burning software. Both with succesful validation. It is the same with both DVDs. The icons get frizzy and the boot manager does not boot the DVD.

What is this?
 

ucomp

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hm, the last FreeBSD version I successfully installed on ppc bare metal was 11.0 on PM G4 (Quicksilver). We would know whether your problem is with the 12.0 version, if you first try FreeBSD 11.x. ... perhaps a PRAM-reset would help ( Command,Option,P,R while booting )
 
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consuli

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I already tried PRAM reset by holding down the key combination Apple+Alt+P+R during booting. Didn't help.

If you want to reconstruct the error. My OpenFirmware version is 5.1.2f, I guess.
 

ucomp

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.. best idea for the moment is to try a FreeBSD 11.x boot CD to find the cause of your problem.
`Unfortunately I do not have a G5 next to me at the moment, otherwise I would check it.What I can say is that 12.0 should not be a "broken release" for ppc,
I have 12.0 running on a ppc64 qemu-machine.
 
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consuli

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I've downloaded FreeBSD 11.2 DVD. The problem persisted.

I guess it is caused by a hidden digital signature from the Intel management engine of the computer, with which I have burnt the DVD.

I guess, your FreeBSD 11.2 and FreeBSD 12.0 images is not the reason for my problem.

However, I have figured out by investigation of pressing plant DVDs, that other people's computers have nasty activated Intel management engines too, which also included computer magazines.

So, take care.
 
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consuli

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Assuming my qualified guess would be true an Intel-ME bit-signature is the reason for the Apple-Boot-Rom does not recognize the disc:

How can I burn an Intel-ME bit-signature free FreeBSD DVD out of the iso-image? I mean, these old school copy protections of game dvd could also be levered out by copying with CloneDVD.
 

ucomp

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Well, we need a second person with a G5, someone here?
I do not suppose that you burned 2 DVDs wrong.
Try it with a bug report, here is one still open:
Also you can subscribe to the ppc-mailing-list :
--- edit: -
1 person detected on G5 (running 12.0, so should be possible ) :

Tier 2 means something like this :
I remember on my G4-install there was no Pkg-repo for ppc( had to compile everything through ports or manually which was slow but worked )
It was a successful experience, I targeted in running a tape drive from that machine and it worked. And FreeBSD was the absolutely only system installable on my G4 - all other (except Mac OS of course ) failed. So no reason to give up with FreeBSD for you if you have special reason to install FreeBSD on your G5 . Good Luck !
--
some details from my memory:
G4 FreeBSD-CD booted until Stage Three , then I typed:
unload
and then :
boot-conf ( install starts then)
or :
load /boot/kernel/kernel
an then :
boot
--
you could try to clone the install-iso to a hard disk instead of dvd and boot from there (firewire or internal partition)
 
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consuli

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Thanks ucomp!

I am pretty sure, that my burned 2 DVDs are wrong. When I transfer the FreeBSD image as data file to PowerMac and I burn it using OS-X (10.5), the burnt DVD even isn't mountable any more! It is just the same with the BSD 11.2 iso file and the BSD 12.0 iso file.

Further, I am experiencing a similar problem, when I am trying to copy Linux iso-files from DVDs attached to Linux computer magazines. When I try to copy
  • Ubuntu Studio from LinuxUser DVD 2019-01
  • Parrot Live Image from LinuxUser 2018-11 DVD
  • Kali Linux VM from DELUG 2018-11 DVD
  • Kali Linux from LinuxUserSpecial 2018-01 DVD
the Finder copy process hangs up (Finder is the OS-X file manager)!

See the OS-X analyzis logs attached below.

As these are Linux developer and Linux security distributions it looks like someone has put an Intel ME activation pattern into those files to get a backdoor into IT-development departments and IT-security departments of big companies.

As my PowerMac G5 risc architecture is totally different to AMD64, these ME pattern work on my processor like an (old school) copy protection of a game DVD and let the copy process hang up.
 

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ucomp

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He says the same thing as me:

........
you could try to clone the install-iso to a hard disk instead of dvd and boot from there (firewire or internal partition)
it was a known problem that 3rd-party CD drives did not support OF.
But that was before G5, so I would not have expected that on G5 directly. You should not have anything to do with Linux bootloader stuff, if you boot from hard-disk, the FreeBSD installer should boot up.
 
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consuli

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In my case however, the open firmware does properly boot the OS-X installation DVD from this 3rd party DVD drive.
So this is not the open firmware DVD boot problem, here. Agreed?

you could try to clone the install-iso to a hard disk instead of dvd and boot from there (firewire or internal partition)
Ok, I want to give it a try.
How can I clone an iso-file to an apple hard disk, so that it would start up? Apple has not designated multiple operating systems on their machines, right?
 

ucomp

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How can I clone an iso-file to an apple hard disk, so that it would start up?
connect your disk (firewire or internal partition)
(at the time of PPC we did not boot from USB on Mac).
Code:
diskutil list
..... Identifier: yourInstallerDisk....
Code:
diskutil unmount(or unmountDisk) yourInstallerDisk
Code:
dd if=FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-powerpc-powerpc64-dvd1.iso of=/dev/yourInstallerDisk bs=4m
... or bs=1M or bs=10m (doesn't matter for onetime use)

... boot from yourInstallerDisk as if it were your DVD-drive

... install FreeBSD to yourTargetDisk
..come back here if you experience problems
 
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consuli

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I was occupied with some other work for a while. But I am still very interested in this issue.

I have created a new partition on the hard disk (which has the identifier "disk0s9"). I have cloned the iso-image using dd to this new partition (as you adviced).

However, the Apple boot menue (accessed by holding Alt-Key down) does not recognize the new bootable partition.

Neither can I boot the new partition from the open firmware (accessed by Alt+Apple+O+F) using the commands:
  • boot disk0s9 or
  • boot hd:9, \BOOT\LOADER (which seems to be the FreeBSD Bootloader)

Is it necessary, that the partition, where the iso image is cloned, is the first (MBR) partition of the hard disk?
 
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consuli

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Here comes good news first. I've figured out how clone an iso-DVD-image to hard disk, altough the Apple G5 machine is an obstinate donkey.

The working procedure how to clone a FreeBSD iso image to hard disk for Apple G5 PowerPC works as follows:
  • Connect a second empty hard disk at the free SATA cable
  • Boot OS-X on the first drive and open the OS-X drive manager
  • Choose the empty hard disk and partition it with one partition using Apple partition scheme
  • Open OS-X Terminal and figure out the disk-ID of the empty hard disk using the command:
  • diskutil list
  • [do NOT unmount the hard disk]
  • sudo dd if=<FreeBSD iso image> of=/dev/disk1 (or disk0) bs=4m
  • Reboot OS-X
  • Check you can read the clone disk from OS-X
  • Reboot again
  • Hold down the Alt-key during reboot (if you are using a 3rd party keyboard, you might need to press the Alt-key repeatedly druing reboot)
  • Choose the right drive in the boot manager
  • [The FreeBSD image should now boot from disk]
 

roccobaroccoSC

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You basically used the second hard disk as a USB installation medium.

Here comes good news first. I've figured out how clone an iso-DVD-image to hard disk, altough the Apple G5 machine is an obstinate donkey.

The working procedure how to clone a FreeBSD iso image to hard disk for Apple G5 PowerPC works as follows:
  • Connect a second empty hard disk at the free SATA cable
  • Boot OS-X on the first drive and open the OS-X drive manager
  • Choose the empty hard disk and partition it with one partition using Apple partition scheme
  • Open OS-X Terminal and figure out the disk-ID of the empty hard disk using the command:
  • diskutil list
  • [do NOT unmount the hard disk]
  • sudo dd if=<FreeBSD iso image> of=/dev/disk1 (or disk0) bs=4m
  • Reboot OS-X
  • Check you can read the clone disk from OS-X
  • Reboot again
  • Hold down the Alt-key during reboot (if you are using a 3rd party keyboard, you might need to press the Alt-key repeatedly druing reboot)
  • Choose the right drive in the boot manager
  • [The FreeBSD image should now boot from disk]
 
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consuli

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You basically used the second hard disk as a USB installation medium.
Exactly. The Apple G5 PowerPC does not support boot from USB, at least not out of the box.

Here comes the bad news, then. Booting from the "cloned to hard disk images" cause the same Apple open firmware hang up, as booting from DVD. I have tried FreeBSD for PowerPC 11.2 iso image and FreeBSD for PowerPC 12.0 iso image. So it is proven now, that the iso images a faulty and the issue is NOT related to the DVD-Reader. Of course I expected this, because I tried 3 DVD drives and all these could boot the OS-X 10.5.4 Leopard installation medium. But I wanted to make 100% sure.

Open firmware hang up details:
  • When trying to boot an FreeBSD 11.2 or FreeBSD 12.0 DVD or iso clone image from the Apple boot manger menu (accessed by holding down or repeatedly pressing the Alt-key during reboot) the drive icons in the boot manager get frizzy and FreeBSD does NOT boot.
  • Further, the apple open firmware does not boot anything any more (especially including the Apple OS-X 10.5.4 Leopard installation DVD), until the machine is unpowered (which works otherwise). = open firmware hang up (my open firmaware version is 5.1),
Thus,
  • either you FreeBSD guys have cheated and the FreeBSD 11.2 or FreeBSD 12.0 DVD iso images have not been tested on Apple G5 PowerPC (which is 64bit PPC in contrast to Apple G4!)
  • or the FreeBSD iso images become compromised by some kind of nasty bit-pattern, which works as kill-switch for the Apple open firmware on the G5 RISC architecture.
 

roccobaroccoSC

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I think you are doing it wrong. The ISO image is formatted for a CD or a DVD drive.
If burning on USB or a HDD, you should not use the ISO image. Instead, use the "*-memstick" file.
For example, use this for powerpc64: https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/powerpc/powerpc64/ISO-IMAGES/12.0/FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-powerpc-powerpc64-memstick.img.xz
Or this one for powerpc: https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/powerpc/powerpc/ISO-IMAGES/12.0/FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-powerpc-memstick.img.xz

You have to extract the file before writing it to the disk, of course.
 
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consuli

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roccobaroccoSC, I think you have made a very good point. Everything I have posted is about the DVD iso image. As FreeBSD does not provide hybrid iso images (but separate iso images for DVD and USB Stick), preferably the USB iso image should be used to create a clone iso hard disk for install. Further, your point includes, that the FreeBSD USB iso image might not be affected by the issue.

On the other hand, however, your point does not have any implication for my 7th and 8th proof (by hard disk clone of DVD image), that the FreeBSD 11.2 and 12.0 PPC images for DVD are faulty. It simply means, that the somewhat bit pattern error is included in the bootloader, already. During booting there is no filesystem first. The filesystem is loaded during the booting process. This is why booting from hard disk clone (manufactured from DVD image) causes exactly the same open firmware hang up error as the 6 DVD booting attempts, 2 FreeeBSD iso images on three different DVD drives. As I've mentioned above already, my Apple G5 machine also cannnot copy the boot loader of the Parrot Security Live iso image. So, it is just the same error!

If you FreeBSD guys want to taken seriously by users with security ambitions, you should start to investigate this crazy error. Why should users with security ambitions use your FreeBSD instead of more familiar Linux, otherwise? I think, I have given you some good hints in this issue. So the ball is lying in your half of the field.

Unfortunately my time ressources for this issue are exhausted, now. I have already invested 60 or 80 hours in the "getting FreeBSD installed on Apple G5 PowerPC project" (I started from scratch and first had to get used to the crazy Apple specifics like these keyboard shortcuts for the boot manager and these things.) So my further input will be limited to the trials I did already. Anyway my expertise (evolving from a statisticians background) is too limited to perform the obviously necessary security analysis of the FreeBSD DVD iso images for PPC.
 

roccobaroccoSC

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Did you try to burn the memstick image on a second harddisk? If it did not work, what's the error?
The installation documentation is pretty clear on how to use the ISO and the memstick image. You just have to use a harddisk instead of a USB image and it should work.

Why still trying with the DVD image, when you could do it simpler via the harddisk?
 
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