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Linux on the iBook G4

Installing Debian Jessie on an iBook G4

There is some good information out there, but scattered. Thought I might put something together.


The wireless modules are in the non-free and contrib repositories. You’ll have to add them to /etc/apt/sources.list.

After that, install firmware-b43-installer. After reboot, you should see wireless networks being picked up in the network manger.

References: Debian Testing on iBook G4

Battery indicator

Add pmu_battery to /etc/modules and reload/reboot. You may need to tweak your desktop or window manager to get a battery meter icon displayed.

References: Debian Testing on iBook G4


The biggest pain. Debian came with some default configurations that need to be unset.

  1. Delete or comment out snd-powermac from /etc/modules.
  2. Remove blacklisted lines snd-aoa* from /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.local.conf.
  3. Reload the modules or reboot.
  4. Execute alsamixer. Select your soundcard, and ensure the PCM and Speaker channels have some volume on them, in addition to Master.

References: Debian mailing list thread