Debian Wheezy Linux on a Mac G5 – How To

My HackinTOS

English: Debian etch default Xfce install
English: Debian etch default Xfce install (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have had a Mac G5 for about a year now. I call it my HackinTOS.  I like having two 64-bit CPUs chugging away to edit audio. It has been a great beast but the Debian Squeeze on it has ended it’s support life.  It is time to wipe it and upgrade.  I know there are not too many of these machines around anymore but, based on the forum posts I have read, I imagine there are many who have had a “fun time” getting the machines to submit to Linux.  I thought I might share how to do so.  While I admit, I am a tad of a two-bit hack, I feel that I have some knowledge on this matter.

Before you do anything, back up all of your files.  If you do install Debian as I describe below, you are going to be erasing and re-writing you hard drive.

In this post I will cover:

  1. Getting my display to work with a Nividia GeForce 5200 Ultra graphics card
  2. Installing the XFCE desktop environment
  3. Installing some extra packages via synaptic
  4. Adding additional repositories
  5. Getting Synergy to start on login
  6. Automatically logging in when I hit the power button (failed)
  7. Getting the sound card to work
  8. Assigning keys to open and close the CD/DVD tray

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