Booting my PowerMAC G5 from SSD

Grandpa’s G5

In my last trip to the United States, I scored yet another PowerMac G5, a model 7,2 which is one that is capable of running OS X 10.2.7 for the G5.  It was the proverbial dream come true, used by an elderly man to keep track of photos in iPhoto, which he used maybe a handful of times a year.

Needless to say, he wasn’t too pleased that his copy of Snow Leopard didn’t work on the machine, and he dumped the G5 for a much quieter MacBook.

At any rate, it also included an Apple Studio Display.  I found another Cinema Display in the used hardware market for $25, which even though the display works the screen was damaged at some point and shows scratches on the surface when the display is a solid colour.

At any rate, the machine was deadly slow to boot, I upgraded the RAM from 256MB to 1.2GB, and replaced the ancient disk for a SAMSUNG SSD PM830 2.5 256GB flash drive.  Now it’ll boot up in under 30 seconds from the graphics initialization.

That makes this the only machine I have capable of running MacOS 9, although in emulation under OS X 10.2.  I have the Jaguar DVD set, but Classic mode was removed in 10.5.  It was the ending of the PowerPC era, just as 10.6 was the last version to ship with Rosetta.

Its a fun machine from the era of the introduction of personal 64bit RISC computing to the home user, although too bad the full industry didn’t catch up until later, just as 32bit desktop computing had a few stumbles out of the gates.

Darwin 0.3 & 1.0 on Qemu

Darwin 0.3 PowerPC

Interestingly enough a lot of the same weirdness of missing bits I saw on the x86, is also on the PowerPC.

There is no nice installer, the CD image actually boots MacOS 8.6 which currently won’t run on Qemu.  However Darwin 1.0 uses MacOS 9, which will.  There is not install program for Darwin, rather you need a secondary disk, that is partitioned so the volume manager will pick it up, and then you restore a backup onto the target disk.  Naturally the restore program from 0.3 won’t work, but the 1.0 will under the G4 Cube MacOS 9 CD-ROM install.

Also I couldn’t figure out the boot parameters so I used Steve Troughton Smith’s BootX loader https://github.com/steventroughtonsmith/BootX to get the OS booted.

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -drive file=..\darwin03.qcow2,index=0,format=qcow2,media=disk -drive file=BootX_custom.dmg,index=2,format=raw,media=disk -prom-env “boot-device=ide1:2,\BootX” -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=hd0 debug=0xffe kdp=2” -prom-env “boot-file=ide0:8,\mach_kernel” -M g3beige

It’s a little convoluted but it does work.

I put together a binary package for Qemu on sourceforge here: Darwin03-PowerPC_qemu-2.11_04_22_2018.7z

Currently there is no networking, I’m guessing I need drivers from OS X 1.x but Ive had really bad luck with the mouse to try to open a terminal window to see if the new sungem NIC is functional at all.

Mac OS X Server 1.0 installs on Qemu

OS X Server 1.2 on qemu single user mode

That’s right, the ADB is usable enough now to type and move the mouse, meaning that OS X Server can now be installed within Qemu!

It’s incredibly slow, and the mouse is incredibly jumpy, but it’s actually running!

Basically, like A/UX, you boot up into MacOS to partition the drive.

qemu-system-ppc-screamer.exe -L pc-bios -m 256 -M mac99 -prom-env “boot-args=-v” -prom-env “auto-boot?=true” -prom-env “vga-ndrv?=true” -hda 2GB.vmdk -cdrom “Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso” -sdl -device usb-mouse -device adb-keyboard -boot d

OS X Server 1.2 MacOS 9 Create OS X Server partition

And then kick off the installer:

OS X Server 1.2 MacOS 9 Start Install

Which really isn’t much to do, other than tagging the partition, and prepping the machine to reboot.

It’s OK

Qemu doesn’t emulate the NVRAM, so it’ll complete with this ‘non fatal’ ‘fatal error’

After that, boot into the OS X Server kernel, and continue the install:

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=sd0″ -drive file=2GB.vmdk,index=1,format=vmdk,media=disk -M g3beige -cpu g3 -drive file=”Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso”,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” -m 256 -net none

OS X Server 1.2 installing text mode

It will then format the disk, and copy over the base operating system.  After that it’s time to shutdown, and reboot the VM.  I couldn’t figure out a pure hard disk boot, but again using the CD-ROM, you can just tell it to pull the root from the hard disk.

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=hd0″ -drive file=2GB.vmdk,index=1,format=vmdk,media=disk -M g3beige -cpu g3 -drive file=”Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso”,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” -m 256 -net none

OS X Server 1.2 installing

And after this, it’ll want to reboot again.  Launch it up and now we get the initial setup

Setup Assistant

And with that out of the way, we can logon!

And after a while, it’ll load up the desktop

OS X Server 1.2 Desktop

As mentioned above, the mouse is incredibly jittery.  Doing anything graphical is very difficult. But here we are, running OS X/Rhapsody for the PowerPC!

That’s all!

Because the mouse is VERY jumpy at the moment, Im going to make some pre-configured disk images available because running the disk tool under OS 9 is a major pain.  The first image has only been partitioned, while the second has completed the ‘text mode setup’, aka a minimal install.

And that’s it for now!

So the source code to the Macintosh port of System Shock was just released

It’s the ‘classic’ MacOS. And it requires Code Warrior 10 to build. Apparently its for the PowerPC only, although I haven’t tried to compile it yet, as I foolishly just upgraded to 10.5 on my PowerPC, which of course has no classic support.

Source code is on github, here.

It’s a nice present from Night Dive studios.  I know that many people are mad at their reboot being consumed by feature bloat, but at least they aren’t going down into obscurity.

As always, enjoy!

OS X Server 1.0 on Qemu (almost)

booting

I was pretty amazed to see it even get this far.  Credit to Steve Troughton Smith for his patched BootX, which gets the boot process this far.  It’ll actually start the NeXTSTEP style install, but the keyboard won’t work either USB or ADB.  Oh well.

..\qemu-system-ppc.exe -L .. -m 256 -drive file=MacOSXServer10.iso,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -drive file=BootX_custom.dmg,index=2,format=raw,media=disk -drive file=bla.disk,index=1,format=qcow2,media=disk -prom-env “boot-device=ide2:2,\BootX” -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=sd0 debug=0xffe kdp=2” -prom-env “boot-file=ide0:11,\mach_kernel” -g 800x600x8 -device adb-keyboard -device adb-mouse -cpu G3 -M g3beige

 

COMDEX/Fall’93 program & exhibits guide-on-disk

COMDEX/Fall’93 free diskette!

Comdex on a disk!

I saw this floating around on some web site… And I thought I’d take a look!  Well it’s exactly what it sounds like, an ancient MS-DOS text base database from the fine folks at Folio who would later on sell off, merge and become part of LexisNexis.

Folio infobase

And what fine things were there in 1993?

IBM Power Personal Systems

Let’s not forget the false hope and promise of the IBM/Apple/Motorola PowerPC that was going to save us all, and give us the grand unifying microkernel OS of them all, PINK.

The IBM Power Personal Systems Division is introducing and demonstrating technologies featured on its family of personal workstations.  The Personal Workstations marry  the high-performance PowerPC RISC microprocessor with industry-standard PC components.  The PowerPC is featured with new human interfaces, integration of multiple operating systems environments on a single platform, and the latest in operating system, multimedia and collaborative computing technologies.  OEMs, IHVs and ISVs can explore how they can use these technologies.

Yeah, as we all know Windows NT for the PowerPC wasn’t a thing until late 1995, then killed off in 1997, Solaris saw a single release, MacOS stayed hybrid 68000/PowerPC until the acquisition of NeXT, and then was the basis of Rhapsody/OS X 1.0 and then OS X 10.0 .  A/IX easily transitioned from the POWER to the PowerPC, while OS/2 only went as far as a limited beta, and PINK/Taligent just never happened.  Although thanks to hard ware assisted virtualization (VT-x/AMD-V) it really didn’t matter as we can run pretty much whatever OS we wish at pretty close to native speeds.  The line between Type-1 & Type-2 hypervisors has been blurred to the point of really not mattering anymore.

If anyone cares, I extracted the temperamental disk image as F93.ZIP

Torbjörn Granlund’s Excellent resource on running free OS’s on Qemu

Ever get tired of x86 on x86?  yeah me too.

How to solve that problem?

Simple, grab QEMU, and jump off into all those cool RISC processors of the 1990’s that were going to save us all from the WINTEL hegemony!

Lots of instructions, samples, images, and hints here:

https://gmplib.org/~tege/qemu.html

It’s really more comprehensive than I’ve sat down to do, so yeah it’s awesome!

Supported platforms include:

mips32,mips64,sparc32,sparc64,ppc32,ppc64,arm32,arm64,s390x,alpha

InfoTaskForce running on PowerPC (Dynamips)

choices..
choices..

Well considering what a hit it was, the last time I did this, I thought I’d give it another go!

And after a bit of fighting, I got it to run!

Now what were the obstacles?  Well for starters not having a full libc certainly hurts things.  Things like a malloc.  And without getting fancy with the memory map I did the lamest cheat ever, which is a 1MB static array I just handed out with a fake malloc (no free, I didn’t bother to track chunks), and you know it works enough.

Also I need to read files, and I need to look more into the hardware to see how to do that.  There seems to be plenty of hooks for NVRAM, but the ROMMON substitute doesn’t seem to support them.  Also there is no ROMMON hook for reading from the console!  The MIPS cilo is more ROMMON dependent, while the PowerPC c1700 talks to the uart directly so this is a PowerPC thing for right now.

I also learned something exciting about ld, which is how it can absorb binary images into objects, that you can link and access directly into your program!  No more having to convert it to hex, make these insane headders that CPP may or may not bomb over.  No you can make them objects right away!

ppc-elf-ld -r -b binary -o planetfa.o planetfa.dat

In this example I read the file planetfa.dat as BINARY, and encapsulate it in an object file called planetfa.o . It’ll now have a symbol name of _binary_planetfa_dat_start for where the image begins, _binary_planetfa_dat_size will tell me how big it is in memory, and _binary_planetfa_dat_end will mark the end of this ‘file’ in memory.

Now in the old days when it was a file I could access it like this:

fread ((char *)ptr,block_size,(int)num_blocks,game_file);

But that won’t work.  So now instead of calling fopen/fclose (which don’t exist in CILO), I set a counter to what my current offset is, change the ‘fseek’ to just set the global counter to where it should be, and when I fread I just memcpy:

memcpy(ptr,_binary_planetfa_dat_start+fseekp,num_blocks*block_size);
fseekp=fseekp+(num_blocks*block_size);

I suppose I could just have wrapped the f* calls into some emulation library but I don’t need to get all that crazy sophisticated.

C:\temp\dynamips>dynamips.exe -P 1700 -X -r 4 ciscoload.bin
Cisco Router Simulation Platform (version 0.2.15-experimental(merge uppc smips)Build-3-x86/MinGW stable)
Copyright (c) 2005-2011 Christophe Fillot.
Build date: Sep 19 2015 19:33:12

Local UUID: 0450c178-6480-11e5-a559-019031cf957a

Pcap version [WinPcap version 4.1.3 (packet.dll version 4.1.0.2980), based on libpcap version 1.0 branch 1_0_rel0b (20091008)]
Unsure if this file (c1700_i0_rommon_vars) needs to be in binary mode
Virtual RAM size set to 4 MB.
IOS image file: ciscoload.bin

ILT: loaded table “mips64j” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “mips64e” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “ppc32j” from cache.
ILT: loaded table “ppc32e” from cache.
vtty_term_init
CPU0: carved JIT exec zone of 64 Mb into 2048 pages of 32 Kb.
C1700 instance ‘default’ (id 0):
VM Status : 0
RAM size : 4 Mb
NVRAM size : 32 Kb
IOS image : ciscoload.bin

Loading BAT registers
Loading ELF file ‘ciscoload.bin’…
ELF entry point: 0x8000d9c8

C1700 ‘default’: starting simulation (CPU0 IA=0xfff00100), JIT enabled.
ROMMON emulation microcode.

Launching IOS image at 0x8000d9c8…
CILO
CiscoLoader (CILO) – Linux bootloader for Cisco Routers
Available RAM: 4096 kB
Available commands:
queen
hanoi
horse
fib
planetfall
halt

Enter filename to boot:
malloc 64512 offset is 0 offset is now 64522
malloc 38912 offset is 64522 offset is now 103444
PLANETFALL
Infocom interactive fiction – a science fiction story
Copyright (c) 1983 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
PLANETFALL is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 37 / Serial number 851003

Another routine day of drudgery aboard the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein. This
morning’s assignment for a certain lowly Ensign Seventh Class: scrubbing the
filthy metal deck at the port end of Level Nine. With your Patrol-issue
self-contained multi-purpose all-weather scrub brush you shine the floor with a
diligence born of the knowledge that at any moment dreaded Ensign First Class
Blather, the bane of your shipboard existence, could appear.

Deck Nine
This is a featureless corridor similar to every other corridor on the ship. It
curves away to starboard, and a gangway leads up. To port is the entrance to
one of the ship’s primary escape pods. The pod bulkhead is closed.

Deck Nine Score: 0/4451
PLANETFALL
Infocom interactive fiction – a science fiction story
Copyright (c) 1983 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
PLANETFALL is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 37 / Serial number 851003

Deck Nine Score: 0/4451
>

For anyone crazy enough, you can find my MinGW Dynamips on sourceforge, cross compilers for PowerPC, and the branch of the firmware source that includes InfoTaskForce, and the binary image.

While I don’t want to write an OS for this, it is almost tempting.  Or go the other route, and add in some non router based hardware… Like audio hardware, or a framebuffer.

Does anyone have a 1700 to test to see if any of this works?  Or a 7200?! 😀

Continuing with a PowerPC ELF compiler for Windows

Continuing on from yesterdays adventure I built the PowerPC compiler to support the Cisco 1700 (and maybe the 7200 NPE-G2?).

Much to my surprise, this one works too!

Loading ELF file ‘../ciscoload.bin’…
ELF entry point: 0x8000cba0

C1700 ‘default’: starting simulation (CPU0 IA=0xfff00100), JIT enabled.
ROMMON emulation microcode.

Launching IOS image at 0x8000cba0…
CIL
Error: Unable to find any valid flash! Aborting load.

Awesome!

Building this was a lot more fun.  I thought I could sidestep building a Linux to PowerPC ELF cross compiler, but as it turns out, to bootstrap libgcc, you really need a compiler that can do this.  But with the steps basically down, it was trivial to whip up.

Although I did keep on hitting this error with the Win32 tools that “-mstrict-align” is not supported, while trying to build the startup and libgcc sources using the MinGW targeted compiler through wine.  But once I had a native Linux to PowerPC toolchain in place, not only could I build the Windows based compiler, but I can also use the flag -mstrict-align on Windows without it complaining.  So lesson learned, have a cross compiler built to the final target to make life easier when building a Canadian cross.

As always, building the binutils package was a snap, just run:

./configure --host=i686-mingw32 --target=ppc-elf -prefix=/ppc

and I had my assembler/linker/librarian in no time.

Because of the aforementioned -mstrict-align issue, I got more creative with the parameters for GCC.

./configure --target=ppc-elf --prefix=/ppc --disable-nls --disable-werror --disable-libssp --without-headers --disable-threads --build=i486-linux-gnu --host=i686-mingw32

But with the Linux to PowerPC cross compiler in place, I was able to quickly generate a working toolchain.

I copied in CILO, and added in a build batch file to manually build it, and updated the test directory to run it.

So for those who are interested here is my toolchains:

And a mirror on sourceforge of my cross toolchains, PowerPC and MIPS.

As a minor addendum, The 1700 can run stuff that is far more complicated than the MIPS.  I’m not sure why I get so many TLB violations for doing something more complicated but I (poorly) ported aclock to run on the cisco 1700!

Aclock on the cisco 1700 via Dynamips
Aclock on the cisco 1700 via Dynamips

The Dynamips ROMMON emulator doesn’t provide the keyboard input function call so it can’t read from the keyboard.  Also it can’t read the clock so I have it running 250,000 dhrystones between clock ticks.  Although I think that is far too many, maybe 125,000 would be more like it but it runs on the PowerPC.  While on the MIPS I get nothing but this:

*** TLB (Load/Fetch) Exception ***
PC = 0x80008964, Cause = 0x00008008, Status Reg = 0x00408103

Oh well.  Maybe it’s a stack problem I guess I’ll have to break down and do a memory map and write a malloc if I want to go down this road.  Although back in 1999 this would be incredible but today I don’t think anyone would run anything but IOS on their cisco hardware.