getting netBSD on an old mac
July 23, 2005 7:12 PM   Subscribe

So I have these old macs (Power Macintosh 5500/225, Power Macintosh 6500/275 and a Power Macintosh 4400/200)... and I am obsessed with putting netBSD or a similar *nix operating system on them.

I apparently I have to edit the nvram's video settings as the default setting in these model's open firmware sets the display to the lowest brightness setting (black). The only way to edit the nvram is by using "BootVars or over a serial console". I have no idea what "BootVars" is or how to connect these computers over a serial console to do this. So HOW do you do this?

Also, I really don't feel like defending my reasons for using old macs. So if you want to use my question as a sound board for a debate or to expound your belief in a certain computer's obsolescence; please show some restraint. The deal is I have them here and want to turn them in to servers. I can't afford to go buying new a computer every time I want to attempt a new project... besides where is the fun in that? So yes, I know these computers are old. Yes, I know it is gonna be difficult. Yes, I know it would be easier to buy an old PC and just run netBSD on it, but I have what I have... and what have is old macs :-) Any HELP is appreciated. Thanks.
posted by Livewire Confusion to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
The page for the NetBSD/macppc port might be a good place to start if you want to go with NetBSD. Also, the NetBSD/macppc FAQ; in particular the question "I tried to get into Open Firmware, but it just stopped booting, and my monitor isn't showing anything."
posted by zztzed at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2005

This seems to be a fairly detailed description of the whole process.
posted by reynaert at 4:41 AM on July 24, 2005

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