• 500 MHz Power PC G3 Processor
  • 320 MB SD-RAM
  • 10 GB Hard Drive
  • CD-ROM Drive
  • 12.1 inch TFT LCD Display (1024x768)
  • 10/100 Ethernet, two USB, firewire, S-VGA output with special cable
  • hardware Modem
  • Airport Card

    I picked up another iBook 500 MHz model. This time, I decided to load the Power PC version of OpenBSD 3.7. OpenBSD is the exclusive operating system on the machine since it only has a 10 GB Hard Drive.


    Loading and getting OpenBSD to run on the iBook is kind of tricky. Here is how I got it to work. When you boot off the OpenBSD boot disk for macppc which was CD 2, you have various options to load. You go through various options which I picked the default. Further down, you have the option of using HFS or MBR to setup the hard drive. I picked the 'MBR' option. You then go into a special fdisk program and pick the "b" option. You won't quite get the full disk to partition even though have the drive exclusively for OpenBSD. You have to do some tweaking to get the whole drive. once you are done, you partition with "disklabel". Below is what is looks like with disklabel.

    root@ibookBSD:/usr/ports # disklabel /dev/wd0c
    # using MBR partition 3: type A6 off 3024 (0xbd0) size 16511040 (0xfbf040)
    # /dev/wd0c:
    type: ESDI
    disk: ESDI/IDE disk
    label: TOSHIBA MK1017GA
    bytes/sector: 512
    sectors/track: 63
    tracks/cylinder: 16
    sectors/cylinder: 1008
    cylinders: 16383
    total sectors: 19640880
    rpm: 3600
    interleave: 1
    trackskew: 0
    cylinderskew: 0
    headswitch: 0           # microseconds
    track-to-track seek: 0  # microseconds
    drivedata: 0 
    16 partitions:
    #             size        offset  fstype [fsize bsize  cpg]
      a:      18984639          2049  4.2BSD   2048 16384  328 # Cyl     2*- 18835 
      b:        654192      18986688    swap                   # Cyl 18836 - 19484 
      c:      19640880             0  unused      0     0      # Cyl     0 - 19484 
      i:          2048             1   MSDOS                   # Cyl     0*-     2*
    There will a special "i" partition. that is required and take the first 1 MB of the drive. After you are done with the disklabel program, you load the different items and then when you are finished, you will need to copy the file "ofwboot" from the CD (mount /dev/cd0c /mnt2) to the "i" partition (mkdir /mnt1;mount /dev/wd0i /mnt1). Copy with "cp /mnt2/ofwboot /mnt1".

    The fun part is getting the machine to boot into OpenBSD. Reboot the machine and as soon as you hear the familiar Apple chime, simultaneously press [Option][Command][F][O]. The [Command] key is next to the space bar on each side with the Apple symbol on it. This gets you into OpenBoot. The next thing you want to do is type out the command
    setenv boot-device hd:,ofwboot /bsd
    which allows you to boot into openBSD. If it comes to something like "boot or Exit" then type"/bsd" and hit . Once OpenBSD is booted, log in as root and then do a
    ln -s /bsd /boot
    since when it first boots, it is looking for the "boot" file.


    X Window by default works. However, the depthis set at 8 bits based upon the framebuffer. There is no XF86Config file since it runs off the framebuffer. If there is anyone familiar to tweak the framebuffer such as changing the DefaultDepth to something like 16 or 24 bits, please e-mail me.


    Does not work.


    The modem is accessible through device /dev/tty00.

    Additional Comments

    I also loaded OpenBSD 3.7 on a 300 MHz Clamshell iBook. On it, sound does not work either.

    Send comments to Brad
    Last Updated : Oct 30, 2005