OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD on iBook Tips

Contributed by jose on from the quick-guide dept.

Gilbert Fernandes has written a quick guide for getting OpenBSD up and running on your iBook. His exact hardware is the dual USB iBook , but his instructions should be usable for most of the iBook line. If you have a different model of iBook (or TiBook) these may work for you. In any case, it's a good document to start with. Thanks, Gilbert.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Sorry for the dumb question, but I didn't see it in the FAQ.

    On i386, does the kernel allow the same option:
    option FONT... (as in his documentation, near the end) or is it strictly done via wscons*/wsfontload?

    I'm going to be trying OpenBSD 3.3-snapshot on an HP omnibook - 10" display.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      console will be 80x25 or 80x50 in the mid-screen either way, this is not a bitmap (ie graphics mode + font) console on i386...

    2. By Gilbert Fernandes () on

      No. The console on i386 is not a framebuffer. Some Linux boxes I have seen have the framebuffer support so it is possible, technically. On the Macintosh, you start in a 8-bit frame buffer per default so the font which is used can be set in the kernel. The kernel will use font Gallant unless you remove it and put a smaller font :-)

  2. By Corey Donohoe () on

    This woulda been really useful a few months ago when I gave a stab at getting 3.2 running on my ibook of the same model. Steps ended up being quite similar to Gilbert's, but I did a network install and used the cd32.fs. I'm not sure whether he got X up and running, but it's not that hard.(I have the config file backed up if anyone might ever want it) Two things I needed that weren't present were sleep(APM would report proper battery level though) and sound support. Anyone know if any advancements have been made in these areas? Also kind of annoying was the fact that you had to keep a mac partition around to boot even if you don't run mac os. Maybe future releases will fully support this nice little machine.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      where is niekze?

      1. By niekze () on

        Here I am! Finally got a working dialup. Of course, I leave for the Navy in april...

    2. By Gilbert Fernandes () on

      Well, that's my fault. I have, in fact, been using that ibook model under OpenBSD and X Window for over a year... But we started the Open.BSDCow project as a joke at first while saying stupid things about monkeys and cows (as you know the famous Dug Song and his obsession about monkeys... so we searched for our own mascot and the cow came up because of OpenBSE - for those who use OpenBSD for long enough know what I mean there...).

      I have posted the XF86Config on another part of our site but since we're still working over it, it was not online (check this : I added the link to my framebuffer XF86Config. You can also use the ATI driver if you prefer, but framebuffer is quite nice :-)

      I should have done this sooner but I am.. a lazy slut as Miod says. Very lazy...

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    There's nothing about how to install Windows, that'll be way much more useful to us.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      not even a joke - connectix virtualpc does it

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Apple laptops are effectively unusable for unix users.

    I am a long-time Unix user. That means I need to have the Ctrl key to the left of the A key. This is a genuine need , not merely a want; it is based upon ergonomics . The Ctrl key is heavily used in unix, and it must be easily accessable. It cannot be off in the lower left corner of the keyboard where it is difficult to get at, and where it distorts the position of your left hand such that you can't easily type other keys while holding the Ctrl key down.

    Apple desktop keyboards are now all USB. They are all OK. The CapsLock key can be re-mapped into a Ctrl key.

    Unfortunately, even in this modern age, all Apple laptops have built-in ADB keyboards. The ADB keyboard is broken-by-design . It is, in general, not possible to remap the CapsLock key into a Ctrl key.

    There are some exceptions, but they are horrible kludges . They are horrible kludges because the original design of the ADB keyboard was a horrible kludge. The correct solution would be for Apple to re-design their laptop motherboards to use built-in USB keyboards. This hasn't happened yet. If you run Linux, use Debian's solution. For Mac OS X users, uControl works. There are no solutions (that I know of) for either NetBSD or OpenBSD. Please note once again that the "solutions" above are in fact kludges , because of the original bad design of the ADB keyboard.

    Apple provides a technical note on how to remap the keyboard, but provides no solution to the hardware problems caused by the design of the ADB keyboard. This tech note helps foreign language users, but does nothing for the CapsLock/Ctrl problem.

    Apple is (currently) ignoring Unix users! This is not merely speculation on my part. In an on-going email exchange I am having with an Apple employee (whom I won't name) in their marketing department, the Apple marketing person directly stated to me that Apple was catering to their historic Mac customers, and is purposely ignoring the Unix market . He also claimed that Apple would soon start paying more attention to the Unix market. I won't hold my breath. Apple has been ignoring Unix users for more than 12 years . I expect that trend to continue. (Also note that my Apple contact indicated that Macs would never ship with a 3-button mouse, even though Apple intended to port almost all X-window software and deliver it either on a CD/DVD or installed directly on each Mac's hard drive. How Unix friendly is a 1-button mouse with X programs that often require 3 buttons?)

    Apple has now lost two opportunities to sell me hardware . I really wanted an Apple laptop for their superior battery life , and for the PowerPC with Altivec CPU. (The Altivec is vastly superior to the x86 line for DSP.) Because I can't live with the broken-by-design built-in ADB keyboard in all Apple laptops, Sony and IBM sold me laptops instead. If Apple fixes this problem, they will sell me a PowerBook next year; if they don't, I'll still be running OpenBSD on x86 hardware, and wishing I could use a Mac.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      > Apple laptops are effectively unusable
      > for unix users.

      No. What you should have said is "the Apple laptops are effectively unusable for me as a Unix user".

      Honestly, I seriously doubt that you can talk in the name of Unix users. Whatever your ego is, you should consider this. I am a Unix user, and I have used that iBook for over a year under OpenBSD (I moved to a Thinkpad X30 machine recently).

      The position of the control key ?
      I use my little left finger for that key. And weither it is stricly on LEFT of the A key is bullshit. If the key is located anywhere on the left, your finger can remain over it and use it anytime. And I do not agree with the fact that the control key should be located left of A key.

      The finest keyboard I ever used for my Unices is a typematrix using Dvorak. And the "shift" key covers the left part of the A and : ; keys, with Control below. And this keyboard reproduces the Control and Alt keys on the right.

      >This is a genuine need, not merely a want;
      > it is based upon ergonomics.

      No. The keyboard layout you are using was developped so typewriters would not jam. If something as a keyboard is NOT compliant to ergonomics, it is our current keyboard layouts so stop saying such stoopid things, please. If you want an ERGONOMIC layout choose a keyboard with at least those specific options :

      1. Small size : your hands must be able to cover all keys without moving palms but fingers only. Check the Happy Hacking keyboards for an example.

      2. Vertical alignment of keys : I only found this on the Type Matrix. Keys are strictly vertical aligned so when you move the finger UP on a row there is no horizontal move of the finger to the left.

      3. Statistical layout : according to your language, use a statistical layout of keys over your keyboard. I use english Dvorak and I also have a special DvortyBoard custom keyboard with a personal statistic key layout.

      Last, please recall : you cannot speak in the name of Unix users. So express this is your personal opinion and nothing else.

      No salute.

      1. By Sunnan () on

        I'm not the original poster, I found this page while googling for a way to remap the caps-key to a control key.

        I've used dvorak for many years and I still do on my iBook. But the control-key position really hurts my fingers. It wouldn't be so bad if the control key was in the actual corner, so I could push it with the corner of your hand - but on iBooks and Powerbooks, it's between the fn and the alt so I almost *have* to use a finger, either the pinky or the thumb, and either way really awkward and uncomfortable.

        Maybe the original poster was rude and spoke for too many others - but so did you. Htf do you know whether the O.P uses dvorak or qwerty or whatever?

    2. By Chris Hedemark () on

      You don't speak for UNIX users. Now go sit in the corner.

      I have a Powerbook G4. I love it. It works great. The keyboard took a couple of days to get used to but guess what? I got used to it. I am far more productive with this machine. It has replaced my desktops (a Sun and a Linux box). I literally use it on the order of 12 hours a day now.

      Initially Apple was keeping UNIX really well hidden under the covers. Now they are starting to release things like their X11 server to appease the "other switchers". Right now their X11 is still too divorced from everything else, but it is getting better with every release.

    3. By Ralph Kramden () on

      To Quote: "It cannot be off in the lower left corner of the keyboard where it is difficult to get at, and where it distorts the position of your left hand such that you can't easily type other keys while holding the Ctrl key down."

      Wowsers. I don't know what school you come from, but having the Ctrl key right where you describe it, the lower left, has never been a problem, and I don't think I've ever heard such an impassioned plea for such a non-existant problem. It's called adaptation.

      I'd hate to see you try to drive different model cars, where the shifters may be in different patterns (Euro vs. Japanese), because if you can't come to grips with something as generic as a keyboard, well, perhaps you need to find help.

    4. By greyisbored () on

      I am a long time Unix user, that doesn't mean that I /need/ much of anything. A serial console is k-rad, I don't even /need/ X windows (in fact I tend to avoid it). And forget your 12 year bullshit, Apple had A/UX around that time, and just because you got used to some whack Sun or NeXT keyboard doesn't mean shit. When it comes to keyboards and mice - fuck, use what you like, if a laptop doesn't have it - oh fucking well, there are other choices.

      I will agree that Apple makes some pretty nice stuff, and their laptops tend to get pretty decent battery life. I'll grant you that it would be nice if they added a USB keyboard to their laptops - but it's certainly not a high priority on my list (since I kinda give a fuck about where the control key is placed, I've used them just about everywhere and it doesn't make much difference).

      A bigger gripe for me is maybe their touchpad, since I really prefer touchpoints these days due to having used one for a while and getting used to it. The number of mouse buttons I guess is maybe a problem, if I used X - but I don't, and for OSX/Aqua one mouse button seems more than sufficient.

      What I would -rather- see in a mac powerbook is:
      Higher res displays (1600x1200 or closer) without going to 17" - I've got a 15" 1600x1200 display on a crappy Dell, and it's great. I don't get why Apple can't do this, especially since their LCD manufacturer offers a 15" that goes up to 1900xsomethinginsane. It sounds unreadable, but it's so sharp that it actually works really well, even at 15".

      Drop the blooming Nvidia gfx chipsets! Not only is the ATi9000M a faster chip, but it has better (or at least real) X support, so that if I did want to go cram my head in that behemoth, at least it would be supported and work. Apple's apparent excuse is that the ATi9000 takes up slightly more room due to external cache or some crap. But wtf? Have you seen that 17"? IT'S HUGE! Apple could frigging expand their keyboard while their at it on that model, and throw in a numeric keypad. Takes up too much space my ass, nvidia can lick for all I care.

      What else - oh, add 5400rpm hdd's to the laptops for crissakes, if you're shelling out $3300 for a 17" at least put something that was fast in desktops, 10 years ago.

      Bigger gripes I have with the XServe lacking ECC and dual Power Supplies. What braindead admin are they catering to here? I know they're not selling many of these, and they certainly continue to alienate admins because of those drawbacks on a greater scale than people who have mandatory keyboard preferences. Sure the mac shops probably love them, but then catering to a mac shop isn't my idea of a real realiable 24x7 server.

      If you want a really nice laptop for Unix, look at the IBM line. Their A31p seems pretty much perfect for OpenBSD users - fxp NIC, prism2.5 wi for WEP breakage, ATi7500 for nice X support, 1600x1200 display, 3 'button' touchpoint, No fucking Windows key even (and it's black to boot). Too bad it costs about $4k. (smiley face go down)

      For something power efficient look at the Fujitsuo P-2040, again lotsa nice stuff there for a Unix user - ATi-M gfx, prism2 wi [iirc], shitty realtek NIC, but it'll work. Decent 1200xwhatever wide display. Super thrifty transmeta cpu, dvd+cdrw drive, and $1700 or so, not bad. It's a bit slow, but very choice. Has a touchpoint too. Unfortunately, the keyboard is tiny, and one of the shift keys is in a weird ass place, but you get used to things like that.

      Personally, I wouldn't hold your breath on Apple meeting your demands anytime (let alone soon).

      However, by next year you'll be able to get a Hammer laptop, which should be quite dope for OpenBSD usage assuming there's native x86-64 arch by then (mmm, x86-64, ELF, and doped up Propolice with heap protection at last for x86ish crap [well x86-64only thanks to hammer] all in an affordable laptop). Maybe Apple'll crank something out when they up their laptops to 64bit - but that's in two years or so most likely.

      For now, if you want an Apple - do it for OSX, their hardware is OK, but nothing too special (for all the Firewire800 and Airport Extreme support, they're still missing the big things like PCI-X [USB2 et al aren't so much something to give a shit about). For laptops in the immediate present, you might be hard pressed to beat A tibook or albook with gigE, dvd-r, firewire800, 802.11g - but in the not so far future Apple is going to need to scramble a little more on the hardware front [mostly in their CPU, bus & mainboard design]. For now, an albook is very tempting as far as apples go - mostly because you're not going to get much more from the apple line unless you're buying an Xserve or Powermac - and neither of those are super duper [oooh, PCI slot - oh wait, it's not even PCI-X, d'oh old tech again].

      But christ, these are just computers - you can live without them, so stop your bitching (that has been heard here before). If anything, the only thing that I think Apple needs some bitching about is to add a 'hardware suggestions' page so that gripes like this can go to the proper place instead of OSX or whatnot suggestions.

      Please keep it off deadly, there's nothing more annoying than people who make their ranting points over and over again that no one really even cares about.

  5. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Does anyone have such a beast? I can't seem to get a working modeline :-(

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I have the same problem. Only the OpenFirmware-Framebuffer (wsfb) is working, with the different ati drivers i have only problems e.g. no device, canīt connect.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I have to correct me :-)
        I have made a XF86Config with the ati driver for the latest ibook (Late-2002). Only problem i have are the correct parameters for the Sync and Vert Range. When you shutdown X11 you cannnot use the console anymore because of that parameters. If thereīs anyone outside who know them or can correct my Config heīs welcome to do that and tell us the fixes.

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