Booting headless PowerMac G5

Romain Goyet r.goyet at
Wed Mar 24 21:32:57 EST 2010

Hi there,

  Here's a summary about "how to boot a PowerMac G5 without a screen
attached". As many people have noticed, default yaboot install won't
boot unless a screen is attached.

  Actually, the workaround is really simple. Thing is, that's the
"ofboot.b" script that messes things up. This script is a "bridge",
that actually either starts yaboot or let you boot off of a CD. I
don't know what's the point, since OpenFirmware already lets you boot
off of the CD by pressing C on boot…

  So basically, to boot headless, all you have to do is to tell
OpenFirmware to boot straight off the yaboot binary, and to skip the
Just boot into OpenFirmware (Command-Option-O-F), and type :
setenv boot-device hd:2,yaboot (where 2 is the number of the partition
containing yaboot)

And here you go, you can unplug that useless monitor :-)

References :

By the way, as of writing this, grub2 on PPC from debian gives a "out
of memory" issue. Known bug.

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