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FreeBSD/ppc Project

General Information


The FreeBSD/ppc project pages contain information about the FreeBSD port to the PowerPC® architecture. As with the port itself, these pages are still a work in progress.

The FreeBSD/ppc port is still a Tier-2 platform. That means it is not being fully supported by our security officer, release engineers and toolchain maintainers.

Latest News

  • 25 June, 2005: This page has been significantly updated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I install FreeBSD/ppc
  2. Where can I find packages for FreeBSD/ppc?
  3. How to use ports on FreeBSD/ppc?
  4. Who should I contact?

How can I install FreeBSD/ppc?

There are ISO images available for download here. Latest 7.0-CURRENT ISO image can be downloaded here. Please follow instructions given here.

Where can I find packages for FreeBSD/ppc?

Courtesy of Peter Grehan and Tilman Linneweh, you can find some packages here and here. Please note that these packages are now quite outdated. If possible, you should use ports instead.

How to use ports on FreeBSD/ppc?

The easy way to use ports on FreeBSD since 6.0-RELEASE is to use portsnap. Refer to the Handbook if you need assistance to use the Ports Collection.

Who should I contact?

Peter Grehan is the project leader. Contact him if you can contribute code. If you just want to know about the status of this project, check this page regularly or join the FreeBSD/ppc mailing list.

Supported Hardware

The FreeBSD/ppc port should run on any New-World machine. People reported FreeBSD runs on following machines:

Manufacturer Model Submitter (optional links) Notes
Apple iMac G3 350 MHz Martin Minkus Rage 128VR
Apple iMac G3 DV Special Edition David S. Besade (dmesg) None
Apple iMac G3 Revision B Peter Grehan Rage 3D Pro 215GP, accel disabled
Apple eMac 700 MHz Peter Grehan Nvidia GeForce2 MX
Apple Mac Mini G4 1.4 GHz Tilman Linneweh (dmesg) None
Apple Powerbook G4 1.33 GHz Peter Grehan Nvidia GeForce G5200
Apple Aluminium Powerbook G4 1.5 GHz Andreas Tobler None

FreeBSD/ppc mailing list

To subscribe to this list, send mail to or visit mailman interface.

Known Issues

  • No AltiVec support yet.
  • On-board BMAC+ ethernet does not work. There is a work-in-progress bm(4) driver available on Peter Grehan's personal page here (see if_bm.c and if_bmreg.h).
  • There is no graphical mouse cursor on console.
  • Fdisk does not work.
  • Only USB keyboards are supported.
  • If you have Bluetooth, there is a 'fake' OHCI port and devices created that can be used to access a wireless keyboard or mouse. Problem is, it gets probed before the fixed keyboard/mouse and is first in line to syscons. To get around this, the PCI slot associated with the problematic ohci2 can be disabled at the loader prompt:
    OK set hint.pcib.1.skipslot=26
  • For ATI Radeon-based machines:
    • A ofw syscons range check needs to be relaxed using the sysctl hw.ofwfb.relax_mmap.
    • A special radeon driver is needed. You must add the following your xorg.conf into the Section "Device":
      Option "iBookHacks" "on"
  • There is a known bug in the boot-loader, that prevents you from loading an alternate kernel, so testing your kernel is a bit risky. When booting the loader from the Open Firmware prompt, give it a partition which is either non-existent, doesn't have a kernel to load, or isn't a UFS partition:
    0 > boot hd:loader hd:0
    At this point, you can set currdev and manually load a kernel:
    OK set currdev=hd:14
    OK load /boot/kernel/

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