Being fairly rare, many of these systems are not well-supported by most distributions. If you have one of these, or are considering buying one, it would be worth your time to research available distributions on our distributions page and check on the distributions’ mailing lists to see if anyone else has tried or run into problems.
There are a wide variety of PPC “evaluation boards”, typically one for each processor type. These boards are intended to be used by hardware development companies who are building their own products based around that CPU. They typically run about $5000 each and are not intended for end-users, so we do not list them here.
The Pegasos is a PowerPC-based MicroATX motherboard capable of running Linux and an Amiga-inspired OS. Pegsos systems contain Open Firmware and a PC-standard assortment of IO interfaces, including PC2100 RAM, AGP, IEEE1394, AC97, ATA100, and PS/2.
The AmigaOne is a PowerPC-based line of motherboards capable of running both Linux (Debian and Yellow Dog flavors) and AmigaOS, and they are marketed by Eyetech and based on MAI’s Teron evaluation boards design. They use U-boot for firmware, and can use G3 or G4 processors. AmigaOne comes in two models, ATX and miniITX, and both having PCI, ATA100, USB 1.1, 10/100 ethernet, and PS/2.
- Eyetech Group Ltd
- AmigaWorld: Official AmigaOne Support site, with Linux forums
- IntuitionBase: (Un)Official Guide to the AmigaOne
- AmigaOne-Linux kernel project: Latest Linux kernel and Debian install CD releases
CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform)
The Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) was a specification developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola after the PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP). Only IBM shipped CHRP systems in any volume, in their (32-bit) RS/6000 server line. (64-bit pSeries systems are considered CHRP-like as well, but 64-bit users should refer to the 64-bit information.) CHRP systems contain Open Firmware and tend to be well-supported by the kernel but poorly-supported by distributions (due to their scarcity and still-expensive price).
PReP (PowerPC Reference Platform)
The PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP) specification was developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola at the same time as the PowerPC architecture (i.e. before CHRP). Its stated goal was to run a variety of operating systems, including AIX, Solaris, Windows NT, and even Mac OS. All of those were available, but only AIX met with any commercial success.
Most PReP systems contain “conventional firmware” rather than Open Firmware (with the exception of the 43P-140). Motorola’s firmware was called PPCBug. Because of the unusual firmware, their scarcity, and increasing obsolescence, PReP systems tend to be poorly supported.
- PowerPC Thinkpads
- YDL3 on Motorola PowerStack (German)
- various dumps of lspci and residual data
- modules.conf with cs4232 and pcmcia default settings
- Carolina (6050/6030/7248)
- 40P (6015/7020)
- Thinkpad 860
- PPCBug User Manual
- PPCBug Diagnostics Manual
- Carolina (6050/6030/7248)
- Debian PReP installation guide
- LinuxPPC installation guide for 7248
- PReP Station
Apple Network Server
The Apple Network Server (also known by its codename “Shiner”) was a large Apple system during the “Old World” era of Power Macintosh. Although similar in design to the high-end Mac of the day, the ANS was never able to run Mac OS, and instead ran a customized version of AIX. More ANS information is available at shiner.info.
Amiga PowerUP Systems (APUS)
Amiga PowerUP Systems are old Motorola-based Amigas with a PowerPC add-on card. They have their own Linux port.