Haiku PowerPC compatibility

Yeah the later revision. But you would need to know the logic board revision from the Seller as outwardly they all look the same. The 9500 is 100% supported, as is any other box with the same revision logic board (7300, 8500, etc.) in to which you could put a dual processor CPU card.

I was a powerpc hold out and used them well in to the mid 2000’s. it got used less and less. I only put my 9500 in storage when I moved about 2 years ago. I’ll dig it out at some point. The Dano build is worth finding. I have a video of it on YouTube that I linked to earlier (I don’t post much you’ll find it if you look at my posting history)

Your bebox will probably never boot past the DR’s. the boot ROM is too small. Without the original boot ROM source code, you have no chance of making PR or later booting. Maybe someone could ask ACCESS to release the bebox boot ROM source. It was a separate self contained bit of code, as was the boot ROM app and the Mac version of the boot code (Mac version compiles using CodeWarrior.)

But honestly, between a 604e and 603 processor based multiprocessor machine, the former is much faster and better experience. You could also look out for one of those quad core Mac clone beats. I always wanted one of those.

I wouldn’t count too much on ACCESS, even if they still have that they’ll never take the time to dig it anyway.
IIRC the BeBox can reflash part of the bootrom, so possibly it can accept a newer image.
Also, it’s possible (and probably a good idea) to dump the current flash content just in case.
I think it should be mapped in an area somewhere in the kernel. So if you can boot you can use something like catarea (oh, why didn’t I publish this before?).

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From what I read, the prototypes used a smaller Flash so could not upgrade without swapping the chip.

I would dump it first of course before attempting to flash or swap out the flash/eeprom chip for a larger one.

Ah ok.
What could be nice is a port of U-Boot or OpenBIOS, but that’d be quite a task, and probably too large for the flash chip…

I saw that Haiku could boot on older Macs up to G3/G4 family. I had a Power Mac G5, so I started to review
these computers still being sold:

  • Apple Power Mac G5 - expandable, cheap,
  • Apple iMac G5 - all-in-one development machine, 2-2.5GB Max memory

Not as modern as an Amiga X5000, but they are cheap enough for devs to support them and get them
to other supporters. You can use the clouds to run a VM for build purposes.

Guess it just having warm (or cold) bodies or bots doing the trivial work.

That probably isn’t very useful at this point; kernel-owned areas are now inaccessible from userland by default.

but if you really want you can patch it in your own build.

Useful for running on BeOS itself… since that is where the dumping would have to happen as that machine can’t even run Haiku anyway. I guess the Haiku toolchain would build a compatible binary at least.

Not sure what you mean Mac G5s were discontinued 12 years ago… so they aren’t still being sold new.


I think you’re mixing things up here, it’s BeOS which supported PPC machines before G3. Haiku does not support much for now as it won’t compiler anyway. But once we fix it it shouldn’t be a problem for G4 & G5, since we now have enough documentation with Linux & *BSD ports anyway.


A GCC 2.95 PPC toolchain should be able to compile working binaries for PPC BeOS though right even though the kernel itself and userland from Haiku won’t run on them yet?

Supporting old machines is fine… but they just get more and more rare over time, and the Macs from that era especially the more integrated ones break and you can’t fix them.

No, for at least one reason, the current linker doesn’t properly support PEF. It says it does but it just outputs garbage. I started fixing it as I need a PEF file for the loader on the BeBox.
Maybe tweaking Retro68 would do, but for now I don’t plan to do much PPC BeOS dev anyway.

Ok that makes sense I remember you mentioning this now but I was thinking PEF was just the kernel.

Did you ever look at this?

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BeOS PowerPC never used GCC. I don’t think GCC has ever properly supported the PEF… Mwcc was a big pain in the rear.

That looks a lot like elf2aout (used to make elfs bootable by openfirmware)… wonder how well it works.

It apparently was how they got the BeBox to boot BSD… I guess it only needs to work as well as that? I think what they did was as I suggested earlier in heer (or another thread related to this)… they made a small Big-Endian bfs volume, put this in place of the kernel, and bootstrapped the rest of the boot from that entry point.

One of the big issues with the way the legacy PowerPC appkit stuff work is that it is written in C++ and uses the MWCC libraries and name mangling. I messed around a lot with getting the legacy GCC that used to exist to work with more modern code. I wanted to get an assembler, but MW never had one on BeOS. In the end I started to implement one using VASM and the docs for MWCC Object format - because that was documented and easier than trying to get any info on PEF. But it’s a dead end for Haiku. I revisited the project a while back and got a lot of the code to dump the object format working in C# (I started again from scratch - I don’t have the original work I did as I think the hard drive died IIRC.) I have not touched the code in a while, but it is here: mwobdec


Oh I didn’t look at the NetBSD stuff, but yeah, I suppose I could use that instead of trying to fix ld. It was more of an exercise. I managed to generate a valid file although it wouldn’t load because it’s missing some stuff still.

Is there worked (semi-worked) files of Haiku PPC?

Anything that exists is in git or in the review queue… I don’t think PPC has seen much active work as of late. I think PPC and Sparc64 which Pulkomandy is working on a bit are roughly at similar stages neither boots to desktop yet.