Installing GNU/Linux on the IBM RS/6000 43P model 7248 HOWTO

Ingvar Hagelund

Revision History
Revision 2.02003-06-02Revised by: ih
2.0 is out.
Revision 1.642003-06-01Revised by: ih
YellowDog 3.0 (Sirius) is availble through dist-upgrade
Revision 1.632003-05-26Revised by: ih
Main parts of Suse, Yellowdog and Debian and Mandrake done.
Revision 1.622003-02-26Revised by: ih
Working on complete new version with several distributions.
Revision 1.62002-12-19Revised by: ih
Change from LinuxPPC to other distributions, first sketch
Revision 1.522001-08-29Revised by: ih
Added a chapter on Linux 2.4. Fixed some dead and wrong links. Fixed a lot of typos.
Revision 1.512001-04-06Revised by: ih
Download site for LinuxPPC-2000 Q4 cd images
Revision 1.502001-02-06Revised by: ih
Now supports LinuxPPC-2000 Q4
Revision 1.402000-12-14Revised by: ih
Translated to SGML. This is the initial release for LDP

This document describes the installation of several Linux distributions on the IBM RS/6000 43P model 7248 series.


This document describes how to install GNU/Linux on the IBM RS/6000 43P 7248 series, that is, the 43P-100, 43P-120 and 43P-133. It describes quite in detail anything to get one of these boxes from a non working stage to a networked workstation with a nice graphical user interfase. This relase covers several Linux distributions. Earlier, this document described the installation of several Linux distributions. Earlier, it only covered the LinuxPPC distribution, which is now obsolete. If you, for any particular reason, should be interested in versions of LinuxPPC, please have a look at my homepage .

Some years ago I got a couple of old 7248s for free and I did not have any OS to run on them. So I gathered some bits and pieces from the net, and got it to install LinuxPPC-1999. Later, I found that a lot of other people may have the same problems that I had, so I wrote this document to help. Later I rewrote it in SGML and it is now a part of the LDP.

Copyright Information and Legal stuff

This document is copyrighted (C) 2003 Ingvar Hagelund and is distributed under the terms of the Linux Documentation Project (LDP) licence, stated below.

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have any questions, please contact

"Linux" is a registrated trademark owned by Linus Torvalds. "IBM" and "RS/6000" are trademarks owned by IBM Corporation. "MS-DOS" is a trademark owned by Microsoft Corporation.

Updated: June 1, 2003.

Disclaimer and scope

This document is made after own experiences on a 43P 7248-132. The things I did might or might not work for you. You are on your own. I take no responsibility whatsoever for any damage, loss or expenses because of something you might have done because this document said so. If you want to give me feedback on errors, typos, or anything that can make this document better, please feel free to contact me by sending an e-mail to

No liability for the contents of this documents can be accepted. Use the concepts, examples and other content at your own risk. As this is a new edition of this document, there may be errors and inaccuracies, that may of course be damaging to your system. Proceed with caution, and although this is highly unlikely, I do not take any responsibility for that.

This document is about installing GNU/Linux on the IBM RS/6000 43P, model 7248. The methods described in this document may or may not work on other machines or models. They may or may not work on other Linux distributions than described. Please don't ask me about this, as I have not tested others. Look in the the Section called Resources for other resources on this. If you find that these instructions work on other models or distributions, please let me know, and I'll add that info here.

All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

Note that the 7248-132 and the 43P-133 are two terms for the same model, and the same goes for 7248-133 which I've also seen referenced from time to time. These three terms describes the exactly same model. You can safly assume that they are all the same machine.

If you feel that this document makes your life better, makes you glad and happy, or if you just are in a good mood, and have nothing to do, feel free to donate hardware, money, pizzas, e-mailed thankyous, postcards or anything to me. I can be reached at:

          snail-mail: Ingvar Hagelund, Asperudlia 15, NO-1258 OSLO, NORWAY.

New versions

Version 2.0

  • 2.0 is finally out.

  • Lots of updates. Now supports Debian, Mandrake, SuSE and YellowDog.

Version 1.64

  • YellowDog 3.0 (Sirius) is availble through a dist-upgrade

  • Heading for 2.0.

Version 1.63

  • Most parts of Mandrake, YellowDog, SuSE and Debian are done

  • Heading for 2.0.

Version 1.62

  • Working on complete new version with several distributions

  • Heading for 2.0.

Version 1.61

  • Added an appendix on making SMS and firmware images from Linux

Version 1.60

  • First sketch for other distributions

Version 1.52

  • Added a chapter on Linux-2.4

  • Fixed some wrong links and typos

Version 1.51

  • Download site for LinuxPPC-2000 Q4 cd images

Version 1.50

  • Updated to cover LinuxPPC-2000 Q4

Version 1.41:

  • Made some small changes to the kernel chapter.

Version 1.40:

  • Added a FAQ section.

  • Reformatted howto to SGML.

  • New copyright notices.

  • Ready for bundling with the LPD.

If you are reading an offline version of this document, please note that an up to date HTML version can be found at


A lot of people have given me suggestions and help on these pages. I might have forgotten some of them, and if so, I apologize. Please send me a note to me at , and I'll list you here. Thanks to all of you, I could not have done this without you.


Here is list of people that have been helpful, in a completely unordered fashion :-)

Ingvar Hagelund

James Rooker

Mike McCammant

Alberto Varesio

Rolf Brudeseth

Ian Dale

Hollis R Blanchard

Linar Yusupov

Cort Dougan

Roger Bonussen

Rolf Zimmerli

Philippe Senot

John Roebuck

Jacopo Silva

Martin Espenschied

Dan Burcaw

Tor Arne Rein

Chien-Yu Chen

Wadamori Naoki

Arne Chr. Jørgensen

Doc Shipley

Thomas M. Nymand

Alberto Varesio

Pat Berge

Kazunori Aoshima

David Monro

Matt Porter

Olaf Hering

Xavier Piednoir

Steve Cornett

Greg Ferguson

Nader Salasshahri

Thomas Junker


Feedback is most certainly welcome for this document. Without your submissions and input, this document wouldn't exist. Please send your additions, comments and criticisms to the following e-mail address : .


This document exists in English only. If you want to translate this document into an other language, please do so, just give me a note, and read the copyright notices above.