6400 and Mac OS X

Should also work on the 5400/6320 and some other Alchemy based Mac
This is only a brief summary of what have been done. Last Update : 07/30/2002 - still in progress -

Booter and OpenFirmware Problem
The 6400 OpenFirmware is partially broken: some bugs prevent it from loading from an other device that the Mac ROM, which loads Mac OS classic. But Mac OS X booter, also called BootX, can't be loaded from the old Apple ROM. On the 6400 and a lot of 'Oldworld' Mac (7600/8600...) the OpenFirmware loaded in ROM can't be updated, that's why the bugs can't be fixed easily by Apple. Don't worry there is a last solution which consists in writing in the nvramrc some code which will be loaded at the early startup of the OpenFirmware. I've made a patch for the 6400 OpenFirmware, which try to fix these bugs.
  • What does the patch fix?
    • Improper ata (ide) boot (I only have a work around but which make the ata working)
    • ATA device doesn't have any property 'compatible' and 'interrrupt'
    • The video Frame buffer is located at the virtual address 0x0
    • The video Chip doesn't have any address property
  • What is fixed by the patch?
      You can't boot directly from an scsi drive, but there is a work around which consists in adding in the boot-command a param for changing the Root Disk (usefull for installing MacOSX from a SCSI CD-Drive, in the OF do:

        setenv boot-command 0 bootr rd=*scsi/#SCSI_ID,SCSI_BUS:PARTITION_NUMBER

The patch can be downloaded here. You can apply it using XPostFacto or the Apple Startup Disk Utility.

Darwin/Mac OS X support for the 6400
To boot Darwin you have to fix the cache coherency bug which prevent the dma to work. Pointed out by Benjamin Herrenschmidt. So I went up on altering the PowerStarPE and PowerStarCPU kernel extensions.

Now Mac OS X can boot on the 6400

I got Mac OS X : the Finder, the Dock on my 6400! Notice that it doesn't mean that the work is finished.

What's next?

Improve Mac OS X support for the 6400! Here is a list of things to do:

    Most Important
  • The ADB Mouse not recognized - works! No change needed
  • The Video Driver (Valkyrie) - in progress : 25% done
  • Accelerator Card - I don't have one for now
    Not essential
  • The SCSI boot in the OF
  • The SCSI drivers to fix for MY CD-ROM drive (others might be supported)

The best way to install Mac OS X on the 6400 is XPostFacto.

Contact : Pierre d'Herbemont