Mac Os For Powerpc G5

Hello everybody ! Many people have some old apple computers laying around in their attic or somewhere else, and probably, one day, decide to try and revive them. If you are one of those people with a G3, G4 or G5 Mac, and don’t want to bother yourself with trying to find old installer CDs, I will show you how you can install Mac OS 10.3 (not tested), 10.4 and 10.5 on your PowerPC from a USB stick. Now you may think that you already can do that by just holding the Alt key, but these machines are a bit too old for that. Thats why we gotta force them, through Open Firmware Mode !

Things you´ll need:

  • A PowerPC Mac with a G3, G4 or G5 processor
  • A modern intel Mac
  • A 4gb or larger (8gb recommended) USB stick
  • A copy of Mac OS 10.3, 10.4 or 10.5
  • A tiny bit of patience !
  • Panther minimal requirements: 233mhz G3 processor and 128mb of RAM
  • Tiger minimal requirements: 300mhz G3 processor and 256mb of RAM
  • Leopard minimal requirements: 867mhz G4 processor and 512mb of RAM

BTW, I also tried PowerPC 10.04 LTS and everything worked-everything. However, upgrading from PowerPC 10.04 to 12.10 was a train wreck. As I said, I've got both working-OS X 10.5.8 and PowerPC 12.04.01-although I'm still trying to track down the resolution of the wireless / Broadcom / B43 networking issue. Make Offer - Apple, Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, and PowerPC G5. Apple iMac 1.8 GHz G5 17” 2 GB RAM 80 GB HD. $125.00 +$131.40 shipping. Make Offer - Apple iMac 1.8 GHz G5 17” 2 GB RAM 80 GB HD. Apple Mac Pro A1047 Dual 2.0GHz Power PC 3GB 150GB 16x DL SuperDrive (M9747LL/A.

Here are the download links to Mac OS 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5:

  1. Apple PowerMac G5 for Mac. Apple PowerMac G5 for Mac. Free Apple Mac/OS X 10.4 PPC Version 1.1 Full Specs. Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later Download Information; File Size: 480.81KB.
  2. Mac Systems Apple Power Macintosh G5 Also see: Mac Pro. The Power Macintosh G5 shipped from 2003 until 2006. All models pack 64-bit PowerPC 970 (G5) processors in an easy-to-upgrade aluminum tower case design with a single external optical drive bay. Aluminum tower Macs with dual optical drive bays are Mac Pro models.
  3. It started out on PowerPC processors but later transitioned onto Intel processors with Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) the last to natively support the PowerPC architecture and Snow Leopard (10.6) the last to support PowerPC applications on Intel-based Macs. All versions of Mac OS X that were made to run on PowerPC systems (with the exception of.
  • 10.3: (10.3 is in 3 separate parts and is very difficult to install from USB. You should better burn 3 CDs with the files.)
  • 10.4:
  • 10.5:

So, to start off, download the version of your choice. I would recommend first trying 10.4, because it is compatible with more Macs. Once you downloaded Tiger (the name of Mac OS 10.4). You want to plug your USB stick into your intel Mac, open Disk Utility, and format it as Apple Partition Map with the name USB. Once done, restore your stick from the Tiger dmg. You may need to scan the image, for that, whilst in disk utility, go into ‘images’ and select the top option. After the restoring process is done, right click on your usb in disk utility (left side, where every disk is shown) and look for its partition number. Could be 3,2,1 and so on. Now you can eject your usb, and plug it into your PowerPC. Make sure that it is the only USB device, except for your keyboard and mouse. Now comes the fun part 🙂

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Congrats ! You’ve made it until here ! Hopefully without any problems. But that was the easiest part; now starts the more difficult part, if you don’t know what you’re doing. First things first, to start your Mac into OF mode, you need to turn it on, and immediately hold ‘command’, ‘Alt’, O and F all together. Hold those 4 keys down, until you see the screen shown above. After you successfully booted your Mac, you gonna wanna type ‘dev / ls’ and hit enter. Now there will be a long list of all the stuff inside of your computer. At the end of the list you will most likely see something like ‘More (space, cr,q) and so on. Just press space once. Now at the end there should be ‘0’ with an arrow and underscore. Before typing any other stuff, you will have to find your usb in the list. It should be towards the end and look something like this:

Your USB will be /[email protected] (here [email protected]) and below there should be /[email protected] (here [email protected]). Are you ready to type now ? Alright then, let’s go !! ( Tip: press the up key to prevent rewriting everything )

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After each line press Enter

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If everything went right, there now should be a list of the stuff that’s on your usb. Now type:

  • boot ud:x,SystemLibraryCoreServicesBootX

If you typed everything like shown, your Mac should now happily boot from the USB ! You can now continue without me, and install OS X on your old machine, assuming it has enough RAM, and is compatible with your Mac ! If you encounter any issues, or something is unclear, just comment down below, write me a DM on instagram @idevice_collector or email me: [email protected] I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and we will see us in the next one !


howdee - im a new user, but registered for just this one long/detailed comment/reply...

0 - THANK YOU to all who came before on this hint/thread/comment... i am just standing on top of the giants before and adding my little comments for others...

1 - i could not make a windows-keyboard work... in particular, my imac (g5) would 'ask' about it when powering up by having me press the key 'just inside of shift key' on each side... thus, i was never able to make the keyboard-combo work correctly... if you cannot get into open-firmware, then try getting a normal MAC-keyboard...

Mac Os For Powerpc G5

2 - i was having all sorts of problems trying to get the correct device to use for the 'dir' command... i could see the tree of information, but could never make a working 'devalias' for myself... two clues:

  • a - if (when you type devalias xx [email protected]) you receive a comment 'no alias' in response, then it did NOT work... you should see a 'good' response of just the word OK... even so, i was never able to 'use' my own devalias...
  • b - i noticed in one of the later-comments someone had tried just typing the word 'devalias' without anything else... when i typed that, i got a nice long list of predefined aliases... in particular, i could see one called 'first-boot' that looked like it should access my working tiger-hdd internally... also, if i just typed 'boot' it would do what youd expect [boot from the first-boot device, which is the current internal hdd]...

    3 - i was finally able to get things working better by doing/trying the following (details removed for hopeful-clarity):

  • - and i finally saw something good... nb, i needed the exact-extra-characters listed [7 chars starting with / and ending with ] to get a 'good' dir... and i assume others will have the devalias of 'first-boot' predefined like i did...
  • - was the magic incantation i used for getting to my external-usb-key [8gb formatted/dmg-restored as needed]... in particular, the '1:3' here on usb0 and the '0:3' with first-boot matched the disk:partition information i got when i looked at the key using the regular get-info command from tigers disk-utility...
  • i could do a more-detailed 'dir' on the key until i got to the ...CoreServices directory level... i could NOT actually do a 'dir' on the BootX file itself... but the CoreServices directory showed the 'magic' tbxi flag on that BootX file that i expected to see...
  • Mac Os For Power Mac G5

    i could use the 'UP-ARROW' to repeat the last command that id typed, so that i could just change the 'dir' to a 'boot' and add the BootX to the end and it would work... (using left- and right-arrows to leave the other good characters in place)

    4 - once i got my magic incantation correct, it took prolly an hour to get thru the first-boot - but eventually i got the great happy-mac sound from the other room... hopefully you will be able to too... :)

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    repeating: for me, the exact command i used was ... gl & hth, h.