Fedora gave up building on ppc as a primary architecture a while back [edit: see comments], but Ubuntu has a working ppc build. This is useful for testing software because it’s a big endian architecture, and therefore breaks some assumptions made by software that has only seen an Intel (little endian) architecture.
Fortunately it’s very simple to install Ubuntu/ppc as a qemu guest. Here is how I did it:
- Download mini.iso from here.
- Compile qemu from git (it’s easy!) so you have a
qemu-system-ppcbinary with a working bios.
- Create a virtual hard disk:
truncate -s 10G disk.img
- Boot the ISO:
./qemu-system-ppc -m 1024 -hda disk.img -cdrom mini.iso -boot d
- At the first prompt, type
installand go through the installation.
At the end of the installation, it won’t install a boot loader, so the guest won’t be bootable without an external kernel and initrd. This is easy to arrange:
$ guestfish --ro -a disk.img -m /dev/sda2 \ download /vmlinux vmlinux : \ download /initrd.img initrd.img
With the external files
initrd.img you can now boot your guest:
$ ./qemu-system-ppc -m 1024 \ -hda disk.img \ -kernel vmlinux -initrd initrd.img \ -append "ro root=/dev/sda3"