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FreeBSD/ppc Project


The FreeBSD/ppc project pages contain information about the FreeBSD port to the PowerPC® architecture. As with the port itself, these pages are still a work in progress.

Table Of Contents


The FreeBSD/ppc port is still a Tier 2 platform. That means it is not being fully supported by our security officer, release engineers and toolchain maintainers.

Latest News

  • 05 January, 2011: Support for the Sony Playstation 3 has been committed to SVN.
  • 13 July, 2010: Support for the powerpc64 architecture added.
  • 03 March, 2008: Support for Freescale® PowerQUICC III MPC85XX family system-on-chip development boards has been committed into CVS.
  • 27 February, 2008: FreeBSD 7.0 is the first release to officially support the FreeBSD/ppc port.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I install FreeBSD/ppc
  2. How to use ports on FreeBSD/ppc?
  3. Should I install powerpc or powerpc64?
  4. Who should I contact?

How can I install FreeBSD/ppc?

ISO images of FreeBSD 9.1 suitable for New-World Macs are available for download, for details on how to obtain these see the release announcement.

How to use ports on FreeBSD/ppc?

The easy way to use ports on FreeBSD is to use portsnap. Refer to the Handbook if you need assistance to use the Ports Collection.

Should I install powerpc or powerpc64?

The powerpc64 port provides a 64-bit kernel and userland, and is supported on all 64-bit CPUs. Users of 32-bit CPUs (G3, G4) must use the 32-bit powerpc platform, users of 64-bit CPUs that support 32-bit operating systems (G5) have a choice, and users of 64-bit CPUs that do not (Cell) must use powerpc64. For those users with a choice, powerpc64 provides some additional features (the ability to use more than 2 GB of RAM and ZFS support) while having slightly worse ports support due to being a newer and less common architecture. Like other 64-bit platforms, FreeBSD/powerpc64 supports running 32-bit binaries as well as 64-bit ones.

Who should I contact?

Peter Grehan is the project leader. Contact him if you can contribute code. If you just want to know about the status of this project, check this page regularly or join the FreeBSD/ppc mailing list.

Supported Hardware

The FreeBSD/ppc port should run on any New-World Apple machine (any Apple machine with a built-in USB port), as well as the Sony Playstation 3. A port to IBM pSeries hardware is in progress. People reported FreeBSD runs on following machines:

Manufacturer Model Submitter (optional links) Notes
Apple iMac G3 350 MHz Martin Minkus Rage 128VR
Apple iMac G3 DV Special Edition David S. Besade (dmesg) None
Apple iMac G3 Revision B Peter Grehan Rage 3D Pro 215GP, accel disabled
Apple eMac 700 MHz Peter Grehan Nvidia GeForce2 MX
Apple Mac Mini G4 1.4 GHz Tilman Linneweh (dmesg) None
Apple Powerbook G4 1.33 GHz Peter Grehan Nvidia GeForce G5200
Apple Aluminium Powerbook G4 1.5 GHz Andreas Tobler None
Apple PowerMac G5 FreeBSD 8.0
Apple iMac G5 FreeBSD 8.0
Apple Xserve G5 FreeBSD 8.1
Apple PowerMac G5 (late 2005) FreeBSD 8.1

FreeBSD/ppc mailing list

To subscribe to this list, send an email to or visit the mailman interface.

Known Issues

  • There is a known bug in the boot-loader, that prevents you from loading an alternate kernel, so testing your kernel is a bit risky. When booting the loader from the Open Firmware prompt, give it a partition which is either non-existent, doesn't have a kernel to load, or isn't a UFS partition:
    0 > boot hd:loader hd:0
    At this point, you can set currdev and manually load a kernel:
    OK set currdev="hd":14
    OK load /boot/kernel/

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