Let’s just say you have taken your old PPC G4 mac Mini with the dead hard disk and fitted it with an 8GB compact flash card in a 2.5” IDE adapter. Installing Debian Lenny on there is easy, but you end up with an ext3 journaled filesystem that may be concentrating wear on the journal area.
NILFS2 is a spiffy new filesystem that probably doesn’t concentrate wear and is attractive when writing is slower than reading. Sounds great, but yaboot doesn’t know how to find the kernel and initrd.img on it, so you need to make an ext2 /boot partion and then tell yaboot to look there.
The secret is in the naming of the files in yaboot.conf. Here is mine:
As you can see, hda3 is my /boot, hda4 is my root.
Astute readers will also notice that you have to either save a partition or migrate from another drive to pull this off since you need to build yourself a shiny new 2.6.31 kernel with NILFS2 compiled in.
Note: My G4 Mini has developed an odd hanging problem when using X programs with the root on NILFS2. I’ll go back to ext2, 2.6.26 for now then try ext2 2.6.31 and see where the trouble lies.