OpenBSD/macppc runs on the PowerPC-based Macintosh systems from the
"New World" family, i.e. all Apple computers from the iMac to
the PowerPC G5 DC. It does not run on any unsupported
A mailing list dedicated to the OpenBSD/macppc port is available at
To join the OpenBSD/macppc mailing list, send a message body of "subscribe
Please be sure to check our mailing list policy before
The OpenBSD/macppc port started as OpenBSD/powerpc, and was initially
focused on Motorola computers with Open Firmware, and VI Power4e boards.
This port was eventually thrown away after OpenBSD 2.5 was released.
As a result there was no OpenBSD/powerpc port for the 2.6 and 2.7 releases.
In the meantime, a new port was started, focusing on Apple hardware, and
based on code from NetBSD/macppc, and after a lot of work from Dale Rahn,
OpenBSD 2.8 was released with a powerpc port.
As work on the port continued, it was renamed to OpenBSD/macppc for 3.0.
Support for the 64-bit G5 (running in 32-bit mode) was added in OpenBSD 3.9.
Currently, all the hardware listed in the
supported hardware section below boots
multi-user, supports most, if not all, of the on-board devices, and is
The X Window System is supported on all MacPPC systems.
Most ATI graphics adapters and some NVIDIA graphics adapters are
supported by accelerated X servers.
The graphics adapters not supported by an accelerated driver can be
used by X in frame buffer (unaccelerated) mode, at the boot resolution
and color depth using the wsfb driver (installed by default).
PowerPC-based Macintosh systems are divided into "Old World" and
"New World" systems, the difference being
the design of the system ROM.
Only "New World" machines are currently supported.
Known compatible systems include the following:
- iMac (Revision A, B, C, D (iMac,1))
- iMac (Late 1999 (PowerMac2,1))
- iMac (Summer 2000 (PowerMac2,2))
- iMac (Early 2001, Summer 2001) (PowerMac4,1))
- iMac (Flat-Panel (PowerMac4,2))
- iMac (17" Flat-Panel, 17" 1GHz (PowerMac4,5))
- iMac (USB 2.0 (PowerMac6,1))
- iMac (20" Flat-Panel (PowerMac6,3))
- iMac G5 (PowerMac8,1)
- iMac G5 (Ambient Light Sensor (PowerMac8,2))
- eMac (ATI Graphics, 1GHz G4 (PowerMac4,4))
- eMac (USB 2.0 (PowerMac6,4))
- Mac mini (PowerMac10,1)
- Mac mini (Late 2005 (PowerMac10,2))
- Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White (PowerMac1,1))
- Power Macintosh G4 (PCI Graphics (PowerMac1,2))
- Power Macintosh G4 (AGP Graphics (PowerMac3,1, PowerMac3,2 and PowerMac3,3))
- Power Macintosh G4 (Gigabit Ethernet (PowerMac3,3))
- Power Macintosh G4 (Digital Audio (PowerMac3,4))
- Power Macintosh G4 (QuickSilver, QuickSilver 2002 (PowerMac3,5))
- Power Macintosh G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors, FW 800, Mirrored Drive Doors 2003 (PowerMac3,6))
- Power Macintosh G4 (Cube (PowerMac5,1))
- Power Macintosh G5 (Early 2005, dual 2.0 + 2.3 GHz (PowerMac7,2))
- Power Macintosh G5 (June 2004, Early 2005, dual 2.7 GHz (PowerMac7,3))
- Power Macintosh G5 (Late 2004 (PowerMac9,1))
- Power Macintosh G5 (October 2005, quad core (PowerMac 11,2))
- iBook (PowerBook2,1)
- iBook (FireWire (PowerBook2,2))
- iBook (Dual USB, Late 2001 (PowerBook4,1))
- iBook (16 VRAM (PowerBook4,2))
- iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM, 32 VRAM, Early 2003 (PowerBook4,3))
- iBook G4 (PowerBook6,3)
- iBook G4 (Early 2004, Late 2004 (PowerBook6,5))
- iBook G4 (Mid 2005 (PowerBook6,7))
- PowerBook G3 (12", 13", 14" Rev. A and Rev. B, Bronze Keyboard (PowerBook1,1))
- PowerBook G3 (FireWire (PowerBook3,1))
- PowerBook G4 (PowerBook3,2)
- PowerBook G4 (Gigabit Ethernet (PowerBook3,3))
- PowerBook G4 (DVI (PowerBook3,4))
- PowerBook G4 (867 MHz, 1 GHz (PowerBook3,5))
- PowerBook G4 (17" (PowerBook5,1))
- PowerBook G4 (15" FW 800 (PowerBook5,2))
- PowerBook G4 (17" 1.33 GHz (PowerBook5,3))
- PowerBook G4 (15" 1.33/1.5 GHz (PowerBook5,4))
- PowerBook G4 (17" 1.5 GHz (PowerBook5,5))
- PowerBook G4 (15" 1.5/1.67 GHz (PowerBook5,6))
- PowerBook G4 (17" 1.67 GHz (PowerBook5,7))
- PowerBook G4 (15" Double-Layer SD (PowerBook5,8))
- PowerBook G4 (17" Double-Layer SD (PowerBook5,9))
- PowerBook G4 (12" (PowerBook6,1))
- PowerBook G4 (12" DVI (PowerBook6,2))
- PowerBook G4 (12" 1.33 GHz (PowerBook6,4))
- PowerBook G4 (12" 1.5 GHz (PowerBook6,8))
- Xserve G4 (Dual 1 GHz (RackMac1,1))
- Xserve G4 (Dual 1.33 GHz (RackMac1,2))
- Xserve G5 (Dual (RackMac3,1))
To help us improve the accuracy of this list, PLEASE
send your dmesg after installation
- Onboard I/O modules
- Apple GC
- Apple Heathrow
- Apple Intrepid
- Apple K2
- Apple Keylargo
- Apple OHare
- Apple Paddington
- Apple Pangea
- Apple Shasta
- Apple Bandit
- Apple Intrepid 2 AGP
- Apple Intrepid 2 PCI
- Apple K2
- Apple K2 AGP
- Apple Pangea
- Apple Pangea AGP
- Apple Pangea PCI
- Apple Shasta HyperTransport
- Apple Uni-North
- Apple Uni-North AGP
- Apple Uni-North Eth
- Apple Uni-North 2 AGP
- Apple Uni-North 2 Eth
- Apple U3 AGP
- Motorola MPC106 Host-PCI
- Video Cards
- ATI Mach64 GP
- ATI Mach64 GV
- ATI Mach64 128 PK
- ATI Mach64 128 VR AGP
- ATI Rage 128 Mobility M3
- ATI Rage Fury AGP4x
- ATI Radeon Mobility M7
- ATI Radeon Mobility 9200 (M9+)
- NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go 64M
- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
- Ethernet Adapters
- ADMtek AN986-based USB adapters (aue)
- Alteon Tigon I/II-based adapters (ti)
- Apple iMac Rev. A-C Ethernet (bm)
- Apple GMAC (gem)
- ASIX Electronics AX88172 based USB adapters (axe)
- Broadcom BCM57xx/BCM590x (a.k.a. Tigon3) based PCI adapters (bge)
- Sundance/Tamarack TC9021 based PCI adapters (stge)
- CATC USB-EL1210A-based USB adapters (cue)
- Davicom DM9601 USB Ethernet adapters (udav)
- DEC DECchip 21040 (Tulip) (de)
- DEC DECchip 21143 (Tulip clones) (dc)
- Intel i8255x-based (except the i82556) PCI adapters (fxp)
- Intel 21145-based PCI adapters (dc)
- Intel PRO/1000 based adapters
- Kawasaki LSI KL5KUSB101B-based USB adapters (kue)
- RealTek 8129/8139-based adapters (rl)
- Realtek RTL8150L based USB adapters (url)
- Realtek 8169/8169S/8110S based PCI adapters (re)
- SMC 83C170 ("EtherPower II") (EPIC/100) (epic)
- SysKonnect XMAC II and Marvell Yukon based PCI adapters (sk)
- VIA Networking VT6122 based PCI adapters (vge)
- VIA Rhine/RhineII/RhineIII Ethernet adapters (vr)
- 3Com 3c9xx EtherLink XL adapters (xl)
- AMD PCnet-based PCI adapters (pcn)
- Wireless Ethernet Adapters
- ADMtek ADM8211 IEEE 802.11b PCI/CardBus adapters (atw)
- Aironet Communications 4500/4800 IEEE 802.11FH/b PCI and PCMCIA adapters (an)
- Atmel AT76C50x IEEE 802.11b USB adapters (atu)
- Broadcom AirForce IEEE 802.11b/g PCI/CardBus adapters (bwi), including:
- Apple Airport Extreme BCM4306
- Apple Airport Extreme BCM4318
- Marvell Libertas IEEE 802.11b/g PCMCIA/PCI/CardBus adapters (malo)
- Ralink Technology IEEE 802.11a/g/n PCI/CardBus adapters (ral)
- Ralink Technology IEEE 802.11b/g USB adapters (ural)
- Ralink Technology IEEE 802.11a/b/g USB adapters (rum)
- Ralink Technology IEEE 802.11a/g/n USB adapters (run) (A)
- Realtek RTL8180L IEEE 802.11b PCI/CardBus adapters (rtw)
- Realtek RTL8187L/RTL8187B USB IEEE 802.11b/g adapters (urtw)
- Realtek RTL8188CU/RTL8192CU USB IEEE 802.11b/g/n adapters (urtwn)
- TI ACX100/ACX111 IEEE 802.11a/b/g PCI/CardBus adapters (acx)
- WaveLAN/IEEE, PRISM 2-3, and Spectrum24 IEEE 802.11b PCMCIA/PCI/USB adapters (wi), including:
- SCSI and IDE Host Adapters
- Adaptec AIC-7770, AIC-7850, AIC-7860, AIC-7870, AIC-7880, AIC-7890,
AIC-7891, AIC-7892, AIC-7895, AIC-7896, AIC-7897 and AIC-7899 based host
- Symbios Logic 53c810, 53c825 (siop)
- AMD Am53c974 PCscsi-PCI host adapters including the Tekram DC-390
- QLogic PCI SCSI controllers (isp)
- LSI Logic Fusion-MPT (Symbios Logic/NCR)
- LSI53C1020, LSI53C1020A, LSI53C1030, LSI53C1030T, LSI53C1035,
- LSIFC909, LSIFC919, LSIFC919X, LSIFC929, LSIFC929X, LSIFC949, LSIFC949X,
- LSISAS1064, LSISAS1064E, LSISAS1068, LSISAS1068E
- All PCI IDE
adapters supported by the i386 platform
- RAID Controllers
- Areca Technology Corporation PCI-X and PCI Express Sata RAID controllers
- All IDE devices supported on the i386.
- All ATAPI drives supported on the i386.
- All SCSI drives supported on the i386.
- USB Controllers/Hubs
- Apple USB (ohci)
- Apple Intrepid USB (ohci)
- Apple Pangea USB (ohci)
- NEC USB (ohci)
- OHCI root hub (ohci)
- Opti RM861HA (ohci)
- Alps Electric Hub in Apple USB Keyboard
- USB Devices
- Alps Electric Apple USB Keyboard (ukbd)
- Apple touchpad mouse (utpms)
- Gude ADS Expert mouseCLOCK USB and Expert mouseCLOCK USB II DCF77 and HBG radio clocks (udcf)
- Solid Year Keyboard and Mouse (ukbd) (ums)
- Logitech M4848 (ums)
- Kensington USB/PS2 Wheel Mouse (ums)
- USB Zip Drives (umass)
- CardBus/PCMCIA bridges
- PBG4 onboard CardBus bridge is now supported, as are PCI CardBus bridges.
- PC Cards (PCMCIA / Cardbus)
- Serial ports (com)
- Wireless Ethernet adapters:
- Cryptography Accelerators
- Broadcom uBsec BCM5801, BCM5802, BCM5805, BCM5820, BCM5821, BCM5822, BCM5823 (and the legacy Bluesteelnet 5501 and 5601 parts) (ubsec)
- Hifn 7751/7811/7951/7955/7956-based boards (hifn)
- SafeNet SafeXcel 1141/1741 (safe)
- Audio Devices
- Apple Aoa audio (aoa)
- Apple Awacs audio (awacs)
- Apple Daca audio (daca)
- Apple Onyx audio (onyx)
- Apple Snapper audio (snapper)
- Apple Tumbler audio (tumbler)
- Ensoniq AudioPCI (eap)
- SoundBlaster PCI128 (eap)
- SoundBlaster Live! and PCI512 (EMU10k1) (emu)
- USB audio (uaudio)
- Radio Receiver Devices (radio)
- Brooktree 848/849/878/879-based TV tuner cards (bktr)
- Other Devices
- Serial Ports: While the modern PowerMacintosh series has no external
standard serial ports, many have an on-board modem which can be
removed and replaced with an adapter (several manufacturers of these exist)
which will produce a standard (and supported) serial port.
- Backlight on lcd devices can be controlled through the brightness control
keys on ADB (laptop) keyboards, or through'wsconsctl display.brightness=xx'
(0 - 100) and 'wsconsctl display.backlight=xx' (0 or 100)
- Hardware watchdog timer support:
- Quancom PWDOG1 watchdog timer (pwdog)
- Hardware monitoring sensors, including:
- Analog Devices AD7416, AD7417 and AD7418 (adc)
- Analog Devices ADM1030 (admtmp)
- Analog Devices ADT7460 (adt)
- Apple Fan Control Unit (fcu)
- Apple Sudden Motion Sensor (asms)
- National Semiconductor LM75, LM77 (lmtemp)
- National Semiconductor LM87 (lmenv)
- Maxim DS1624/DS1631/DS1721 (maxds)
- Maxim MAX6642/MAX6690 (maxtmp)
- TAOS TSL2560/61 light sensor (tsl)
- Meinberg Funkuhren radio clocks, including:
- GPS170PCI 3.3V/5V 6-channel GPS receiver card (mbg)
- PCI32 5V DCF77 time signal station receiver card (mbg)
- PCI509 5V DCF77 time signal station receiver card (mbg)
- PCI511 3.3V/5V DCF77 time signal station receiver card (mbg)
- USB5131 USB attached DCF77 time signal station receiver (umbg)
- UVC-compatible Video devices (uvideo)
- Any older Mac with a 4-digit part number (6100, 7300, 7500,
- Older Apple PowerMac systems with a 601 processor or lacking
Open Firmware are not supported.
- Older Open Firmware machines are not currently supported.
This is mostly due to lack of developer resources and limited
availability of hardware.
- Built-in modems on most machines are not supported. In many systems,
the serial port the modem is attached to is supported, but the modem
itself is not supported.
- Newer PowerBooks have an internal modem attached as a USB device, these
are not supported.
- Sleep/Suspend on laptops is not supported.
- Bluetooth is not supported.
- Firewire is not supported.
Getting and installing OpenBSD/macppc:
The latest supported OpenBSD/macppc release is
Here are the
OpenBSD/macppc installation instructions.
Snapshots are made available from time to time, in
as well as on a few
Here are the
OpenBSD/macppc snapshot installation instructions as well.
There are several installation media provided:
- CD image (installXX.iso)
With the CD inserted in the cdrom drive, powering the machine on
while leaving the "C" key pressed will bootstrap the installation
Alternatively, the CD can be booted at the Open Firmware prompt, with
boot cd:,ofwboot 6.7/macppc/bsd.rd
- Mac OS based boot
If the system disk is shared with Mac OS, the
bsd.rd installation media can be copied to the first HFS
or HFS+ partition.
Then the installation procedure can be booted at the Open Firmware prompt,
boot hd:,ofwboot bsd.rd
Multiboot/Shared HFS disks:
Having OpenBSD multiboot, or share, a disk with Mac OS X/Mac OS 9
is possible as long as the disk is first partitioned with the
Mac OS utility, Drive Setup (Mac OS 9) or System Disk
Utility (Mac OS X).
Unallocated space, or a partition not in use, must be left for OpenBSD's use.
Since OpenBSD is only able to boot from an HFS (not Mac OS X UFS) filesystem,
the first partition must be formatted as HFS or HFS+, not UFS, to be able to
Please refer to the installation instructions for more details on how to
install a shared disk.
Standalone (no Mac OS present) installation is also supported.
Boot device considerations:
Modern MacPPC systems have two IDE interfaces (called Ultra and IDE), each of
which can have two devices on them (ultra0, ultra1, ide0, ide1).
When multiple drives are present in the system, there are limitations
of which drives can be configured as the OpenBSD root drive.
Invalid configurations will not be able to properly
detect which drive is the root drive, so any attempt will either
prompt for a root drive or fail.
ultra0 is always a valid root drive.
ultra1 is valid as a root disk, as long as
is a hard drive, not a non-hard disk ATAPI device.
ide1 (Zip drive bay) is valid as a root disk if no hard drive is
ide0 (cdrom) is valid as a root drive only if no hard
drives are connected to the Ultra bus.
- Laptop systems may power off within 2-5 minutes if the lid is closed
while running from battery.
- Older iMacs can have a problem with the USB keyboard driver where
the first key pressed after boot will repeat endlessly. The workaround
is to press <SHIFT> first or to disconnect and reconnect the USB mouse
after the problem has occurred.
- <CTRL><CMD><POWER> on ADB (not USB) keyboards
will reset the computer.