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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. However, it is supported by portmgr (package building).

The most up-to-date information about supported hardware is currently being maintained on the wiki.

Latest News

  • 05 May, 2019: FreeBSD has been tested and seems to work on the Raptor Blackbird.

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 12.0 are available for download, for details on how to obtain these see the release announcement.

How to use ports on FreeBSD/ppc?

The easiest way to use ports on FreeBSD is to use portsnap (if running FreeBSD 11.4 or 12.1) or Subversion (if running FreeBSD -CURRENT). 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 (Apple G3/G4) must use the 32-bit powerpc platform, users of 64-bit CPUs that support 32-bit operating systems (Apple G5) have a choice, and users of 64-bit CPUs that do not 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). Like other 64-bit platforms, FreeBSD/powerpc64 supports running 32-bit binaries as well as 64-bit ones.

Who should I contact?

The FreeBSD/ppc mailing list is the main resource.

Supported Hardware

The most up-to-date information about supported hardware is currently being maintained on the wiki.

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.

People have previously reported that FreeBSD runs on the 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

  • On New-World Apples, 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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