Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I believe followed the directions on how to create a bootable USB drive from the Ubuntu website. My question is how can I get my Powerbook to boot from the USB drive? I tried doing the command+control+o+f and it just shows me the file icon with the question mark I also tried booting it holding the option button and it directs me to a screen with two buttons a refresh and a next button, I click on the next button and nothing happens?? kinda stumped.

share|improve this question

I am pretty sure the Powerbooks don't boot from USB drives. You'll need to burn a CD.

I'm going to assume that you downloaded Ubuntu from the homepage at, which will give you ISOs for Intel (x86 and x64) processors. Since your computer has a PowerPC processor, you will need to download that ISO: Ubuntu's wiki for installing on PowerPC

Edit - Someone on the Ubuntu forums says you should be sure to download the livecd version and set arguments for loading the kernel:

Be sure to down load the powerpc live disk. 8.04.1 will give you the least trouble with booting. On my Ibook I have to press the tab key as the first words come up as it begins to boot. This takes you to a screen with some options to load the kernel. The one that works for me is "linux-nosplash-powerpc".

share|improve this answer
Thanks for that info beats having to keep trying something that doesn't work. What if my ROM drive is bad? Could I load it off an external ROM drive? The laptop will boot in open firmware?? – Estela Sanchez Jan 7 '13 at 4:29
@EstelaSanchez This (otherwise irrelevant) article says that it can boot from a CD drive connected over FireWire. Haven't found anything about USB. – Kevin Chen Jan 7 '13 at 7:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.