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I have an old iMac G5 (without a webcam) that I would like to get running Ubuntu. The iMac has no hard drive in it, and I would like to get a live CD running so I can test out Ubuntu before I buy a hard drive to boot from, but I'm having trouble running the live CD.

I downloaded the Ubuntu 12.04 PowerPC live desktop build from here (, 5th link down) and burned on to a DVD-R at the lowest speed.

When I put it in my iMac and held down the 'C' key to boot from a CD/DVD, the SuperDrive spins up, spins down, and ejects the disk. The iMac then displays a folder with a question mark superimposed on it (the icon for a missing startup disk).

I've read that this means the CD is not suitable to boot on that computer. According to the Ubuntu PowerPC FAQ (, my iMac is compatible.

  • Am I downloading the wrong download?
  • Do I need a different CD/DVD?
  • Is my download of Ubuntu corrupted?
  • Why won't can't I get my DVD boot?
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Can you check the ISO you downloaded was a) downloaded without error and b) was burnt to disk without error. The following page should help you do that: – Oli Aug 12 '13 at 15:46
Are you copying the iso file to the DVD, or installing it? If you are not installing it properly, you will get this error, as the boot sector will take a look at it and think that it's just a file, not an OS. – SimplySimon Aug 12 '13 at 15:47
Yes that's a fair point. It's not enough to just copy the ISO onto a DVD as a file, you have to use something that will unpack it. See: and – Oli Aug 12 '13 at 15:56
I burned the .iso to a DVD using Disk Utility on my newer Mac the way says to. – Cin316 Aug 12 '13 at 17:38
Anyone have any help? – Cin316 Aug 13 '13 at 1:46

I think you could try this : How do I boot the live CD on a Macbook Pro?

hold alt/opt and select cd,

alternatively, you can install refit on the imac, insert cd and boot from the refit menu

It might work, unless the cd is really corrupted

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