Information for owners of Rage-equipped iBooks

Many people were wondering if there is any way to use an extended desktop with their older white iBook without the Radeon graphics chip.

Unfortunately I have to say that there currently is none. It also doesn't seem to be very likely that there will be one in the future. The reason is that the graphics architecture in the newer (Radeon) iBooks is different from the previously used one. If you look into the device tree of your Rage iBook you will find only one graphics controller (below the pci0 node). The newer iBooks, however, have two individual controllers listed which are combined by a parent controller. This is the same way the graphics system is organized in the Powerbook models. In order to allow only mirroring on the iBooks Apple uses a variable (defined in the firmware) that the graphics driver reads when it is loaded. The driver then to limits the output depending on the value of the variable. Since the older iBooks only have one logical graphics controller the value of the variable doesn't matter (it's not even defined in all models). To get the older iBooks to allow an extended desktop it would be neccessary to massively patch the firmware so that it lists both controllers under one parent (this, however, can only be done under the assumption that the hardware allows this which I don't know for sure).
This is also true for the 15" iMac G4 and the eMac.

Caution: Some older iBooks might not like this patch and die!

Please be aware that the firmware patch described at the main page of will have no effect on your iBook. However, there is the possibility that you (more or less) permanently damage your computer. I have gotten some reports of iBooks owners (all 600mhz Rage versions - update: there has been one unofficial report of a dead 500mhz Rage iBook) that they were not able to boot the computer anymore after they applied the firmware script. Resetting the power manager and nvram did not resolve this. We are currently investigating this issue and will post more information as soon as it becomes available.

Last updated: 10/24/02 ©2002