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Old Apr 16, 2012, 04:22 PM   #1
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Problem installing Linux on iBook G3


I have an iBook G3 (500Mhz, 384mb RAM with an upgraded DVD RW) which I have recently decided would be much better put to use as a Linux Lappy.

I have used Linux before on Intel based machines with little or no difficulty
However I have tried multiple times to install PPC linux distros on my iBook and all have failed for one reason or another.

I have attempted Ubuntu 6.04/7.04, Mint PPC, Debian and Yellow Dog
Once or twice I have failed to even boot from CD/DVD, but the majority of the time I go through the installation routine which completes seemingly fine, but when the iBook reboots I'm given a corrupted, black screen which is unusable.

My iBook meets the minimum spec for the above distros so I'm a bit lost on where I've gone wrong

My question is, has anyone here tried something similar on an iBook G3 and had the same issue?

I'm sorry if I sound like a complete spiv but I'm much more confident with hardware rather than software
2011 Mac Mini, 2.3Ghz i5, 500GB HD, 8GB RAM 2012 Macbook Pro, 2.5Ghz i5 500GB SSD, 8GB 2002 iBook G3 14 inch
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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I have a iBook G4 that had PPC Fedora at one point, it was so slow, unusable in fact.

Not to put you off but i don't think its worth it on a machine that old.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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It's so tough to nail down specifics unless you know what distro you will be using. I would heavily recommend against using older versions because they are no longer supported. GNU/Linux distros don't necessarily get slower as they get newer. There are plenty of low resources distros out there to try out. I would recommend looking into whichever one you are already most comfortable with and seeking out documentation and advice through that distro's channels. Ubuntu has a pretty active sub forum for apple products and specific documentation for ppc macs. If you are comfortable with ubuntu I would start there.


Edit: PS as for anything else max out the ram and you will see significant performance improvement. Avoid 3D graphics and use lightweight versions of everything.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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It sounds like you might have to manually edit your xorg.conf file to give you a working screen. Default horizontal sync and vertical refresh rates can sometimes be off. There's a little more here for MintPPC users:

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