Installing Linux on PB - help me please.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cb911, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I want to install some version of Linux on my PowerBook. i know basically nothing about Linux, so i'll probably need massive amounts of help. :p

    i've just installed Panther on my PB, and i've got a seperate 3GB partition to install Linux on. 3GB should be enough right?

    so all i need to know is what distro of Linux should i use? i want to learn a bit of the commands, but i don't want to have to learn thousands of commands. i don't mind sitting down for a while and reading a guide of how to install, so ease of installation isn't really high on my priority list. after all, command line stuff is all part of the Linux experience, right? well, that's what i want to experience. :D

    i searched the forums and only came up with this thread. someone there mentions not to use any of the pre-packaged OS's, but to compile the code specifically for your computer for best performance. would that be very difficult to do? if there's a good guide out there on the net that would be OK, otherwise i'll pass...

    it would also be good if i could access all the other partitions on my PB. i've got 4 in total. would it be possible to do this with Linux?

    okay, so recommend what you think would be the best distro of Linux for my needs. i hope i've made sense, otherwise just ask for clarification. :p

    thanks in advance for any help. :)

    edit>

    i just found this thread about someone asking questions about linux/unix. fraeone said it wasn't a good idea to put linux on a PB yet because of a couple of big issues:

    they don't seem to be all that big an issue, i can do without Airport and i can just use my PB on the poweradapter if necessary.

    one last question: is it completely stupid of me to even think about compiling everything, considering i'm a complete Linux n00b? :p
     
  2. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #2
    Oh oh oh oh oh!!! that was me!!!!!!

    hehe.

    Excellent choice on deciding to put linux on your PB, when the 2.6 comes out with suspend to ram I'm gonna do that too. I know I said to compile by yourself a long time ago, but with a laptop maybe yellowdog might be a good choice at first. I have way too much advice to post here, but I think it's great when people try linux. I've never run yellowdog on a PB but it's very much like redhat so if you read anything which references to redhat, most likely it will also apply to yellowdog.

    Gentoo PPC

    That right there is an EXCELLENT guide to compiling your own version of linux. I would highly reccomend this if you can read very well. (I'm not joking, following step by step is crucial and hard as I've learned from experience). I would recommend against it for the first time user unless you have alot of patience and alot of time. It's not going to work the first time (not right atleast) and if you're a perfectionist like me (and most linux users, otherwise we wouldn't have something that works).

    I guess I have a ton of more advice. If you want to ask more, just give me specific questions or AIM at saabmp3

    Goodluck,

    BEN
     
  3. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #3
    thanks saabmp3. i might IM you when i get home...

    thanks for the link, i came accross that when i was looking for some info. sure is a big read. which version of the Gentoo CD would you reccomend? i've heard people saying good things about LiveCD, but what do you think, considering my experience level. :p

    a question about partitions: i was reading that guide and it said to make the following partitions, a swap partition, a root partition (to hold the bulk of Gentoo Linux), and a special bootstrap partition. but i've already got 4 partitions on my PB, with Panther installed as well. i want to keep Panther and be able to boot into Linux as well. would it be possible to divide my 3GB linux partition into the partitions that Gentoo reccomends, while leaving the others intact? or could i install Gentoo on the single 3GB partition without needing any extra partitions?

    and i'm guessing that the guide you link to is specific to Gentoo? you can't use it to install, say YDL?

    thanks for your help. :)

    edit> more questions.

    i was just having a look at Slackware... i've heard a bit about it. isn't that what hackers use? :D but i saw that no one has done a PPC port of it. why is that? do all the PC hackers want to keep it to themselves? :p

    on the Slackware site it says that it was developed with ease of use and stability as top priority, so wouldn't this be a good choice for people wanting linux? it also says it's aim is to produce the most UNIX-like Linux distribution out there. does that just mean it's hardcore? not for n00bs? :p

    i was also just reading some slackware FAQ, it said that Slackware supports all the hardware that the Linux kernel supports. so does that mean that there are different kernel versions for PC and PPC? it seems like a dumb question, but i have to ask. :p

    well i just found a Slackware PPC version called
    Slackintosh, but you've got to do everything yourself, they only have the basic packages.

    sorry if i'm rambling a bit, but other Linux newbies might find this useful as well. :)
     
  4. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #4
    YDL is the simplest to install i found. However i found GNOME and KDE (GUI interfaces) to be really slow - didn't see a speed advantage. - avoid it like the plague

    The SlackWare PPC seems pretty interesting, but it does assume out know your commands in order to get it to work, and no KDE and GNOME, your gonna have to find that yourself and get them to work... could be a pain in the beginning.

    However... i don't understand why everybody seems to be going away from using the terminal within the OS 10 environment?
     
  5. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a

    rhpenguin

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #5
    I ran YDL on my iBook, but decided it was best to have a dedicated machine for it. If you really want to use Linux, get a dedicated machine for it. Especially if you are just learning, i guarantee your are going to mess it up. When i was learning Linux, i swear i installed it so many times it wasnt funny.

    Get a dedicated box.
     
  6. Chealion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    #6
    Uh... why are you installing Linux? You have Mac OS X....
     
  7. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #7
    Installing linux and running it is great! It's the same argument of you have a motorcycle but still use your bicycle (ok, so that's bad, but whatever).

    Re: Slackware. Slackware was really big a couple of years ago. Distro's go through phases when they have lots of developers and are very good. When they say easy to use that means more when using stuff like apt-get and emerge. It's more of a way of installing software including the dependencies....you will learn that this is a nightmare.
    Slackware isn't a hackers OS, it's just considered more of a hardcore user OS (I'm trying not to say elite, cause that's stupid). I wouldn't avoid it, but just start with something easier and you'll have an all around better experience. After you've installed a couple thousand times (granted this could be in the first week) then it's time to move on to one of these. Your going to know alot more when you compile yourself, but you might not know enough in teh first place to even understand what your doing, if that makes sense.

    RE: KDE and Gnome. They are FULL package programs that have alot of crap in them. If you just want barebones (think fast) then start off with a different window manager and move on from there. I recommend fluxbox as it is quite minimalists window manager with the major features. It is a break off of blackbox so has quite a history to it.

    Gentoo is just a newer distro than slackware with what I personally think more user help towards noobs (get used to this term cause your always a noob to somebody else).

    BTW, 3 gigs might be a little tight for a linux install. If you start adding extra files and stuff you might get a little crammed for space.

    BEN
     
  8. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #8
    thanks for the help... and i want Linux so i can learn it, and mess around with it. i would use the Terminal in OS X, but if there's always an easier way to do something then that's what you'll go for, right? so i thought the best way to learn linux/unix would be to install Linux, and that would force me to learn about it. and i actually use OS X for work, so i definitely don't want to mess that up. ;)

    i do only want a barebones install, with the snappiest environment. i could squeeze it into a 3GB partition couldn't i?

    too many questions... saabmp3, i'll have to IM you later. :D

    and if anyone else wants to give up their AIM username, i'll make good use of it. :D
     
  9. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #9
    Well what kinda stuff are you interested in running

    I made a 2 GIG partition when before installing YDL and installed the whole package full GNOME and full KDE (maybe thats why it ran slow :D ) and every other thing it asked me about. But if you don't need the GUI environment to have everything because it's not going to supplement your OS- your only a hobbiest i think you should be fine with 3 gigs

    good luck
     
  10. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #10
    yeah, i won't be needing everything, only the essentials.

    but i just thought of a problem... i've already partitioned my HD. 4 partitions, all HFS +. i only use 3 of them, leaving the 4th for Linux. but i've been reading that Linux needs it's own 3 partitions, formatted by the Linux 'installer'.

    so should i have left my Linux partition as 'free space' instead of 'HFS +'? is there any way i can still install Linux on my 3GB 'Linux' partition, keeping the rest of my HD in contact?
     
  11. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #11
    cb911:

    I'm a little confused. It sounds as though you simply want to learn the Unix cli. If that's correct, are you aware that OS X is based on freeBSD? You can compile and run almost anything out there in the open source universe (Unix/Linux) and run it on OS X. X11 is also included, so you can even build/run X11/Unix GUI applications (I build 'ethereal' yesterday on Panther; works great). The 'Fink' project makes it pretty simple to download and build most of what's available in open source.

    If you specifically want to learn Linux, I'd suggest Yellow Dog 3.0, but you'll have to re-partition your drive. You'll ned a very small boot partition, a Linux swat partition, a Linux 'root' partition and your HFS+ OS X partition.

    You might also want to look into MOL (Mac OS on Linux) at www.maconlinux.org.

    HTH
     
  12. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #12
    i would use OS X to learn the UNIX/Linux lingo, but i'm really worried about messing up OS X... as someone mentioned above if installing Linux you usually re-install a thousand times in the first week. :p i definitely don't want to do that with Panther.

    but the big question i need answered now, before i go any futher.... can i still use my 3GB partition to install Linux?

    will the Linux install and format my extra partition without having to reformat my whole HD?
     
  13. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #13
    Hmm i know i only created one, but i didn't make it HSF+ i left at nothing if i remember correctly... it only needed one when i remember... but i would suggest you back up all your stuff... then i pick a distripution, i found yellow dog the easiest to get a full download... and then find the instructions on the Yellow dog linux website and it will tell you exactly what you need to do.
     
  14. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #14
    i think i'll go with Gentoo (althought at this stage i'm still open to suggestions). there's a really good guide for setting it up, that saabmp3 mentioned earlier.

    after all, i'm not looking for ease of installation. i just want to learn stuff, and i've found from experience it's best to jump in the deep end. :D
     
  15. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #15

    The pool needs to be full though ... you don't wanna hit the cement and get discouraged...
     
  16. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #16
    hhmmm... true. it's alot bigger, nastier fall if you fall into the deep end. :p

    but this seems the only way to really learn anything. most of the other distro's seem to be just click and install, you don't really learn much.

    if there's a particular version of Linux that lets you do alot with the command line, while being not too difficult to install and work with, please let me know.

    i also don't want KDE or Gnome, i really don't want to waste space with all the extras, i just want the basics.
     
  17. iN8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Location:
    The Bahamas
    #17
    Whenever installing Linux on your main machine, make sure you BACKUP! Even if you are installing on another hard drive. I learned the hard way.

    I installed YDL 3.0 on my G4-450 AGP on Friday. I have an extra 20GB hard drive that I installed it on.

    Everything went smooth with the installation. I rebooted and it asked for my username and password. I entered them and in kept asking me for them and not logging in. So I rebooted to my OS X drive so I could do some troubleshooting on the net. I got to the grey screen with the apple logo and it was taking a little long to move on and then the logo turned into the "no" sign, a circle with a slash through it. Of course I freaked. I booted from my Jaguar install disk and launched disk utility and it didn't see the volume anymore, it saw the drive, but no volume. Still freaking. I wiped the linux drive and put a backed up copy of OS9 on it and booted from that. It saw and mounted the drive and all my files were intact as well as the system. So why wouldn't it boot? As it turns out after I went to YDL's website, there is a bug in the YDL installer that only affects systems with more than one hard drive in it. It changes the name of the first partition from Apple_partition_map to Apple_bootstrap, thus OSX not booting.

    Here's the fix I found on YDL's website. I had to download a version of pdisk compiled for OSX and change the name of the first partition back to Apple_partition_map. After intalling OSX on the good drive and following teh instructions, everything worked fine.

    This could have been disastrous and I didn't have current backups so I would have lost a lot. I was lucky. I know it was a little long winded, but i figured it could help someone if they get caught too.
     

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