Linux...Do or Don't?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RaindropDress, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2010
    I have 2 iMacs that I just got recently... one I currently have Puma on (can't seem to get Panther working... :( ) and the other is really crappy.
    I used to have a crappy old PC a few years ago that could barely run XP soooo I put Ubuntu on it, and it ran smoothly... my crappy iMac has these specs.
    64mb of ram
    6GB HDD
    OS 9.1 (or 9.2... don't really know, except for the fact that it's still classic)
    Will it run linux? I'm currently downloading Ubuntu Netbook... will it work for my iMac?

    PS: If I end up hating it will I be able to go back (with proper install CDs) and install Mac OS again?
  2. macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2010

    I've heard people are generally not happy with the netbook version of Ubuntu. On the other hand, the full installation might be a bit much for your machine.

    You could always try DSL (Damn Small Linux), or Debian.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2010
    I realized that the Netbook version might not work on my mac... so I'm going to try Xubunto... some people say that it works...I'll try DSL though... :)
  4. macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    10.3.9 will run fine and you will find it just as productive as any available Linux.

    Even though Linux is known for being more light weight and running faster it is not the case with PowerPC Macs. The reason is that the PowerPC code written isn't normally very optimized unless you use Yellow Dog Linux but it is no where near as user friendly as Ubuntu or Mac OS X. You would be forced to use command line during the install and such and because it's so hardcore it would not be productive for an average user at all.

    You are better off to run 10.3 or maybe even use Xpostfacto to will 10.4 onto it. It would run fine but since your iMac doesn't have firewire it would not install without some extra help.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    In OSX Snow Leopard / Godalming UK
    you need to update the firmware first, or you might get the black screen on reboot (or s that only with osx)
  6. macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Nanaimo, BC
    If you acquire some more memory and a bigger HD for that machine, both of which can be had for relatively cheap, you could get it running Tiger, which gives you a host of relatively modern software to run. Keep in mind none of it will run quickly, but I digress. Is your machine a slot or tray loader? If it's a tray, memory could be more difficult to find, as I believe all of them use PC66 and not PC100/133 memory. Maximum hard drive size is 120Gb, it won't see anything bigger than that even if you put a larger drive in.

    If you leave Classic on there, you can run Classilla, which is a port of the Gecko engine to OS9, and have relatively-modern internet security.

    As to Linux, I tried to install Ubuntu on my iMac G4 just for kicks, and I couldn't get it to load past the "boot:" prompt. So I can't offer much there, but zen.state does have a point in that Mac OS was optimized for the specific PowerPC chips Apple was using, where Linux won't have those optimizations and will run slower.

    You'll still need more memory. Even Xubuntu with a graphical user interface recommends 192Mb of memory. Ubuntu prefers 512Mb.
  7. macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
  8. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Whatever distribution you run, it'll be faster if you use a minimal windowing environment... IceWM is an example of one that's even lower demand than XFCE. OTOH, with such little memory and that processor, the performance will probably be limited. DSL, Puppy Linux, Yellow Dog, etc, might be good options, too...

    I dunno about the idea of putting 10.4 on a computer with 64MB of memory... That's 25% of the official requirement of Tiger, and only 50% even of what Panther officially requires. I guess it can probably be hacked to work, and I understand that different people have different conceptions of what is acceptable performance, but I didn't think Tiger was acceptable on 640MB of memory... I can't imagine what it's like on 64MB of memory.

    In any event, hopefully you're just doing this for love of the game. It would be a much better use of your time to spend a fairly small amount of money and get a vaguely modern computer....
  9. macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    true i missed the 64mb bit thats definitely to low for anything to run efficiently so i urge to upgrade least to 256mb ram better more as even linux does run with less it is still benefiting from more ram and for OSX panther its just a must to be usable, for osx tiger i would say better at least 380mb ram , the more you can put in the better in reality
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2008
    Wichita KS
    If you don't want to invest anything into the computer (like RAM for example) then it sounds like an excellent candidate for OS 9.2.2 as is. With 64MB of RAM, you really don't want to try and run too much.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005

    Very good point. With 64MB OS 9 is the best option. Even the super light weight Linux distros like Xubuntu need at least 128MB I believe.

    Although for very little money you could max out both or at least one of the iMacs.

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