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Used G5 Mac - I am a brand new user...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iceman01, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    So a friend of mine had a desktop G5 mac that he was going to junk as he got a new Ipad. I told him I would take it, he gave it to me for free. I will be picking it up from him in a few days. I have never owned a Mac before but I hear this is the place to go for answers so here I am. It is a G5, dual core, 2 Gb RAM, 500 GB HD. Is this a decent computer? Will is be ok to install linux on? Any information about this PC woud be great, I am excited to pick it up.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. macrumors 6502

    Linux? How about installing something like OS X Tiger?
    Should be a perfectly good machine for most uses. Ok, not gaming ... :-/
  3. macrumors 6502a

    One of my family members is still using the G5 PowerMac I bought in June 2004. Running Tiger it's usable for web browsing, e-mail, Office, etc. Definitely starting to show its age in terms of performance, but totally fine for basic use.
  4. macrumors regular

    Do you need Linux? If so you can definitely run many distros on this computer. The Ubuntu apple forums and documentation are very good.

    Leopard runs great on these and is still pretty well supported.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Dual Core iMac G5 with 2 GB of RAM and 500 GB of HDD?????

    OK, again a warning for newbies: RUN far far far far away from Linux for PowerPC

    Go with Mac OS Leopard, it should be good enough for anything you need, even Youtube. Trust me, you are gonna inherit a powerful computer. Think about this, there are some people who has a 2006 Celeron desktop PC running Windows 7...


    My sister wanted a mac, but she didn't have enough money for an intel one, so I got a deal for an iMac with wasn't a Dual Core and... She's so happy! She used to have a windows pc and the G5 is running faster than any previous PC she owned!
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Linux is much, much better for web browsing and will end up having a much lower cost. You have support for many more modern programs as compared to Mac OS X. Linux has gone a long way, to the point where installing Ubuntu or Debian is just about as easy as installing Mac OS X. I've found PowerPC Linux to work amazingly well most of the time, except for some driver issues, most of which is resolved. Make sure to back up Mac OS X, install CD's are very expensive.

    I've found powerpcliberation.blogspot.ca and PowerPC Luddite to be very helpful resources for Linux on the PowerPC platform.
  7. macrumors 68000


  8. macrumors newbie


    Why not install Linux? I have it on my HP laptop and love it! I run Linux Mint 14.


    I would like to run Linux exclusivly on the G5. I run a distro of Linux (Mint 14) on my laptop and love it! I love it so much I removed Windows Vista completely. I would like to do the same with the Mac. Do you see this being a problem?

  9. macrumors 68000


    PPC support is, to say the least, an issue. I'm dual booting Lubuntu and Leopard and there are a host of issues. I have 2 monitors, which isn't supported. Firefox is buggy and I'm having issues with it only displaying part of the page. I had an issue with the installer where the fans were running full blast for the entire install- 40-50 mins. You can try it, but I'd stick to OS X.
  10. macrumors newbie

    I installed linux on my HP laptop and love it, so much that I removed Windows vista completely. I want to do the same for the G5. I am just worried about the machine being too old and slow. It has 2 GB RAM, I may add a few more GBs.. not sure yet.
  11. macrumors 68000


    I agree, and I use open-source whenever possible, but the PPC support is just not perfect. It's getting there, and we have a great host of developers, but isn't quite ready for day to day use. I use the G5 as my main machine, so I like everything to work without me having to troubleshoot a lot. However, if this is just a hobby computer, by all means, try out Linux. You should try the Mac OS too, as it's very different then Windows; you might enjoy it more then Linux.
  12. macrumors newbie

    PPC? I am not familiar with that term... Yes, it is my hobby computer. My wife and I both have laptops, I just want tinker with it. The only heavy use would for photo editing that my wife may do. She doesn't use photshop or anything.. if she does it would be an early release... thanks for all the help in advance.
  13. macrumors 68000


    PPC = PowerPC. Some people here seem to hate having it called that, but I'm lazy. :p For photo editing, I use GIMP on my Macs. Runs like a charm, even on a 900Mhz G3 iBook (which is probably 1/7-8 the speed of yours). I'm not sure about Linux/PowerPC support for Gimp. The bloggers someone mentioned above might be able to help. One of them has an account here, his name is MacinDan.
  14. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    I tried running Ubuntu for a laugh once on my 1.8 G5 (oldest next to the 1.6), and the only thing that happened was the fans went super crazy after loading the CD in.

    Really, OS X Leopard is the best thing you can put on that machine, and it will fly with 2GB. Flash still works really, really, really well too.

    Oh, and PPC = Pay-Per-Click and Pocket PC (as in Windows CE/Mobile), which is why we prefer PowerPC.
  15. macrumors 603


    PPC = PowerPC and this was before intel processors.
    Intel Arch programs won't run on PPC, Universal Arch programs do.

    Before even thinking about Linux try OS X first for a while you might like it, instead of installing Linux, that if you succeed, I never succeeded in installing it on a few systems, it is not drop a CD/DVD inside and install on it runs.
    OS X runs OTB and it IS a great OS.
  16. macrumors 6502


    Since this is your first Mac, I'm in the camp that recommends starting out with OS X. It will give you a good taste of what using Macs is all about. Also, there are many threads in this forum that provide good information regarding the best applications to use for your PowerPC Mac, as well as ways of boosting performance.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    If that is your concern, run Debian or MintPPC. Ubuntu is bloated compared to its alternatives.

    Also, Debian and MintPPC have had better hardware support in my experience.
  18. macrumors regular

    From my own experience I can say that OSX tends to run better on lower spec'd macs than Linux, however, you are not dealing with a low spec machine. You can run the 64bitppc version of Ubuntu. Load that puppy with ram and it should fly on 12.10.

    MintPPC would have stuck back on 11 based on Debian wheezy. I think you can do better with the hardware you have.

    Many of the problems mentioned (the fan issue), have well documented solutions. Head over to ubuntuforums.org and check out the documentation they have. Much of it applies to other distros as well.
  19. macrumors newbie

    You are all a HUGE help!

    This sounds very promising. I cannot believe the fast responses I am getting, you guys are all great and very helpful! Most of the forums I have attempted to take part in arent even close to as good and helpful as this. So thank you to all of you who have responded! If I were to install Linux is it as simple as it was when i installed it on my HP laptop? For that all I did was put in a CD/DVD, reboot and hit "any key to boot from a CD"... then followed the prompts on the screen. Something tells me that it wont be as easy....

    Is the G5 really that powerful of a machine?? dual processors, pre intel, 2 GB ram, just doesn't sound all that great...
  20. macrumors 6502


    I vote for Leopard. It would run absolutely fantastic on that thing.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for your vote! I may give it a shot... where can I find this Leapord? It is free or is it going to be an investment? Most operating systems aren't cheap as alot of us know...
  22. macrumors 603


    There isn't a legitimate method of distribution for Leopard at this point. Disks show up on ebay with people asking a significant amount of money at times, but that in itself violates the terms of service which dictate they're not meant for resale. I think it's dumb that people can profit from disks like that when they're just a method of delivering a licensed product. I know Powermax used to sell the restore dvds from used machines, but I don't see any on there. I wish Apple provided some method of restoring older machines to their original OS.
  23. macrumors 603


    I know what I would do but can't tell you, the machine came with an OS and I agree with Thekev, Apple should have a legal way to download it, they could even ask a couple of $$ for it, download it, burn to disk and you'll have a legal OS Install disk.
    Now, people on Ebay make big $$ from it and I think that most are even copies.
    Or they just get a copy illegally.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    You can get a retail copy off ebay.

    Warning! You must get the Black Cover Leopard DVD
  25. macrumors 603


    Well that's the thing. If you read their fine print, the disks aren't eligible for resale. They're licensing you software. People still do this as it's not enforced. It just allows people on ebay to rip off others without providing either a fully legal means of licensing or sale of software to Apple. Personally I wouldn't pay some jerk $100 or more for something he isn't even authorized to sell.

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