What flavor of Linux on a iMac G4 800mhz

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by VanneDC, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #1
    Hi, tiger isn't exactly the speediest of OS's on this old hardware, so iam thinking of going back to the ice-weasel (panther 10.3) or maybe trying a Linux distro.

    Couple of questions that arise from this is

    1. How much more speedy would Panther be on this iMac? And of course what version of safari is supported? Vlc and transmission do have version that will run on panther correct?

    Is there anything major I'll be missing out on if I install panther?

    2. If I go the Linux way, what distro would you recommend and why? Will all the hardware be supported? What desktop would you recommend? Fluebox? Kde? Gnome?

    Will this actually make my Mac feel faster or iam I just clutching at straws?

    Oh yeah, should add system specs.

    768 mb ram (I have ram in the mail coming that will bring it up to 1.0gb)
    800mhz CPU g4
    240gb 7200rpm 16mb cache hard drive.
    Mx 4 32mb
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC
    #2
    1. Not speedy enough to justify the problems that I'll list below. Realistically, it's a bit faster than Tiger, but only by about as much as Tiger is faster than Leopard on that machine, again, definitely not a big difference.

    If you go to Panther, you drop all semblance of modern browser support. Safari 4 is the last supported Apple browser for Tiger on PPC, and Safari 5 will run on Leopard, but Safari 3 is dead. Most browsers like Firefox and Camino require 10.4 or later. So if you want the internet, Panther will not be a good bet.

    2. Debian Lenny. Debian is the basis for the Ubuntu distro, but it is supported officially on PPC. That being said, there isn't a lot of code out there for PPC Linux instructions, so there won't be a lot of programs you can run. You'd want to run either GNOME or XFCE as your desktop environment; KDE will be far too slow. I had Debian on my iMac for a couple days of experimentation and it wasn't that much faster than Tiger really, and actually getting the drivers to work with the iMac's graphics card took a lot of finagling about at the command line, editing Xorg.conf and the like.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #3
    People don't have great things to say about Linux PPC with Nvidia graphics cards. Apparently the drivers aren't great.

    I put Debian on my mom's iBook, and it's very fast. But it has an ATI card.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #4
    ppc distros suck imo, you should stick with Tiger, it will give you the best usability and it runs perfectly fine on a G4 with 768 RAM you just need to know how to finesse it...its like learning to drive in the snow though, the current web is hard on ppc's regardless of os, just know what to avoid. on my g4 emac i find that camino's G4 build works well, here, just avoid the flash
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    bizzle

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #5
    Don't use Linux on it because it's going to be horribly slow. The graphics support for nVidia on the PPC platform is pretty awful.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #6
    I would think that a larger capacity hard drive (500GB) at the same RPM (7200) would make up for the lack of speed using Tiger. I wouldn't go to Panther due to the browser limitations listed above by drewdle.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    The Triangle, NC
    #7
    This is one hundred and ten percent correct. I have a PCI Radeon in my QS G4 for when I boot into Debian on it. Hell, even on Intel/X86 hardware I think that the NVIDIA graphics drivers are crap these days. The radeon driver for Linux is where it's at.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    I think the linux drivers for NVIDIA suck on any platform, not just PPC. I have a HP laptop that has an NVIDIA chip inside running Ubuntu 10.04, and getting it to work well- especially with external displays- of any kind is terrible. :mad:
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    The Triangle, NC
    #9
    My thoughts exactly! I've been very glad that my ThinkPads have had ATI chips for GPUs.:cool:
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #10
    With your ATI drivers do you have any trouble with tv output at all?
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    The Triangle, NC
    #11
    I don't do TV output (S-video, anyway), so I can't say for sure.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #12
    Okay, well on that account,I'll stick with tiger and try to Max out the system..
    Reminds me, does this Mac take highndensity ram? Iam wondering about the full sized dimm.

    Thanks for your input in regards to swaying me away from Linux. ;)
    :apple:
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #13
    Low density RAM only.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #14
    Unfortunately, the majority of ThinkPads now come with nVidia graphics.
     

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