Which New OS Should I Try?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Patmian212, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Patmian212 macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2004
    Hi all,
    After opening my eyes to Mac OSX Panther/Tiger, I am eager to try a new OS.
    I want to run it on the Powermac in my sig. I want you guys to help me choose an os(not windows). The ones I am thinking of are: Solaris, Beos(spelt wrong I think), FreeBSD, a type of Linux or anything else you guys suggest. Also I know litteraly nothing about these OS'. Can you guys tell me advantages and disadvantages of each OS, also it MUST have a user friendly GUI.
    Also is installing easy?, how big do I have to make my partition?, what do I use to make a partition?, can I partition my drive without earasing the files I have on OSX?, if i dont want the partition anymore can I get rid of it without reformating?
    Thanks fo your help

    EDIT: sorry if I posted this in the wrong forum.
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I can't imagine why you would want to run any other OS than Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Tiger is the newest OS from Apple. You can partition using the installer disk, but that would mean reformatting the hard drive. The same process would be needed to undo the partition.
  3. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    The biggest problem with running any other OS on your mac is software, nothing is compiled for you, you'll have to look for opensource and compile yourself. Not that easy.
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    If you really must play, I would suggest what is called a bootable "Live CD" which includes a distro of linux with some real world applications that you can play with. The only one I have had any luck with is Ubuntu. Knoppix is another CD based distro.


    Since they run off of CD, they won't require any modifications/installations/repartitioning to your current system...which is nice.
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I would suggest FreeBSD, because if you get the hang of that you should master most *nix platforms. An added bonus is that you'd learn the base of Mac OS X, and could easier fix or modify your Mac... ;)

    As a GUI you should be safe using KDE or GNOME, but if you want a bit of an adventure try something like Window Maker.
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I'd second the recommendation to try some Live CDs. Ubuntu has a great live CD that will run on PowerPC machines (Macs), and the distro is good too (I use Kubuntu on my PC).
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Not entirely true...Many PPC linux distros have thousands of pre-built RPMs, so there isn't always a need to compile. However resolving depencies with RPM installs can always make for a good night. ;)
  8. Patmian212 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2004
    Are live cd distros slow since it isnt running of the hard drive?
    Also do I have to boot of cd if so how.
  9. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    I think your best bet is just to stick wit Panther or Tiger, but if you want to experiment, knock yourself out!
  10. zach macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2003
    I assume you're not particularly experienced with *nixes...

    I'd suggest something very simple with a graphical installer, such as Debian Linux.

    If I've underestimated your command-line skills, try Gentoo or Ubuntu, or just pure FreeBSD.
  11. furryrabidbunny macrumors 6502


    May 10, 2005
    Mesa, AZ
    live cd burning

    I've been interested in trying linux, and i am downloading ubuntu live cd right now. I have toast six, but i haven't installed it because cd burning in tiger is so good. to burn the iso to boot properly, do i just drop it into the cd-r like normal?
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I don't know if dragging it onto the CD works (never tried it), but dragging the .iso file into Disk Utility, selecting it, and hitting burn definitely works. I did exactly that with the Kubuntu PPC Live CD just this week, and it worked fine.
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I got Virtual PC to experiment with other operating systems so that I know I wont be able to do any damage to my Mac. I'm still a bit sceptical about the whole dual-boot thing. Plus, there's the benefit of effectively having an x86 processor which opens up a huge amount of different operating systems. My favourite's probably Xandros which runs a little slow in VPC but is still relatively easy to use.
  14. Poff macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2003
    Stavanger, Norway
    Hmm.. This thread got me interested in trying ubuntu, so I tried your method. Didn't work for me. I'm on 10.2.8 tho, so that might have something to do with it..

    Edit: I got it to work using Disc Copy. Selection "option + B" and finding the iso-file.
  15. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Honestly, I couldn't imagine limiting myself to a single OS.

    I am currently pretty affluent in:
    - Windows 95/98/Me
    - Windows 2000/XP
    - Windows 2000 Server
    - Mac OS X (Jaguar, Panther, Tiger)

    I know enough of these to be dangerous:
    - Linux
    - BSD
    - Solaris
    - Windows 2003 Server

    My current personal goal is to move Linux and BSD up to the "affluent" column. Then again, I *am* a Computer Science student and I *do* work in a multi-OS environment at work.

    Now, to answer the OP, I'd sincerely recommend AGAINST trying your first UNIX/Linux distro on your personal/production machine. I'd pick up a cheap used Mac or PC and use that. It gives you a lot more room to screw up, if nothing else.

    Good luck. I remember the first time I get my hands on RedHat Linux (v4.8, IIRC) on an old Compaq laptop with nothing but a command line. It was intimidating.
  16. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    I have done the same thing before thinking a new OS would be fun, but i ended wasting alot of time and messing up my OSX partition. Just stick with OS X Tiger, ill give you a few reasons why:

    1.Linux doesnt look as nice
    2.software has to be compiled therefore is a big deal to install unless you have the command based knowledge.
    3.Some linux distributions are unstable.
    4.Not as wide a range of software available.

    Anyhow if you must try a linux distribution knock yourself out, but dont expect the ease of use of MAC OSX or even WIn XP, they are much harder to master and i have come to the conclusion they are not worth the hassle when you have OSX.

  17. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    That's both true and untrue. It depends on what window manager and theme you use. Some look like shiat. Others combinations can look just as good as OS X. The major problem whould be that there is several GUI libraries, eg. Gtk and Qt, meaning that a Gtk application will look out of place in a Qt environment with its different look and feel. (But they're working on that). OS X is still much better in things like font rendering and general eye candy (ie. shadows and transparency).

    Software has to be compiled, but it doesn't mean that You have to do it. A wealth of pre-compiled software is usually available for you to download some way or another. Most newer Linux distributions have graphical installers that make it easy to search for and (compile/)install software.

    And some, if not most, are not. It depends how bleeding edge you want to live. When I've run Linux/X11, it hasn't crashed any more or less than OS X.

    That's true, but it has enough for most casual users. Ie. audio players (amaroK, Rhythmbox, XMMS), movie players (VLC, MPlayer, Xine), browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror), office suites (KOffice, OpenOffice.Org), etc. Adminttedly, the situation is worse if you're running on PPC, though, since some commercial companies have software that's not available for PPC.


    I'd also recommend a LiveCD, since it allows you to try out Linux without messing with your system. It's safe and easy. :)

    As for speed, it depends on the speed of your CD/DVD-ROM player. It's generally fast enough, but just keep in mind that it'd be much faster if installed on your drive.
    The (currently) x86-only Slax distro allow you to copy the whole LiveCD into memory. Running the whole OS in memory really speed things up! I don't know if any of the distros available for PowerPC allow this...
  18. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    Spelled right, capitalized wrong. It's BeOS and, in case you were wondering, it's pronounced Bee-Oh-Ess not Bee-Oss. It's been a few years since I have used it but I really enjoyed it as it provided a very Mac-like experience.
  19. JonMaker macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2004
    1. Try a "new" OS on a machine that you wouldn't miss. You will need another machine to access help.
    2. Don't go for something that drops you straight into a GUI. You will learn nothing.
    3. You have friends. They are Google, man, and ssh.
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I'd highly recommend Debian Linux.
    And I wouldn't dare try it on my powerbook.
  21. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm not sure for Macs, other than PPC Linux or another *nix variant, but if you get a hold of about any PC or an ooold Mac (we're talking 200Mhz PPC 604e or older) I highly recommend trying out BeOS. It's very, very fast, was highly media oriented, and was way ahead of its time (it had metadata support in the 90s) and is Mac-like in many ways. The official maker of BeOS, Be Inc., died in 2001 however BeOS is still worked on and supported here: http://www.beosmax.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Here's a couple screenshots:

    Attached Files:

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