Yellowdog Linux...Hassle-free?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by fiercetiger224, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2004
    Does anyone actually use Yellowdog Linux? Curious, because I'm kind of curious as to how it runs on an Apple computer...

    Is it just as easy to install as Mac OS? Or, do you have to go through several steps to make sure every hardware component runs correctly (bah, sounds like WINDOWS doesn't it? The only part is that I'm sure that Linux doesn't really do everything for you...*sigh*) Is it a COMPLETELY different environment compared to both Windows and Mac OS?

    Obviously I've never used Linux before, but I'm curious to learn how to use it, since I'm rather a cross-platform user. As for performance, does it run exceptionally well on a Mac-based computer? Or is a PC the way to go?

    Anyway, I have a rather important question: Mac-On-Linux, how well does it run? The site briefly says "Near-Native Speed", which I'm assuming it runs near if you're actually running Mac OS itself.

    And...the BIGGEST question...If you have an Aluminum PowerBook G4, can you boot OS 9 on MOL? I'm asking since I have a new model which won't boot into OS 9 :( But this would be a nice alternative if it is possible! ^_^ I'd really like to use Yellowdog Linux if it's able to!

    Well if anyone could help, it would be gladly appreciated!


    Power Mac G4 Sawtooth 450 Mhz, 1 MB L2 Cache, 640 MB RAM
    iBook G3 600 Mhz, 256K L2 Cache, 384 MB RAM
    Aluminum PowerBook G4 1 Ghz, 512K L2 Cache, 768 MB RAM
  2. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003

    unless there is something you need to do that you must have YDL to do then don't even bother with linux. osx offers everything it does and a whole lot more so going to it would be a big downgrade really.
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    You should check out Yellow Dog's support pages to see what it does and doesn't support on your new Powerbook. When I tried YDL 3.0.1, it didn't support the graphics card and airport extreme among other things. There's almost certainly a workaround for the graphics card issue; but it's unlikely airport extreme will be supported anytime soon.

    I personally decided it wasn't worth it, since OS X has all the functionality of Linux that I loved without the rather significant headaches. If you've got a Windows / x86 computer handy, you might find it much easier to try out Linux on that. Up until I got my Mac, I was running Red Hat Linux (now you'd want Fedora Core, the free version of Red Hat) for the past two years. Linux can dual boot with Windows quite happily, as long as you've got enough free unpartitioned space on your drive. You can use a tool like Bootit-NG to resize your Windows partition to allow room for Linux.

    Linux tends to do better on x86 (Windows) machines, since that was the original target AND there are so many more x86 Linux developers out there.
  4. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I've had some experience with YDL (mostly on a Dual 533 MHz G4), and have used Red Hat Linux on a P3 700 MHz (dead now, though).

    IMHO YDL's performance is good, but I find it difficult to compare Linux on PPC to Mac OS X to Linux on X86. But YDL "feels" good, especially if you have enough RAM (512 MB +)

    YDL's hardware support is usually limited to Apple's "standard" hardware of about >6 months old. The hardware support is documented quite nicely, and don't expect support for retail products like the Radeon 9800 Pro Retail.

    I like it when people try out alternative OSes. Even if you can't find a reasonable purpose for implementing it, it gives a broader picture of what is possible on your Mac or PC.

    I would like to urge people to try it (if they have a Mac to spare...).
    So, please try it! Maybe the installer isn't as easy as the Mac OS X installer, but if your hardware is supported, you should be able to get it running.

    Have fun!
  5. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    i've been thinking of running Linux from another hard drive on my powermac for exactly this reason... just to try it out.

    I used to work for Kinko's and 2 of the printers i operated there (both built by IBM) ran Unix and Linux, and that's really the only experience i've had with linux. Occasionally i do get a crazy MS Word file with formatting that i can neither edit or change in Appleworks so it'd be nice to see how those documents fair in Linux.

    could you recommend any extremely cheap, or dare i say free Linux OS's to run on mac? i was at Borders today and saw SuSE for $40 (Personal Edition) but it was V.9 for PC only. =/
  6. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    You can download all distro's of Linux for free off of their respective websites.

  7. KC9AIC macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    Tokyo, Japan or Longview, Texas
    Yes, I also have been very interested in YDL. Notice, as saabmp3 said, the download button near the top of the page. From there, you can download ISO images for burning YDL installation discs. A variety of versions are available.
  8. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I like when I am looking to download a flavor of linux. They have YDL and Gentoo PPC distros and I think Debian has one as well.

    I too enjoy "toying" around with OSes and love the OS X is all you need responses :rolleyes:
  9. Rezet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2003
    Connecticut, United States of America
    Linux really is a downgrade from OSX and perhaps even windows. (Geeks can start bashing me now) but I don't care. Any time you need a manual on how to use a manual and need a bottle of vodlka to realize how to install and manage something to get it to work, I say NEXT. Linux maybe a pretty stable system but lack of support by pretty much any big consumer software and hardware companies makes it somewhat of an idol in a geek world who takes on a bully (MS) but nothing much else.
    I tried it out on a pc a while ago (redhat 6) and i saw little reason for using it unless you are just bored to hell and feel like installing something fresh. Or if you just want to be special and try to find 10 things why linux is the best system (we sure love those people)...

    I don't know how well it linux works on a Mac, But i'd imagine it's not much different from a PC. And on a pc, back in 2000 it was a bitch...

  10. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Redhat 6 is what you base your opinion on? Wow.

    [sarcasm]You know I tried Mac OS 7 a while back and it sucked. I will never try the Mac OS again :eek: [/sarcasm]

    Linux has made more strides than any other OS in the past 4 years, and I really enjoy its benefits (not to mention cost) on legacy hardware. Granted I would never put YDL or Gentoo on an recent Powermac, but for those machines that require hacks or just aren't supported by OS X, I would definitely recommmend Linux.
  11. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    I tried installing YDL 3.0 on my old iBook; there was a bug in the netconfig which prevented me from getting it on any network, either my AirPort, or the Internet. Having no knowledge of how one would fix this under Linux, I installed Panther instead. But I played around enough to answer some of your questions....

    First, the install. This was really easy. The Linux installers have come a long, long way; all the hardware was recognized and things went pretty smoothly. I did read their Installation Guide pretty carefully and follow it to the letter, but it's not like it was difficult at all. For ease of use, I'd say the install is easier than Windows, a little less so than OS X.

    It is a COMPLETELY different environment, at least under KDE. But for the most part, you can access most of the settings you're accustomed to. Though one of the ones that was NOT in the version I installed was an option to enable trackpad tapping, which was a real drawback on the iBook. You can enable it through manual editing of a configuration file, but that's not something I had tolerance to mess with.

    Performance was okay; didn't use it for enough stuff to do a real compare, but I didn't notice that it was slow or anything. I also didn't see any amazing improvement over, say, OS X.

    I have to say that Linux is much improved in terms of providing a graphical interface for a lot of functions; I also might have been happier with the GNOME desktop than KDE. But overall, if anything was going to go wrong or get complicated, it was going to require a lot more effort and knowledge to deal with it under Linux than under OS X. The emphasis still seems to be on letting the geeks hyper-configure and tweak their setup than on brain-dead, anyone-can-do-it ease of use.

    Someday I'll give it another go, when I have the time to properly delve into the nitty-gritty of the whole Linux experience.
  12. Jstein macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2004
    I have been thinking about installing YDL, my hold up is that I really did not find out about it until three weeks after I had purchased my Alpb 15 - inch. I really do not feel like losing all of the updates that I have installed since my inital purchase. If I buy an external hard drive is there anyway for me to drag my current system prefrences etc etc.. all of the updates to Mac OSX 10.3.... safari updates... to an external hard drive or will I have to install the basic system restore disk on the hard drive and start over from there....
  13. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    mol, os 9

    Yes u can actually run os 9 under mol on ur pbook, even though it wont boot from it. You justn need to configure mol to think your computer is an old-world mac (old world processor). It might even possibly work without doing that, one of my friends who has a g5 running ydl 3.0 said he did not have to change any settings for mol. I just got a reply back from the mol group, and the dude said it depends, sometimes it will work without major configuration, sometimes it wont.
  14. DNH macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Halifax, NS, Canada

    It really bothers me to hear people speak of Linux as and upgrade or downgrade to Windows/Mac OS X. Linux is not really either of the two, it is different. People typically think of Linux as a downgrade because they couldn't get something to work, like their video card. They then place blame on the operating system, rather than blame themselves for being ignorant, and claim that Linux sucks because it wouldn't use their video card. I appologise for the condescending tone, but people need to understand that Linux doesn't do things for you (at least many distributions), it does what you tell it to. There is a learning curve, but it is highly useful and enjoyable if you put in some time. Anyway, the tricky thing I found about using YDL was getting yaboot to work properly, if you are planning to dual or triple boot. YDL worked perfectly with my G3 iBook, including the airport card. I also had Gentoo Linux installed and it was a bit trickier to setup, but ended up working just fine. MOL worked fine and was pretty responsive, other than some of the animations being a bit jumpy. Too bad they both got nuked when I had to format and reinstall due to hardware issues with my iBook.
  15. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    its not ignorant to say thats its a downgrade at all. its freeware vs. payware. of course the payware will be easier to use and do more for you. my point in all this is that osx is unix already and the most popular form of unix to boot. having osx and using linux makes no practical sense at all. if someone chooses to use it then thats fine but there isn't much point to it. don't come on here calling people ignorant for having a valid opinion because it makes you look like an idiot. :)
  16. DNH macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Perhaps you missed my point. What I was saying is that it is ignorant to blame an operating system for user error, not that it was ignorant to say that it is a downgrade. I said that Linux is different from windows and mac os x, not a downgrade. If you know what to do with Linux, you are in many ways better off that using similar options in windows or mac os x. I'm not trying to offend people here, but simply say that using Linux takes a bit more effort and knowhow than using windows or mac os x, and can be rewarding if you have the patience to learn your stuff. I hardly see how that would make me look like an idiot.
  17. ltgator333 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2003
    Albion, MI
    I used YDL 1.2 on a Pmac 6500 with a 250Mhz 603e proc and it FLEW. Like it was jaw hit the floor fast... I honestly say until having played with some of the dual proc's I've had recently I've not seen a computer be so (seemingly at least) speedy, it ran faster on that machine that it did my 233Mhz G3.. no crap. I've also ran SuSe 7.1 on my old G3, and it was incredibly slow (probably the compiler they used sucked...), and I've ran Red Hat 6 and SuSe 9 pro on PC, RHat 6 was terrible to install and get to work properly, some of it was pure luck really. On the other hand, SuSe 9 is a peice of cake to install.
    All in all- I think that if you want the full Linux experience most of the Linux software is meant for x86 machines, but YDL is meant to be for a server of some type.. I suppose if you have an old PMac 6500 with a 250Mhz 603e proc (or something similar.. lol) laying around that has an ethernet port and you'd like a email/web/SQL/file server for some reason, I think your exactly the audience that YDL is pitching it's OS to. Otherwise no I don't think it's much for an everyday use OS.

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