Accidental Linux...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    As my 1.25Ghz Powerbook is essentially a spare now, I thought I'd try Linux on it once again. I was quickly reminded that Ubuntu, Lubuntu & Xubuntu were less than satisfactory, Debian 6 was quick but quite outdated and had graphics issues, so i thought I'd try MintPPC. Using a net install disk I was quite surprised to find after reboot I'd somehow installed Debian Wheezy with the Gnome desktop! I later realised I made a small error typing the MintPPC url at setup, so the process defaulted to the standard Debian 7.9 install instead.
    Previously I'd always avoided Gnome as it was my understanding that it's too heavy but this combo is by far the best Linux I've tried - it's fast, very usable and looks contemporary.
    Out the box, fan control, hot keys, sound and graphics worked perfectly - the other features, wireless, backlit keyboard and CPU scaling were just a few Terminal commands away.
    Video playback, usually a Linux failing, is great too with the Totem or SMPlayers and Youtube plays at 360P (after buffering)fine in the Midori browser using HTML5.
    I've no intention of switching from OSX at all but it's great to have a Linux Powerbook at last that's fit for purpose.

    As ever, I always recommend the PPC Luddite for the install guide:

    http://ppcluddite.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/installing-debian-linux-on-ppc-part-i.html

    Desktop.png
     
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
  3. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    Radeon 9600 64Mb
     
  4. bse5150 macrumors 6502

    bse5150

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #4
    I like Linux too - but not on Mac hardware. I only have two PPC machines and they run Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.4.
     
  5. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #5
    Thanks, I was wondering if they fixed the Mesa bug that prevented acceleration with ATI. That would explain why Gnome runs smoothly.
     
  6. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    I haven't really investigated - I'm sure there's no hardware acceleration going on as in settings it reports Software Rasterizer for graphics. Maybe it runs well because it's an older version plus there's no taxing visuals going on?
     
  7. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #7
    Thats very interesting! My Last generation Emac G4 has the same GPU and running Leopard seems sluggish. Yes i realize it only has 1gb of ram but still. Maybe ill give this a shot. I dont really have a use for it and wish to sell it but i doubt anyone in my area wants it.
     
  8. swamprock, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016

    swamprock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    If you have firmware-linux-nonfree installed, you'll have good 2d acceleration with the 9600. In order to get 3d acceleration, you'll need to downgrade Mesa. Dan's site (that you linked above) tells you how. It works quite well on the Powerbooks of your vintage (I've got a 15" 1.5ghz DVI here myself), but there are a few quirks, like no sleep, and upon bootup, you have to turn your brightness up on the login screen.

    I'm running Mate in Jessie myself, on my TiBook (667mhz VGA), and I really dig it. Wheezy Backports has Mate if you wanted to try it out on your Powerbook; just have to add it to your sources.list. It's a bit more lightweight than Gnome is; somewhere between LXDE and Gnome; and much more customizable than the former

    [​IMG]

    I also outlined how to compile a newer, less-crashtastic version of the Midori browser here: http://www.mintppc.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1525
     
  9. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #9
    I might give it a whirl at some point - at moment, though I'm hesitant to mess around too much - I'm just glad it's a working system with no compromises like every other PPC Linux attempt has been in the past!
    That's a great looking desktop UI!
     
  10. swamprock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10

    Mate looks very similar to Gnome until you customize it. That desktop UI is the result of many, many hours of tweaking and experimenting, which is the real fun of linux. I'm no zealot, but if you're one to want to learn more about how an OS works, linux is the ticket.
     
  11. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #11
    I agree - when you do an absolute minimal install, you appreciate a lot of the 'extras' you normally take for granted. I'm keeping mine pretty light, although I have added a single line Conky at the screen bottom to report CPU. RAM & battery status.
     
  12. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #12
    Mate Looks very similar to Gnome 2 not Gnome 3 though it's kinda similar to Gnome shell/fallback. Mate should look similar to Gnome to as it's Gnome 2 and I like it to bits.
     

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