Alternate iMac G4 OS, or Stick with Tiger?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Buddygor, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Buddygor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    Northfield, Vt 05663
    #1
    Hello!

    I've had my beloved iMac G4 (original, 700Mhz/1GB/320GB) for two years now, and I'm really starting to miss using it- Tiger is just too damn old.

    So, what I'm wondering is, has anyone else installed any alternate OS on their iMac G4, and preferred it over OS X? (Ubuntu, JoliOS) if so, which should I use, and also, how can I install it? Is it possible to use a USB drive to boot, or do I have to go DVD?

    Thanks! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    :apple::apple:
    Noah Budgor
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Why not Leopard, OS X 10.5?

    If you are under the impression that your Mac cannot run Leopard you should know that that is an arbitrary limitation that Apple imposed. There are a couple of ways around getting it installed. You can download and use LeopardAssist or you can install it to your Mac by using Target Disk Mode and another Mac.

    Turn off all the eye candy and it should run just fine with 1GB of ram. I was running it on a TiBook 400 and I use it at work on a G4/450 AGP with 1.5GB ram.
     
  3. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    Based on my attempts to run Ubuntu on PPC it really depens on machine model how good a distro works, atleast with Ubuntu it refuses to run on some machines while it works fine on some. I used to own PowerMac 733mhz overclocked to 867Mhz (was it Digital Audio? Not grey Quicksilver for sure) and Ubuntu ran pretty good with it while with one iMac G5 I got graphics corruption and as far as i rememner one iBook G4 just wouldn't boot with any version of Ubuntu.

    Mac OS X works best on those if you want reliability and overall good speed (gpu acceleration etc.) but if you wish to have up-to-date software then an alternative, like Ubuntu, is better. Most likely they are more secure as well.
     
  4. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    Jun 20, 2013
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    Winterfell
    #4
    Agree with eyoungren. Official Leopard requirements were pretty silly. They should have allowed it to install on any G4 without workarounds and listed the following as minimum recommended requirements:

    1) 1GB memory
    2) A QE capable GPU
    3) Enough drive space to install Leopard while leaving at least 20% of the drive free, for a total of no less than 10GB of remaining free space.

    Apple's official requirements of 512mb memory and 9gb of drive space are particularly bizarre. With that combination, page-outs will start flying out your arse and Leopard will have very little room to manage the swap. Yet they think there is a big difference between 867MHz and 700MHz CPUs.

    For alternative operating systems, most can be burned to a CD for install. You can try different versions of Ubuntu from the Live CD (it will run more slowly from the CD, but gives you a chance to see how it works with your hardware).

    It's too bad that Puppy hasn't made it to the PowerPC. That would be exactly what you want. It's very lean, loads from CD and runs entirely from ram. Hard drive use isn't required at all, but it's an option if you want to create a "save file" for preferences, bookmarks, & such. But you can also use a thumb drive for that. I'd love to see a PowerPC version of this.

    It really just depends on what you want to do, though. If you want to use your iMac for photography, Leopard would give you more options (and more recent options) than Tiger. Nothing in the PowerPC Linux world is going to touch Leopard here. If you're just worried about security and want a currently maintained OS for surfing the net, Debian is probably the way to go.
     
  5. Buddygor thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 22, 2012
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    Northfield, Vt 05663
    #5
    Been there, done that

    I have installed Leopard using LA, and it was awfully slow. Like, miserably. So, unfortunately, that's off the table. I want to breathe new life in; not cripple the poor thing :D
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    I get that. That's why it's important to turn the eye candy off.

    I've had or run Leopard on four machines that are less specced than your iMac and they all run/ran fine.

    I mean, come on a PowerMac G4/450 and a PowerBook (Titanium) G4/400? That's seriously less equipped than your 700mhz iMac. I'd have it on the G4/350 PCI at work, but it's only got 128mb of ram.

    Leopard gets a bad rap for speed, but that's because people fail to turn off coverflow, front row, and expect the Mac to generate thumbnail image previews on all their icons! Once you turn all that junk off or avoid using it you find out that it's just as fast as Tiger and way more stable.

    Just yesterday this proved itself. I have an Intel Mac at work and so one of the G4's has to share the Appletalk printers so that I can print from that Mac. I recently updated to Mavericks at work and the Tiger G4 was giving me fits because I kept getting 11x17 paper in the manual feed when I wanted letter!

    So, I had the Leopard G4 share the printers and turned it off on the Tiger G4. Instant difference because the Bonjour sharing on Leopard is far more advanced than Tiger.

    In any case, all of this is just my opinion, but if you didn't shut off the eye candy the last time you tried that would explain a large part of the issue.
     
  7. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #7
    Leopard. Its the best. I had Leopard on the PowerBook Titanium and it flew! Mine had a slightly faster CPU, but you have more RAM. Leopard works good on 512MB, but excellent at 1GB! Happy Installing! Oh, one last thing, you can get Leopard for *cough* free *cough* and put it on a FW drive, if not, you might be able to boot it off of USB.
     
  8. Buddygor thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    Northfield, Vt 05663
    #8
    Yeah! Did that before with the Leopard DVD from my MacBook. I can try again I guess, it's just that it ran like crap before, Dashboard and all the eye candy disabled. Maybe I just need to stick either a 7200RPM or even an SSD (I only need like 64GB, I use my MacBook to store my stuff) to give it a push.

    Thanks for your, and everyone else's input!
     
  9. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #9
    I suppose I must be missing something... Why even run Leopard if you're just going to turn off/not make use of the eye candy and updated features? :confused:

    Tiger has always been solid and speedy for me; and I can use the OS to its full extent without worrying about resource usage. Leopard? Not so much; like you said, you could disable/ignore all the new features and eye candy... but what's the point of even upgrading in the first place then?
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Because Leopard had more modern protocols and some updated ways of doing things. It's also the last PowerPC system supported (Tiger support was dropped before Leopard).

    In your quote of me is an example right there. The Bonjour printer sharing is much better in Leopard than it is in Tiger and the Intel Mac at work running 10.9 Mavericks uses that much better than when I was sharing from 10.4.

    As a personal experience though, 10.5 has been far more stable for me than 10.4. I work in a server environment (at work) and 10.4 was always crashing. Finder SBBOD, daily, especially during file transfers to and from the server. I could not do more than two file copys at the same time without risking the Finder crashing on me. Leopard handled this much better. Servers rarely disconnected and when they did I got a notice about either ignoring it or disconnecting. Tiger just dropped the connection, crashed Finder and gave me the beachball.

    Leopard for me isn't about the eye candy. Some of it's great, but I don't view files in coverflow. It's mainly the advanced protocols, networking and underpinnings that make it better.
     
  11. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #11
    I guess we're just two people with different needs; I have no use for any advanced networking (or basic really, for that matter :p) abilities.

    You do have a point in that, yes, Leopard is still somewhat more supported than Tiger, and easier to find software for. That's probably a deal breaker for some. But personally, I found most of the software I needed years ago back when Tiger was more relevant. I like my deeply dug rut. ;)
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #12
    Yeah, I get it. That'd be fine if all I was ever really doing was light work and browsing or had specific purposes that those apps for Tiger could cover.

    We (my coworker and I) were both on Tiger at work once and I could have kept both of us there, but that meant that neither of us could use QuarkXPress 8 or InDesign CS4.

    I have Leopard on most of my Macs at home just because it's a smoother performing OS to me. But I do get why people have a preference for Tiger.
     

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