Alternative OS iBook G4

sdboot

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
2
0
I have an old iBook G4 laying around that I would really like to be able to use again. I know that Chromium OS unfortunately does not work on PPCs. Does anyone know of an OS that is similar to Chromium OS that would work with my iBook G4?
 

tayloralmond

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2009
446
4
Michigan, USA
I know you're looking for an alternative OS, but the iBook G4's can run Tiger quite well. If you have one of the later models (1.33GHz or 1.42GHz), you'll have no problems running Leopard. Some people like MintPPC, which is a Debian Linux flavor for PowerPC Macs, but I don't have any experience with it. To be honest, there's not really any options that are worth using on a G4 because all the G4's are fully capable of running Tiger quite smoothly (so long as you max your RAM and optimize your OS).

What's the specific model/specs of your iBook G4?
 
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Ariii

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2012
682
5
Chicago
You can compile Gentoo for PowerPC, by the way, though Gentoo is more for power users. Debian has a PowerPC version and you'll get a lot more software support, even though Tiger has decent software support as well. If the default GUI of Debian doesn't work as well, switch to KDE, or LXDE, which even ran well on my 366 MHz Clamshell iBook.

I know you're looking for an alternative OS, but the iBook G4's can run Tiger quite well. If you have one of the later models (1.33GHz or 1.42GHz), you'll have no problems running Leopard. Some people like MintPPC, which is a Debian Linux flavor for PowerPC Macs, but I don't have any experience with it. To be honest, there's not really any options that are worth using on a G4 because all the G4's are fully capable of running Tiger quite smoothly (so long as you max your RAM and optimize your OS).

What's the specific model/specs of your iBook G4?
MintPPC is pretty good. It comes with most applications bundled with modern computers, even though it's hard to get Pidgin to work. Your biggest problem might be using internet security. Even though the original AirPort card supported WPA, it was impossible to set up on my clamshell iBook.
 
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DrakkenWar

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2010
272
0
San Antonio,Texas
MintPPC seconded

I have actually had first hand experience with linux and mac's as far back as my 8600/300 when you still had to have some form of MACOS installed, then fire up BootX to boot your linux partition.
The point is this. There used to be a TON of variants that were availible for the PPC architecture. You are pretty much down to as stated: Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, MintPPC and Arch. There are few others out there I have probably forgetten.
But the point is, as others have also pointed out. To be honest? For the most user friendly and efficient experience? Max your ram, upgrade your hard drive and run Tiger. It was still one of my main OS's a scant 6 months ago. While you have to do some digging to find software it is out there. Just don't expect it to be your daily driver, if you are a FaceBook junky.
Leopard is also a great suggestion if you are running one of the later iBooks, just be for warned. Leopard disks (retail installs that is) can cost you your first born child. It amazes me how expensive it still is compared to SL!
 
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tayloralmond

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2009
446
4
Michigan, USA
Leopard disks (retail installs that is) can cost you your first born child. It amazes me how expensive it still is compared to SL!
What's really ridiculous is the amount of sellers charging people outrageous prices for Leopard disks that have already had their licenses used. This is why I don't get mad when people bring up downloading it instead of getting ripped off. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for supporting Apple (I have retail disks for OS 9, 9.2.2, 10.1, 10.2, 10.5, and I purchased 10.7 after I received my Mac Pro, which had 10.6 installed when I got it), but I'm not going to get mad at someone who refuses to give their business to sellers who willingly rip people off. Apple receives ZERO money from me buying a USED Leopard disk for $150 when Leopard's MSRP was $129.99 upon release. Installing OS X from a used disk is just as illegal as downloading it (unless the OS was deleted from all computers that disk installed onto...which I really doubt every seller actually does).

EDIT: I meant "9.2.1" disk, not "9.2.2"
 
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DJLC

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
766
148
North Carolina
It's been years since I played with Linux on PPC, but I always liked Yellow Dog Linux. Its focus is on the Power platform, so there should be a healthy amount of software for it. I know my problem was always trying to find a PPC build of Flash -- looks like YDL includes it by default.
 
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alexreich

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2011
626
1
I know you're looking for an alternative OS, but the iBook G4's can run Tiger quite well.
What's the specific model/specs of your iBook G4?
Exactly! I can run Tiger on my 400MHz PowerMac G4 and I'm pretty pleased with it. I don't see your issue...
 
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Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,010
159
Arizona
Telling the OP to just run tiger or leopard is not helpful. Yes it will run on his ppc, but it lacks java 1.6, which is a major drawback when it comes to playing some web based games. So does anyone know of any Linux / BSD flavors supporting the latest java?
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
Apple never made a retail 9.2.2 disc. The only way to have a 9.2.2 disc is to get it from the restore discs from a Mac that shipped with 9.2.2.
 
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Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,010
159
Arizona
After my last post I decided to give yellow dog Linux a shot on my powermac g4 digital audio (733mhz G4 - 512mb ram - 32mb nvidia) I was even able to get java re 6 running a play some slooooooow runescape.
 
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kevin242

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2006
44
0
After my last post I decided to give yellow dog Linux a shot on my powermac g4 digital audio (733mhz G4 - 512mb ram - 32mb nvidia) I was even able to get java re 6 running a play some slooooooow runescape.
is flash any better than on Leopard? Im seriously considering installing it on my Powerbook g4
 
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Imixmuan

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2010
398
120
MintPPC

...smokes Yellow Dog, which is unsupported these days. Gentoo is seriously difficult to get working out of the box. Debian is good (MintPPC is actually Debian with Mint LXDE ontop of it), but takes some tweaking to get things like wireless and sleep working. Check out ppcluddites blog for instructions on how to get Debian with openbox installed on an ibook. Warning: Some heavy lifting is required.

I am typing this is MintPPC 11, and I can reccomend it, but with some caveats...on an ibook G4 the fans blow long and hard, the power managment settings are set much lower than Tiger. There doesn't seem to be a fix for this, and its is very annoying. MintPPC 11 is super speedy, but only has Iceweasel 8 (Firefox for Debian) and Midori for browsers. I like both, but Tenfourfox is more current at 10 for ESR and 13 experimental. Omniweb has a reasonably current webkit and is comparable in speed to Midori.

Be aware there is no flash for Linux PPC. There are lots of workarounds, well documented... but none are remotely complete. Also, no DVD or audio CD playback. Developer says the problem is with Debian, and for right now he can't fix it. Things on the Debian PPC side move at subglacial speed.

I'd say though for the most part there is absolutely no comparing Linux PPC to MacOS X. Things that just work (like as simple as dragging an item to the trash) on a mac either don't work, are buggy, or require firing up a terminal window. There soon may be no other option but to go Linux, but for now stick with Tiger. Leopard....maybe on a fast ibook or powerbook, but Tiger is loads better on most ibooks.

I go back and forth with Tiger and MintPPC on this ibook, I'll probably be going back to Tiger soon. Miss my JIT altivec enhanced Tenfourfox, fan silence and....Mactubes is hard to beat. Minitube works on MintPPC, bnt for me at least is uber buggy.
 
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Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,010
159
Arizona
...smokes Yellow Dog, which is unsupported these days.
I decided to check it out on my 700mhz g4 DA, so far it looks solid, JRE6 preinstalled is nice. So far no sound, but it appears to be a common issue. 8-bit color Is kinda weird, I will need to look into that.
 
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