G4, 10.6 & migrating to Linux

Discussion in 'macOS' started by luddx, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. luddx macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009

    The anticipated but now official fact that 10.6 won't run on PPC archs was the final argument for a Linux migration. Programmed obsolescence/deprecation is something I want to fight against.

    I own a 1.33 ghz maxed out PowerBook 12" that still runs very well. I have no use for a new computer, until, say, my mobo explodes or something. I want to start with a dual OSX/Linux boot.

    I do not know if this is the right forum or even the right community to ask this question (don't be afraid to redirect me) :

    if someone could help me : what is the best distro for my mac, what are the inconvenients (for instance i think sleep won't be supported, but is that everything ?) -- how do I install it, etc.

    thanks in advance for any pointers.
  2. SomeSwede macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Land of ice and snow.
    There are not many Linuxes for PPC, but i would guess that Ubuntu will be the best choice because of the large user community.

    But there are no official Ubuntu release for PPC, instead there is a community supported version, which in my ears sounds like a synonym for "doesn't work". I might be wrong tho.
  3. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    There was an official PPC version a few years ago, but I believe it was stopped at version 6 or something. It never had drivers for everything such as WiFi on Apple's.
  4. luddx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    does any1 know anything about YDL (Yellow Dog Linux)
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
  6. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    If your PowerBook still runs well and you have no need for a new computer, what's the problem? Snow Leopard is a new, different operating system. It's not a required upgrade. It's not like you've lost any functionality.

    I still use Tiger on an upgraded Blue & White G3. It's holding up rather well for a ten year old machine running a four year old OS. I see no signs of planned obsolescence.
  7. luddx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    you're basically right. it's just that this move by apple (not maintaining compat. with PPCs) and the general way they've been takin (acceleration of obsolescence, production of meaningless gadgets, tasteless marketing, big pressure to update, etc.) disgusts me, so I'd rather start using Linux now and never go back, get that off my mind. For instance the next computer I buy, when this one breaks definitely, will probably be a 12" thinkpad.

    Edit : planned obsolescence is obvious at apple. you always feel the biggest pressure to buy a new computer when the one you own does everything right. you always feel like you're missing something if you don't throw $2000 every 2-3 years. the ipod has its own scheme that's even worse. i want the end of that, for myself. i want to put an end to my participation in this culture. this dropping of ppc support made my decision more clear.

    the decision of letting ppcs down really has one unique explanation, and it's profit.
  8. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    I tried to get Linux on my PowerBook G4 (I have lots of Linux experience, manage multiple servers, etc) and it was painful. OpenSuSE for PPC didn't have good driver support, or video support. Remember PPC support does not mean drivers are there. Debian also proved to be a pain. I went back to OS X Leopard after a few days of tinkering.
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    My workplace has a mix of macbooks and ibooks and MBAs. I maintain all of them.

    The iBooks are still going strong, running the latest Leopard (for Time Machine compatibility. Max RAM helps, as does running AdBlock and Flashblock. They're fine for MS Office 2004 and email and light internet, which probably covers 99% of most people's work. Light video editing and graphics work is also fine.

    Snow Leopard is Intel only so they'll stay on Leopard. They should be fine for the next few years till they die. (two of our ibooks died last month)

    I see no hurry for you to move to Linux. In a few years time, second hand Intel macbooks will be cheap as chips :cool:

    If you want, you could also look at Knoppix PPC, tho I agree Ubuntu is probably more up to date nowadays. My opinion is a few years old, but I do see Linux as worthy but more of a pain. When I decided to stop using windows, I tried to start using Linux on my PC. After a few weeks, I went out and bought a Powerbook .... (and I'm a junior sysadmin :eek: )
  10. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    The PPC build of Fedora Core (the "Werewolf" release at the time) worked extraordinarily well on my 17" PowerBook G4.

    I wouldn't try Yellow Dog Linux anymore, because they are now focusing exclusively on the PlayStation 3 and it's also (not anymore) the sort of distribution that you would want to use for everyday work (it uses Enlightenment instead of Gnome/KDE, for example).

    I haven't given openSuSE/PPC a shot, but at least Novell still officially supports the PowerPC architecture - Canonical (Ubuntu) does NOT anymore. There was also some talk in the Fedora community about degrading the PowerPC support, but I don't have any current information on how that went.

    The safest bet at the moment will probably be openSuSE.

    Or: Try FreeBSD 7.2, it officially supports PPC. ;-)
  11. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Debian for dependable, reliable, "set and forget" operation, Fedora for cutting-edge software.

    Personally I'd go with Debian. 5.0 supports a lot of hardware quite well, and is certainly quite usable for a modern laptop.

    As an added bonus, you can set up Debian to run quite contently in < 512MB of RAM -- it should be quite speedy on a 1.33Ghz G4 w/ 1GB of RAM.

    One major advantage of Debian over, say, Fedora or Mac OS X is that you know that once it works it will continue to "just work." While Apple breaks things with seemingly every 10.5.x update, and Fedora breaks things very frequently, Debian tends to be exceptionally reliable. If you run Debian stable, you can rest assured that once your machine is configured to your liking it will stay that way.
  12. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Just remember, PPC support does not necessarily mean automated driver support.
  13. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Most modern distros that support PPC support the same level of automated module loading/hotplugging as with x86. Not all, but most.
  14. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007

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