Help me choose a Linux distro!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by KawaiiAurora, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. KawaiiAurora, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2016
    I've used Ubuntu 8.04 back in the day (10-11/12) and I'd like to run Linux alongside OS X on my Sawtooth. I'm mostly used to Debian-based distros tho.

    Lubuntu 16.04 - Runs like a dog
    Lubuntu 14.04.5 - Runs like a dog
    Ubuntu 12.04/Lubuntu 12.04 - Doesn't like me :/ Boots off both a pendrive and DVD BUT I get a cursor that after a minute becomes laggy and the desktop doesn't show up (I'd love to check it out tho..)
    Ubuntu 10.04 - Works okay but I need to get the R9700 working. It's a tad old and the 'old-release' repo only contains a few packages..

    Any help?

    I've never used Debian so I'm thinking of trying Debian 6 or should I try 7?

    MintPPC worked quite well back in the day but is it still usable/installable today?

    How does Fedora perform?

    Specs in my signiture. Soon to be upgraded to 1.5GB RAM and a 160GB HDD (128GB will be usable, IK)
  2. pochopsp, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    pochopsp macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2016
    Napoli, city of sun and pizza!
    I'm not a Linux expert but I'll tell you my experiences. I've tried Ubuntu 6, 10, 12, Lubuntu 12 and 14.
    All of them work pretty fast on my MDD, it has 1 GB of RAM, 1 MB cache L3 and a single 1.25 GHZ processor. The only problem I have is my MDD has its stock Ati Radeon 9000 pro, which is not compatible with almost any recent version of Linux for PowerPC processors. I have hardware acceleration from video card only on Ubuntu 6 (I know from a friend this MDD model has hw video acceleration on Debian Squeeze too), and in the others not. So 3D games, Compiz and graphic things are not working on newer Linux distros for me. But if I had a newer/better video card like yours maybe it would be different. Don't know if it is true also for flashed cards, but there is an Italian guy on youtube, who makes flashed cards working amazingly on his G5 quad under Ubuntu.

    EDIT: I forgot that I also had the problem that I could only see the cursor and the desktop didn't show up, I had it with Lubuntu 14. I just typed "Linux video=radeonfb: off" and then it worked

    2ND EDIT: I put a space after radeonfb: but you don't have to type it. I did it because with two points and a O letter the forum gives me an emoticon LOL
  3. flyrod macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2015
    Check out openBSD. There are some good threads about that here.
  4. topbanana_ macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2017
    Manila, Philippines
    Your problem is talking about versions when your main performance drag is your chosen desktop environment.

    Assuming you want a modern O/S thats supported (otherwise why not stick to Leopard?) My recommendation is install the best supported (security patches and supported up to April 2019) and easiest to install OS which is (arguably) Ubuntu Mate 16.04 - Then change the desktop environment to E17 or some other lightweight (but still reasonable looking) desktop. Its as easy as 'sudo apt-get install E17' - Logout, select the new desktop and login - your desktop responsiveness will be much much better than even Mate / LXDE.

    You don't have to use E17, install different ones and play around - then google Linux tuning and start switching off unnecessary services, tune your SWAP/RAM etc etc.

    Then start using lightweight programs instead of the standard ones most people use - Midori instead of Firefox, Abiword instead of LibreOffice etc.

    If you want to take that to the extreme level use Gentoo/BSD - You can compile every kernel/program you install from scratch (optionally) so can use exact processor capability flags to ensure you squeeze every ounce out of your hardware at the expense of time to install - and you'll learn a hell of a lot in the process....
  5. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    You could install Debian plus Openbox....


    But you have to be realistic with your expectations - your Sawtooth is running at 400Mhz and is 17 years old, no OS will be better tuned to it than it's original.
  6. KawaiiAurora thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2016

    Thank you very much! Lubuntu 12.04 works with the parameter you gave me and let me tell you, it works real well!

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5 March 7, 2017