Installing Linux

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Eluon, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Eluon macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    I have a couple questions for the mac crowd!

    Yes, I have done searches for this topic.

    I would like to install Linux on my iMac G5 and my iBook G4. I hear it is free? But, I also read that there are different versions! It seems very confusing. If I wanted to install Linux on my mac's, what would I have to do? Would I have to buy anything? I just want Linux to test it out and play around with it.

    Any advice for my questions will be greatly appreciated!
  2. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    What exactly do you need linux for? (Just wondering). I'd use Ubuntu, as it's the easiest to get goign with.

    However, most of the things you can use linux for, you can get working in OS X.
  3. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
  4. tjmcardl macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2004
    Urbana, IL
    If you're just looking to try linux to get a feel for it and see what it can do, then I would recommend trying a 'livecd' first. A livecd is like an entire operating system on a cd, basically you just boot off of the cd (like you would off of the OS X installation cds) and run linux without every making any changes to your computer's hard drive. This will let you try linux without risking any of you data/settings under OS X or having to go through the entire installation process.

    Yes, there are tons of different linux distributions out there, but here is one that is relatively easy to start with:

    Download the *.iso file that's labled, Mac (PowerPC) live CD, and use your Mac's Disc Utility application to burn the file as a cd image to a cdr. Then just boot your computer off of the cdr (by pressing the 'c' key while your computer is booting).

  5. Decahedron macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    i wouldnt use the higher priced macs for linux when a cheaper product could run it equally well.
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Can I put in a word of caution. No offence, but considering you seem like a relatively novice Linux user, be very careful trying to install it on your hard drive. As tjmcardl says, use a Live CD since then you can't really break anything.

    Sorry if this is a bit of a condescending post but if it makes you feel any better, I can't get my head around Linux and wouldn't dream of installing on my Macs myself - no matter which flavour. :eek:

    I just don't want you to end up with a broken Mac. :)
  7. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I think using an old PC for Linux would be a better way to experiment with this open source OS. I am playing with Red Hat Fedora 4 on my old Compaq Presario Notebook and so far it is running well. I can surf, use Open Office suites, and much more. I am not planning to install Fedora on my Macs for the time being until I become very familiar with Linux.
  8. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    Just a FYI, but the Ubuntu Live CD will not work on your iMac G5.
  9. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    There is Debian, Yellow Dog, Mandriva (Mandrake), and a few more. They all use the Linux kernel, but are bundled differently, and have different sets of programmers working on them. This is where you might feel that there are different versions.

    If you are testing this out, I suggest you might want to prepare for the road ahead. First, figure out which one you want to try. They are all pretty good, Debian would be the hardest to setup for a new Linux person, the others are quite simple. Like loading OS X on a Mac, its just straight forward with the installation. I suggest going with Yellow Dog, they have been doing this the longest, and its a Red Hat based distrobution of Linux for the Mac, and they only deal with the Mac unlike the other distros. You will need to initalize (format) your drive into two partitions so that you can keep OS X on the first, and Linux on the other. Do this using the OS X Disk Utility when doing a installation of OS X. Otherwise, you can go full Linux by just putting the Linux disk you downloaded and burned into the drive and letting Linux take the whole drive.

    The truth is, you don't really need to do this. If you computers can run OS X, you have a much better OS already. If you come across a PC, take Linux for a test drive on that, and spare your Mac.
  10. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    As for purchasing anything, no, need hi speed?, possibly. Unless you want ot try downloading it on 56K Dial-up and worry about packets corrupting. Ubuntu is sending out free CD's again. Check out the site. So you can get one like that.
  11. Flying Llama macrumors 6502a

    Flying Llama

    Aug 4, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Like micvog said, it won't really work on your iMac G5... :(

    Think of Linux distros as cheese. There are many different kinds, some are based off others; some are similar and some are distant. The main difference with them is not the way they look. Linux distros can use many different window managers, such as KDE or Gnome. (the two biggest, most usable and popular.) Mac OS, in contrast, only uses Aqua, you cannot change it.

    Here is a screenshot of Ubuntu using Gnome.

    Here is a screenshot of Kubuntu, which is basically Ubuntu but comes preinstalled with KDE instead of Gnome.

    KDE has been loved because it is very similar to windows and thus attracts switchers. Gnome is loved for it's simplicity and minimalism, which attracts Apple switchers. I prefer Gnome, IMO.

    I would go with Ubuntu. It is extremely simple to install. There are no complicated options, no configuration, no messing around with drivers and such to get things working. You just boot and install. I would not choose any others, as they can be very difficult. If you don't like Ubuntu, use it to learn and get used to Linux. When you feel comfortable, go ahead and experiment with others.
    Ubuntu comes with Firefox (browser), OpenOffice (similar to MS Office), the GIMP (like Photoshop) and many other very good apps. I really like what it's bundled with, you'll be almost completely set right away with Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

    I, personally, would never choose something like Yellowdog or RedHat. It uses outdated software, including outdated versions of KDE and Gnome, which make it very ugly.

    I hope that all sounded alright, as I am half asleep, I barely slept last night. Good luck!
    You can find screenshots of pretty much every distro here.

    llama :)

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