Linux for PowerPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jrsx, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #1
    So I have an iBook G4 (pretty high end, 1.33 Ghz, 1.5 GB RAM), and I was wondering what kinds of PPC linux would run best on it. Ubuntu I've heard is not the best, 10.10 is the latest you should go, apparently, because of Unity. But, I am open to any suggestions. I would like it to be running at a reletively low temperature, iBooks like to heat up, and can get astoundingly hot with just Tiger, even. A lot of people end up with fried motherboards on their iBooks because they tried Ubuntu 12.04 or later, and had the motherboard stress out and GPU solder crack. So, basically any Linux that runs well, input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #3
    You could try the alternate version of "lubuntu" (version that doesn't boot live version and has basic install interface)

    I have not tried it on my ibook (as you say ibooks can get extremely hot with wrong os)...I do however use it as my main os for my pc...it's simple clean gui and runs great even on older comps

    Here is the link (make sure to click powerpc and torrent button (buttons are mixed up,so torrent button will give you the iso)

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/Alternate_ISO
     
  3. wobegong Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #4
    MintPPC - Not the latest (based on v11 Mint)

    Lubuntu - As mentioned above - very lightweight so should run well on your setup whilst providing the upgrade and package installation ease of Ubuntu (i have installed this on many low end PC's to breath life into them).

    YellowDog Linux - Very old and the company has no interest in Mac Linux any more (hence why so old and not updated). the new version is not for Mac's "Yellow Dog Linux 7 is currently only supported on the IBM PowerLinux 7r2. "

    Debian - Stable but could be a bit of a project/steep learning curve getting it installed and learning how it works.

    Depending on the amount of free time you have to tinker etc. (ie. do you use your computer as a tool only ;) ) I would suggest either Lubuntu or Debian.
     
  4. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #5
    I think I'll try out Lubuntu. Does anyone have any experience with Kubuntu and Xubuntu? How might that run?

    I might also try Linux Mint. What version should I try?
    Thanks -jrsx
     
  5. Zotaccian, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #6
    Apple used Broadcom wireless chips in many if not all their machines and those have caused many problems with Linux, seems that problems continue even today with those old chips: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2020131

    I remember reading somewhere that Broadcom had changed their attitude towards open source drivers / releasing source code year two ago but that apparently wont help with old chips.

    Edit: http://www.pcworld.com/article/205258/linux_wifi_gets_easier_with_new_broadcom_driver.html
     
  6. doctormark77 macrumors member

    doctormark77

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Houston TX
    #7
    I've got Debian Wheezy running very well on my iBook G3. It took me a while to get it going just the way i wanted it to but it runs great now. I used PPC Luddite's guide on installing Debian. It was a fun and challenging process. I feel like a I learned a lot along the way and I have a great light weight Debian install on my iBook. Lubuntu is a good start though. I have used Xubuntu and Kubuntu on various x86 machines. Kubuntu is heavier on the system than Xubuntu. If you are going to go with a *ubuntu I'd go with Lubuntu. Good luck!
     
  7. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #8
    OK I'll try Lubuntu out. But if I was to try Kubuntu or Xubuntu do have any suggestions for what version would work best?
     
  8. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #10
    And then she said...

    ...Debian. Lubuntu 12.04 is fine I guess, but Debian pure simple and true is where its at. Lubuntu is based on Debian,its just 'buntu with a LXDE interface. So why not just go for the gold from day one and Install Debian with LXDE? If you have fingers, can type and an IQ larger than your shoe size you too can configure Debian. PPCluddites guide is very helpful though.

    MintPPC appears to be a dead or at least run over and dying distro. Forum has been down for a week or more now. And, MintPPC is just Debian with the Mint art-fart anyway, so, again, why not go for the gold from day one.

    Don't expect Linux to be OS X. Its not nearly as polished, and tux won't hold your hand and kiss you nicely on the cheek whilst stroking your bum like OS X does. But in return for learning some (quite) simple stuff, you get a OS for your ibook that won't be abandoned on a church door stoop like a bastard infant anytime soon. I mean, Debian still supports Sparc for god's sake.

    Gentoo and Fedora also still support PPC (but are like third tier builds), but have steep steep learning curves. Plus, Debian has a really simple package managment system, ka-thousands of apps, and is officially supported, unlike the 'buntus.

    Her name was Deb. His name was Ian. Get it? Deb-Ian. Let it power your PowerPC.
     
  9. wobegong Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #11
    Best summary I've seen so far on this topic
     
  10. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #12
    I'll echo that, and say that as long as you don't need this Mac for mission critical stuff, you can definitely learn a lot of new *nix stuff that you wouldn't learn otherwise.

    Necessity will force you to learn...but you will benefit!
     
  11. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #13
    I use this computer a lot for "experiments" if ya know what I mean ;) So I'm open to any suggestions as long as they don't fry my graphics card... :D thanks for the suggestions and I think I'll try Lubuntu and maybe an older version of Xubuntu, and Linux MintPPC. Thanks for input and keep suggestions coming if you have them!
     
  12. pcfast macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    #14
    I have an older iBook too and I'm going to install Lubuntu on it. Seesms the best option for a PPC Mac.
     
  13. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #15
    G3 or G4? Be aware that if you have a G3 then you'll need to download specially compiled versions of VLC and Mplayer, the developer of MintPPC has already done that for you, and you can download it from the MintPPC repos, or you can follow instructions on how to do it yourself on ppcluddite's blog. The stock VLC or Mplayer require altivec, which a G3 obviously won't have. Also, DVD playback is a no go on a G3 with many video cards, as there is no hardware exceleration like you get withh OS X.
     
  14. powermi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2013
    Location:
    Avila (Spain)
    #16
    my advice is just stay on osX 10.5 over a laptop, cause it manage better of the functions of the ibook. anyway if you want any linux distro that works well out of the box for the ibook, you should choose Mint in the first place.
     
  15. pcfast macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    #17
    G4 iBook.

    With a computer pushing 8-10 years old you need to sort of be selective on how much time + money you put into them.
     
  16. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #18
  17. jrsx, Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

    jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #19
    Great news guys! While in Lubuntu, I just messed up my boot partition on accident! lol, whoops.
     
  18. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #20
    Well, it didn't take long to reinstall OS X, and I didn't lose that much that I didn't have backed up. Could someone give me a step by step instruction on how to dual boot Lubuntu 13.10 and OS X? Also, I am not sure if this is a good OS, because the fan turned on 15-20 mins. into successful boot up, and was beginning to get fairly hot, but I think I will try it for a while. Thanks!
     
  19. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #21
    If you install Linux side by side...

    ....you have to be very careful about your OS X installation as you just discovered. OS X has to be installed first, and you have to protect the installation when you are formatting the disk. Don't recall the specifics, but they are well documented on the web.

    PowerPC liberation had a step by step guide for installing Lubuntu 12.04, but not 13.10, I don't imagine there is much difference. PPCluddite has a step by step guide for manualy installing Debian. Also, its a good to read the Ubuntu "known issues" with PowerPC.

    The fan issue could be xapian indexing your hard drive after installation, kinda like spotlight does. It can be turned off. I've always installed Linux PPC by itself, not with OS X. Just don't want the headaches. Lubuntu 12.04 was painless by itself, as was Debian 7.
     
  20. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #22
    So I think for fun I'm going to install an older version of Ubuntu, probably 8.04, has anyone had experience with this OS on PPC? Should it work fine? I've read that some people, mostly on iMac G3s, have issues with their graphics card not rendering video correctly. But it is PPC linux, so there can be endless problem possibilities. My system specs are in my signature below, and my graphics card is the ATI Mobility Radeon 9550, according to system profiler. Thanks for your input!

    btw, got the iBook up and running pretty fast again, just a silly mistake on my part, messed up the boot partition :D. But its all fine now!
     
  21. jeffzoom91 macrumors regular

    jeffzoom91

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #23
    I run Lubuntu 13.04 on my 17'' (last gen) Powerbook. Granted it has 2 gigs of ram, it runs pretty alright. I had to do a little bit of tinkering in yaboot to get the graphics to work correctly, but the guide google will produce will tell you that.

    Other than that, the built in wifi drivers didn't work, but I just blacklisted them, and installed them from apt-get. Lookup the Airport chipset in your machine (it'll be something Broadcom based probably) and google for drivers. Mine installed with a single terminal command.

    The trackpad in mine didn't work very well, and googling produced a solution...You download a make file and a single c file, change some #define'd constants and recompile. Pretty easy.

    Here's the problem: Most of the things you're used to pulling off apt-get, especially some of the newer stuff (nodejs for example), isn't compiled for powerpc, so you can't use it. I compiled from source and it almost finished with just a couple errors. Things like Sublime Text won't be available, but anything open source you can compile yourself. Chromium won't be available either, but the source is...

    Other than that, kinda cool, I like it. It's not OSX, but it is fun to tinker with.
     
  22. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #24
    Yeah, I had that problem too. I just typed in "live video=radeonfb:1024x768-32@60", and the graphical screen loaded correctly. Before, it was all pixilated and messed up.
     
  23. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    El Salvador
    #25
    I used to have Yellowdog with KDE, pretty stable and somehow fast. That was back in 2008 and was the best Linux Experience under PowerPC

    Debian is highly recommended by the majority. Do some reading and have fun learning! :D
     

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