Linux vs Mac OSX

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    I recently did my regular dabble with Linux - this time on my 1.33 12" iBook and my 667 Powerbook and as before, after a brief flirtation, went back to Mac OS (Tiger on iBook and OS9 on the PB).
    Between them I tried Lubuntu, MintPPC and Debian 7/8 but even Debian 7 with Openbox, which only uses about 60Mb of memory, was still sluggish compared with a fully optimised Tiger. And bear in mind Tiger is a full featured desktop environment whereas Openbox is a blank screen with a right click only menu.
    Yes, you can run a contemporary web browser (but on OS X we have TFF too) apart from that I see no advantage.
    So, my question is, does anybody run Linux on an IBook or Powerbook and see a performance improvement over OS X?
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    From my brief flirtation with Ubuntu on a DLSD-access to current(real) Firefox was the only advantage I saw.

    OS X is faster and simply easier to use, plus TFF takes away a lot of the trouble of not having a current browser.
     
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #3
    There are security advantages to Linux simply because everything is more up to date, though it is hardly a secure OS and not what I would choose if security was a goal. Stability leaves a lot to be desired too and is another reason I grew dissatisfied with it.

    Linux may have seemed sluggish if you didn't have GPU acceleration. ATI GPUs require a newer version of Mesa for 3D acceleration. It is possible to upgrade Mesa to the proper version if it is not the default. I'm not sure about NVIDIA GPUs on Linux.
     
  4. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #4
    I Have played around with Ubuntu Lubuntu Ubuntu mate and debian on PowerPC macs I have run Linux on my iBook G4 PowerMac G5 2Ghz PowerMac G4 MDD and PowerMac G4 sawtooth and I can say its about the same speed as OS X running on those systems (once you get the graphics card working) heres a short video of my sawtooth booting into Debian to the login prompt
     
  5. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #5
    Could I potentially dual boot (what ever distro you used, MintPPC?) with OS X? I'd love to try linux on a PowerBook.
     
  6. Dronecatcher, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015

    Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    Dual booting is relatively easy as long as OS X is installed first.

    This isn't a Linux bashing thread by the way :) I love Linux on X86 hardware but I just feel it's not working on PPC - maybe it was better years back when the hardware wasn't so dated - I might try out a really old distro sometime.

    I installed every patch and bug fix to get my installations working correctly (as much as was possible) but still found performance inferior.

    I'd guess it scores best if you require Linux development and coding tools - apps more text driven rather than multimedia.

    What is great about a Linux install (a bare bones one that is) is you get to appreciate how much goes on under the hood - stuff you take for granted like double clicking a file, attaching USB storage, opening a Zip etc none of which you can do until you install the tools to do so.
     
  7. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #7
    I used Ubuntu on the DLSD that @bunnspecial now has. I didn't attempt to dual boot, so I can't help you there, but it is technically possible. On my 12" PowerBook I currently have, I run OpenBSD and don't dual boot so I'm no help there either.

    Honestly, I wouldn't bother with Ubuntu. Lubuntu or some other lighter weight Linux distro like Debian with a minimalistic WM would be better if you want Linux.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    The Unity interface is even a bit too heavy for early Core 2 Duo machines so I would go for a distro running something along the lines of XFCE if I were to go for Linux on a machine in general of that vintage.
     
  9. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #9
    I really stopped supporting ubuntu desktop after they went away from Knome. I still have a laptop with 8.04 kicking around here somewhere. I loved the sounds and the interface of it.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #10
    I liked 10.04 the best as it was an LTS release and had GNOME 2 as the desktop.
     
  11. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #11
    I agree. There are faster browsers on Linux and a huge choice but in my testing only Firefox/Iceweasel and Dillo were stable - Dillo is supremely fast but it disables, script, plugins and all the usual code trash that is 'needed' to make most websites functional.
     
  12. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #12
    I installed MintPPC on my Mercury, and holy cow, its slow. Slower than Tiger, but faster than Leopard. I'd have installed it on my PowerBook 12", but I'd like that to be an OS X machine when at all possible.
     
  13. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #13
    MintPPC is getting hella.....old. There is no Jessie version, so you are installing Wheezy, with the Linux Mint LXDE environment from 2011 slapped ontop. Last time I did a MintPPC 11 install my fans blew constantly, there were tons of issues, and I gave up after a week.

    PowerPC Linux was never and will never be well supported. There is Debian and a few other buntu based distros, but that is all there is. These also have a lot of bugs and quirks and things you have to do at the command line (like compile custom kernels to get sound)to get a working system. There are however mindblowingly good distros for old computers on x86-I am using antiX on a Dell D600 from 2004, so same era and clockspeeds as a later model Powerbook. It uses the JWM window manager and I have to remind myself from time to time that I am not on a newer machine. I have 720p youtube playback in Firefox. Mplayer and VLC can also stream 720p without issue. The web itself is the real problem, and Javascript. So much evil Javascript out there now.....

    It is a damn crying shame that you just can't run a lightweight, well supported Linux on a PowerPC mac. In theory Debian with LXDE would be good choice, but then you run head long into issues.....and issues.....
     
  14. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #14
    This is why I don't use Linux. I hate to keep banging on about it, but OpenBSD does not suffer from these problems on PowerPC, at least on 32 bit systems (64 bit support is still new and not as well tested). Sound works, graphics work, it uses very little RAM, and boots fine. It's secure, stable, actively developed, and everything is very thoroughly documented should you get stuck.

    It's not perfect. Performance will probably not be as good as OS X for some tasks, particularly graphically intensive ones. There are some annoyances like the single trackpad button and lack of two finger scrolling on laptops. Firefox is expectedly slow, probably much slower than TenFourFox, but usable.
     
  15. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #15
    Do you have a specific distro you can point me to?
     
  16. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

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    Dec 18, 2010
    #16
    OpenBSD is not techincally a "distro" since its not Linux, rather its based on BSD, the same thing OS X is based on.

    I would encourage anyone who wants to see how good Linux can be to pick up a good used x86 PC (which can generally be found for around 50 dollars or under), made within the last, oh, seven or eight years, put a couple gigs of RAM in it and install any distro in the top twenty on Distrowatch. If Mint doesn't work for you, try Ubuntu. If you hate Unity, try LXLE or Bohdi. Debian is more of a server OS. Elementary OS gets kudos for having a very pretty and OS X like interface, but seems to me to be in perpetual "beta" mode. The choices on x86 Linux are literally endless, unlike with PowerPC Linux.
     
  17. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #17
    what GUI do you use? I'm just at a console, nothing here.
     
  18. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #18
    I'm using cwm.

    There a lot of options though. Cwm and Fvwm are already included. If you type "startx" you'll get Fvwm by default. You can install many different lightweight WMs or a full desktop environment like XFCE, KDE, etc. On PowerPC, I wouldn't use anything heavier than XFCE.

    To install XFCE for example, you'd need a line in /etc/pkg.conf pointing to a mirror like so

    Code:
    installpath = http://mirrors.nycbug.org/pub/OpenBSD/5.7/packages/powerpc/
    (This is a mirror near me that I use. You may find one closer to you here that could be faster: http://www.openbsd.org/ftp.html)

    The run "sudo pkg_add xfce".

    Next, you'll need a .xinitrc file in your home directory telling X11 to start XFCE. This can be as simple as one line

    Code:
    startxfce4
    Now run startx and it will start XFCE.

    It's really a good idea to read the OpenBSD FAQ. It covers everything you'll need to know: http://www.openbsd.org/faq/
     
  19. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #19
    CWM was included? I ran startx and got a desktop with a black and white checkered background with xconsole. I'll try CWM a bit later today to see what its all about.
     
  20. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #20
    That was Fvwm, the default WM. If you don't have a .xinitrc file in your home folder, the defaults are used. Cwm is even more minimalistic.

    To set a background, I use feh (installed via pkg_add) and added this line in my ~/.xinitrc file before the WM

    Code:
    feh --bg-scale ~/pics/backgroundimage.jpg
     
  21. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #21
    I tried installing XFCE4 but I got a bunch of 'can't install'. Odd huh?
     
  22. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #22
    What version of OpenBSD are you running and what does /etc/pkg.conf say? Also, what command did you run to install it?

    If you're running 5.7, try "sudo pkg_add xfce-4.10p1"

    edit: Check your internet connection too.
     
  23. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #23
    Crap, I'm using a 5.8 snapshot, guess who doesnt have packages for 5.8..everyone...
    I just downloaded the latest. Agh...
     
  24. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #24
    Change the "5.7" in the URL in /etc/pkg.conf to "snapshots"
     
  25. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #25
    OK, tried that, on a couple of servers, still getting a 'cant install'. I cant go down to 5.7 without disassembling my 12"...
     

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