Other Unix OS for Macs

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by blvdeast, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. blvdeast macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2003
    Cliffside Park, NJ
    I always wanted to test out other Unix OS on my PC but never got around to it. I know that the OSx is based on Unix but wanted to know if I can run other OS's on the Mac.
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It seems to me that you can buy versions of OpenBSD and NetBSD, which run on Macs. You can also buy/download various distributions of Linux.
  3. lind0834 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2003
    If you have a PPC Yellow Dog is a favorite.


    Others I have tried without so much luck.. and even worse luck trying to get linux on a pre PPC machine.
  4. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    These people claim to have a pre-PPC port of Linux for the Mac.
  6. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    These are all good links. To be honest, though, you can learn just as much from OS X as you can any other Unix-based OS. The only thing that OS X doesn't use that I can think of off the top of my head is /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow. However, the maintenance of those files are so easy to pick up, I wouldn't switch to another OS just for that. And actually they say that NetInfo, the Mac's replacement for /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow user management, is similar to NIS, so it may be worth learning that before going to something else.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that maintenance of each OS can be different. Startup files, configuration files, and programs can be located in many different places between the different distributions, so don't think that learning one OS is an end-all solution. If you can pick up your Unix skills from any one of the above distributions or even OS X, you can easily find things on others.
  7. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    yes, there are many other OS's that you can run on your Mac. lots of different distro's of PPC Linux.

    don't let other people put you off. sure there is a big learning curve when you're used to the 'click a few times, automated install' of OS X.

    i decided that i wanted to learn/use/become familiar with Linux, so i installed Gentoo on my PB. it was tough, alot of reading and many hours on IRC, but there alot of very helpful people out there. BTW, Gentoo is one of the hardest to install, there are alot easier distros to use on your first attempt. :p

    it all comes down to how determined you are to learn linux/use it or whatever.
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    why on earth would anyone want to install some other unix in apple hardware? bsd is the real thing and nothing beats the macintosh gui...

    i certainly understand the desire to install unix or unix-like linux to a x86 hardware, because anything other than windows is a better choice. even solaris.

    but a linux for apple hardware? sheesh...
  9. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    dude like i said, ydl is gross. dont use it. use gentoo. like cb911 said, its hard to install, but its a HELL OF A LOT BETTER than ydl.
    but you dont want to use linux ever again on your Mac because ydl sucked?!
    yeesh! I've been using OS X for a long time, and I just got tired of the fact that I couldnt do that much with OS X (when it comes to customizability, not compatibility :p )...
    anyway if you start with a stage 3 tarball, it doesnt take too much time. Just download one of the livecds and print out a copy of the installation manual. then make sure you know what you're gonna do and do it :)
  10. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    If I could install a *nix on an external Firewire drive I would keep one around for playing with, but the partitioning scheme on the internal drive kinda turned me off it for my PB.

    Plus, you need a really good boot manager to make switching back and forth between X and *nix. I haven't found one I like.

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