Putting Linux on a PowerMac G5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jashtiani, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. jashtiani macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I have an old PowerMac G5. I would like to use it as a file server and Plex Server. The question is, what would be the best way of doing it, and how would I do it. I don't know very much about how to do something like this, so it would be great if someone could walk me through it.

    Thank you!
     
  2. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #2
    i do know Ubuntu had a release of PowerPC i believe 10.04 was the last one..I remember installing it on an old G3 or G4 years ago. I do not remember specifics of how it was done as i did it when the version was released. I can however tell you that many on this Forum will tell you that a G5 will NOT be the most energy efficient computer for a file server that will be running all the time. Ive never personally owned a G5 as i enjoy working on G3,G4 era however i have worked with and repaired a few G5s and they can suck a lot of power. Things like a Mac Mini G4 or any mini will be more efficient but yes less storage space for hard drives.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #3
    Plex does not have a Linux PowerPC server application. While there are some, they are for embedded NAS devices and not compatible with a PowerPC Mac.
     
  4. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #4
    The words "server" and "PowerMac G5" don't really go together. Sure, PMG5s are tough systems that would normally be great for server tasks, but they just use way too much electricity.

    They do have PowerPC versions of things like Ubuntu, but I believe they are pretty outdated and difficult to even get running nicely. The moment you install, you'll most likely run into some common issue such as no internet access or abnormally-high fan speeds, etc. I put PPC Ubuntu on my PowerBook G4 one time, and my fan was blasting like mad. I'd look at guides for this online, as there are official forum threads/help articles that tell you how to install, as well as cover common issues.
     
  5. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #5
    Not all Linux distros for PPC are outdated. The latest LTS version of Ubuntu is available for the PowerPC here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCDownloads
     
  6. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #6
    Hmm, interesting. Well, I guess disregard everything I said about it being outdated, however issues ARE bound to arise.
     
  7. yangdh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    #7
    You have also other distributions available when you want use Linux: Debian, Fedora, and Gentoo. The only problem for me is of the support of video cards, especially about hardware accelerations.
     
  8. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    ctmpkmlec4

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #8
    In addition to Linux, there are BSD distributions that support PowerPC processors, but you'll have to compile most of your programs from a ports tree. BSD and Linux are very similar operating systems, but it's easier to find a Linux distro compiled for your platform that already has a desktop environment and useful applications included. I guess what I'm saying is that if you're not afraid to get your hands dirty, try looking at FreeBSD or OpenBSD as alternatives.
     
  9. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #9
    OpenBSD won't require any compiling. All the ports that build for the PPC are available as pre-compiled packages.

    FreeBSD though will definitely require everything to be compiled yourself. I'm not sure about NetBSD.
     
  10. AlecZ, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    AlecZ macrumors 65816

    AlecZ

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #10
    From what I heard, BSD-based OSs were the most popular alternatives to Mac OS X on PPC Macs. Plus, I've seen that FreeBSD is faster (at least on x86_64) than some comparable Linux OS like Debian. So I tried FreeBSD on an iBook G4. Everything went very smoothly except:

    1. It was always down clocking the CPU to 1/2 the speed. It was an easy Google-it fix, but I didn't even know it was doing that at first.

    2. Yes, you can't simply "pkg install" things on it. You've gotta compile from source on the ports tree. I tried to compile Gnome2 from the ports tree. It took forever, then either it said it can't be compiled for PPC, or I did something wrong and got an error, I forget which. I've seen a guy on an online open source shooter called AssaultCube who said he was playing on a PowerBook G4, so it must be possible, but I gave up before I figured out how. But compiling simpler things like screen and sudo was no problem.
     

Share This Page