Question on Ubuntu with G5 and FX5200 Video Card

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Member2010, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Member2010 macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    I've lately been experimenting with running Ubuntu on my PowerMac G5. With some strings attached, I was able to get it installed and get things to a semi usable state by using a different launcher, but there are a few graphical oddities that make it difficult to work with. For one, if I expand Firefox to take up more than two thirds of the screen vertically, bits of the page start disappearing and general strangeness ensues. I've read all sorts of threads about drivers and tweaks, but I've got nowhere with this.

    Has anyone got Ubuntu working on a PowerPC with a NVidia FX5200? Any tips?


  2. wobegong Guest

    May 29, 2012
    Get a $100 PC and load Linux onto that, you'll get similar performance (or better) than a PPC, everything should work and you will be able to run every single piece of Linux software out there (eg. Skype) as well as being able to load any Linux Distro you wish and not be restricted to the very few that (kinda) support PPC.

    The lack of response to your question says it all ;)
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    In all honesty, many of us overlook Ubuntu for PPC Linux. Now for x86/64, Ubuntu is my absolute favorite.
  4. Member2010, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014

    Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    That's interesting, I would've thought it would be the other way around and have better support than Leopard because Ubuntu does have some things going for it: still being built, has modern applications still available for it, and proper mouse acceleration. It seems to me that all that is needed is to have this driver issue to be corrected (or a better video card to be installed :p) and it would be better off than OSX.

    To be honest, I've tried Ubuntu on a few of my normal computers, and it's just not as quick, efficient, or good looking as Windows. The only reason I wanted to try Ubuntu on the G5 was because I really wanted to be able to use the G5 for something without any of the support problems and shortcomings of Leopard.

    Would it be better if perhaps I posted in the general Linux/Windows section?

  5. wobegong Guest

    May 29, 2012

    You will certainly have a more secure and modern OS, in that respect it's certainly better. But you will not be able to run ALL Linux software like Skype, Steam, Wine etc as there are no PPC binaries for this.
    As such I would say sell the G5, get a cheap PC as a swap and then install Linux. At least you can run any distro (my favourite is OpenSuse 13.1) any software with any hardware (almost!).

    If you want to play with Linux on PPC and can't bear to lose the G5 (I can understand that ;) ) then by all means go for it !

    Personally I have again (but this time permanently) relegated my G5 as a Leopard running TV connected movie player and general couch browsing box (with wireless keyboard and mouse) and it's great at that. I use a PC for Linux now/main desktop.

    Good luck with whatever you decide on :)
  6. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    I could do that too, but I'd just as soon run the faster and more visually appealing Windows :D. My priority ladder (as far as leopard is concerned) is as follows: Windows>Linux/Ubuntu>Leopard.

    I have found that the G5 (even with the crummy FX5200) does run XBMC almost better than my Xbox! That's right, a G5 can run the Xbox Media Center almost better than my Xbox. With that said, it's not terribly useful on a desktop computer, but it is kind of cool. I guess the G5 will just be relegated to my "museum of cool older stuff that's not particularly useful but still works". Maybe I'll find a good mouse-free use for it someday.


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