The PowerPC Linux Wiki

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z970mp

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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Digital Ocean
Mac OS X Tiger was released in 2005, its final security update being in 2009. Mac OS X Leopard was released in 2007, given its very last security update in 2011, and is the ultimate version of Mac OS X compatible with the PowerPC architecture, effectively marking the entire family EOL, even for powerhouses like the Power Mac G5 Quad.

As a response, this Wiki shall symbolize a community effort to bring modern, updated, secure Linux distributions to the PowerPC Mac as effortlessly as possible - in layman's terms: for the rest of us. Thus, the bottom goal will be to pose as a universally approachable and updated version of the Ubuntu PowerPC FAQ. As such, contributions to this Wiki are greatly welcomed and highly appreciated. Thank you.

Click a category to get started.

Here's how to install any one of the distributions offered above.

Note: If you chose Debian Sid, please refer to the Debian Sid Installation Guide.

Note 2: Please refer to this guide for booting CDs on Old World Macs and early G3s.

1. Burn your chosen distribution ISO to a CD, and boot from it with 'C' at the chime (or Caps Lock light). Make sure your Mac is connected to the Internet via Ethernet.

1a. You may also flash a USB drive. Refer to the Flash / Boot Off USB Drive section below this guide for instructions on doing so.

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2. The Yaboot prompt will appear.

When installing off CDs, just hitting 'Enter' at the prompt will usually suffice.

When installing off USB drives, the following applies:

For Debian on G3s/G4s: type 'install32'
For Debian on G5s: type 'install'
For Ubuntu on G3s/G4s: type 'install-powerpc'
For Ubuntu on G5s: type 'install-powerpc64'

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3. Follow the straightforward prompts. When it's time to partition your disk, use 'Guided - use entire disk' and 'All files in one partition' for a simple install. Note that this will destroy any previous system installs on the selected disk, so be sure that you want to do this before proceeding, and have backups at the ready.

3a. If you want to manually partition your drive for better speed and reliability, refer to the Manual Partitioning subcategory below.

3b. If you'd like to dual boot with Mac OS X, please refer to the Dual Boot Between Linux / OS X section below.

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4. When you are shown a list of repositories, press Esc and choose to continue without a repository. Afterward, when you are presented with what packages you want to install, select or deselect with the Spacebar, and continue with Return (do not press until you are finished). Do not install any desktop environments yet, and make sure 'Standard System Utilities' and 'SSH server' (if present) are the only options selected.

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5. (For Debian Only) Once installation has finished and you are booted into your new system, log-in, enter 'sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list', and delete everything you see (hold Ctrl + K). Replace it with:

For Debian 7 (Wheezy)
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main

For Debian 8 (Jessie)
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ jessie-backports main

For Debian 10 (Buster)
deb http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian-ports/20190707T221412Z/ sid main

Then run 'sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/00aptitude', and add:

Acquire::Check-Valid-Until "false";

Now you can save with Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return

Then, enter 'sudo apt-get update'. If you are running Debian 8 on a G5 with an Nvidia card, you may now skip down to Debian 8 under Fixes.

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5. (For Ubuntu 16.04 Only) Once installation has finished and you are booted into your new system, log-in, type 'sudo apt update', then run 'sudo apt install network-manager && sudo rm /etc/network/interfaces'. If you do not do this, you may loose your Internet connection after the next reboot.

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6. (For Debian 10 Only) Now, on another computer, download and copy this file to a fresh USB drive.

(http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/d/debian-ports-archive-keyring/debian-ports-archive-keyring_2018.12.27_all.deb)

Insert this USB drive into your Debian 10 machine, then run 'sudo mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt'

('sdb1' if you have one HD, 'sdc1' if you have two HDs.)

Afterward, do 'cd /mnt', then 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb'. Then, update the repositories with 'sudo apt update', and then update your packages with 'sudo apt full-upgrade'. Select 'yes' when you're asked about upgrading services without restarting. Once it's finished installing, you're ready to get a desktop environment.
1. Select 'Guided - use entire disk'.

2. Select the disk to install on, then 'All files in one partition'.

3. Select the 'swap' partition, and choose 'Delete the partition'.

4. Select the 'ext4' partition, and choose 'Delete the partition'.

5. Select the 'FREE SPACE' box, choose 'Create a new partition', and make it 1.0 GB. Then, choose 'Beginning'. Pick 'Beginning' again every time the installer asks you. Select the 'Use as:' box, and choose 'Ext2 file system'. Then, go into the 'Mount point:' box, and select '/boot'. After that, select 'Done setting up the partition'.

6. Select 'FREE SPACE'. 'Create a new partition'. Make it 10.0 GB if you have limited space, or 20.0 GB if you have plenty of space. Leave this one at 'Ext4 journaling file system', mounted at '/'. Select 'Done setting up the partition'.

7. Once again, go into the 'FREE SPACE' box. 'Create a new partition'. Set this to the amount of RAM installed (as in GB), plus an additional 500 MB. So if you had 2 GB of RAM, set this to 2.5 GB. Go into the 'Use as:' box, and select 'swap area'. 'Done setting up the partition'.

8. Create a new partition from the remaining free space, and make it 10 to 20 GB+, depending on how much you will store on your system (music, videos, documents, etc.). Leave it at 'Ext4 journaling file system', and change the mount point to '/home' if it isn't already set that way. Select 'Done setting up the partition', and choose 'Finish partitioning and write changes to disk'. Choose 'Yes' when it confirms to write the changes to disk.
If you have another Linux system, you can flash a distribution image (saved to Downloads) to a USB drive. Copy / Paste below text to a terminal (add your chosen image filename):

sudo dd if=~/Downloads/<distribution image> of=/dev/sdx

(sdb if you have one HD, sdc if you have two HDs, sdc if three, etc.)

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After your USB is flashed, reboot and hold Cmd + Opt + O + F at the chime (or Caps Lock light). Once you're in Open Firmware, input the following command (if 'usb0' does not work, try 'usb1', then 'usb2', 'usb3', etc.):

boot usb0/disk@1:2,\\yaboot

If nothing ever happens, plug into a different port and try again (you can bring up the last entered command with the up arrow key). And if you get any errors about bad nodes, just reflash and try again. Otherwise, the Yaboot prompt should come up.
Here's how to dual-boot between Linux and OS X on a single drive. For example, Ubuntu 16.04 alongside Mac OS X Leopard.

Note: You must already have an OS X installation. Linux comes last.

1. From Disk Utility, make a new, empty partition of at least 10 GB in size, formatted as Free Space. This will be your Linux system.

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2. In the Linux installer partitioner, look for a block of free space above your HFS+ (OS X) partition, typically several hundred MB in size. Create a new 2 MB partition from that, to be used as 'NewWorld boot partition'.

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3. Now, identify your empty partition created in Disk Utility. It should be one of the bottom partitions, formatted as Free Space with your specified capacity.

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4. Then, make a new partition, set to be used as 'Ext4 journaled', mounting it at /. Make sure to leave enough space for a swap partition.

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5. Afterward, create your swap partition with the remaining free space, set to be used as 'swap'. It will be the amount of installed RAM + 400 MB, or 0.4 GB (i.e. 2 GB RAM + 400 MB = 2.4 GB = swap partition).

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Continue on with the installation. The Yaboot installer should automatically detect OS X and allow you to boot from it with the 'X' key at the Yaboot prompt. You will also be able to choose an OS while in the boot picker (hold Opt at chime / Caps Lock light).
Note: Install LightDM before adding any desktop environments with 'sudo apt-get install lightdm'.

Note 2: For the most premium desktop experience on Ubuntu, running 'sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop gnome-session-flashback', is recommended. Then after installing and rebooting, click the Ubuntu logo beside your user name in the LightDM login window, and select the 'GNOME Flashback (Metacity)' desktop environment.

LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment)
Debian: sudo apt-get install lxde
Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
Requirements: G3+, 512mb RAM

Description: Solid desktop environment that's easy on the resources. Unable to customize keyboard shortcuts. Used as a base for the Raspberry Pi PIXEL desktop environment.

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Xfce (X Freakin' Cool Environment)
Debian: sudo apt-get install xfce4 xfce4-goodies
Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
Requirements: G3+, 512mb RAM

Description: Able to customize keyboard shortcuts. Extremely customizable; appearance can be greatly altered to mimic other desktop environments and more. All around excellent, especially when given a custom coat of paint. Not often updated, however.

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MATE (MATE Advanced Traditional Environment)
Debian: sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop
Requirements: G4+, 1gb RAM

Description: Customizable keyboard shortcuts. Not as alterable as Xfce, but comes pretty close. Aims to be a 'traditional desktop metaphor'. Must add additional repositories in Debian 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 to install. N/A in Ubuntu 12.04.

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KDE (K Desktop Environment)
Debian: sudo apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop
Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
Requirements: G4+, 1gb RAM

Description: Features customizable keyboard shortcuts. Extremely alterable, right out of the gate. This is a polished, smooth desktop environment built on QT as opposed to GTK (which all of the above and below DE uses). Works on Debian 10 with graphical bugs. Broken in Ubuntu 16.04, same error as Unity upon login (under LightDM Unity Greeter).

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GNOME
Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install gnome
Requirements: G5, 2gb RAM

Description: Extremely smooth, fluid desktop environment. Literally feels like navigating through water. Can customize keyboard shortcuts, although not as all-around alterable as above choices. Only works on Debian 7 & 10, albeit with pink hue to desktop and icons on 10. There may be a way to reinstate functionality on other distributions.
Openbox
Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install openbox
Requirements: G3+, 256mb RAM

Description: An exceedingly simplistic window manager primarily relying on the context menu for usage and navigation. Used as a base for the LXDE desktop environment. Don't forget to right-click.

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Awesome
Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install awesome
Requirements: G3+, 256mb RAM

Description: Awesome is a unique window manager that uses tiling instead of overlapping windows. Exudes hacker vibe. ;)

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IceWM
Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install icewm
Requirements: G3+, 512mb

Description: A very nice window manager; comes with a theme to perfectly imitate Windows 95, among other legacy environments.

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Window Maker
Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install wmaker
Requirements: G3+, 512mb RAM

Description: Fast and very stable, Window Maker is extremely reminiscent of the NeXTSTEP interface. In a nutshell, 90's computing if it was condensed into a single desktop environment.
Preload

Preload is a daemon similar to OS X <10.4's 'prebinding', in that it, to simplify, loads applications before you launch them, and can make noticeable differences in launch times after being installed. Install with 'sudo apt-get install preload'.

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Swappiness

Do you find your system often relying on swap space? By default, the system is set to fallback to swap when 60% of available RAM is free. We can change it so that it starts using swap when installed memory capacity is 10%, or even 0% free, instead. Open up a terminal (many desktop environments will set that to Ctrl + Alt + T by default) and type:

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Scroll all the way down, and add:

vm.swappiness=10
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50

2 (continued). If you have 1 GB or less installed, replacing '10' with '0' is recommended.
3. Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return
4. sudo reboot
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APT Translations

The Advanced Package Tool, or APT, automatically downloads language translations every time you update your repositories, upgrade your system, or install a package. This can add to the time APT takes to finish a task. If you would like APT to only download your default system language every time it does this, you can change it so that it skips over foreign languages and focuses exclusively on the one you speak.

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/00aptitude[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add a new line below the first, as:

Acquire::Languages "none";

3. Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return
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Write Caching (Ubuntu 14.04+ / Debian 8+)

Write Caching (as the name implies), caches every write to disk in RAM so the system can refer to what's already cached in RAM instead of writing to a slower-to-respond disk. Unfortunately, this comes with a catch, as it is possible to lose data if what was presently cached in RAM is lost in a power failure. If you decide to enable write caching anyway, install GNOME Disks with 'sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility', if it was not already installed.

Code:
1. Open up GNOME 'Disks' from your applications menu, or 'gnome-disks' from a terminal.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. On the left pane, click on your system hard drive if it was not already automatically selected.
3. Click on the hamburger menu at the top bar, on the right side, and select "Drive Settings...".
4. Click the "Write Cache" tab, and enable Write Cache from the selection box below.
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Faster YouTube Performance (Required for Firefox 47 / 52.9)

We're going to revert to the classic UI by changing Firefox's (or any other Mozilla-based browser's) default user agent to that of Internet Explorer 11's, in turn reducing resources used in the process, freeing them up for video playback.

Code:
1. Type 'about:config' in the URL bar.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add a new string, titled 'general.useragent.override'.
3. Copy / Paste the following text into its string value:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.4; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/36.0.1985.143 Safari/537.36 Edge/12.0

4. Delete YouTube's cookies through the 'Privacy' section in Firefox's 'Preferences' pane, and don't forget to turn off annotations for best results.
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Even Faster Web Performance

Alternatively, we can change Firefox's (or any other Mozilla-based browser's) user agent to make websites think we're on an iPad running iOS 12.2, freeing up even more resources, especially for YouTube.

Code:
1. Type 'about:config' in the URL bar.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add a new string, titled 'general.useragent.override'.
3. Copy / Paste the following text into its string value:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 12_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/15E148

4. Delete all saved cookies through the 'Privacy' section in Firefox's 'Preferences' pane.
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Fastest Web / YouTube Performance

Get Surf & SurfTube from the Software sector below. More info here: (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/surftube-a-new-ultra-fast-youtube-browser-for-linux.2187988/)
Ubuntu 14.04

Live Ubuntu 14.04 images, such as Lubuntu, will not display properly when installed onto the system as-is, and as a result, you will not get any discernible picture if you install via that route. However, Ubuntu Server 14.04 will display everything with no issue if installed onto the system, and later given a desktop environment of your preference. Ubuntu Server 14.04.6 (March 2019) is already embedded in the above download link, therefore use the image available here for guaranteed functionality.

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Ubuntu 16.04

Some Late 2005 Power Mac G5s, due to a problem with the system mounting critical partitions, will not boot Ubuntu 16.04 if installed with the Live Lubuntu and Ubuntu MATE images. However, this problem doesn't seem to exist on the Ubuntu Server 16.04 image linked above, therefore it is highly recommended to use that instead.

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Debian 8

The Debian 8 nouveau drivers do not work correctly with G5 machines. If you attempt to install a desktop environment while in the installer, you will be met with a garbled screen, and constant nouveau errors. More info here: (http://powerpcliberation.blogspot.com/2015/10/g5-and-g4-nouveau-modesetting-bug-and.html)

As a fallback, you may apply this fix for PowerPC G5 machines only. Download the 'linux-image-4.10.8-powerpc64_1_powerpc.deb' on another computer: (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8pqd5Ots1vfZXh6dzdXSnBSWmc), and transfer it to a USB drive.

In the Debian 8 system you installed without a desktop environment, plug your USB drive in, and input 'sudo mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt' ('sdb1' if you have one HD, 'sdc1' if you have two HDs), and then 'cd /mnt'. Once you're in the same directory as the linux-image.deb on your USB drive, run 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb'. And once it's in, do 'sudo nano /etc/yaboot.conf', and make sure these configurations are replicated in your copy:

Code:
image=/boot/vmlinux-4.10.8-powerpc64[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]    label=Linux
    read-only
    initrd=/boot/initrd.img-4.10.8-powerpc64
Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return, and then enter 'sudo ybin'. Then, reboot. You should now be free to install a desktop environment + LightDM without crashing.

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No Sound

No sound? No problem. This will probably fix it.

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/modules[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add:

snd-aoa
snd-aoa-fabric-layout
snd-aoa-soundbus
snd-aoa-i2sbus
snd-usb-audio

3. sudo reboot
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Suboptimal Tracking

Do you have an Early 2005 PowerBook or newer? Do you notice the trackpad responsiveness to be spotty at best? Let's fix that.

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/modules[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add:

appletouch

3. Crtl + X ---> Y ---> Return
4. sudo reboot
If this does not work or the results are unsatisfactory, please either remove the module, or revert to the instructions here: (http://ppcluddite.blogspot.com/2013/06/getting-usable-trackpad-on-aluminum.html)

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Problematic Fans

Are your adoring fans always roaring? Intermittent? Shut them up with:

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/modules[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add:

windfarm-core

3. Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return
4. sudo reboot
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No Battery Indicators

Running on a portable? You may notice there's no way to check the battery status in the OS. That is, until now.

Code:
1. sudo nano /etc/modules[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Add:

pmu-battery

3. Ctrl + X ---> Y ---> Return
4. sudo reboot
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No Wi-Fi

So how about that missing Wi-Fi? Put it back with:

Code:
wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/firmware-b43-installer_019-3_all.deb && wget http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/b43-fwcutter_019-3_powerpc.deb && sudo dpkg -i *.deb && sudo rm *.deb
Reboot.

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No YouTube Playback

Part of the whole reason of installing Linux was to get better Web compatibility, so why isn't YouTube playing anything? - Usually, this is a simple fix caused by a lack of media codecs. Get the required codecs by running 'sudo apt-get install vlc'.

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Login Problems

Having issues logging into a desktop environment? LightDM could be to blame, so let's get another display manager. Run:

sudo apt --no-install-recommends install lxdm

It will start processing, then explain to you what a display manager is and which one you want to use. Select LXDM when you are given the choice.

Afterward, reboot. Choose a desktop environment from the left side of the bottom menu bar, and log in.

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Can't File Manage Over Network

Getting errors every time you try to access your home file or media server? This is due to the absence of the component that handles these functions. Let's add it in with 'sudo apt install gvfs-backends gvfs-fuse'. Now, restart your file manager and see what's different.

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Radeon Problems

The iBook G3s, Mac Minis, '03 eMacs, and Late '03 / Early '04 iBook G4s will display flashing screens, crashes, and instability in Debian 8+ and Ubuntu 14.04+ due to a problem with their Radeon 7500 / 9200 graphics cards. A solution has recently been discovered and can be found at:

(https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/making-g3s-and-radeon-graphics-great-again.2191877/)

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Slow Window Management

Do you have Radeon graphics? Are moving windows around the screen among other actions very slow? Download and install the below firmware like any other package:

(http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20190707T211830Z/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-amd-graphics_20190114-1_all.deb)

Restart.

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Temporarily Unresolvable Issues

Suspend -
Aside from Debian 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 on certain G4 machines, suspend (sleep mode) does not work, but it may be possible to reinstate this functionality on other setups with newer versions. - Update: New solution detailed at (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/the-powerpc-linux-wiki.2178457/page-4#post-27513481).

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Tracking -
Early 2005 PowerBooks and newer will experience cursor jitter if you lightly rest your finger on the trackpad. This quirk has not yet been resolved, so it's recommended to just use a USB mouse when at home. Otherwise, track using your fingerpad for best results (one finger on button, other on touchpad).
Screen Brightness

Is your screen too bright? Adjust it to your liking with xrandr.

Code:
1. xrandr --current[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]2. Notice the display name listed directly under "Screen 0:". (ex. DVI-I-1, LVDS, etc.)
3. xrandr --output <display name> --brightness .6 (choices include '0.2' through '1.0')
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12-Hour Time

LXDE / Xfce ship with a 24-hour panel clock by default. Here's how to change it to 12-hour.

Right-click the clock, select 'Digital Clock Settings', and manually change the clock format to '%I:%M %p.' You can also add '%a' to get the day, and '%b' to get the month.

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Media Hotkeys

It's can be disrupting to always have to go back to your media player window to manually pause or skip whenever playing music. If you're on Debian 10+, this Problem can rendezvous with Solution.

Code:
1. sudo apt install playerctl[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][SIZE=4]A. playerctl play-pause (Play/Pause)
B. playerctl previous (Previous)
C. playerctl next (Next)
Now, you can go to 'Keyboard Shortcuts' under your Preferences menu / application, and set these commands to activate when a desired key is pressed. Leave out the parentheses.
elementary OS Icons

elementary-icon-theme is only available on Ubuntu. Here's how to get it on Debian so you too can look like you're running elementary OS on PowerPC! Copy / Paste below text to terminal:

Code:
sudo apt-get install gnome-icon-theme && wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/e/elementary-icon-theme/elementary-icon-theme_2.7.1-0ubuntu7_all.deb && sudo dpkg -i elementary*.deb && sudo rm -f *.deb
After it's finished installing, you can open your DE's icon theme selector to choose your new option.

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La Capitaine Icons

Do you require something more Mac-like than elementary-icon-theme, for Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 10+? Look no further than La Capitane. Here's how to get it:

Code:
sudo wget https://codeload.github.com/keeferrourke/la-capitaine-icon-theme/zip/master && cd && sudo mkdir .icons && sudo unzip "master" && sudo mv la-capitaine-icon-theme-master .icons && sudo rm -rf "master" && cd .icons/la-capitaine-icon-theme-master/ && sudo ./configure
Once the Terminal stops processing, you can go into the Appearance preferences and select the La Capitaine icon theme to take effect.

If you're on Xfce, download the below package to use a macOS title bar lookalike to complete the look, found under Window Manager settings as Agualemon.

(http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/x/xfwm4-themes/xfwm4-themes_4.10.0-2_all.deb)

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Materia UI Theme

Are you running Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 10+? Would you like a well polished matte theme that comes with system-wide light and dark modes? Ask your doctor if Materia is right for you with:

sudo apt install materia-gtk-theme

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Ubuntu Wallpapers (Ubuntu 14.04+ / Debian 8+)

Make your Ubuntu (or Debian) look like new with these wallpapers.

Ubuntu 17.04 -
(http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/u/ubuntu-wallpapers/ubuntu-wallpapers-zesty_18.04.1-0ubuntu1_all.deb)

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Ubuntu 18.04 -
(http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/u/ubuntu-wallpapers/ubuntu-wallpapers-bionic_18.04.1-0ubuntu1_all.deb)

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Ubuntu 19.04 -
(http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/u/ubuntu-wallpapers/ubuntu-wallpapers-disco_19.04.2-0ubuntu1_all.deb)
Note: Install standalone .deb packages by opening a terminal in their current directory, then running 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb'. Remove them with 'sudo apt-get autoremove <package name>'.


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Web Browsers

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Surf - Ubuntu 12.04+ / Debian 7+
(https://surf.suckless.org/)

Install Surf: [Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8]

Note: If on Debian 8, remove "gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers" and "-f -a @ -B -S -D" from strings.

Note 2: Surf does not work on Debian 10.

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

sudo apt install gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers adwaita-icon-theme surf ffmpeg gstreamer1.0-libav && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/surf.desktop

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2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Web Browser
Name=Surf
Comment=Simple WebKit Browser
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;
Exec=surf -p -f -a @ -B -S -D -u 'Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 12_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/15E148' https://duckduckgo.com/
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
Icon=/usr/share/icons/Adwaita/48x48/emblems/emblem-web.png

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3. Save, and close window.

Controls: (Ctrl + H: Back) - (Ctrl + L: Forward) - (Ctrl + R: Reload) - (Ctrl + G: Open URL Bar) / (Right-Click: Back, Forward, Reload)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Install Surf: [Ubuntu 12.04+ / Debian 7]

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

sudo apt-get install gnome-icon-theme surf && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/surf.desktop

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2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Web Browser
Name=Surf
Comment=Simple WebKit Browser
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;
Exec=surf -p https://duckduckgo.com/
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
Icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/48x48/emblems/emblem-web.png

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

Controls: (Ctrl + H: Back) - (Ctrl + L: Forward) - (Ctrl + R: Reload) - (Ctrl + G: Open URL Bar) / (Right-Click: Back, Forward, Reload)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove Surf:

sudo apt-get autoremove surf && sudo rm -f /usr/share/applications/surf.desktop

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Firefox 47 (June 2016) - Ubuntu 14.04 / Debian 8

(http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/pool/main/f/firefox/firefox_47.0+build3-0ubuntu0.14.04.1_powerpc.deb)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Firefox ESR 45.9 (April 2017) - Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8

Install Firefox ESR 45.9:

Note: Save all downloaded packages to Downloads.

1. http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/main/f/firefox-esr/firefox-esr_45.9.0esr-1~deb8u1_powerpc.deb

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170430T212028Z/pool/main/s/startup-notification/libstartup-notification0_0.12-4_powerpc.deb

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20170531T212258Z/pool/main/libe/libevent/libevent-2.0-5_2.0.21-stable-3_powerpc.deb

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Copy / Paste into terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo dpkg -i *.deb

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove Firefox ESR 45.9:

sudo apt-get autoremove firefox-esr

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Firefox ESR 52.9 (July 2018) - Debian 10

Install Firefox ESR 52.9:

Note: Save all downloaded packages to Downloads.

Note 2: Beforehand, run 'sudo apt autoremove chrome-gnome-shell' if on GNOME.

1. http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian-ports/20181231T220243Z/pool-powerpc/main/f/firefox-esr/firefox-esr_52.9.0esr-1_powerpc.deb

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20171231T180144Z/pool/main/h/hunspell/libhunspell-1.6-0_1.6.2-1_powerpc.deb

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Copy / Paste into terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo dpkg -i *.deb && sudo rm *.deb

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove Firefox ESR 52.9:

sudo apt autoremove firefox-esr

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Arctic Fox 27.9.18 (August 2019) - Ubuntu 12.04+ / Debian 7+

Ubuntu 16.04 & Newer: (https://github.com/wicknix/Arctic-Fox/wiki/Downloads)

Debian 8 & Older: (http://forum.hyperion-entertainment.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=4205&sid=ab6287e17a0ce29dca09868e2fa5760c&start=120#p48835)

Install Arctic Fox:

Note: Save all downloaded packages to Downloads.

Note 2: When installing on Ubuntu 12.04 / Debian 7, download and install libatomic1 after Arctic Fox has been installed.

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/arcticfox/ /usr/lib/ && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/arcticfox.desktop

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Arctic Fox
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
GenericName=Web Browser
X-GNOME-FullName=Arctic Fox
Exec=/usr/lib/arcticfox/arcticfox %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/usr/lib/arcticfox/browser/icons/mozicon128.png
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;
StartupWMClass=arcticfox
StartupNotify=true

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update Arctic Fox:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/arcticfox/ && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/arcticfox/ /usr/lib/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove Arctic Fox:

sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/arcticfox/ /usr/share/applications/arcticfox.desktop

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SpiderWeb 2.1 (August 2019) - Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 10+
(https://github.com/wicknix/SpiderWeb/wiki/Download)

Install SpiderWeb:

Note: Save all downloaded packages to Downloads.

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/spiderweb/ /usr/lib/ && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/spiderweb.desktop

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=SpiderWeb
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
GenericName=Web Browser
X-GNOME-FullName=SpiderWeb
Exec=/usr/lib/spiderweb/spiderweb %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/usr/lib/spiderweb/chrome/icons/default/seamonkey.png
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;
StartupWMClass=spiderweb
StartupNotify=true

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update SpiderWeb:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/spiderweb/ && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/spiderweb/ /usr/lib/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove SpiderWeb:

sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/spiderweb/ /usr/share/applications/spiderweb.desktop

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Email Clients

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SpiderMail 2.0 (May 2019) - Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 10+
(https://github.com/wicknix/SpiderWeb/wiki/Download)

Install SpiderMail:

Note: Save all downloaded packages to Downloads.

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/spidermail/ /usr/lib/ && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/spidermail.desktop

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=SpiderMail
Comment=Check your email
GenericName=Email client
X-GNOME-FullName=SpiderMail
Exec=/usr/lib/spidermail/spidermail %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/usr/lib/spidermail/chrome/icons/default/default256.png
Categories=Network;EmailClient;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;
StartupWMClass=spidermail
StartupNotify=true


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update SpiderMail:

cd ~/Downloads/ && sudo tar xvjf *.bz2 && sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/spidermail/ && sudo mv -f ~/Downloads/spidermail/ /usr/lib/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove SpiderMail:

sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/spidermail/ /usr/share/applications/spidermail.desktop

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

YouTube Clients

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SurfTube - Ubuntu 14.04+ / Debian 8
(https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/surftube-a-new-ultra-fast-youtube-browser-for-linux.2187988/)

Install SurfTube: [Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8]

Note: If on Debian 8, remove "gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers" and "-f -a @ -B -S -D" from below strings.

Note 2: SurfTube does not work on Debian 10.

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

sudo apt install surf ffmpeg gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers gstreamer1.0-libav adwaita-icon-theme && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/surftube.desktop

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=YouTube Player
Name=SurfTube
Comment=Lightweight YouTube Player
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;
Exec=surf -p -f -a @ -B -S -D -u 'Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 12_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/15E148' https://m.youtube.com/
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=AudioVideo;Player;Video;
Icon=/usr/share/icons/Adwaita/48x48/actions/media-playback-start.png

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

Controls: (Ctrl + H: Back) - (Ctrl + L: Forward) - (Ctrl + R: Reload) / (Right-Click: Back, Forward, Reload)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Install SurfTube: [Ubuntu 14.04]

1. Copy / Paste into terminal:

sudo apt-get install surf gnome-icon-theme && sudo nano /usr/share/applications/surftube.desktop

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copy / Paste into window:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=YouTube Player
Name=SurfTube
Comment=Lightweight YouTube Player
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;
Exec=surf -p https://youtube.com/
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=AudioVideo;Player;Video;
Icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/48x48/devices/audio-headphones.png

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Save, and close window.

Controls: (Ctrl + H: Back) - (Ctrl + L: Forward) - (Ctrl + R: Reload) / (Right-Click: Back, Forward, Reload)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remove SurfTube:

sudo rm -f /usr/share/applications/surftube.desktop
Optimized Applications for PPC64 (Debian 10+)

If you're on a ppc64 install, add the PowerProgress repository to get optimized applications and Debian-specific 64-bit browsers, like Arctic Fox and Pale Moon. Copy / Paste below string to terminal:

1.

sudo -s wget -O - https://repo.powerprogress.org/debian/conf/public.gpg.key | sudo -s apt-key add

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. sudo apt edit-sources

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Add:

deb [arch=ppc64] https://repo.powerprogress.org/debian/ sid main

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. sudo apt update

The below link contains a list of installable applications.

(https://repo.powerprogress.org/)

Chime Volume

This thread details how to lower or mute the startup chime.

(https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1701534)

This is a public Wiki -
Please contribute if you know something about Linux that can make people's lives easier.
Thank you.
 
Last edited:

mzs.112000

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2015
254
119
Ubuntu MATE 16.04 works on PowerPC... The ISO needs to be mirrored though since they are dropping PowerPC after April 2019...
Somewhere there is work being done to port Void Linux to PowerPC as well.
Gentoo also works on PowerPC, but I wouldn't recommend it because everything must be compiled by the end-user, and that could take a while on old computers(like G3s, and G4 systems).

The main issue now, surrounding PowerPC Linux is, Ubuntu is dropping support for 16.04 sooner than the Intel variant. Intel 16.04 is supported until 2021, PowerPC stops being supported as of April 30th. After that point, the only way to get newer security updates and patches is to compile them yourself.
 

z970mp

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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Digital Ocean
Ubuntu MATE 16.04 works on PowerPC... The ISO needs to be mirrored though since they are dropping PowerPC after April 2019...
Somewhere there is work being done to port Void Linux to PowerPC as well.
Gentoo also works on PowerPC, but I wouldn't recommend it because everything must be compiled by the end-user, and that could take a while on old computers(like G3s, and G4 systems).

The main issue now, surrounding PowerPC Linux is, Ubuntu is dropping support for 16.04 sooner than the Intel variant. Intel 16.04 is supported until 2021, PowerPC stops being supported as of April 30th. After that point, the only way to get newer security updates and patches is to compile them yourself.
Not so. Ubuntu Server 16.04.6 (the one linked), PowerPC version, is supported until the usual 2021, and becomes exactly the same as Ubuntu MATE 16.04 if you install the MATE desktop environment, only this version has extended updates because it's the server variant. :)

That's why I linked the server images over the desktop images. They're lighterweight, offer more choice, are supported for longer periods, and in my experience, less buggy. Plus that offers a lot more installer uniformity between Ubuntu and Debian, which also streamlines the process.

If you're already on MATE 16.04, you can change your sources to the official 16.04 Server repos, and that should be all there is to it.
 
Last edited:

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
Any advice for solving the jittery cursor problem I have while using the trackpad on my 15" PB A1138? I added the appletouch kernel module, and the sensitivity seems to be ok, but the cursor jumps and twitches all over the place.
 

z970mp

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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Digital Ocean
Any advice for solving the jittery cursor problem I have while using the trackpad on my 15" PB A1138? I added the appletouch kernel module, and the sensitivity seems to be ok, but the cursor jumps and twitches all over the place.
What's the sensitivity level at in mouse / touchpad settings, and are you tracking with your finger tip, or pad?
 
Last edited:

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
So we're on the same page, what distribution and DE are you on?

Ahead of that, what's the sensitivity level at in mouse / touchpad settings, and are you tracking with your finger tip, or pad?
I'm on Debian 10 with XFCE.

Parameter settings:
LeftEdge = 0
RightEdge = 950
TopEdge = 0
BottomEdge = 645
FingerLow = 3
FingerHigh = 7
MaxTapTime = 180
MaxTapMove = 42
MaxDoubleTapTime = 180
SingleTapTimeout = 180
ClickTime = 100
EmulateMidButtonTime = 75
EmulateTwoFingerMinZ = 331
EmulateTwoFingerMinW = 7
VertScrollDelta = 19
HorizScrollDelta = 19
VertEdgeScroll = 0
HorizEdgeScroll = 0
CornerCoasting = 0
VertTwoFingerScroll = 1
HorizTwoFingerScroll = 0
MinSpeed = 1
MaxSpeed = 3.33333
AccelFactor = 0.25
TouchpadOff = 0
LockedDrags = 1
LockedDragTimeout = 5000
RTCornerButton = 0
RBCornerButton = 0
LTCornerButton = 0
LBCornerButton = 0
TapButton1 = 0
TapButton2 = 0
TapButton3 = 0
ClickFinger1 = 1
ClickFinger2 = 3
ClickFinger3 = 2
CircularScrolling = 0
CircScrollDelta = 0.1
CircScrollTrigger = 0
CircularPad = 0
PalmDetect = 0
PalmMinWidth = 10
PalmMinZ = 235
CoastingSpeed = 20
CoastingFriction = 50
PressureMotionMinZ = 35
PressureMotionMaxZ = 188
PressureMotionMinFactor = 1
PressureMotionMaxFactor = 1
GrabEventDevice = 0
TapAndDragGesture = 1
AreaLeftEdge = 0
AreaRightEdge = 0
AreaTopEdge = 0
AreaBottomEdge = 0
HorizHysteresis = 4
VertHysteresis = 4
ClickPad = 0
 

z970mp

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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Digital Ocean
I'm on Debian 10 with XFCE.

Code:
Parameter settings:
    LeftEdge                = 0
    RightEdge               = 950
    TopEdge                 = 0
    BottomEdge              = 645
    FingerLow               = 3
    FingerHigh              = 7
    MaxTapTime              = 180
    MaxTapMove              = 42
    MaxDoubleTapTime        = 180
    SingleTapTimeout        = 180
    ClickTime               = 100
    EmulateMidButtonTime    = 75
    EmulateTwoFingerMinZ    = 331
    EmulateTwoFingerMinW    = 7
    VertScrollDelta         = 19
    HorizScrollDelta        = 19
    VertEdgeScroll          = 0
    HorizEdgeScroll         = 0
    CornerCoasting          = 0
    VertTwoFingerScroll     = 1
    HorizTwoFingerScroll    = 0
    MinSpeed                = 1
    MaxSpeed                = 3.33333
    AccelFactor             = 0.25
    TouchpadOff             = 0
    LockedDrags             = 1
    LockedDragTimeout       = 5000
    RTCornerButton          = 0
    RBCornerButton          = 0
    LTCornerButton          = 0
    LBCornerButton          = 0
    TapButton1              = 0
    TapButton2              = 0
    TapButton3              = 0
    ClickFinger1            = 1
    ClickFinger2            = 3
    ClickFinger3            = 2
    CircularScrolling       = 0
    CircScrollDelta         = 0.1
    CircScrollTrigger       = 0
    CircularPad             = 0
    PalmDetect              = 0
    PalmMinWidth            = 10
    PalmMinZ                = 235
    CoastingSpeed           = 20
    CoastingFriction        = 50
    PressureMotionMinZ      = 35
    PressureMotionMaxZ      = 188
    PressureMotionMinFactor = 1
    PressureMotionMaxFactor = 1
    GrabEventDevice         = 0
    TapAndDragGesture       = 1
    AreaLeftEdge            = 0
    AreaRightEdge           = 0
    AreaTopEdge             = 0
    AreaBottomEdge          = 0
    HorizHysteresis         = 4
    VertHysteresis          = 4
    ClickPad                = 0
It really shouldn't be this complicated to fix.

See if using your fingerpad to firmly track across the surface makes any difference.

EDIT: If you want to, you can put your tracking parameters in a QUOTE box to cut down on thread clutter.
 
Last edited:

Project Alice

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
723
395
Post Falls, ID
Not Linux related but: I've been thinking about trying FreeBSD on a PPC. It is still a supported arch with it. It's the UNIX that Mac OS X gets most of it's code from, too.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68000
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Not Linux related but: I've been thinking about trying FreeBSD on a PPC. It is still a supported arch with it. It's the UNIX that Mac OS X gets most of it's code from, too.
The only thing that's stopped me from giving FreeBSD a shot is their new code of conduct. I can't support a project that doesn't allow the "act" of virtual hugging because it might be "offensive".

Thus, OpenBSD it is. Just never got around to it...
[doublepost=1556080634][/doublepost]@sparty411 Coming off a fresh Sid install - on XFCE, Debian 10, same machine, all defaults (+ appletouch) - the cursor response is buttery smooth. It's actually really nice to use. It's so nice, I think we can permanently banish all USB-based tracking problems all together.

Did you alter anything that might have changed this, and is your system fully up-to-date?

Do a fresh install?
 
Last edited:

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
So we're on the same page, what distribution and DE are you on?

Ahead of that, what's the sensitivity level at in mouse / touchpad settings, and are you tracking with your finger tip, or pad?
I guess the root of my problem stems from the fact that I'm used to using the tip of my finger when manipulating the touchpad. This will take some getting used to :p
 
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galgot

macrumors regular
May 28, 2015
156
209
Not Linux related but: I've been thinking about trying FreeBSD on a PPC. It is still a supported arch with it. It's the UNIX that Mac OS X gets most of it's code from, too.
FreeBSD PPC has the same problem as Gentoo PPC on the Linux side,
That is you can make a basic install but then have to compile for PPC all softwares you want to install... Depends on what machine you do that, but building a whole X11 window system on say, a G3, or even a hi end G4 takes time.

I had more luck with OpenBSD, that one has PPC binaries ready to install (pkg-in).

Sorry for this BSD OT interlude.
 

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
The only thing that's stopped me from giving FreeBSD a shot is their new code of conduct. I can't support a project that doesn't ethically allow hugging because it might be "offensive".

Thus, OpenBSD it is. Just never got around to it...
[doublepost=1556080634][/doublepost]@sparty411 Coming off a fresh Sid install - on XFCE, Debian 10, same machine, all defaults (+ appletouch) - the cursor response is buttery smooth. It's actually really nice to use. It's so nice, I think we can permanently banish all USB-based tracking problems all together.

Did you alter anything that might have changed this, and is your system fully up-to-date?

Do a fresh install?
I just dug out my other A1138 that has Debian 8 installed, and the touchpad sensitivity / precision is superior to my other A1138 running Debian 10. And, not to mention, my keyboard backlight actually works in 8 as well.
 
Last edited:
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mzs.112000

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2015
254
119
Not so. Ubuntu Server 16.04.6 (the one linked), PowerPC version, is supported until the usual 2021, and becomes exactly the same as Ubuntu MATE 16.04 if you install mate-desktop-environment (or was it ubuntu-mate-desktop? I've got to check again on my 16.04 install), only this version has extended updates. :)

That's why I linked the server variants over the desktop images. Lighterweight, offers more choice, and supported for longer periods. Plus that offers a lot more installer uniformity between Ubuntu and Debian, which also helps. :D

If you're already on MATE 16.04, you can change your sources to the official 16.04 Server repos, and that should do it.
I am interested in knowing whether anyone will be picking up unofficial PowerPC support for 18.04 one day? Or maybe backporting security updates to 16.04(You would at least need newer kernels, OpenSSL, Mesa, X.Org, Firefox, VLC, Chromium, LibreOffice, and WPA utilities). Basically, the most commonly used programs, and system packages will need to be backported for security reasons. Anything else is an extra...
 

z970mp

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Original poster
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I am interested in knowing whether anyone will be picking up unofficial PowerPC support for 18.04 one day? Or maybe backporting security updates to 16.04(You would at least need newer kernels, OpenSSL, Mesa, X.Org, Firefox, VLC, Chromium, LibreOffice, and WPA utilities). Basically, the most commonly used programs, and system packages will need to be backported for security reasons. Anything else is an extra...
The official 16.04 ports repos are on kernel 4.4, which is an extended support release, mainly for heavy security and mission-critical systems. I'm positive 4.4.x is just as secure as 4.20.17, if not more so, because it's been refined to no end, and is an ESR release for a specific reason.

As for 18.04 support, I don't foresee it. I think the closest thing we have is Sid, which Ubuntu is based on. So, being on Sid now should actually be pretty similar to being on 19.04.

@sparty411 Excellent. Maybe we can streamline 8's nouveau solutions and make it the de-facto stable Debian for PowerPC machines.
 

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
The official 16.04 ports repos are on kernel 4.4, which is an extended support release, mainly for heavy security and mission-critical systems. I'm positive 4.4.x is just as secure as 4.20.17, if not more so, because it's been refined to no end, and is an ESR release for a specific reason.

As for 18.04 support, I don't foresee it. I think the closest thing we have is Sid, which Ubuntu is based on. So, being on Sid now should actually be pretty similar to being on 19.04.

@sparty411 Excellent. Maybe we can streamline 8's nouveau solutions and make it the de-facto stable Debian for PowerPC machines.
Yeah, I'm tempted to just stick with 8 for now, so I can enjoy the creature comforts I've grown to appreciate.

Do you have any idea why nearly every game I try to play has hideous graphical glitches, or won't start at all? The only 2 I've managed to play without a problem are Super Tux, and Ltris.
 

swamprock

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2015
837
1,028
Michigan
@sparty411 Excellent. Maybe we can streamline 8's nouveau solutions and make it the de-facto stable Debian for PowerPC machines.
I finally got a stable sid install on my DC 2.0 G5 by using the May 2018 CD (so it's a bit of a hybrid install; 64-bit kernel but powerpc apps), and the only nouveau graphics glitches I've noticed are when running Arctic Fox on a video-heavy or image-heavy website. Not only do the videos and images glitch out to static, but the desktop does as well. I haven't tried checking the hardware acceleration option in the browser (if it even has one. EDIT- it does. I just checked on my 1ghz TiBook running sid; beautifully, I might add, with an mSATA SSD/adapter combo), but will be doing so once I arrive home today.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68000
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Yeah, I'm tempted to just stick with 8 for now, so I can enjoy the creature comforts I've grown to appreciate.

Do you have any idea why nearly every game I try to play has hideous graphical glitches, or won't start at all? The only 2 I've managed to play without a problem are Super Tux, and Ltris.
Nouveau aside, 8 is very good. 2015 isn't bad at all for machines hailing over a decade older.

What if you tried uninstalling mesa from Sid, and then reinstalled it from the Jessie Backports repos?
 
Last edited:

z970mp

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I think I may have cracked Debian 8's nouveau issues, and streamlined it to a point it can be no simpler.

EDIT: Nevermind.

EDIT 2: Working on it...

EDIT 3: ...Had it and I lost it...

EDIT 4: Baugh, I give up. The 4.10.8 kernel is 8's only no-compromise solution for G5s.

#GetARadeon
 
Last edited:

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
220
8 is very good (putting nouveau aside). 2015 isn't bad at all for machines hailing much older.

On Sid? That's the only place I've seen graphical issues in 3D games. As to this problem, there's probably something wrong with mesa or the sort. My only answer is that it's branded unstable for a reason.

But wait a minute, what if you tried uninstalling mesa from Sid, and then reinstalled it from the Jessie repos, at least on Radeon builds? That would be interesting to see.
8 is very good (putting nouveau aside). 2015 isn't bad at all for machines hailing much older.

On Sid? For games, 3D varieties are the only place I've seen graphical problems in. As to this problem, there's probably something wrong with mesa or the sort. My only answer is that it's branded unstable for a reason.

But what if you tried uninstalling mesa from Sid, and then reinstalled it from the Jessie Backports repos? That would be interesting to see.
3d accel seems to be working ok I guess. Some games are broken, and others aren't. It's too bad, I really wanted to play MegaGlest lol.
 

sparty411

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2018
294
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Does anyone have a solution to the non functioning display on ibook G3's, when the non free Radeon driver is installed? As soon as the login manager loads, it just flickers. It works fine in frame buffer mode, but even typing out text in bash is a laggy experience. I'm referring to Debian Sid, by the way.
 

Loki.Mephisto

macrumors 6502a
Hi all! In recent years I tried several distros (Ubuntu, Debian, ...), none of which proved even remotely useful. As far as I remember Lubuntu was the one that ran best - or should I say least bad.
Displays remaining black, fans blowing at full speed all the time (mission power management?) etc, I experienced all the bad things imaginable. Albeit this some 2 or 3 years ago. The general advice I received back then: Linux does not run well on PPCs...

That said, I by an large like Linux. Therefore my question: Have things improved in the meantime? Sidenote: did anyone try Adelie Linux (https://www.adelielinux.org/about.html?)?

Due to mentioned previous experience I am hesitant trying out Linux on my Powerbooks... I have no desire to spend hours just to finally revert back to trusty old Leopard/Tiger as before.
Any thoughts/advice?
 

z970mp

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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Digital Ocean
Does anyone have a solution to the non functioning display on ibook G3's, when the non free Radeon driver is installed? As soon as the login manager loads, it just flickers. It works fine in frame buffer mode, but even typing out text in bash is a laggy experience. I'm referring to Debian Sid, by the way.
I don't have an iBook G3, so I can't offer any tested solutions.

If you're on Yaboot, what happens if you append with 'radeon.agpmode=-1', like at the boot prompt, 'Linux radeon.agpmode=-1'?

Failing that, and aside from not using the non-free Radeon driver (which is not a very good option), I would just revert back to Debian 8. I've heard it works well with iBooks. It's still got Arctic Fox, was last updated in 2018, and should respond faster due to the (probably) lighterweight kernel and userspace, especially with Xfce.
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Therefore my question: Have things improved in the meantime?
I would absolutely say they have. We've got three additional PowerPC-specific distributions in active development (four if you count Debian Sid), many issues have been fixed in Sid (or at least one of the others), many more updated and functioning browsers to choose from, and the general landscape is factually brighter than it was in 2017, mid 2018. If you want to give it a shot, it's at your call.

Due to mentioned previous experience I am hesitant trying out Linux on my Powerbooks... I have no desire to spend hours just to finally revert back to trusty old Leopard/Tiger as before. Any thoughts/advice?
You should not be spending hours trying to get the system up and running at this point in time, and at the very least not with this thread and its containing walkthroughs around. Out of curiosity, what distributions did you try when you last gave the PPC Linux world a spin?
 
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Loki.Mephisto

macrumors 6502a
You should not be spending hours trying to get the system up and running at this point in time, and at the very least not with this thread and its containing walkthroughs around. Out of curiosity, what distributions did you try when you last gave the PPC Linux world a spin?
Fyi: This was maybe 2 or 3 years ago. I tried Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and Lubuntu. As far as I remember one of the problems stemmed from my device - its the last of the Powerbooks with the higher resolution, so X config did not detect it.
 

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