Ubuntu on iMac g5

wrinkster22

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Original poster
Jun 11, 2011
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Toronto
I was wanting to install ubuntu on my iMac g5. It has no webcam and has one and a half GB of ram. I read a bit on the web but don't know what to download.
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
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Lincolnshire, UK
Which one, there are several links
On that particular page, there's links to Ubuntu and Lubuntu - of the two, Lubuntu is the slimmer build (ie would run faster). Download, burn and try the 'live' disks before installing. If you've been researching on the web you'll already know Linux rarely works on a PPC Mac until you've done some searching for drivers to get everything going.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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Which one, there are several links
There's the original Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu MATE. The difference between these is they use a different desktop environment. The original Ubuntu uses GNOME/Unity, Kubuntu uses KDE, Xubuntu uses XFCE, Lubuntu uses LXDE, and Ubuntu MATE uses MATE.

You can try the original Ubuntu first. You can choose between 12.04 and 14.04 as these are the two LTS releases that are still supported. You could also use 10.04 but the desktop version is no longer supported.
10.04 was released on April 2010, 12.04 released April 2012, and 14.04 released 14.04.

So I suggest you try Ubuntu 12.04 first. Here is the download for this:
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/precise/release/ubuntu-12.04-alternate-powerpc.iso

Burn this to a CD or DVD or USB stick and boot from it. Test it out on the iMac for a while.

If you like it then you can go ahead and install it. If you don't, or too slow, or you want to try a different one, you can try the other ones. Try Xubuntu and Lubuntu and Kubuntu and Ubuntu MATE.

Here is Kubuntu:
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/precise/release/kubuntu-12.04-desktop-powerpc.iso

Here is Lubuntu:
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/precise/release/lubuntu-12.04-desktop-powerpc.iso

Here is Xubuntu:
http://ports.ubuntu.com/dists/precise/main/installer-powerpc/current/images/powerpc64/netboot/mini.iso
(This is the minimal installer which downloads the data from the internet instead of copying from CD)

Apparently I can't get to Ubuntu MATE for PowerPC. There is no version for 12.04 and the website at the link for 14.04 is down.

So just burn each one to disk or restore to USB stick with Disk Utility and test each one.

You may need help from the PowerPC FAQ:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ
 

wrinkster22

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 11, 2011
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Toronto
Thank you very much for all the information. I am not quite clear, does the Mac have two operating systems and it can boot to Ubuntu off a USB? Would I need to worry about drivers if I just plan on using the Internet with the apple usb keyboard and mouse? Also would I be able to stream off a xbmc?
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
Thank you very much for all the information. I am not quite clear, does the Mac have two operating systems and it can boot to Ubuntu off a USB? Would I need to worry about drivers if I just plan on using the Internet with the apple usb keyboard and mouse? Also would I be able to stream off a xbmc?
I specialize in Linux so I can answer this well. Most of the hardware on Macs will work out of the box, USB, HDD Controllers, Sound, Eathernet, Bluetooth however the part that will cause the most trouble is OEM AirPort cards and 3rd party USB Wifi adaptors. Never use XBMC so i cannot speak for that however things like Chrome, Skype and Spotify, also forget about Flash.

EDIT: you can boot USB just hold down the Option Key once you hear the chime and select the USB device in the boot menu
 

Dronecatcher

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Jun 17, 2014
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Lincolnshire, UK
I specialize in Linux so I can answer this well. Most of the hardware on Macs will work out of the box, USB, HDD Controllers, Sound, Eathernet, Bluetooth however the part that will cause the most trouble is OEM AirPort cards and 3rd party USB Wifi adaptors. Never use XBMC so i cannot speak for that however things like Chrome, Skype and Spotify, also forget about Flash.

EDIT: you can boot USB just hold down the Option Key once you hear the chime and select the USB device in the boot menu
My experience has been very different - on various iBooks, Powerbooks and G5s video, sound and airport never worked out of the box whereas USB, ethernet and 3rd party USB wireless did. There's always some work to be done.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
My experience has been very different - on various iBooks, Powerbooks and G5s video, sound and airport never worked out of the box whereas USB, ethernet and 3rd party USB wireless did. There's always some work to be done.
Linux on a laptop in general regardless if Mac or PC are a PITA to get going anyway. I cannot speak for a G5, Never owned one, Never seen one in person nor have I ever used one
 

Dronecatcher

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Jun 17, 2014
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Lincolnshire, UK
Linux on a laptop in general regardless if Mac or PC are a PITA to get going anyway. I cannot speak for a G5, Never owned one, Never seen one in person nor have I ever used one
Again my experience is different :) I've installed numerous flavours of Linux on PC laptops and everything worked immediately without intervention - quite maddening considering what you have to do to get it working on a Mac!
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
Again my experience is different :) I've installed numerous flavours of Linux on PC laptops and everything worked immediately without intervention - quite maddening considering what you have to do to get it working on a Mac!
Must be the fact most of my laptops have Broadcom Wifi cards

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Why not? Chrome has flash built-in so if Chrome works then flash works. Or does the built-in flash not work even through Chrome works?
Chrome does not work on PowerPC. There is no PPC code. Firefox works but thats pretty much it for web browsers.

So you can forget about:

Flash
Chrome
Chromium
Wine
Skype
Spotify
Rockbox Utility
Crossover Linux
PlayonLinux


I love Linux but forget about running it on PowerPC Mac's no point. You are better off with Leopard or Tiger. Both those versions of OS X can do more than any copy of PowerPC Linux. My netis USB Wireless N does not work on PowerPC Linux it works fine on x64 or i386 linux.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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Must be the fact most of my laptops have Broadcom Wifi cards

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Chrome does not work on PowerPC. There is no PPC code. Firefox works but thats pretty much it for web browsers.

So you can forget about:

Flash
Chrome
Chromium
Wine
Skype
Spotify
Rockbox Utility
Crossover Linux
PlayonLinux


I love Linux but forget about running it on PowerPC Mac's no point. You are better off with Leopard or Tiger. Both those versions of OS X can do more than any copy of PowerPC Linux. My netis USB Wireless N does not work on PowerPC Linux it works fine on x64 or i386 linux.
Oh then you were wrong because you said Chrome
 

556fmjoe

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Apr 19, 2014
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Of the Ubuntu versions available, I'd recommend Lubuntu. LXDE is pretty light and ought to be noticeably more responsive than Unity.
 

wrinkster22

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Original poster
Jun 11, 2011
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Toronto
I tried booting from a Xubuntu cd and held the c key during boot. I tried twice, both times it ejected the disc
 

ctmpkmlec4

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2014
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Lyons, KS
I tried booting from a Xubuntu cd and held the c key during boot. I tried twice, both times it ejected the disc
You're either burning the wrong image or a bad disc burn. The PowerPC Ubuntu distro can be downloaded from this link. I recommend you burn it to a CD instead of a DVD. If Ubuntu still won't work, I suggest using the stable version of Debian. I know from experience that Debian works flawlessly on a Power Mac G5 and allows for proper fan control.