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Jubadub

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2017
341
424
Considering GNU/Linux on PPC is very commonly-discussed here, it occurred to me asking everyone their favorite user experience could be of great value. See, even if we pick, say, a distro designed to be more accessible/useful, we, as the end-user, still have no idea what version number does the job better. And short of testing every version of every distro, it seems like it'd be a great opportunity to ask everyone here what their best GNU/Linux experience (as an end-user) was, or is.

Nevermind how difficult it was or wasn't installing your favorite distro -- just tell us which one provided your favorite experience once it was all set up and going. The distro and its precise version can be ancient and abandoned, like Yellow Dog Linux, or new and shiny, like Debian Sid. Everything counts.

So I will start.

I barely played with GNU/Linux on PowerPC, but Ubuntu 9.04 worked beautifully for me when I needed it to use GParted. It was all on a Mac mini G4.
 

galgot

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2015
485
898
For me it was (still is as I still have it installed on few machines) Debian 7 Wheezy. On that one almost everything worked (after the usual tweaking of course). Most importantly SLEEP.
Note sleep never worked on G5s anyway.
With Debian 8 Jessie, sleep was broken on G4 (not sure on G3...), but still worked fine otherwise.
Debian Sid (the Remix) works very well, but one can feel it's a "heavier" system , and I feel machines struggle more than on Wheezy/Jessie, but maybe just an impression.

Never liked Ubuntu much on PPC, the versions with Unity makes it very slow, and more recent versions with the new Gnome are unusable . But the older versions , like 9.04-9.10 yes, still with the old Gnome are good for old Powerbook/iBook like the Kanga or the Clamshell.

Never had much luck with Linux on the only G5, an iMac, I have, due to the Nvidia card. But recently discovered Void PPC, which solves the problem. Sleep is still broken but otherwise it's a nice system.
There are less packages available than on Debian/Ubuntu though.
 
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pipetogrep

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2021
278
427
Void PPC on an iBook G4 had been great so far. The installer works better than Debian’s, I’ve had zero issues after upgrades, and I have much easier access to modern software.
 

MacPro2006VBox

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2014
304
213
Void PPC on an iBook G4 had been great so far. The installer works better than Debian’s, I’ve had zero issues after upgrades, and I have much easier access to modern software.

There’s an installer for that now?! The last time I tried it, it was the same general process as Adelie.
 

wicknix

macrumors 68030
Jun 4, 2017
2,599
5,256
Wisconsin, USA
Pretty much. Suspend/sleep/resume, yes. Backlit keyboard no, but pbbuttonsd doesnt work well with 4.x and 5.x kernels. It causes cpu spikes and randomly lights up and shuts off. Media keys seem ok on newer Linux. 2D/3D depends on the gfx card, the drivers, and mesa. So that's hit or miss.
 
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Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
424
2011-12. MintPPC 11 on a 1.2 ghz ibook G4. It was absolutely a joy to use, Iceweasel and Iceape worked perfectly, could still use youtube with VLC plugin, the forums were great, for the most part extremely helpful people helping each other and Jeroen. I would place Wicknix's 12.04 remix a close second. Very speedy on a 1.67ghz Powerbook G4.
 

ks23

macrumors member
May 6, 2004
60
44
If supported by the hardware, I recommend Void Linux or Adélie Linux. I use Void.
 

MacPro2006VBox

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2014
304
213
If supported by the hardware, I recommend Void Linux or Adélie Linux. I use Void.

Adelie doesn’t support the Rage series cards for its installer yet, and as such Debian Ports is what I recommend for those new to Linux on PowerPC.
 

dbdjre0143

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2017
361
382
West Virginia
Bar-none, by best Linux experience on PPC has been @wicknix's Lubuntu Remix 12.04 on my iMac G5. I had the same distro running for several months on my DLSD Powerbook, but I never could get used to the slight wonky-ness of the trackpad and not-quite-right sleep/battery behavior.
On this G5 though, it is super fast, the browser situation is great, and everything just works fantastically. Typing on it now in Interweb. :)
I had upgraded this machine to 2GB of RAM but I've never seen it come close to using it, even with many browser tabs open, so I may end up robbing this machine of one stick to put in another project. The low-memory-footprint of this OS is astounding to me.
 

Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
424
Bar-none, by best Linux experience on PPC has been @wicknix's Lubuntu Remix 12.04 on my iMac G5. I had the same distro running for several months on my DLSD Powerbook, but I never could get used to the slight wonky-ness of the trackpad and not-quite-right sleep/battery behavior.
On this G5 though, it is super fast, the browser situation is great, and everything just works fantastically. Typing on it now in Interweb. :)
I had upgraded this machine to 2GB of RAM but I've never seen it come close to using it, even with many browser tabs open, so I may end up robbing this machine of one stick to put in another project. The low-memory-footprint of this OS is astounding to me.
If you have the capability to throw up a video on youtube of 12.04 remix in action on your imac G5 that would be both appreciated and valuable to the wider community...

Edit: Hey look, someone has put up a video of wicknix's 12.04 remix on an ibook G4, thanks, Ivan:

 
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