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Thread: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

  1. #31
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by str8bs View Post
    @Svetlana - We need to make sure we are looking "apples to apples." (pun intended) When you were at low GLXgears numbers in Debian, what color depth were you at? Was DRI enabled? Not likely as the numbers you gave are likely software rendering. We could try looking at some logs. Just a suggestion, you may want to start a thread with your machine and video card in the title. I only say that as it might help others with the same hardware more easily find the information. You could post them here too if you want. Look for the same dmesg and Xorg.0.log information as in the other thread I linked. Specific to getting Mesa 3d (glxgears increase) working on yours, I only have ideas of some things to try and can't guaranty getting you to that goal. There is obviously something in the 12.04 kernel (mini iso) that doesn't agree with your hardware that is not present in 12.10 or current Debian testing.
    24 bpp. 16 didn't work (pseudo-halt with garbled or no screen) and 15 isn't supported by DRI. At 24 bpp, there isn't enough VRAM.

    If there was only something to X to start properly at 16 bpp, that should be the ticket to getting DRI to work (even though X didn't work, it was the one mode that didn't throw a DRI/GLX error) and consequently having a faster graphical experience.

    About what's in the kernel, I've no idea, but I'll probably have to reformat the 12.10 partition anyway as it is completely unusable in this state (slow boot, slow login, broken xubuntu/xfce), and if there's more development going on in 12.04 that would probably be better suited here once it works. I'm not good at finding hidden stuff by myself, so if you guys can guide me towards what I should install in my machine to get it working properly I'd be more than willing to try it and report back.

  2. #32
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Hi there.
    I followed the guide verbatim and all worked perfectly. Thanks.
    The only problem is that the system is veeeeery slow. Much more than the Panther 10.3.9 that was previously installed.
    I immediately wiped out Unity and went back to Gnome, with no material improvement.
    My machine is a G3 350 MHz with HD 6.8GB, RAM 512 MB, no firewire.
    Now I'm trying with Lubuntu 12.4 Alternate, hoping that the guide is still valid.

    EDIT: Just installed Lubuntu. Much better. My iMac has come to new life!
    Thanks again for the very useful guide.
    Last edited by gioloi66; May 9th, 2013 at 08:34 PM.

  3. #33
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    Feb 2013
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    Lubuntu

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by rsavage View Post
    After the "Calling quiesce..." the screen is controlled by the framebuffer. As str8bs says, a very few people have reported this before, but I'm not sure they have figured out what was wrong. It is either a dodgy iso, but my money is on the openfirmware framebuffer.

    Some things you can try (from the official documentation):



    Have you tried resetting the pram?

    If you were using 12.10 then I would suggest:



    The problem is you don't have aty128 available on the 12.04 mini iso.

    I think you currently have debian installed which has the atyfb128 framebuffer built-in. 12.10 also has this built-in from the start so you could give that a try. You could follow the 12.04 live iso instructions in the Known Issues page on a lubuntu iso to modprobe atyfb128. It should be possible to do this on the mini.iso, but it is a bit of a pain (particulalrly being a framebuffer module which makes it even harder) - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#A...at_can_I_do.3F .

    If you really want xubuntu 12.04 then I'll give you a link to a download, but please try the above first.
    its the offb. I had the same problem when experimenting with different vmodes and yaboot parameters. The only that worked was video=aty128fb:1024x768-60

    Once you get the xorg.conf edited (or created) in nano just write out (ctrl+O) to /etc/X11/xorg.conf and "shutdown -r now". reset the pram by holding apple+option+p+r when you hear chime... and then let yaboot load ubuntu automatically. do not add parameters. X should boot. This may take some trial and error.
    Last edited by imacg3ppc; May 13th, 2013 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #34
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by gioloi66 View Post
    Hi there.
    I followed the guide verbatim and all worked perfectly. Thanks.
    The only problem is that the system is veeeeery slow. Much more than the Panther 10.3.9 that was previously installed.
    I immediately wiped out Unity and went back to Gnome, with no material improvement.
    My machine is a G3 350 MHz with HD 6.8GB, RAM 512 MB, no firewire.
    Now I'm trying with Lubuntu 12.4 Alternate, hoping that the guide is still valid.

    EDIT: Just installed Lubuntu. Much better. My iMac has come to new life!
    Thanks again for the very useful guide.
    Hey, usuing Lubuntu 12.04 and lxde.. unity is so ugly to me, i hate smart phones and tablets. ew.
    Isn't it awesome?? I remember when i was in 9th grade it was 1999/2000... and the cpu lab in school was filled with all these colorful imacs... i couldn't afford an apple until 2006.. and it was part of a student loan so i got an aluminum MBP core 2 duo. loved it. But i got 2 of these g3 machines really cheap. Special edition "Flower Power" 600mhz 684mb ram airport and yesterday picked up an "Indigo" 500mhz 300something? mb ram amd it has osx 10.4.1 and os 9.2.2...

    conclusion: OSX sucks on these boxes. Ubuntu kicks it in the tail speed wise. OSX definatly has a faster boot time.. even the 500mhz machine, but the speed is worth the extra minute wait once you get to log in. Everything works.. haven't tested audio yet. I want to preserve these cpus as fully functional workstations and kudos to anyone else who wants to do the same.

  5. #35
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Just got alternate Lubuntu 13.04 for powerpc. Amazingly sluggish and not working at all, simply using the file manager causes it to stop responding, and I simply have no idea what's wrong with my computer.

    I have a seemingly standard 450mhz Ruby iMac G3, so what am I doing wrong? Looks like OS X is still the best bet speed-wise..

  6. #36
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    so have you tried 12.04 on the ruby? i have not had time to read this whole thread. were you unsuccessful with 12.04?

    i have a second imac i'm going to use to dual-boot, i was going to try 12.10 on that machine to see the difference. But i have read that 12.10 has lost support for some of the features that these g3 slot loading machines need???

  7. #37
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by imacg3ppc View Post
    so have you tried 12.04 on the ruby? i have not had time to read this whole thread. were you unsuccessful with 12.04?

    i have a second imac i'm going to use to dual-boot, i was going to try 12.10 on that machine to see the difference. But i have read that 12.10 has lost support for some of the features that these g3 slot loading machines need???
    12.04 does not boot at all, hangs at "Calling Quiesce".

  8. #38
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by Svetlana Tovarisch View Post
    12.04 does not boot at all, hangs at "Calling Quiesce".
    Svetlana! We meet again! And you're still having problems with your iMac...

    Well, not to steer you away from your Ubuntu adventure, but with Debian 7 (wheezy) now out of "testing", have you considered trying to install that (essentially just plain Debian, no MintPPC or Ubuntu repos)? Also, just for the sake of completeness and so that we're all on the same page, could you list the most recent distros you've tried and give us an idea of what worked (or didn't work) on your particular iMac G3? I find it very difficult to understand why it seems like your iMac G3 is the seemingly the only one I've heard of that can run OSX Tiger acceptably well, while seemingly no other version of Linux would even succeed to fully boot into the GUI.

    This might be a long shot, but is there any physical damage to the machine or perhaps even the mobo? Or at least, any that you can determine visually?

  9. #39
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by imacg3ppc View Post
    so have you tried 12.04 on the ruby? i have not had time to read this whole thread. were you unsuccessful with 12.04?

    i have a second imac i'm going to use to dual-boot, i was going to try 12.10 on that machine to see the difference. But i have read that 12.10 has lost support for some of the features that these g3 slot loading machines need???
    AFAIK
    Mesa support was dropped (upstream) beginning in 12.04(3.2) for several cards which include Rage 128 and Rage on iMacs. This is 3D(OpenGL) support.
    XAA was removed I think beginning in 12.10 which may have resulted in new bugs for many of the same old cards. They should fall back to shadowfb.
    EXA (2D) acceleration support for Rage 128 was added beginning with 12.10 thanks to a determined loan developer and it works quite well IMO.
    Support for the card drivers themselves has not been dropped.

  10. #40
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by Svetlana Tovarisch View Post
    Just got alternate Lubuntu 13.04 for powerpc. Amazingly sluggish and not working at all, simply using the file manager causes it to stop responding, and I simply have no idea what's wrong with my computer.

    I have a seemingly standard 450mhz Ruby iMac G3, so what am I doing wrong? Looks like OS X is still the best bet speed-wise..
    Have you compared performance using FBDEV? Remove the forcePCImode line from the config in post 1 and change "Driver" to FBDEV to see.

    As for 12.04 "calling quiesce" hang on yours, I would expect to see the "returning from PROM init". However, it is possible to boot with no framebuffers active and the display will just stay on that screen until you modprobe a frame buffer.

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