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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Ubuntu install OK on external drive?



gphaze
March 10th, 2009, 05:05 PM
Is it possible and relatively easy to get a PPC G4 Mac Mini to boot to an install of linux on an external FW drive?

I have done the dual-boot thing on the mini's internal drive, but since that drive is a slower unit (5400) the performance I got was...not impressive.

thank you!

gphz

mkvnmtr
March 11th, 2009, 12:45 AM
I believe you can get it to boot from a firewire drive. I have heard it is not that easy for a newcomer but following instructions you can probably do it. But if you have room on your hard drive I don't think the speed of your drive will affect performance as much as how much ram you have. My G4 Ibook I think hase the same speed drive and performance is fine with 1.25 Gb of ram. On other units I own I have found that 256Mb is not enough but I do fine with 512Mb of ram. My mac came with 256Mb and I think it is just a few months newer than yours. If your are working with 256Mb I don't think you will be happy.

gphaze
March 11th, 2009, 01:17 AM
I believe you can get it to boot from a firewire drive. I have heard it is not that easy for a newcomer but following instructions you can probably do it. But if you have room on your hard drive I don't think the speed of your drive will affect performance as much as how much ram you have. My G4 Ibook I think hase the same speed drive and performance is fine with 1.25 Gb of ram. On other units I own I have found that 256Mb is not enough but I do fine with 512Mb of ram. My mac came with 256Mb and I think it is just a few months newer than yours. If your are working with 256Mb I don't think you will be happy.

Thank you for that response, mkvnmtr...

my G4 Minis each have 1-gig sticks; the maximum for that partic. version of the Mini.

I must say that I was very impressed with Ubuntu, but that OS X was more responsive, but I attributed that extra zippyness to the fact that I boot into OS X from a 7200RPM firewire Seagate hard drive.

I don't have enough data to say conclusively that it was the slower internal mini HD that was the culprit; when I boot into OSX on the internal drive, that's slower, too.

My preference is to continue with linux, to learn more, and to include it in my functional production toolkit. Is there any way to learn whether booting to a linux install on a 7200RPM hard drive will get me that little bit of extra zip?

thank you!

gphz

gphaze
March 11th, 2009, 01:24 AM
I believe you can get it to boot from a firewire drive. I have heard it is not that easy for a newcomer but following instructions you can probably do it.



Oops! I forgot to ask you...by following what instructions I can probably do it?

tiresia
March 11th, 2009, 01:28 AM
It shouldn't be so difficult to install Ubuntu on the external HD and boot from it.
The easiest way is to start from the Installer and install Ubuntu on the external Disk.
When you are ready, you restart your Mac Mini and press Opt. Open Firmware should detect the Ubuntu System installed on the external HD.

It is not difficult, but it can be annoying to press Opt and wait every time you want to start from ubuntu.

A second option, would be to install Yaboot, the bootloader for PowerPC on the internal Disk. But if you are not experienced and you don't want to change your internal HD, you should wait to do it.

gphaze
March 11th, 2009, 01:35 AM
well, from the sound of it, I can do that....

fortunately, I have a couple of macs to work with, so if I get stuck in a vortex of confusion, I can ask here for help.

thank you!


gphz

mkvnmtr
March 11th, 2009, 08:23 PM
The instructions I was speaking will probably com from Tiresia. I have seen him or her give good advise on installing on an external drive.
You know when we think of it a 7200 rpm disk is a great percentage faster than a 5400 rpm one. It might make a a 40% difference. I don't know but I would like to hear your experience with it.

gphaze
March 12th, 2009, 05:02 AM
that's good to know..I'll have to search for such advice that s/he has given.

I'm excited to see if I'll get a speed boost from the faster drive, too..will let you know..

gphz