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Thread: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Hello all!

    Is it pointless to run any Linux distro on a PPC Mac now days? Will most of the relevant Linux software out there only work on Intel Macs now? Software such as OpenOffice, Audacity, GIMP, etc.

    -I've inherited a PowerBook G4 and plan to use it for college work. I've got the Tiger OS (Mac OS 10.4) to install on it, but would like to install a Linux distro on it as well so free software is just a re-boot away.
    -Would applications out there made for Linux have to be specially compiled or something to work on PPC? Is that usually too much of a pain, making most current Linux software not PCC compatible?
    -I don't want to go through all the trouble of trying to create a dual boot setup of OS X and Ubuntu if the only stuff I'll be able to use is out-of-date buggy software that just ends up eating my time.
    -Other then choosing the correct Ubuntu distro version that will run on a PPC, is the fact that the PowerBook G4 is a PPC relevant???

    Thank you for any help!

    P.S. I got the impression that Ubuntu is ultimately better then Yellow Dog for PPC stuff for support reasons and install package reasons and other stuff.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    You will have most stuff that runs on Intel Linux too, except Flash for the moment. People are working on that though. I would certainly go for Linux. Tiger is getting outdated.
    Linux on your Apple Mac │ iLinux
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  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Okay, I will partition my HD and set up a dual boot, then. Thank you for the help!

    Now if only I could find a tutorial for setting up a dual boot of OS X and Linux on a PPC computer...
    Last edited by GeoMoon5; September 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 PM.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Wow thanks! That's just what I needed! =D

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    You will find tons of information on the link in my footer.
    Linux on your Apple Mac │ iLinux
    http://mac.linux.be
    http://www.mintppc.org

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Sweet! It looks like there's all kinds of very helpful info at that link! Thanks!

    If you were in my shoes, and you had a PowerBook G4 12", and you wanted a straight forward installation that didn't leave you with non working FireWire or Airport etc... Which distro would you choose? I've had fun with the whole trial and error experience of getting the whole computer to work with a distro, but this time I have to prioritize my time more efficiently since I'm in college now. Any suggestions?

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    -Would applications out there made for Linux have to be specially compiled or something to work on PPC? Is that usually too much of a pain, making most current Linux software not PCC compatible?

    You'd be surprised at how many applications are already precompiled and ready to install. The software manager (in Ubuntu) is top notch.

    -I don't want to go through all the trouble of trying to create a dual boot setup of OS X and Ubuntu if the only stuff I'll be able to use is out-of-date buggy software that just ends up eating my time.

    You don't have to. I have identical apps running on my Debian PPC (G4 Titanium), Ubuntu PPC (Dual G4 MDD), Ubuntu x86 32-bit (PC Netbook) and Ubuntu x86 64-bit (PC hardware) systems. So working on a file is transparent to me and completely independent of the platform, it's a lovely thing.

    -Other then choosing the correct Ubuntu distro version that will run on a PPC, is the fact that the PowerBook G4 is a PPC relevant???

    Irrelevant. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCDownloads

    Thank you for any help!

    P.S. I got the impression that Ubuntu is ultimately better then Yellow Dog for PPC stuff for support reasons and install package reasons and other stuff.

    Yellow Dog is based off the Red Hat Distro for the PC. It's not completely free and their releases are not available for download immediately unless you pay.

    Ubuntu is derivative of Debian and it is a true free OS. All their releases are immediately available for free. Debian's package manager is top notch.

    I've used both versions on my Macs and prefer Debian. They have a more polished feel. I have a G4 Titanium 500MHz which runs OS10.4 barely adequately and I was almost tempted to dump it until I installed Debian. Now it feels like a completely new machine again and relevant beside my GHz intel machines, even though its 10 years old.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMoon5 View Post
    Sweet! It looks like there's all kinds of very helpful info at that link! Thanks!

    If you were in my shoes, and you had a PowerBook G4 12", and you wanted a straight forward installation that didn't leave you with non working FireWire or Airport etc... Which distro would you choose? I've had fun with the whole trial and error experience of getting the whole computer to work with a distro, but this time I have to prioritize my time more efficiently since I'm in college now. Any suggestions?
    Try Debian. I had a heck of a time trying to get my Airport card working on Ubuntu. Debian had everything up and running by the time it booted up. It was the easiest install of any Linux OS ever!

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu on PowerBook G4 Worth it?

    Brilliant! I'll give Debian a try. I've got a fresh partition on the laptop HD just waiting for it's new OS. Hopefully I won't screw up both OSs while trying to configure yaboot to get the dual boot working. >.<

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