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Thread: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    103

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Attached is my attempt at getting iMac G3's working with as few steps and typing as possible based on my tests. RSAVAGE's excellent first post is still applicable to 12.04 and that config will still work with R128 in 13.04. I found forcing PCI mode workaround no longer necessary in 13.04.

    This applies to iMac G3 with Rage 128 video. (All Slot-Loading iMac G3's)
    *Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail but should work with 12.10 as well.



    1. To boot the live desktop iso:
    Code:
    boot: live video=offb:off video=aty128fb:1024x768@75
    The splash screen will display and then the screen will go blank.

    2. Press <ctl><alt><F1> to get to a command prompt.
    3.
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    4. Enter the following lines. *If you can't see the cursor off to the left, just tab key until you can see it.
    Code:
      Section "Monitor"
      Identifier "SillyImac"
      HorizSync 58-62
      VertRefresh 75-117
      EndSection
     
      Section "Screen"
      Identifier "Mine"
      Monitor "SillyImac"
      EndSection
    5. <ctl> o and enter to save
    6. <ctl> x to exit back to prompt
    7.
    Code:
     sudo stop lightdm
    8.
    Code:
     sudo start lightdm
    If unsuccessful, <ctl><alt<F1> to go back to prompt and check steps 3 and 4
    for type errors.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    This applies to iMac G3 with Rage or Rage Pro video. (All Tray-Loading iMac G3's)
    *Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail but should work with 12.10 as well.



    1. After performing netboot/mini or altnerate install:
    Code:
    boot: linux snd-powermac.blacklist=yes
    Allow SEVERAL minutes for the machine to finish booting.
    The screen will be blank or have some garbled messages.

    2. Press <ctl><alt><F1> to get to a command prompt.
    3.
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    4. Enter the following lines. *If you can't see the cursor off to the left, just tab key until you can see it.

    Code:
    Section "Device"
    Identifier "GoofyApple"
    Option "NoAccel" "True"
    EndSection
     
    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "SillyImac"
    HorizSync 58-62
    VertRefresh 75-117
    EndSection
     
    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Mine"
    Monitor "SillyImac"
    EndSection
    5. <ctl> o and enter to save
    6. <ctl> x to exit back to prompt
    7.
    Code:
    sudo stop lightdm
    8.
    Code:
    sudo start lightdm
    If unsuccessful, <ctl><alt<F1> to go back to prompt and check steps 3 and 4 for type errors.
    The "NoAccel" option is necessary since XAA was dropped 12.10 and this card does not currently fall back properly on its own.
    Blacklisting snd-powermac isn't necessary to boot, but a LOUD shrill will be heard instead of sound if any sound is played without this.

    Str8

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    3

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by rsavage View Post
    6. If you are using 12.04 then you can download the mesa legacy package to give you 3D acceleration. You can find a pre-compiled version here http://ubuntuone.com/379TLoe7yo2IAiOijAsOjQ
    Despite the fact I correctly installed the package, when I check the rendering engine with

    Code:
    glxinfo | grep render
    the result is:

    Code:
    direct rendering: Yes
    OpenGL renderer string: Software Rasterizer
    That makes the graphical interface quite sluggish, definitely less reactive than OSX 10.3.9.

    My iMac is a 350 MHz slot loading with no firewire and ATI Rage 128 VR 2D/3D.
    The SO is Lubuntu 12.04.

    In the xorg.conf I tried both Driver "ATI" and "r128", without success. I even re-installed the mesa package twice.

    Is there a way to work out the problem?
    Thanks.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    47

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    If you want, you can try to just make do with an older version of MESA that lacks EXA acceleration.... just downgrade MESA by using the following files. Keep in mind, however, that once you do this, you'll get constant nagging from the update manager to update these files. To get around this, there's a way to "pin" these files in the Synaptic package manager (which isn't installed by default).

    Download these items to a folder:


    Then open up a terminal and navigate to the folder where you saved the above files.

    Then type this in the terminal to install them all at once.
    Code:
    dpkg -i *.deb
    After that, you can either reboot or log-out and log-in (probably better if you just reboot). Then test glxgears to see if that'll improve things...
    Last edited by rkmugen; May 19th, 2013 at 06:46 AM.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    3

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Just did it, but at the end of the installation it returns an error on package processing:
    Code:
    libgl1-mesa-dri_7.11-0ubuntu3.2_powerpc.deb

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    47

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Well, if all the other packages installed fine, you should retry to download and install that one package.... (it might have been a corrupted or incomplete download).

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    851

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmugen View Post
    Well, if all the other packages installed fine, you should retry to download and install that one package.... (it might have been a corrupted or incomplete download).
    @rkmugen:

    Nice to see you over on this list . . . adding your support here is great news for ppc users . . . but just wanted to say that "corrupted or incomplete downloads" don't happen on this site . . . . : - ))))

    e.e.p.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmugen View Post
    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?
    I got the machine a few months ago obviously used and with the front feet broken. The CRT makes a weird spring-like noise when turning on and after a while overly dark screens (like a full-on black-background console) appear slightly blue in hue (overloaded CRT?) while anything with less black on it appears fine. The speakers had deteriorated and I replaced them with much cheaper ones (the only I could find that fit the slots after a little bit of etching) and the drive took some lubrication to get working, but other than that the machine seemed to be working fine. The motherboard has no signs of damage to it, and it came with 10.2.8 installed. For a frame of reference, Bugdom (that came with it) and the Flurry wallpaper both run at pretty much the full speed expected from this machine and I can browse the internet with TenFourFox in 10.4.11 without much hassle.

    Installing Debian (6 or 7) from scratch then getting the required XFCE packages worked okay-ish but the desktop still suffered from bad lag, it was evident that all rendering was being done in the CPU and Linux just refused to recognize the r128. MintPPC worked a little slower but was a more forward installation, given it comes with packages already installed and ready to work. Ubuntu was the slowest of all, even logging in took a considerable longer time than the other distros (and for some reason logging in from SSH was faster). No settings I changed in the Xorg.conf made it recognize the r128 except for setting the color depth to exactly 16bpp, which made the screen refuse to draw anything but either a black or garbled (static) screen, and SSH while running that seemingly garbled and frozen X session was also very very laggy until I killed the process. (DRI however seemed to accept the card and load AIGLX properly, from the logs.)

    I'll try str8bs' guide for the live 13.04 version next time.

  8. #48
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by str8bs View Post
    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.
    I have not, but wouldn't that force me to have no acceleration at all? Between acceleration-less (3D or 2D) Linux and OS X 10.4.11, I'll keep the latter.

    "returning from PROM init" never happened and the computer just hung there.

    Why was Mesa support dropped? Will it ever return, or are we simply forced to use old versions forever? I'd rather have 3D acceleration wherever possible for the Rage 128.

  9. #49
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    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    Quote Originally Posted by Svetlana Tovarisch View Post
    I have not, but wouldn't that force me to have no acceleration at all? ...
    Yes
    1. I haven't seen anyone report mesa 3d working with 3.2 or later on a PPC with a R128 having less than 16 Meg VRAM. I'm curious if it is all your graphics or separate issues.
    2. It could be a bug or related to "thrashing." Just as systems with low ram can have swap/disk thrash issues, the same can happen with "thrashing" in and out of VRAM to system RAM.
    3. You mentioned multi-boot. Any chance you are auto-mounting multiple volumes and swap?

    ...Why was Mesa support dropped? Will it ever return, or are we simply forced to use old versions forever? I'd rather have 3D acceleration wherever possible for the Rage 128.
    Discussion here. Looks like it was causing additional work and the developers didn't see much demand for it. On PPC, the norm seems to be downloading xorg.conf files that make no sense and disable multiple functions. It is reasonable that no demand was seen for PPC at least. I doubt developers spend much time on user forums. I can' t speak with authority on the subject, but here is my take:
    It is open source. No one can dictate where a developer spends his/her donated time. There may be some exception to that where FOSS devs are employed by a manufacturer with cards currently on the market such as AMD. I don't know. I would speculate some things that might go into a dev's decision on where to spend time:
    1. They have a personal interest in that hardware.
    2. They see a large demand and opportunity to serve the community.
    3. They have intimate experience with a given hardware set and can easily make changes.

    Ironic that R128 is currently better off than newer Radeon and Nouveau cards on PPC. All the current workarounds have them using FBDEV and I don't see many bugs getting reported.

    A couple of points:
    1. Don't get hung up on GLXgears and numbers. That only tests a few functions and is not a benchmark. Just because a card gets high GLXGears numbers, doesn't mean it will magically be able to run Open Arena.

    2. Comparing bugdom or flurry doesn't tell us much either. Bugdom uses QT3 which you may have noticed actually runs faster under OS9 vs. OSX. If OSX gives you what you need, then that is the right choice for you.

    3. Determine if you want/need 3d support. It won't make LXDE any faster, but may allow you to run some games and apps that it couldn't otherwise. It will only help applications that use OpenGL. Kubuntu/Ubuntu desktop interfaces make use of accelerated graphics. Since Linux has the capability of "software/CPU" rendering, this can make those seem unfairly slow. OpenGL can greatly improve their performance IF the GPU is up to the task, but it isn't going to make an old G3 with R128 magically run them at speeds comparable to modern hardware. Windows users might be able to relate this analogy: Aero(fancy 3d desktop effects) will refuse to enable with older video cards. With Linux KDE / Unity, etc, you can force the equivalent "on" using software rendering which means the CPU does all the work that was intended for a GPU.

    4. Mesa 3d and EXA 2d are two different things. EXA is part of the driver xserver-xorg-video-r128 (which is included with xserver-xorg-video-ati BTW so changing ati/r128 in xorg.conf won't change that fact.) You can add EXA by installing the driver from 12.10 repository or applying the patch. Whether or not you downgrade mesa will not change that. EXA will help with 2D functions like browsing. IE: My daughter runs Xubuntu 12.04 with EXA and mesa 3d on a G3 iMac. This allows it to have decent performance, and run some games/apps that require OpenGL.

    @goloi66 I'm not sure why you would need to downgrade libosmesa6. I never have. See here under "No userspace.." However, you will probably run in to the same wall Svetlana is on that machine.

    My advice is to experiment with EXA or FBDEV and choose which performs the functions you need the best for you.

    Hope that helps.
    Str8
    Last edited by str8bs; May 20th, 2013 at 04:01 PM.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Northeast Corridor
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    Distro
    Lubuntu

    Re: "iMac G3 for Dummies"

    rsavage and str8bs (and others!).. you seem to be the main active authorities on getting x/k/lubuntu installed on theses g3s. I hope i speak for everyone in the forum when i say THANK YOU for your great netiquette and your expertise and the time you spend experimenting and hacking for the benefit of others and helping us all preserve this old but very capable and functional hardware. I was very excited to get 'buntu working on my machines!

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