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Thread: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

  1. #11
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    moore_bryan:

    How's the weather in hatboro these days? I grew up near there . . . . I don't know if I can help you, either I don't know enough, or can't tell enough from what you have posted to know what might have been missed by you. But, first the iMac is apparently one of the more difficult platforms to get linux running on . . . . And, whether it is relevant or not, is the 12.10 version the "PPC" version? Other than that, if you can get to single user you might be able to find the boot parameters that will get you into a GUI . . . . I recall that when I was trying to get my iMac to run something linux I had a long list after the "live nomodeset . . . ." They were all listed when I hit the "tab" key after the first log in window, and I just strung them together.

    But, the gentleman who might be able to give detailed help is "abtabt" or the OP of this thread "rsavage" if either of them stop by. In lieu of that I'd suggest the "rsavage" thread "Tester's wanted for 12.04" and try reading through there for any tips . . . which is my best suggestion . . . first try to get 12.04 running on your computer before trying to move forward . . . . rsavage was offering an .iso with the pre-compiled nv driver there, but had to take it down. But it's not the only choice; with "str8bs" help I set up an xorg.conf file that used the fb driver, and that was fine as well . . . nv is more "native" for the iMac I suppose. I now am running Xu 12.04 with an nv driver that I compiled following the ubuntu PPC wiki . . . and all is well, except for no "suspend" function, and I get a "the system has crashed" error every time I log into it . . . which I think was part of the beta version of it.

    The other option is to try a Lubuntu for PPC .iso and see how that goes, "Philw" seems to have some instructions out there for 13.10?? but, since it has been so difficult and time consuming for me to get something to run at all on my iMac G4 . . . I'm sticking with 12.04 until support runs out or maybe longer . . . . At one point I was downloading the LiveDVD's of Lu for PPC and testing them out, but very difficult to get them to work; on my iBook with the radeon driver it's a lot easier to move up . . . . Good luck, hopefully someone else can jump in and offer some pointed questions; if not, you'll have to try to read more to find the right string of boot params to get you started; or figure out where you need to make some adjustment, perhaps something in your xorg file, etc . . . .

    e.e.p.

  2. #12
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Thanks for the quick reply on what I thought might be a dead thread, e.e.p; where in Hatboro? Small world...

    Well, long story short I'm authoring this response on my iMac "Flowerpot" running a jerry-rigged version of Saucy. I originally installed Quantal and after endless hours of fiddling, got a GUI. I then, stupidly, upgraded when prompted to 13.10. Everything was fine until I tried to install Lubuntu because XFCE is shockingly slow on this machine and something SNAFU-ed. Eventually, I identified the issue as an xserver package being update and not playing nicely with my self-compiled nv driver.

    I tried recompiling the driver, but there's a reference somewhere in the build to a file which no longer exists in Ubuntu and, alas, there's no way to work around it without rewriting the whole code. So... I tried downgrading the one xserver package and, voila, here I am.

    I am, however, considering going back to Openbox for my DE because XFCE is so unbelievably slow on this machine.
    Asus EeePC 1005HA: ElementaryOS Luna | Asus X501A: Windows 8.1 & Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Utopic Unicorn | Apple iMac G4: Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin | LG Optimus F3: Stock v7 | Nexus 10 Cyanogenmod 11

  3. #13
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    m.b:

    Well, the thread probably is dead, but I'm subscribed to a number of these "old" iMac threads . . . . Saucy running on an iMac, OK, well you obviously are light years ahead of me in terms of skilz, I think "abtabt" might also have, is that 13.10? running on his iMac, but apparently took some fiddling somewhere to get that to work. One of my constraints in terms of details is that I believe I did my Xu 12.04 install in Dec of '12? after a number of months of trying different linux's on it . . . it began to have multiple kps, making it hard to figure out if it was the install or the hardware . . . and I finally stopped using it for 7 or 8 months . . . . And then a few months ago took in to a shop for diagnosis . . . and we're back . . . but in terms of the "retro-nv" install process that I followed from the PPC wiki . . . at that time there was no problem with the process . . . no errors. And I recently did a major update after the idle time, and nothing "broke" in terms of the video . . . perhaps with the system upgrade something might get changed that would then "mess" with the nv driver . . . so far for me that hasn't happened.

    But, in terms of the "slowness" of XFCE, running Xubun 12.04 partition I would not say that it is "slow" at all . . . compared to 10.4.11 it is "faster" on the internet . . . and so forth . . . mousing around is faster. It does take a moment or three to launch some apps, like Mail, there is a moment of "hmmm, let's think carefully about this, before we do anything untoward . . . ." But, once loaded things move just fine . . . . I would use it most of the time just to make a point of it, but, unfortunately for me the lack of suspend thingie makes it not so practical . . . so for the most part I'm running my 10.4.11 partition using TFF . . . overall OSX does a very good job still of running the computer.

    "abtabt" seemed to suggest that he had overcome the suspend issue using Lu 13.10???, but when I asked him/her about it, wanting more details from him, there was no response . . . must be too "complicated" to try to talk about online . . . ??? But, it seems like you got passed your non-flashing prompt window . . . if you think Openbox is faster then by all means try it out; I think at one point I had the option of booting into an Openbox session in my iMac and it just went to a black screen . . . so in the midst of all the other problems I was having with the computer I just went back to Xubun and left it at that . . . . Main thing is, if you get anything to run on the iMac, be happy . . . .

    e.e.p.

    PS: Not "of" Hatboro . . . grew up in Montgomery cnty . . . somewhere nearby to Hatboro . . . but, a long time ago.

  4. #14
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Hi

    this is a way to test even suspend without install on hd

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2090462

    i use for day jobbs Lubuntu 12.04 LTS

    if you need more info you are welcome

    i like Persistent Live USB

    edit nvidiafb is not in 13.10 , 13.04 is last with nvidiafb
    Last edited by abtabt; January 20th, 2014 at 03:18 PM.

  5. #15
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Quote Originally Posted by abtabt View Post
    Hi

    this is a way to test even suspend without install on hd

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2090462

    i use for day jobbs Lubuntu 12.04 LTS

    if you need more info you are welcome

    i like Persistent Live USB

    edit nvidiafb is not in 13.10 , 13.04 is last with nvidiafb
    @abtabt:

    Thanks for posting here to help give more insight into the iMac and what works . . . how to test out, etc . . . . Looks like Bryan figured out how to get passed the black screen with his system, perhaps other issues will crop up for which there might be questions that you could help out with. For me, the Xu 12.04 is fine enough, question will be whether the next LTS version will be able to work with PPC and/or the iMac . . . without the "retro-nv" or with it? But it seems like you are saying "fb is not in 13.10" . . . so fb is no longer an optional driver after 13.04???? "moore.bryan" is reporting that he had some problem with compiling the retro-nv driver . . . ??

    e.e.p.

  6. #16
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Quote Originally Posted by moore.bryan View Post
    Everything was fine until I tried to install Lubuntu because XFCE is shockingly slow on this machine and something SNAFU-ed. Eventually, I identified the issue as an xserver package being update and not playing nicely with my self-compiled nv driver.
    I am, however, considering going back to Openbox for my DE because XFCE is so unbelievably slow on this machine.
    @m.b:

    Just to follow up on the "XFCE is slow, and I'm going back to Openbox" comments . . . so, you probably know that if you add the LXDE package, you also get Openbox? And in the past when I tried to log in the OB I just found a grey screen, so I assumed it was a video problem. But, based upon what you said, I tried it again and then clicked around on the grey . . . and then right clicked . . . and go the mini drop down menu toolbar . . . . So I messed with it a bit, and yeah, maybe windows open a bit faster with it . . . the "heirloom-mail" app seemed to crash on launch . . . and then changed the window manager from "openbox" to Wfxm?? and lost everything. Rebooted thru TTY and got it back . . . . So, maybe a little interesting, maybe a little faster, but the grey desktop, with nothing on it . . . can that be changed?

    e.e.p.

  7. #17
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    With openbox, all you get is a desktop--i.e., no panel, no background, nothing--which was how its developers wanted it. You can use feh to set a background in the openbox config file... but I can't remember how to do it because it's been so long. So, I'm going to have to mess around with it a bit. I tried launching lxde and almost ruined my install. I think the slowness is a side-effect of coming from a modern Haswell to the iMac's well-aged processor.

    The openbox site has a plethora of info...
    http://openbox.org/
    Last edited by moore.bryan; January 23rd, 2014 at 08:33 PM.
    Asus EeePC 1005HA: ElementaryOS Luna | Asus X501A: Windows 8.1 & Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Utopic Unicorn | Apple iMac G4: Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin | LG Optimus F3: Stock v7 | Nexus 10 Cyanogenmod 11

  8. #18
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Quote Originally Posted by moore.bryan View Post
    With openbox, all you get is a desktop--i.e., no panel, no background, nothing--which was how its developers wanted it. You can use feh to set a background in the openbox config file... but I can't remember how to do it because it's been so long. So, I'm going to have to mess around with it a bit. I tried launching lxde and almost ruined my install. I think the slowness is a side-effect of coming from a modern Haswell to the iMac's well-aged processor.

    The openbox site has a plethora of info...
    http://openbox.org/
    Thanks for the further reply . . . yes, playing with Openbox w/o the desktop eye candy . . . is "faster" . . . . But, it is curious how the same machine can be rendered "slower" or "faster" by the simple choice of DE . . . ???? I don't know why lxde would "almost ruin your install" . . . as Lubuntu remains a very viable choice for the PPC system . . . I have lxde, xubuntu, xfce, and openbox DE as choices I can log into . . . from 12.04 . . . so it's difficult to know if the 13.10 base system you installed was "back ported" or whatever for PPC, there might be some critical differences in some minor detail which cause a problem for lxde?? Meaning if it wasn't a "PPC" .iso . . . ??? Some folks here seem to think that doesn't mean anything, but then it seems like they know that "PPC" is different than Intel, etc . . . .

    BTW, in the rsavage thread I mentioned "Tester's wanted for 12.04" . . . he posted some links for upgrading the xfce DE from something 4.8 to something 4.10??? and that ***might*** do something to speed it up?? I did do something with it on one of my PPC units, but can't remember what happened with it . . . it's not radically different.

    e.e.p.

  9. #19
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    Different DE's use differing amounts of RAM and CPU cycles to simply operate; just look at GNOME Shell vs. Unity vs. KDE vs. XFCE, etc...

    I can't even use a login manager, for some reason, as both lightdm and lxdm breaks my system; so, I login via CLI and manually launch XFCE.

    I installed my system from a 12.10 PowerPC disk and then upgraded--stupidly at first until I fixed the broken packages and downgraded xserver--to Saucy via the dist-upgrade program that autoruns.

    I think I'll hit-up rsavage's thread and see about upgrading XFCE...

    Nevermind about upping XFCE, as I already have 4.10... which makes sense because I'm running Saucy...
    Last edited by moore.bryan; January 25th, 2014 at 06:36 PM.
    Asus EeePC 1005HA: ElementaryOS Luna | Asus X501A: Windows 8.1 & Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Utopic Unicorn | Apple iMac G4: Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin | LG Optimus F3: Stock v7 | Nexus 10 Cyanogenmod 11

  10. #20
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    Re: Display drivers (nouveau / nv) for iMac G4 700/800

    m.b:

    Interesting that you can't get lightdm to work . . . since it is "light" . . . and seems to be the choice of the hardcore slim to none linux guys--the smaller the footprint the better, etc. You might still read through that thread because there was some discussion there about the iMac with rsavage and or str8bs or abtabt . . . all of whom seem to have some real insights into the issues of getting something linux to run on the iMac . . . .

    It seemed like it keyed around the nv driver and getting the xorg.conf file set up right . . . . I'm not sure, but I don't think the 12.10 had the nv driver any more . . . you mentioned having some issues with that, perhaps that's a key point?? You obviously can run saucy on it, but, with various problems . . . . abtabt might be able to comment on that if he gets a chance . . . i.e., how far forward you can go on the G4 iMac vs upgrading.

    My only wish/bucket list wish for the iMac would be to get "suspend" working . . . rsavage says "not gonna happen with nvidia card" . . . abtabt seems to say "it's easy" . . . . Finally got the iMac set up with more RAM, but still no dice; my iBook does do suspend with its radeon card, but lately it's been finicky on revival . . . not always doing it and needing the TTY log in to reboot, etc--it seems to be hit or miss in the PPC realm.

    Anyway . . . it's all part of the fun . . . the almost working, the not working except during the full moon, etc.

    e.e.p.

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