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Thread: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

  1. #171
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Quote Originally Posted by xXkanfirXx View Post
    Hey everyone,

    So I just received a iMac G4 from someone for free. It's currently running Mac OS X panther, with the 700mhz PPC processor and 512MB of RAM. It's extremely sluggish and outdated. I'm trying to get it going for my mother and she's pretty computer illiterate so she just needs something simple for web browsing and checking emails. I don't really feel like messing with it and I don't have any discs, so I thought about just putting Ubuntu or Xubuntu on it. I heard Xubuntu is better for computers with lower specs? Which would you recommend, and how do I got about installing it on the Mac? I'm Mac illiterate.

    Thanks!
    I recently inherited a G3 iMac 350 (Indigo) and I'm chasing my tail trying to get the right OS with a current browser on it... even OS 9.2.2 was running sluggish on it. Hopefully my trial-and-error research will help you.

    - with a G4 you should at least have a DVD drive in it, which is good because I only have a CD drive in the iMac and many of the current distros are sized larger than 700MB.

    - I've been successful at installing Ubuntu 10.10 (which ran horribly on the iMac even after using the Xcfe desktop - too much bloat for the processor) and Xubuntu 6.10 (which is running like a champ, but I can't easily upgrade or get a current-gen browser for it), so now I'm downloading Ubuntu 8.0.4 server and will install the Xcfe desktop directly from the main install to avoid Gnome and KDE. Then I'll update Xubuntu online as much as possible.

    - I'm using a program called TransMac v9.1 to easily burn the ISO images into bootable CDs on my Windows XP machine. I guess having a Mac that could burn stuff would be better, but this works.

    - all the releases are at http://cdimage.ubuntu.com , with all the older Xubuntu versions found under the 'ports' category and not under 'xubuntu', but if you're burning DVDs, you won't need the older releases. Make sure the ISO you choose to download has -powerpc- in it's label.

    - i had (and may have again installing v8.0.4) issues with the monitor settings on my iMac during and after the install, hopefully, with you working on a G4, this won't happen.

    - i upped the iMac's RAM from 64MB to 512MB. With that and Xubuntu, it's almost like running a current-gen PC. I say almost because of the pokey USB 1.1 speed and lack of multimedia options and the fact that I need to use an ethernet cable means I can't -really- turn it into a 40-lb portable computer.

    - buy your mom a real two button mouse with a scrollwheel. She'll need it.

    - OpenOffice (now called LibreOffice by the non-powerpc folk) and AbiWord + Gnumeric are great MS Office substitutes, but the slightly less friendly OpenOffice is more MS Office compatable.

    - the simplest partitioning system you can have on a ppc-Mac with Ubuntu/Xubuntu is [1] a very small Apple partition so the Mac can boot, [2] a small NewWorld /boot partition, [3] the main data partition, which mine is of the /ext3 file type, and [4], the /swap file partition. I can't use LVS on my iMac (it won't boot when I do) and encryption is pretty much pointless since I need every bit of speed I can get. You may be able to get away with one or both though.

    - every install has taken me an hour. A 350MHz processor + 100MHz bottleneck = zzzzzzzzzzzzz...


    Good luck!
    Last edited by mondo2k; April 23rd, 2011 at 03:04 PM. Reason: re-worded partitioning paragraph

  2. #172
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    To make things clearer, I'm going to list the partitions I made on my 7.5gb (8.0gb) iMac Indigo hard drive as I'm reinstalling xubuntu for ubuntu 8.04.1.

    Using a install CD made from ubuntu-8.04.1-server-powerpc.iso file, when I got to the partitioning options, I selected the Guided option which automatically set everything up but I still tweaked the settings. I didn't select LVM or encryption. EDIT: slightly upped the swap partition after I couldn't get a GUI running in Hardy; updated the numbers below.

    Partition - Size - Flags and Use - Name - Mount Point - *Comments
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #1 - 32.3kb - none - Apple - none - *don't play with this partition!

    #2 - 1.0mb - B K boot - NewWorld - none - *confirm this is the NewWorld type

    #3 - 6.1gb - f ext3 - 6.1GBmain - / - no comments

    #4 - 1.0gb - f swap - swap - swap - no comments


    The swap file is considerably less than the recommended 2xRAM size, but my hard drive is so small, if I need more RAM I'll upgrade it from 512mb to 1.0gb. EDIT: Planning on doing this later tonight.

    Ubuntu server installed without problems. Now I'm downloading the xubuntu front end. Hopefully I won't have any video issues and I can start on-line upgrading to later versions of the OS.

    10 HOURS LATER:
    Both Xubuntu and Xcfe run terribly slow on the Ubuntu 10.04.2 Lucid server that I finally decided upon, so I'm experimenting with window managers like Fluxbox and Openbox and I've seen a significant improvement. I'm going to test other browsers like Opera and I'll probably shove another 512mb of RAM in the Indigo after I'm done goofing around. Although I have little things to tweak here and there, I'm happy that Ubuntu can make a garbage computer functional again.

    NEXT MORNING:
    - Still deciding on whether to use IceWM or Blackbox as my x-windows manager; all three web browsers I tried - Firefox 3.6, Opera, and Epiphany - run fairly well on these frugal desktops although there's no flash. The manager that's easiest to configure is probably the one I'll choose.

    - Having issues with sound - there isn't any after the initial "choom" of booting up.

    - I have about 3.7gb of storage left. It's time to start cutting away some unneeded bloat. BleachBit is a lifesaver.

    - Here's the entire xorg.conf script I typed in to get the gui operating. This script works on the iMac 350mhz Indigo as well as it's earlier version the 350mhz Blueberry:

    ##imac-ppc-slot-loader-350-xorg.conf#################

    # xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
    #
    # This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
    # values from the debconf database.
    #
    # Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
    # (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
    #
    # This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
    # if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
    # package.
    #
    # If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
    # again, run the following command:
    # sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Configured Monitor"
    HorizSync 58-62
    VertRefresh 75-117
    #ModeLine "1024x768" 78.75 1024 1044 1140 1328 768 781 784 820 +hsync +vsync
    #ModeLine "800x600" 62.40 800 821 901 1040 600 609 612 644 +hsync +vsync
    #Modeline "640x480" 49.90 640 657 721 832 480 481 484 514 +hsync +vsync
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Monitor "Configured Monitor"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
    #Virtual 1024 768
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    Section "Module"
    Disable "dri"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
    Driver "kbd"
    Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
    Option "XkbLayout" "us"
    Option "XkbVariant" "intl"
    Option "XkbOptions" "lv3:ralt_switch"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Configured Mouse"
    Driver "mouse"
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Configured Video Device"
    Option "CCEusecTimeout" "100000"
    #Option "UseFBDev" "true"
    EndSection
    Last edited by mondo2k; April 24th, 2011 at 01:09 PM. Reason: update

  3. #173
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    I still have the sound glitch to troubleshoot but I've found a comfortable set-up for this little iMac.

    Ubuntu PPC Server 10.04 + Xubuntu desktop (not used directly)
    LXDE windows manager
    Opera web browser
    Abiword/Gnumeric for office stuff
    other software: BleachBit, alien, Rhythmbox, deborphan, comix, KeePassX

    And then I went into the Synaptic Package Manager and removed all the things I couldn't use or didn't want (CUPS and printing packages, extra languages, PulseAudio, media burning software, bluetooth and wireless. Changing my windows manager from IceWM to LXDE doesn't slow anything down but that extra 512mb of RAM I installed is now getting used. LXDE is much more easily configurable than IceWM and I'm willing to accept the slightly higher specs to run it. I have 3.6 gigs of free space left on this tiny hard drive, and that's with a 1.0gb swap partition.

    What am I going to use this iPC for? A low-power means for using the Internet, light word processing, and storage/use of some mp3's and cbr's.

    I can't play legally-owned audio CDs, although I can stream radio and (download and) play mp3s. Kind of stupid.
    Last edited by mondo2k; April 25th, 2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: changed my Windows Manager

  4. #174
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    May 2011
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    2

    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Hey everybody!

    I have recently installed Ubuntu 10.04 on my iBook G4 PowerPC. I used the desktop download link given on the PowerPC downloads page (linked in the first post). I am primarily using this computer as a server (I would have used the server download, but the wireless drivers were hard to work with, so I am running the GUI as a server). While the computer will be used mainly as a server, it will, at times, also be used for non-server reasons. The problem is that I can't seem to find a way to download Chromium, and I really don't like Firefox. When i try to download it through the Software Center, there is no "Install" button, and the only information given is this:

    "To show information about this item, the software catalog needs updating."

    I've tried doing

    sudo apt-get update

    but I still can't download it.

    If anyone could give any help, it would be much appreciated Thanks!

  5. #175
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Linköping, Sweden
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    6

    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MolsterS013 View Post
    The problem is that I can't seem to find a way to download Chromium, and I really don't like Firefox.
    The answer is quite simple. Some of the core components of Chromium havent been built for the PowerPC arch (namely the V8 Javascript engine). So it's not (easily) possible to build Chromium for PowerPC.

    Chrome on PowerPC

  6. #176
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MolsterS013 View Post
    I really don't like Firefox.
    Firefox 4 is a big improvement on earlier versions. I've moved back to FF from Chromium.

    You need 11.04 on PPC to get FF4 though
    Registered Linux User #407403

  7. #177
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    anyone know where/if I can download natty powerpc? I found an iso for oceiric, but none for natty, which I thought was strange.
    "Microsoft Windows: A collection of 32bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16bit patch to an 8bit O.S. originally coded for a 4bit microprocessor written by a 2bit company who cant stand 1 bit of competition." Jargon File 4.4.7

  8. #178
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    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    You're right. I can't find one anywhere
    I installed pre-release from the daily build (which is where you're finding the Oneiric)
    If you want a working system 10.10 is a lot less buggy than 11.04. I've not tried the pre-alpha oneiric yet but plan to as soon as I can. It could well be a better bet than natty already for a hacking system
    Looks like the only way to get natty is to install minimum 10.10 and immediately dist-upgrade
    Post this as a question on ubuntu answers https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu and maybe you'll get an answer or start a bug...
    Registered Linux User #407403

  9. #179
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    850
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pauljwells View Post
    You're right. I can't find one anywhere
    I installed pre-release from the daily build (which is where you're finding the Oneiric)
    If you want a working system 10.10 is a lot less buggy than 11.04. I've not tried the pre-alpha oneiric yet but plan to as soon as I can. It could well be a better bet than natty already for a hacking system
    Looks like the only way to get natty is to install minimum 10.10 and immediately dist-upgrade
    Post this as a question on ubuntu answers https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu and maybe you'll get an answer or start a bug...
    yeah thanks, I think I'm going to install 10.10 then dist upgrade to natty. As soon as my nice Ubuntu keyboard comes in (at least, I hope its nice lol)
    "Microsoft Windows: A collection of 32bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16bit patch to an 8bit O.S. originally coded for a 4bit microprocessor written by a 2bit company who cant stand 1 bit of competition." Jargon File 4.4.7

  10. #180
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    5

    Re: Where to download Ubuntu for PowerPC and other frequently asked questions

    Now I downloaded that, but it doesn't fit on a CD (744 mb)...is there a way too boot it from a flash drive? ...my old G4 doesn't have a DVD drive...

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