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Thread: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

  1. #1
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    8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Mac Laptop G4, 256Mb Mem, 30Gb HD
    Processor 7455 667Mhz
    ATI Radeon Mobility M7 LW (7500)
    Battery & Internal DVD not working.
    Ubuntu 8.04 PPC, Linux 2.6.24-16, Gnome 2.22.1 (not updated)

    Ubuntu installed via "whole disk guided" method.
    System inconsistent on boot-up:
    Requires "Linux video=ofonly" to boot - sometimes takes two goes.
    Haven't updated yet as that seemed to make it unbootable last time.
    I am on internet via broadband USB modem (Sagem).
    Sound doesnt work (says I might need gstreamer or something - might be ok once I can safely update config.)

    What should the "Software Repositories" be set to - I get warning that some of the Internet paths are wrong and some upgrades cannot be accessed?

    Just looking to stabilise the system so I can move on.

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by siabost View Post
    System inconsistent on boot-up:
    Requires "Linux video=ofonly" to boot - sometimes takes two goes.
    You can make that option permanent by editing your /etc/yaboot.conf file, and adding it to the append= line, and issuing a ybin:

    Code:
    sudo nano -w /etc/yaboot.conf
    and change the append= line

    Code:
    image=/boot/vmlinux
            label=Linux
            read-only
            initrd=/boot/initrd.img
            append="video=ofonly"
    
    image=/boot/vmlinux.old
            label=old
            read-only
            initrd=/boot/initrd.img.old
            append="video=ofonly"
    Then, make the system aware of the change with:

    Code:
    sudo ybin -v -C  /etc/yaboot.conf
    Note the capital C. Now when you reboot, you won't have to type video=ofonly anymore. You may also want to add nosplash to it as well.

    What should the "Software Repositories" be set to - I get warning that some of the Internet paths are wrong and some upgrades cannot be accessed?
    The repositories were moved off the main mirros to save space and bandwidth, and you have to manually change them in your /etc/apt/sources.list file.

    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    See the release notes:

    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/804

    Basically, you change any instances of

    archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu
    to
    ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports

    Then, either reload your sources file in System > Administration > Software Sources (you'll now see that our repos are listed under the *third party* tabs, rather than the main page). Go into Synaptic and see if you need to reload there as well.

    OR, you can do it from the commandline:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    then
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    Let's see if this provides a little more stability...
    20" G5 iMac - AMD64 HP desktop
    http://www.ppclinux.info/

  3. #3
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Hi stream303,

    Thanks for the direction. Had a look at at yaboot.conf but chickened out even after checking the various helps, but will have a go now.

    Incidentally I'm typing this on the "guilty" machine. It seems very stable when it's up and running.

    Is my video card a problem - do I need to adjust that config? Or just wait till I get properly updated?

    Thanks. Will keep you posted. (I notice you've been running about keeping other people sorted too).

    Much appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    No sweat - just do what you're comfortable with. I'd definitely make that change to the repositories just to get updates for sure.

    You can always interrupt the yaboot boot prompt at the second-stage boot: like you are doing now.

    Is this your machine?
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ok_g4_667.html

    If so, you may want to take a look at the faq in regards to radeon drivers, and possibly try out a few options, such as 4X AGP, dynamic clocks, etc for the radeon. scroll down a bit

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#h...f633929024f1ec

    I'd be sure to make backups of your existing config files, just to be safe before you try doing any custom editing:

    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/yaboot.conf  /etc/yaboot.conf.bak
    
    and
    
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf  /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak
    Just take it easy - and keep it fun.
    20" G5 iMac - AMD64 HP desktop
    http://www.ppclinux.info/

  5. #5
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    stream303,
    Have adjusted yaboot.conf as per your instructions adding
    video=ofonly nosplash
    at the "append" line. This works perfectly without intervention from me, upon boot-up. First tried the modification using the "sudo nano" method but couldn't figure out how to save the changes so I did it via "gksudo gedit" which had a save button that even I could see!

    Also changed those repository links and have updated successfully. Downloaded KDE which I'm using at mo, & Xcfe which I will try later.

    Have configured my Sagem USB modem to launch automatically at start up - for anyone interested in this check https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Us...dem/ueagle-atm
    This works on intel & PPC computers (note: the first line in the "Setting up the modem" section should end ".tar.tar" not ".tar.gz").

    I think my laptop is the one you've got the link to - how can I check my processor speed Ubuntu?

    Next thing is to get sound working - any ideas? gstreamer doesn't seem to have helped.
    Flash plugin - can I download the Linux intel version for Firefox from the Adobe website?
    Real player - again will the Linux intel version work?

    Ta much.
    Last edited by siabost; June 14th, 2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: corrected link

  6. #6
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by siabost View Post
    First tried the modification using the "sudo nano" method but couldn't figure out how to save the changes so I did it via "gksudo gedit" which had a save button that even I could see!
    Great - but you definitely want to know how to use a text based editor in case the gui crashes. For nano, after making your edits, just hit CTRL-O (that's "oh", not zero) to save the file, and use CTRL-X to exit back to the command prompt.

    Also changed those repository links and have updated successfully. Downloaded KDE which I'm using at mo, & Xcfe which I will try later.
    Didn't waste any time did you? If you find it a bit too much with all three desktop environments installed, here is a great way to get back to the one of your choosing - the one shown is for gnome:

    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/puregnome

    In my case, I had to use the "cut-n-paste" method. As always, review the command before applying it!

    Have configured my Sagem USB modem to launch automatically at start up - for anyone interested in this check https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Us...dem/ueagle-atm
    This works on intel & PPC computers (note: the first line in the "Setting up the modem" section should end ".tar.tar" not ".tar.gz").
    That is fantastic. I'm so glad that worked without too much trouble.

    I think my laptop is the one you've got the link to - how can I check my processor speed Ubuntu?
    Try:
    Code:
    cat /proc/cpuinfo
    Although if cpu frequency-scaling is active, it may not show you running at the highest speed. In gnome, I like to add the frequency-scaling applet to either the top or bottom menu bar just to keep an eye on it.

    Next thing is to get sound working - any ideas? gstreamer doesn't seem to have helped.
    It appears that some may have to add the line

    snd-powermac
    to
    /etc/modules

    although it is possible that your audio is just muted. As much as I like a gui, I still dig running alsamixer in a terminal to see if anything is muted or at a low level. Sometimes those gui icon/utils don't operate properly - sometimes.

    Flash plugin - can I download the Linux intel version for Firefox from the Adobe website?
    Nope. Only works on X86. A substitute is gnash, and you'll want it as well as any specific gnash-plugins for firefox. It's great that they are working on this, but YMMV.

    Real player - again will the Linux intel version work?
    Nope, same problem.

    Something I forgot to mention in another post - you may want to check to see if subpixel-smoothing is active with an lcd:

    System > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts > Subpixel Smoothing

    For a quick check of the overall system operations, I like to download and use HTOP and run that in a terminal to make sure that there aren't any runaway processes, etc.

    Thanks for hanging in there with the install, and the great feedback!
    Last edited by stream303; June 14th, 2008 at 09:46 PM. Reason: typos
    20" G5 iMac - AMD64 HP desktop
    http://www.ppclinux.info/

  7. #7
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    @OP: Don't know if you have seen this https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#h...b4f8add9f83d71 which deals with installing RealPlayer on ppc. I did this under 7.04, and it worked; haven't done anything with it since. HTH, acknowledging that it is an older version of RP that will end up being installed if you proceed in this manner, and if there isn't a newer one available at the site (as I said, haven't wanted to do this for a while).

  8. #8
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Thanks stream 303/avtolle.
    Loaded RealPlayer as instructed - opens up nicely but not tested yet.

    snd-powermac
    to
    /etc/modules
    worked in as much as I'm now getting system sounds (all the bongs) but no luck with playing CDs. Putting a CD in my firedrive CD-RW player fires up Rhythmbox briefly before it collapses. Nothing seems to play it - I get "no streaming data" or some such warning. Any ideas?

    Loaded gnash but it doesn't fire up in stand-alone mode and doesn't show in Firefox plugins (loaded via package manager). Will have another look at gnash website but any pointers gladly received.

    Oh, and Gnome + KDE desktops fire up fine but Xcfe freezes on an Ubuntu coloured blank screen!

    Checked processor via your command, stream303:
    cpu : 7455, altivec supported
    clock : 667.000000MHz
    revision : 0.1 (pvr 8001 0201)
    bogomips : 66.56
    timebase : 33331265
    platform : PowerMac
    machine : PowerBook3,4
    motherboard : PowerBook3,4 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh
    detected as : 73 (PowerBook Titanium III)
    pmac flags : 0000001a
    L2 cache : 256K unified
    pmac-generation : NewWorld
    Think I might take your suggested route of removing the other desktops when I settle on my preferred one - gets a bit cluttered!

    Any ideas on simulating a PC style right-click for contextual menus on macs? Would be very useful.

    Boy, do I keep you guys busy!

    Once I'm all sorted I think I'll put together a brief history of all my Ubuntu problems & all your solutions - like a one-stop-shop for folks starting off from where I did.

    Thanks
    Last edited by siabost; June 15th, 2008 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Typos

  9. #9
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by siabost View Post
    Putting a CD in my firedrive CD-RW player fires up Rhythmbox briefly before it collapses. Nothing seems to play it - I get "no streaming data" or some such warning. Any ideas?
    I'm not a big sound fan, so all I can say here is to possibly try another player, like Totem and compare. Maybe the sound guys can pin this down - same for flash.

    Oh, and Gnome + KDE desktops fire up fine but Xcfe freezes on an Ubuntu coloured blank screen!
    I don't know what's up with Xubuntu and it appears that they are in a state of transition, having not released an official release for Hardy, only a late-beta. If you have to run Xubuntu, but things are kind of strange, you could always run just the main engine, XFCE4, and build it up yourself.

    Checked processor via your command, stream303:
    667 mHz. Depending on how busy your system was when you performed this command, it would be interesting to see if your cpu supports frequency-scaling, or perhaps powernowd isn't working properly. I'm assuming that your machine is rated at 667 mhz top speed.

    For example, on my G5 iMac, using the default powernowd that is installed automatically, my system never falls below the max of 1.8 gHz. That's nice and speedy, but not necessary when I'm idle, so it never fell back to 900mhz when it wasn't doing anything and was eating up some extra 10 watts of power. On a laptop, this may not make that much of a difference, but if you'd like to perhaps try and keep things cooler and save some battery life, the following might help.

    If you'd like to see if your system will fall back to half of it's rated cpu speed when doing nothing, I'd try uninstalling powernowd with synaptic (just remove it, no need to totally delete it), and then install CPUDYN as a replacement. Then when the system seems idle, run cat /proc/cpuinfo again. Better yet, right click on the top or bottom panel, and install the frequency-scaling monitoring applet. It is in monitoring-only mode, unless you change it with an insecure configuration, but it will let you know about your cpu speed much faster than cat /proc/cpuinfo will)

    If it doesn't appear to do anything, you can always uninstall cpudyn, and reinstall powernowd. I would think that powernowd would work for you, but it would be interesting to see if this works if it matters to you.

    Any ideas on simulating a PC style right-click for contextual menus on macs? Would be very useful.
    I just run a usb Microsoft optical wheel-mouse, which get's detected just fine with no problems.

    Once I'm all sorted I think I'll put together a brief history of all my Ubuntu problems & all your solutions - like a one-stop-shop for folks starting off from where I did.
    Great idea - good feedback like that is invaluable.
    Last edited by stream303; June 15th, 2008 at 08:01 PM. Reason: typo
    20" G5 iMac - AMD64 HP desktop
    http://www.ppclinux.info/

  10. #10
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    Re: 8.04 Stability on G4 Laptop

    Hi,

    Loaded up IcedTea - Java alternative - & Gnash+plugins - Flash alternative - & ibm-j2re1.6 (via info found on another thread) and having tried BBC i-Player & YouTube have had no luck other than I don't get the "you need to install Flash" anymore. I have 4 "java" options now & will try all eventually via
    sudo update-alternatives --config java
    I realise they're working on this but I have to say that having visited the Gnash website I find it extremely confusing! Any additional info would be useful otherwise I'll just have to wait (and use my PC/Ubuntu instead).

    I'm assuming that your machine is rated at 667 mhz top speed.
    Not sure about this, as when I google the 7455 processor I see a variety of CPU speeds upward of 667mhz. I'll try CPUDYN & right-click (as suggested). Got wireless usb wheel mouse and it works beautifully - why have apple never embraced the "right-click" concept? 'Tis a great and wondrous thing!

    Auto login doesn't seem to work either in Gnome or KDE. It's ticked in the Login manager window but I still have to log in. It was also set to KDE as the default option even though it is in actual fact Gnome!

    Firefox doesn't realise I've got a permanently on usb connection to the internet & always opens in "work offline" mode. Anyone know of any fixes? Konqueror doesn't have this problem (I think) but I prefer Firefox.

    Music players now recognise my firewire CD player and display cover details & contents but freeze immediately on pressing play.

    As you'll have noticed these problems are more nuisances than anything else (apart from the CD playing problem), so things are definitely on the up!

    Thanks
    Last edited by siabost; June 16th, 2008 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Update

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