Help choosing a distribution - Powerpc

This is a discussion on Help choosing a distribution - Powerpc ; Hi, I'm new to linux, but I have some experience supporting unix servers. I've decided I want to explore linux for use on my home systems, and I have an older powerbook 3400 that is not being used. (actually, it ...

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Thread: Help choosing a distribution

  1. Help choosing a distribution

    Hi, I'm new to linux, but I have some experience supporting unix
    servers. I've decided I want to explore linux for use on my home
    systems, and I have an older powerbook 3400 that is not being used.
    (actually, it might be a G3, I swapped out the case a while back. I'll
    have to boot it up to see.) I also have a 2400 that is not being used.
    The newer part of our system is based on ibooks and an imac. Because
    I'm a starving artist type, I almost never buy the newest hardware, and
    it occurred to me that linux might be a better choice for us because
    with Mac OS we are always a few releases behind, wheras with linux we
    might be able to run newer apps. I'm always playing with older bits of
    hardware, and I just thought it might be fun in any case.

    Can anyone advise me about a distribution for my purposes? I have an
    old old copy of Suse (7.0) but I don't think that can be run on a
    powerbook. I looked at OpenSuse 10.0 but I am not sure that would work
    on the older systems. I'm thinking maybe Debian? The only other
    person I know who runs linux on a mac runs Yellow Dog, and he has a
    much newer system overall, so I am not sure his advice is good for me.

    Also, can anyone point me to a resource for learning about configuring
    a very small efficient installation, like say something I could put on
    the 2400?

    Thanks! Hope you don't mind a newbie on the list.


  2. Re: Help choosing a distribution

    On 2006-03-10, pooklaroux wrote:
    > Hi, I'm new to linux, but I have some experience supporting unix
    > servers. I've decided I want to explore linux for use on my home
    > systems, and I have an older powerbook 3400 that is not being used.
    > (actually, it might be a G3, I swapped out the case a while back. I'll
    > have to boot it up to see.) I also have a 2400 that is not being used.
    > The newer part of our system is based on ibooks and an imac. Because
    > I'm a starving artist type, I almost never buy the newest hardware, and
    > it occurred to me that linux might be a better choice for us because
    > with Mac OS we are always a few releases behind, wheras with linux we
    > might be able to run newer apps. I'm always playing with older bits of
    > hardware, and I just thought it might be fun in any case.
    >
    > Can anyone advise me about a distribution for my purposes? I have an
    > old old copy of Suse (7.0) but I don't think that can be run on a
    > powerbook. I looked at OpenSuse 10.0 but I am not sure that would work
    > on the older systems. I'm thinking maybe Debian? The only other
    > person I know who runs linux on a mac runs Yellow Dog, and he has a
    > much newer system overall, so I am not sure his advice is good for me.


    Well, you will run into some issues with older powerbooks. The first
    (not knowing off the top of my head model numbers) will be whether the
    processor is PPC or not. If the machines are *really* old, running the
    68000 series processor, forget about all these distros, which are only
    for the powerpc.

    Second, and more likely, is what version of OpenFirmware the boxes have.
    If they have 1.x, then you'd need to install quik or BootX, not yaboot,
    to boot them. Many distros won't automatically configure quik, and some
    machines won't take quik easily. From experience, I'd recommend against
    doing your first linux-ppc install on older PPC boxes. You'll want
    OpenFirmware 3.x or later to be able to use yaboot, which is very
    standard and easy to install across computers and distributions.

    > Also, can anyone point me to a resource for learning about configuring
    > a very small efficient installation, like say something I could put on
    > the 2400?


    If you're used to a unix world, you might want to try Slackintosh. It's
    already pretty minimal, so you wouldn't need to cut it down too much to
    get it to run well. Beyond that, any docs concerning paring down a
    linux install will be applicable.

    > Thanks! Hope you don't mind a newbie on the list.


    Just to be pedantic, it's a newsgroup, not a list. Good luck!

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://wombat.san-francisco.ca.us/cgi-bin/fom
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  3. Re: Help choosing a distribution

    Thanks Keith!

    All my old world macs are ppc, I'm not saying I won't pick up an old
    nubus mac if it's free or cheap. but what I have left right now all
    runs Mac os 8.6 reliably, and they would run 9 if I put more ram into
    them.

    I'll go look to see what the open firmware is on the systems i have
    free. Ease of installation can be a real advantage.

    And you are the first person to recommend slackintosh -- I was curious
    about that. I'll check it out.


  4. Re: Help choosing a distribution


    Keith Keller wrote:
    > On 2006-03-10, pooklaroux wrote:
    > > Hi, I'm new to linux, but I have some experience supporting unix
    > > servers. I've decided I want to explore linux for use on my home
    > > systems, and I have an older powerbook 3400 that is not being used.
    > > (actually, it might be a G3, I swapped out the case a while back. I'll
    > > have to boot it up to see.) I also have a 2400 that is not being used.
    > > The newer part of our system is based on ibooks and an imac. Because
    > > I'm a starving artist type, I almost never buy the newest hardware, and
    > > it occurred to me that linux might be a better choice for us because
    > > with Mac OS we are always a few releases behind, wheras with linux we
    > > might be able to run newer apps. I'm always playing with older bits of
    > > hardware, and I just thought it might be fun in any case.
    > >
    > > Can anyone advise me about a distribution for my purposes? I have an
    > > old old copy of Suse (7.0) but I don't think that can be run on a
    > > powerbook. I looked at OpenSuse 10.0 but I am not sure that would work
    > > on the older systems. I'm thinking maybe Debian? The only other
    > > person I know who runs linux on a mac runs Yellow Dog, and he has a
    > > much newer system overall, so I am not sure his advice is good for me.

    >
    > Well, you will run into some issues with older powerbooks. The first
    > (not knowing off the top of my head model numbers) will be whether the
    > processor is PPC or not. If the machines are *really* old, running the
    > 68000 series processor, forget about all these distros, which are only
    > for the powerpc.
    >
    > Second, and more likely, is what version of OpenFirmware the boxes have.
    > If they have 1.x, then you'd need to install quik or BootX, not yaboot,
    > to boot them. Many distros won't automatically configure quik, and some
    > machines won't take quik easily. From experience, I'd recommend against
    > doing your first linux-ppc install on older PPC boxes. You'll want
    > OpenFirmware 3.x or later to be able to use yaboot, which is very
    > standard and easy to install across computers and distributions.


    Yes - I would recommend a New World system - G3 or later; failing that,
    a PCI, not NuBus Mac. 7600 or PowerCenter upgraded to G3 has served me
    well running LinuxPPC. NuBus will, sadly, not get you where you want to
    go.

    >
    > > Also, can anyone point me to a resource for learning about configuring
    > > a very small efficient installation, like say something I could put on
    > > the 2400?

    >
    > If you're used to a unix world, you might want to try Slackintosh. It's
    > already pretty minimal, so you wouldn't need to cut it down too much to
    > get it to run well. Beyond that, any docs concerning paring down a
    > linux install will be applicable.


    My 2c is Gentoo; it's ideal for servers and can be kept pared down
    (like Debian, the base install is already small).

    >
    > > Thanks! Hope you don't mind a newbie on the list.

    >
    > Just to be pedantic, it's a newsgroup, not a list. Good luck!
    >
    > --keith
    >
    > --
    > kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    > (try just my userid to email me)
    > AOLSFAQ=http://wombat.san-francisco.ca.us/cgi-bin/fom
    > see X- headers for PGP signature information



  5. Re: Help choosing a distribution

    In article <6vv8e3x67j.ln2@goaway.wombat.san-francisco.ca.us>,
    Keith Keller wrote:

    >The first
    >(not knowing off the top of my head model numbers) will be whether the
    >processor is PPC or not. If the machines are *really* old, running the
    >68000 series processor, forget about all these distros, which are only
    >for the powerpc.


    For reference, 3-digit model numbers => 68K, 4-digit model numbers =>
    PowerPC.

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