[GLLUG] Linux PPC
Sat, 9 Nov 2002 09:12:03 -0500 (EST)
The only places that I know of that would carry them in the area would be
CompUSA and the MSU computer store, and im not sure you don't have to
order them from the computer store online. There is an Apple store in the
12 Oaks Mall in Novi though, and they have all the models for sale up and
running OS 10.2 and fully networked and salespeople that will answer all
of your questions for you.
Check the supported machines list, but I doubt the iBook isnt supported.
The new 1ghz powerbook with the dvd-rw/cd-rw drive is probably not
supported yet though.
I don't have experience on an iBook, but I do on an 8500, 7500, 7200 and a
powerbook 5300. Im pretty sure the iBook is well supported and quite a bit
easier to get linux up and running then any of those machines. One you got
it running it ran and acted like a regular linux system.
The difference in hardware between the machines I ran and all the machines
that have USB support built-in is the what they call the "New World ROM"
which essentially means that they took took all 8M of classic Mac
instructions off the ROM and put them in a file instead. This means you
don't have to bypass it with your bootloader and a few other wanky things.
It is just a straight Open Firmware system, like the Suns, or any other
system except X86.
Another quirk was the monitor resolution needed to be changed inside the
macos becaause it was stored in the Open Firmware, im sure they actually
fixed that since I ran it and since Apple was helping the Xfree86 project
to get the xDarwin, the rootless version of Xfree86 running so you could
run it side by side with Apples Aqua interface.
You can run all version of the MacOS on top of it with the Mac-on-linux
project from 7.5 - 10.2 (although you need a ROM file for 7.5-8.5, 8.6+
supports the "new world rom" machiens thus you don't need it. it is
included with the OS.)
The distribution I used was Yellowdog (www.yellowdoglinux.com). They
charge 30 bucks for their package. The also make Black Lab Linux, which
essentially is their high performance cluster computing software on top of
Yellow Dog.. You should be able to download it but they can be slow about
making the iso's available. It is based on the RH system.
The last annoying part about running it on a powerbook is that it only has
one button although you can use an external USB multi-button mouse with
it and they do have keystrokes for buttons 2 and 3.
As far as support, typically PPC isnt usually bleeding edge kernel wise
(getting Linus to add the PPC patches to the kernel, is like twisting his
arm.) A LOT of the PPC compiler is being worked on by Apple, IBM and
Honestly most people I have talked to have dumped Linux, freebsd, etc
for OS 10 for their desktop systems after they got the PPC hardware on
which it runs.
If you do buy one make sure it has 10.2 included with it. Apple
does charge 20 bucks for the 10.2 media to be shipped to you. OS 10.2
is quite a bit faster and more robust than 10.1.x, it only has handful of
major changes to be completed from the original design.
On Sat, 9 Nov 2002, Michael T. Watters II wrote:
> Does anybody have experience running Linux on an iBook? I am
> considering buying a new laptop, and the iBooks look really good. I
> know Debian has a PPC port, and that is probably what I would use. Are
> there any stores around here that sell Macs?