Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st Jul 2012 22:52 UTC, submitted by Dan Knight
Amiga & AROS Low End Mac's Sebastian Patten takes a look at MorphOS 3. "MorphOS is for Amiga users. Period. And it's for those Macintosh users who like to experiment and experience a new operating system on their PowerPC Macs. That's where I see myself, and I had a lot of fun playing around with MorphOS on my eMac. It is not a full OS X replacement, but it can come close to it, depending on your computer needs."
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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 31st Jul 2012 23:28 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Much has been written about Linux on PowerPC Macs. To some, it is a reliable alternative; to others, just a crippled port of the x86 original.


I've never heard that before.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by zizban on Wed 1st Aug 2012 02:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Last I tried PowerPC Linux a few years ago, it did seem like an after thought to me. It was hard to find binaries, compiling could be a challenge, etc. Debian's support was pretty good and Yellow Dog, of course, but beyond that it was hit or miss.

Reply Score: 4

not a linux problem.
by sergio on Wed 1st Aug 2012 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Those issues are distribution-specific and not a linux problem.

PPC is supported by linux officially, no porting required. It works perfect.

Desktop distributions are dropping PPC because there's no desktop computers using PPC anymore... so the quality of the ppc distributions is low.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by snowbender on Wed 1st Aug 2012 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Not my experience. I've used Linux on an iBook G3 12" from 2003 till 2005. From then on I've been using Linux on an iBook G4 12" (my G3 was replaced by Apple because of motherboard problem). Actually, the last couple of months I've been using it daily on the train ride to and from work.

In the first couple of years, I ran Gentoo Linux, and for the rest up to this day, it's been running Debian Linux (testing). Back in 2003, the iBook G3 hardware was fully supported with open source drivers except for the software modem in it. But for example sleep was working perfectly. In 2005, the iBook G4 hardware was not fully supported yet: there was still a lot of work on the driver for the wifi card. Nowadays the hardware is fully supported.

Regarding software, there are only 2 important issues. And those were the same in 2003 as they are now in 2012. These are support for flash and java. For flash, there is no linux/ppc binary from Adobe, and the only option is open source projects like gnash. In practical terms, that means no flash on linux/ppc. As to java, actually IBM has a binary JDK that runs on linux/powerpc. Aside from that, also OpenJDK runs on linux/powerpc. OpenJDK in Debian has also extra packages to use OpenJDK with the cacaovm and jamvm (aside from the interpreter that comes with OpenJDK). Cacao contains a jit compiler for linux/powerpc.

Linux on powerpc definitely does not look like an afterthought to me. It is however important to choose a distro that actually supports the platform. I guess that since Apple moved their hardware over to the x86 platform, there's less interest in linux/powerpc and of course also few(er) hardware available for linux/powerpc. Unless maybe someone builds something like a raspberry pi, but based on a powerpc cpu?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Aug 2012 06:40 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

The reason I haven't tried MorphOS is that it's rather pricey and if my eMac breaks down I will need to search for another one which will probably be relatively costly as well.

The audience is limited, so I wonder if it's a good choice to limit the limited audience by price and hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Johann Chua on Wed 1st Aug 2012 07:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Mac mini G4s are pretty cheap nowadays.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Aug 2012 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

A quick search finds 2, 250 and 300 euro. MorphOS is around 70 IIRC. So thats between 300 and 400 euro for, what I consider, a hobby OS. Add a few euro and I have a/the new iPad.

If I can score a really cheap Mini I might give it a go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by p-OS on Wed 1st Aug 2012 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
p-OS Member since:
2006-01-19

Just looked at ebay. The cheapest offer for a Mac Mini G4 1.25 was 80 € incl. 1 year warranty.
MorphOS can be fully used and installed without a keyfile . in "Demo mode" it is fully functional, but limited to half an hour per session (then you have to reboot)., before speed is limited.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by ncafferkey on Wed 1st Aug 2012 12:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
ncafferkey Member since:
2006-09-15


The audience is limited, so I wonder if it's a good choice to limit the limited audience by price and hardware.


I don't know what you mean about limiting the hardware. There's no artificial limiting of what hardware MorphOS runs on, it's just that developer man-power constrains the amount of drivers etc. that can be written.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Aug 2012 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

By opting for PPC the audience is limited. More people have a spare X86 system than a PPC one.

The hardware itself isn't limited, but the number of people that have PPC is.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Megol on Wed 1st Aug 2012 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

That's clearly faulty logic. Unless you do a PPC emulator on x86 (also a big project) you'd have to redo much of the OS and arrive at a binary incompatible system with much less support than Linux/FreeBSD or even Windows.
Used PPC hardware is readily available, reasonable priced and already supported.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Aug 2012 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I kind of doubt PPC will have an easy-to-get and not-too-expensive future.

If MorphOS would run on a Raspberry Pi it would make it very easy for users to give it a good go.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by moondevil on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 07:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

If MorphOS would run on a Raspberry Pi it would make it very easy for users to give it a good go.


Although it would be nice, I fear nothing else is like using the old Amigas.

For those of you that aren't developers, it is quite a different set of sensations, coding some clever Assembly capable of driving the blitters to do animations, together with the sound chips. Or trying to achieve something similar with OpenGL/OpenCL/OpenSL .

This cannot be achieved any longer in current hardware generations.

Maybe I am getting old. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You might keep an eye on Natami ...though, that one might not ship before the end of this century ;p

I suspect / hope ~Natami (or even something more advanced, but still very much Amiga-like) might be implemented in WinUAE first - maybe that's the way to toy around with such style of programming (and a demoscene category?), providing a sort of fixed Amiga-like VM; I imagine it would be fairly easy to build it upon the existing UAE base.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I kind of doubt PPC will have an easy-to-get and not-too-expensive future.
If MorphOS would run on a Raspberry Pi it would make it very easy for users to give it a good go.

RPi will be most likely also a niche in comparison to, you know... x86. And anyway, the error of PPC way was done a long time ago ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?529542 ), when inexpensive ARM stuff wasn't really on the horizon yet. At least there's always AROS.

And as far as trying MorphOS on your eMac, it has time-limited demo mode.

Edited 2012-08-03 20:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yeah, I know about the demo, but I think it only runs on my eMac which I'm not allowed to sell and the reason behind it also holds me back of installing anything else but OS X on it.

I think there's also a life cd, but I never liked those to give you a real feel for how something truly works.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

That's clearly faulty logic. Unless you do a PPC emulator on x86 (also a big project) you'd have to redo much of the OS and arrive at a binary incompatible system with much less support than Linux/FreeBSD or even Windows.
Used PPC hardware is readily available, reasonable priced and already supported.

It's not faulty logic to point out the gross strategic mistake ~Amiga community did in the 90s, and largely just because of the blind hatred towards everything-Wintel.

Now, sure, the damage is done. But why do you care about binary compatibility - with what? Classic Amiga applications need an emulated 68k core anyway, and as for the more recent native stuff - it's mostly about incomplete and lagging ports of OSS from the PC. Plus, the support is negligible as it stands currently.

And you know, there are existing PPC emulators - QEMU and PearPC. Shouldn't be very hard to make MorphOS running under one of them ...who knows, perhaps by now it will be faster than any native MorphOS hardware, on current x86-64 CPUs (just like Amithlon was by far the fastest Amiga in its time - of course, it was also a heresy, and didn't allow some marginal companies to ride on nostalgia, so it had to be killed). Or at least probably with perfectly sufficient speed.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Wed 1st Aug 2012 13:40 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

"Those issues are distribution-specific and not a linux problem."

When it's time to count advantages and features, if something is found in one distro, it becomes an advantage of "linux" as a whole. When it's time to count problems, it's "distribution-specific".

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by Drumhellar on Wed 1st Aug 2012 15:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Complex ideas. How do they work?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by kenji on Wed 1st Aug 2012 18:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

When it's time to count advantages and features, if something is found in one distro, it becomes an advantage of "linux" as a whole. When it's time to count problems, it's "distribution-specific".

Depends on if the problem is with Linux proper (capital 'L'; the kernel) or the userland (distribution). It's weird logic that your using there and kernel versions (and therefore feature/bug set) vary between distributions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Aug 2012 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The problem is that any Linux related success stories are points for Linux, but when it's a fail Linux suddenly turns in to a kernel and has no blame. Even when the kernel is at fault hardware makers get the blame for not providing drivers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by sergio on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 00:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

When it's time to count advantages and features, if something is found in one distro, it becomes an advantage of "linux" as a whole. When it's time to count problems, it's "distribution-specific".



I agree with you, you have a point.

But really, You should blame on GNOME, KDE or whatever app that does not compile well on PPC... blaming on linux is a non-sense.

Let's face it, PowerPC is non-existant as a desktop architecture.

Distribution support will be bad then terrible and finally non-existant (like PA-RISC support or another vintage arch). Sad but true.

Edited 2012-08-02 00:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2