Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 17:42 UTC
Linux My first experience with Linux on a PPC machine was Pegasos PPC and Debian. Last weekend I upgraded my Cube G4 450 Mhz and with a blazingly fast 120 GB 7200 RPM WD drive (for just $58!) to replace the default (and extremely slow) 20 GB Maxtor IDE drive. In this vast drive space, there is enough room for more than one operating system, so I decided to install Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 (and then upgrade to 3.0.1 via APT) as an addition to Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Read more for my impressions of YDL 3.0.1 and check some screenshots too.
Order by: Score:
great company
by Christopher X on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:14 UTC

Champion Server from waaaay long ago was the only version of Linux that would install and run okay on any computer I owned, PC included. Back then I had tried Red Hat 5.1 and while it installed, X was wacky (I was very very new and didn't know a thing about text editing config files), Champion Server installed on my iMac just fine and configured X perfectly (almost perfectly, it was unaccelerated so it was slow, but everything else was right, resolution, colour depth, etc) and I was online ta boot. I liked it, Enlightment + Gnome (1.x) was slow, but it ran. I remember the kernel was some hacked 2.2 release for USB support, minimal at that, just to get the keyboard and mouse to work. Also I recall a distro that was called, straight forward enough, LinuxPPC. What happened to them? Once my G5 comes in I plan on buying a copy of YDL from them.

by Glenn on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:16 UTC

Holy crap.. I may have missed something in your article, but where did you get a 120 GB 7200RPM drive for $58?

re: "quite involved to get ... PostgreSQL up & running"
by Happy Postgres OSX User on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:17 UTC

Here's a tip:

Use Marc's installer pkg and instructions. I used to install from source, but not since discovering this package. It takes me less than 10 minutes to install from scratch.

RE: $58??
by Eugenia on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:17 UTC

At Fry's Electronics. Promotion for the weekend. ;)

Say Eugenia
by Christopher X on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:18 UTC

this is a silly question, but how does Mac OS X feel now with the new speedy HD? Much more bearable?

RE: $58??
by Eugenia on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:18 UTC

And mind you, that's one of the fastest IDE drives around. ;)

RE: Say Eugenia
by Eugenia on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:20 UTC

Why don't click on my "upgraded" link over there? All these questions you ask me here, are all answered there...

by Christopher X on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:22 UTC

Silly silly me, thnx!

ydl comment from a user
by Severian on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:31 UTC

I am sending you these comments from a Yellow Dog system. I have had it running for a couple of months now and it works quite well for me. My system is a Power Macintosh 7600 with a G3/400 upgrade and 384 meg of ram.

As regards your yum problem, you need to be more patient, grasshopper. It gets a little further in downloading headers each time you run it. I think I issued the command about 20 times on my first update before it got all the headers. Since then, it has been fine.

Secondly, at least for machines like mine, you need to let the Mac OS9 boot up all the way before switching to Linux. Otherwise, your sound won't work.

And while my machine has been quite solid, it is slower than I think it should be. I believe the cache is not enabled, but I don't know how to prove it.
Good day

by Anonymous on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:47 UTC

"this is a silly question, but how does Mac OS X feel now with the new speedy HD? Much more bearable?"

As if its unbearable now... [sigh], [roll eyes]

Re: Ogle
by Roberto J. Dohnert on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 18:50 UTC

Ogle will compile fine on YDL if you grab the source. All you need is dvdread and DeCSS which is still available under my website in the Applications section, You can still use the DVDread libs from the YDL 2.0 port and that works fine. just FYI

re: Anonymous
by Christopher X on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 19:06 UTC

Oh its bearable, but OS X (more specifically Quartz) is still one bloated/heavy SOB. Sure, Quartz is worth it - damn it rocks, but its HUGE. I think what makes OS X so fast on a G5 isn't so much the CPU as the system's bandwidth. No, I'm not trolling - yes, I love Mac OS X, and indeed I'm waiting for my new G5 to come in (damned Apple pushed back my ship date from the 21st to the 30th, I ordered nearly two months ago....).

keep discussions on topic
by Eugenia on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 19:08 UTC

Please keep the conversation to YDL, or YDL Vs OSX, but don't start these OSX-only debates again...

by Anonymous on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 19:29 UTC

Another thing about YDL is that some of the packages are a bit old. For example, the GnuCash included with YDL3.01 is 1.6.6, whereas RHL9 comes with 1.8.1 (which itself is getting a bit old). GnuCash is notorious for its dependencies (maybe YD had trouble recompiling it themselves...), so I'm dependent on the version included with the distro. A 1.8 datafile can't be opened in 1.6.6, so as much as I'd love to switch to Linux on an iBook, this sort of thing is a show stopper for me ;)

Be sure you check distrowatch or the package list at to check that the main software you use is up to date before switching to YDL.

Eugenia, you are usually more perspicacious
by jmf on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 20:46 UTC

They need a good reason to use [Linux-PPC], a reason that I haven't found yet

It's quite simple.
Imagine you are a GNU/Linux user. Unlike his proprietary concurrents, this OS allows you to take the platform of your choice (Little flamebate here : MacOsX is probably the only Unix around which runs only on ONE platform)

Imagine you want to buy a new computer. For a desktop computer, sorry, but the macs just can't compete with the high standardization and concurrency of the PC.

On the laptop's side, on the contrary, you have only a few constructors, and each laptop uses only proprietary hardware, not just those of Apple.

The quality of Apple's laptop are good (I love the 12"!), and since the core of macosX is a free Unix, all the hardware works. At the contrary, there is a lot of crap if you want a PC laptop with Linux : IBM makes a lot of advertisement claiming that Linux is the way of the future, but there is no support for the Centrino, their ACPI implementation is totally buggy, no hotplug for the ultrabase, ...

Not yet convinced to buy a mac laptop if you are a Linux geeek ?

Just read Apple's EULA : if you disagree with the terms of the license, Apple refunds you the price of MacOs X.
Now read Windows's EULA : if you disagree with the terms of the license, it's up to the vendor of your PC to refund you, and many people have tried it, and they just don't listen your complaints.

I'm totally <a>disgusted by this MS-tax, I'm obliged to buy a software I don't use, and I forget to mention it, but this is <a>100% illegal in my country (Interdiction de la vente liée , if you are interested).

But in the USA like in France, Microsoft don't have to respect the law. They are the ubiquitous Microsoft after all !

I think you've understantood why my next laptop will be a mac (with Debian probably).

YDL saved my iBook
by kit on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 22:11 UTC

FWIW, YDL 3.0 installed flawlessly on my older iBook. Saved it from retirement, in fact.

I'd become a bit frustrated with OS X 10.2's unwieldyness on my 300MHz G3. It's a great OS, but is just too much for the old iBook.

YDL 3.0 installed without a hiccup. It even detected my non-Airport wireless LAN. I was up-and-running with a KDE desktop and all my USB devices in under 40 minutes. Took me a while longer to update packages under YUM, but all went well.

KDE and YDL feels much faster than OS X on my aging laptop. The only problem I've not quashed is the laptop's refusal to sleep when closed, but it's no problem to hit the power button and suspend at the end of a session. The iBook wakes as soon as it's opened. Nice doggie.

To me, YDL is the salvation of older Mac hardware. I'm keeping my eyes open for an old G4 Powermac so I can add a PPC linux desktop to my stable.

Re: Eugenia, you are usually more perspicacious
by Martin on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 23:09 UTC

I think you know like I do that EULA is not worth the bit and it's the law that stands. Here in Sweden this is true and I can bet you a new Mac that it's so in France too. The Eula is only for the US.

Gentoo anyone?
by tony on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 23:12 UTC

I have an ibook g3 600mhz 640mb of ram and an airport..
Gentoo ran fine, using dri for X.. got it to work.. great docs on their site. Faster then os X is i used xfce4. So hands up for linux on the ppc

by John Blink on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 23:16 UTC

This may sound silly but try to reinstall it fresh and see if some of the problems arise again.

The reason I say this is if I reinstall WindowsXP, you sometimes get the feeling the install didn't go so well.

The same in redhat 9, I just reinstalled and KDE actually feels slower than usual, weird.

Also about 3D graphics support I thought YDL advertised that they had full 3D support in YDL 3.0, but I guess it is only some cards, according to this page.

YDL works with G3 upgrades?
by Fatal Claws on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 23:16 UTC

My system is a Power Macintosh 7600 with a G3/400 upgrade

Hmm, I thought YDL didn't work with G3 upgrades, only the stock CPUs, which would be a 604 or 604e.


Re: Re: Eugenia, you are usually more perspicacious
by jmf on Wed 22nd Oct 2003 23:22 UTC

Thanks for your comment.
That's also what I think, but I have at least 3 friends who tried to get their money from the hardware vendor back, and none has succeed so far.
Until they succeed, I don't want to take the risk to buy a laptop with windows and office pre-installed (~=20% of the price of the laptop I think)

by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 00:22 UTC

has anyone tried this on their G5 yet?

I tried it two months ago and ditched it.
by Andy111A on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 00:33 UTC

I tried it two months ago and after it not working on the ibook 600's cause the install screen was set weird and my emac was not a supported hardware I installed it on an ibook 700mhz. It took a while and had lots of problems with the install as I stupidly ticked up date itself after install and of course it didnt work.

Had lots of hassles with it up dating, finially got it all working and that was it. It looks so boring and runs around the same speed as the panther version I had at the time and comes with so few apps I just didnt think it was worth using. I would rather build a server from a old pc than a mac as the macs are worth using even in OS 9 where as the pc's after 4-5 years are dead in the water.

I dont know possibly if it had a good mail program, apple remote desktop, Microsoft office and a rivial to itunes i would start to think about it.

Im hooked on osx and i dont think im gonna go back to YDL as it just didnt cut it for me.


Re: jmf
by Bascule on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 01:40 UTC

Little flamebate here : MacOsX is probably the only Unix around which runs only on ONE platform

*ahem* Irix? AIX? Tru64 a.k.a OSF/1 a.k.a. Digital Unix? HP-UX? Virtually everyone selling Unix-derived operating systems sells them only in conjunction with the hardware platforms they sell.

Meanwhile, the kernel and userspace of Darwin run perfectly fine on x86. The components of OS X that aren't available on x86... aren't available on other Unix platforms either... frameworks like CoreFoundation, CoreAudio, Quicktime, etc. have no Unix equivalent

by kit on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 04:03 UTC

> has anyone tried this on their G5 yet?

The G5 port isn't ready yet. They seem to be making progress.

YDL 3.0 is great!
by jose_g on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 10:02 UTC

i run YDL 3.0 on my PB G4 1GHz and i think it is one of the best Linux distros i ever tested (and i tested many of them). i was really suprised that 95% of this hardware was supported out of the box! wireless, x resolution, 3d acceleration (ATi), trackpad, cd burning, these special apple keys for sound volume and brightness - everything works! the only thing i screwed up is puting the system to sleep (i think it was my fault). i like my YDL very much and i can only complain about some RedHat-features in it - mess in start menu (Gnome) for example.
of course Debian would be a better choice because of the number of software available for Sid, but frankly i don't want to spend whole day configuring everything. here, the YDL is a Linux distro that just works! (well, almost...)

Airport problems
by Adam Skinner on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 10:32 UTC

Thankyou for the article. I am concerned about the airport card not working under YDL. Anyone got any more info on this??

Upgrading (slightly OT)
by Wee-Jin Goh on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 13:33 UTC

Eugenia, you've mentioned how much speed going from the old harddisk to the new brought to the system (6 xbench points), how about going from 10.2.x to 10.3?

RE: Upgrading (slightly OT)
by Eugenia on Thu 23rd Oct 2003 18:54 UTC

About 4 new points on the Cube and a whopping 12 points on my 12" Powerbook. It seems that Panther is even more optimized for the kind of gfx card or something that my Powerbook has.

RE: Upgrading (slightly OT)
by Wee-Jin Goh on Fri 24th Oct 2003 12:00 UTC

Ummm... sweet :-) 12 points is about 17% on my powerbook (currently getting 75 points). Looks like Apple's just got my order for Panther.