The new Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 brings recent Linux user interface improvements to the PowerPC architecture. Smooth, anti-aliased fonts and the clean, refined style of Red Hat’s Blue Curve theme make this a beautiful creation to look at. There are
screenshots here, though they aren’t big enough to really do it justice.
Running on Apple’s well-built laptops, YDL makes an outstanding portable
Linux. My 500 MHz iBook was feeling left out since it can’t run the latest
Quartz Extreme graphics in Mac OS X. YDL 3.0 gives it a fresh life.
I’ll offer some thoughts on YDL 3.0 after about a day of use, and give
my reasons for giving Linux a place alongside the equally Unix-y Mac OS X.
Getting the software
I paid heavily for getting YDL 3.0 a couple of weeks before everyone else:
it cost $60 for a YDL.net account, plus $30 for six months of “YDL.net
Enhanced”. YDL.net is a modest bonus for
Yellow Dog Linux customers, providing a “lifetime” e-mail account with a
qualifying purchase. You can also buy an account separately.
The enhanced version is a subscription arrangement with one key benefit:
early access to YDL releases. It costs $5 a month for the subscription,
with the money collected six months in advance.
YDL 3.0 won’t ship until April, but YDL.net Enhanced customers
get a username and password to private FTP and HTTP servers. I never did
succeed in getting a good image off the FTP server, so stick with the HTTP
version (look for instructions as one of the files on the FTP server).
Access was slow, even drinking from a large pipe — a couple of hours per
disk — but that will probably get better as the initial rush subsides.
I used the standard Mac OS X Disk Copy application to burn the images to CD.
There’s no need for any special software or command line fiddling.
Because YDL only runs on a limited range of machines, it is much more
likely to come with the drivers you need. Linux is often troublesome on
x86 laptops, but YDL 3.0 purrs on an Apple laptop. Close the lid and YDL
goes to sleep, complete with pulsing light. Pop the lid open and YDL
starts working just as fast as Mac OS X. Plug in a USB mouse and it works
right away; I only wish I could get my x86 laptop to do the same when
The only configuration problem so far is that I haven’t been able to get
the internal modem to work. I didn’t expect it to work, though, since the
iBook supposedly has a software modem. But the modem is recognized and
does respond to some modem commands, so I have hopes of figuring out
YDL 3.0 is based on Red Hat 8.0, but with many Mac-specific enhancements
and updated packages. The “Blue Curve” theme is renamed “Wonderland,”
but it’s the same thing. Mozilla 1.2.1 is included, and it’s the smooth-font
Installation looks like RH 8.0 and is based on the same installer
program. The default desktop is KDE, so you have to customize the packages
if you want GNOME.
And I do suggest using GNOME. The Blue Curve/Wonderland theme looks
better under GNOME than KDE: there is something wrong with the gradient
on the title bar under KDE. Plus GNOME is much faster to start up.
Of course, the big news is that YDL 3.0 has smooth, anti-aliased fonts!
This alone is reason to ditch all previous versions of Linux. With the
high pixel density of the iBook, I don’t think you can get a nicer display.
Appearance is a huge deal for me, far more important than it really should
be. I definitely judge a book by its cover typography. And RH 8.0/YDL 3.0
is the first Linux I can really bear looking at for any length of time.
It’s hard to believe that Linux can now compete side-by-side with Mac OS X
for quality of fonts. YDL 3.0 doesn’t come with a large selection of fonts,
but the “best shapes” setting in the font preferences gives a slightly sharper
look than Mac OS X and a little more character to each font.
The Blue Curve/Wonderland theme is excellent. If you’ve seen it in Red Hat
8.0 you don’t need an introduction, since it’s the same in YDL 3.0. Both
window decorations and widget set are clear and usable with a subtle amount
of detail to give visual interest. I tend to pick my favorite theme and
stick with it, so I like something that doesn’t grow old and stale.
It’s a good thing I like Wonderland, though, because in GNOME on YDL 3.0,
that’s your only choice. In KDE, you get the usual absurd collection of
mismatched themes, window decorations and widgets. Feel free to make every
window look unique, but don’t make me look at your desktop.
Getting more software
YDL 3.0 uses the Debian command line program
updating. Be sure to select the packages you want from the CDs during
installation because it doesn’t look like you can run that same package
selection program later.
apt-get can get the packages for you
and resolve dependencies, but it’s not as easy to use as the Red Hat menu
During this initial rollout there appear to be some setup problems
with the YDL servers for
apt-get. I assume that will go away
once the release is public.
I don’t know if there’s a Java 1.4 for PowerPC Linux.
Blackdown has a PPC 1.3.1 Java, but it
dies on YDL 3.0 with an Illegal Instruction error. Instead, I used the
IBM Developer Kit.
You have to pick the “pSeries” version to get a PPC virtual machine, but it
works fine on YDL 3.0. It would be reasonable to assume that IBM (and
Blackdown) will eventually do a PPC version of Java 1.4. I didn’t see any
sign of a browser plug-in with the IBM Java, though, so your web viewing
with YDL 3.0 will be limited for now.
Checking the YDL 3.0 distribution CDs, I found that the IBM Java 1.3.1
runtime environment is included. I must have missed it on the list of
packages to install, pointing out the flaw that you can’t go back and
revisit that list as you can with RH 8.0.
CDs aren’t automounting for me. This doesn’t bother me much, since I
normally use the command line to access CDs anyway. But it could be tricky
for someone fairly new to Linux.
YDL 3.0 claims to be able to run Mac OS X as a client operating system.
I will admit that I haven’t dug around to figure that out yet. It would be
cool as an impressive demo, but it brings up the ultimate question of what
YDL is for.
Why run Yellow Dog Linux?
I would say that YDL is ideal for exploring Linux, since it has a nice
out-of-the-box experience. I can’t say that the performance is any better
than Mac OS X on the same machine, but the visual appearance is excellent
and a nice antidote when the sticky-candy look of Mac OS X begins to grate
It’s possible there are a few UNIX software packages that will compile
on YDL but won’t yet compile on Mac OS X. That’s because OS X has some
strange quirks in the way it handles shared libraries of subroutines. But
with a comparatively large market share, all the big programs are being
ported to OS X. And you have a much larger selection of pre-compiled software
on OS X. Things are rather limited on YDL because most pre-compiled software
is built for x86 Linux. The problems with Java are an example of that.
Linux is still not for the faint of heart. Mac OS X is a much better experience for anyone who wants to avoid the command line. And with Apple’s beta version of X Windows, Mac OS X really can do almost anything that YDL can do. It even has
apt-get, thanks to the
My ultimate reason for using YDL is the old question of which operating system is “strategic”. Mac OS X is a niche product, and probably won’t ever get out of the single digits in terms of market share. I wish this weren’t the case, but I have to be realistic about it.
Linux is already mainstream. It’s easy to get approval for it at work. In fact, in one recent case I was told I had to use Linux, because we didn’t have the budget for a Windows Server license. And of course, no chance at all of buying new hardware, so Mac OS X was out.
So I’m using YDL because I like the way it looks, and because I see much more Linux in my future. You could say that a PowerPC Linux is a niche within a niche, at least on the desktop. But Linux in general has legs, and
there’s a certain open source radical inside me that says, if I can’t compile it, I don’t want it. And if it compiles on Linux, it compiles on YDL 3.0, so I should be all set. Who needs Java when you’ve got Python? The Python
version in YDL 3.0, by the way, is bang-up-to-date!
About the Author:
“I’m the online development manager for a large newspaper chain. My infatuation with operating systems goes back to TSS/8 on the PDP-8, and recently caused me to think seriously about downloading that TOPS-10 emulator mentioned here.”
Why would I want Linux on an apple machine? Don’t get me wrong I love Linux and I am using it (Knoppix is great!), but OSX is the power of Unix with a fantastic intuitive GUI and if I want to run Linux software, well Fink seems to be coming along nicely as well as a port of X11 for OSX – so really there is no need to have a whole Linux distribution for your imac, is there?
I think some people either:
1. Don’t like OS X all that much but still want *NIX on their Mac.
2. Can’t afford a Mac that will run OS X well enough to satisfy their performance needs.
3. Just like to tinker.
I have an old 7600 PowerMac and a newer G3. While OS X can run on the G3, it’s out of the question on the 7600. Rather than sticking with OS 9, and since there just aren’t enough apps for BeOS PPC, I’m happy to try this out and hopefully be able to do something useful with it.
Exactly, especially if you have a very old Mac and you want to have a home server, you just put YDL in it and you are done! Linux is mostly a server OS, so it can be very useful as a home server in case you got an old Mac around.
That’s right – and because we love operating systems running on various hardware.
Sounds like YDL has some great improvements.
OS X is just toooo expensive. I have 10.1 which is slooow and it costs more than I am happy with to upgrade to 10.2.4. Well, there is no upgrade price, only a full price. I have sucessfully installed Debian 3.0 on my iBook 500 – and the modem works.
Sounds great so far! I’m running RedHat on my PC, with YDL being based on it can run almost the same system on my iBook.
IMHO freetype2 has already surpassed Quartz for on-screen fonts (don’t care too much about print). Quartz is ignoring ttf hinting which makes the fonts look more fuzzy than necessary.
I notice on (British ) eBay you can get a beige PPC G3 Mac for under £150 or a 603e 200mhz one for less than £100
Given enough extra RAM,( say 256mb? ) would these run YDL with any sort of speed or would it be appallingly slow?
MacOS X is not free, nor open.
Some people might want to use Apple hardware but still use an open platform. I doubt that applies to many, but for some it would. I know a few people who do that.
>would these run YDL with any sort of speed or would it be appallingly slow?
Depends what you need to do. YDL 3 is based on Red Hat 8.x. Red Hat recommends a fast Pentium (166 or 200 Mhz) for text-based operations and at least 128 MB and 400 MHz for X11 graphical operations. So, if you want to run X, that machine is slow. If you want to run a home server, it should be on the limits of “fine”. Remember that GCC for PPC is not as good on optimizing code as it is on x86, therefore the 200 Mhz of PPC might not reveal as much power than a 200 Mhz Pentium MMX machine. On the other hand, the PPC 200 Mhz, might be faster than a Pentium 200 on raw speed. So *overall*, at around 200 Mhz, you are in your limits of running YDL or Red Hat as a home server, but it might be adequate for your needs. But it certainly is not enough for X/KDE/Gnome (at least as Red Hat recommends).
We have a 180 Mhz Powemac here at home, but it is so terribly slow that Netscape 4 can handle about one keystroke per second.
So I guess, knowing that KDE 3 runs fine on my P/350, Linux should be usable on that system, at least it should be faster than Netscape on MacOS 8.5.
Now only my father needs to make sure that all documents are copied to our new PC… then the only concern seems to be the 1.6 GB harddisk, I guess.
I suspected that their claim that it would work on 8500s and PowerBook 3400s were a bit unrealistic.
It might work. But it might not work fast. Or, these might be for YDL 2.3 and not for 3.0. The point is that RH doesn’t recommend anything less than at least 200 Mhz for text stuff… Now, it could work, but it wouldn’t really be recommended for a production environment. Depends what you are looking for.
Red Hat recommends a fast Pentium (166 or 200 Mhz) for text-based operations and at least 128 MB and 400 MHz for X11 graphical operations.
It’s funny, how a couple of years ago people said one should have at least 8MB RAM for X11…I used it with 16MB, running WindowMaker. I remember when KDE appeared and recommended a whole 24MB – swapped like crazy with 16MB.
Have you ever had a really old crappy Mac? Well, I do (at work). I am thinking this could be the key to opening a program in less than 45 seconds!!!
Red Hat recommends a fast Pentium (166 or 200 Mhz) for text-based operations and at least 128 MB and 400 MHz for X11 graphical operations.
I was able to run comfortably (even OpenOffice) RH 8 with a PII-350 AND 256MB, so I think the key is “balance between memory and CPU speed”.
(I was also able to run YDL 2.3 with a light WM on a 5500 – PPC 630ev@250MHz – with 128MB RAM)
Makes a nice cheap linux laptop
because we are operating system junkies in this forum?
want a cheap fast mac/windows/unix server? (netatalk,samba,nfs)
Take that elderly g4, slap in a raid card pulled from a dell poweredge server, and watch how yellowdog loads drivers, os-x only dreams about.
there are too many other reasons to list. but it says nothing, to answer the question.
but the question itself is very telling.
you should really look into expanding your skillset/experience.
(yes, i have several os-x machines, and redhat, and freebsd, and win xp, and os9, and a decstation…and….and…)
I noticed one post says even the modem works on his debain ppc ibook. I’ve got a 500mhz ibook with 256 meg ram, it runs OSX reasonably well, I’m using it now but I like to tinker. I tried mandrake ppc one time but couldn’t get the modem to work. What kind of luck have any of you had with any ppc linux distro on this type of hardware? Does the modem work? Does the suspend/power management work? How about an airport card?
Jesus Christ, dude, really …
Firstly, this question is asked about every friggin time anyone mentions Linux for Macs.
There are people who hate MacOS X, but like the hardware (like me). Apple has so far managed to break some hardware compatibility with every second MOX upgrade here (first the external Firewire CD burner, then the monitor resolution, and don’t get me started about keyboard and mouse). For me, Linux hardware support on PPC by far owns Apple pathetic efforts.
Secondly, and that’s what really pisses me off, this exact question is already dealt with in the article. You just wanted to get in a quick post, don’t you?
How about informing yourself about the other’s opinion first before trying to argue with him?
I used to have gentoo on my 600 DVD iBook. Ran fine with sleep mode, Airport, sound and USB pointing devices. I didn’t try the modem though. I think I’ll wait for YDL 3 until I install Linux on my new iBook.
I know this is off topic (Please shoot me later) but I was wondering if anyone has managed to get this running on the new
PPC AmigaOne SE/GX hardware yet…
It should really fly…
If there are any Amigaone users/developers out there I would be interested to know.
I would love to see these things happen:
1) Please fix up MacOS X, I mean, you’ve got grunty hardware and an OS which is a bloat be-arge. I mean, for all intensive purposes MacOS X IS the bottle neck. I mean, if it means needed to really change things then so be it, heck, why not replace the guts and license the core of AIX off IBM? it scales well, threads well, already 64bit-ish and IBM has nothing to lose as it doesn’t aim AIX at the desktop.
2) Processor speed needs to improve. Sure, if there was a 200-300mhz gap, yes, you could say there is a mega-hertz myth, but to say that an 800Mhz PowerPC equals a 3Ghz Pentium 4?
3) This is probably a less important, however, I would prefer it if Apple sold a PowerPC desktop with the same styling and colour (black) as IBM’s RS/6000 Workstation.
I use YDL 3.0 on my Macs, I like YDL, for the PowerPC it is the only Linux that is always kept up to date, I wish I could find a company that regularly updates Linux for Alpha for my AlphaWorkstation, right now in order to update my Alpha its the old download and recompile trick.
Actually, I just purchased an iMac 700mHZ for use when I am on the train. I’m not a computer scientist, computer engineer, or even an IT guy…just a pharmacist who has been strictly linux for the past couple of years (started with Mandrake 7.0 and Red Hat 6.2 in a linux for dummies book. Then went to Red Hat 7.2, then tried Red Hat 8.0 and am currently using Suse 8.0 personal..
As a person who has dealt with an insane number of issues in my decision to convert to linux (Yes I was frustrated with MS crashfests and the constant changing of word processing formats that much!) I must say that I am considering installing YDL on my iMac for one reason: StarOffice 6.0.
After using OSX for several months now, I miss right clicking and I miss my KDE when I am on the train, BUT I especially miss StarOffice 6.0! It is my killer app by far! I have it on the PCs at work and my linux box at home, and how have no problems with taking work home…And saving stuff under OSX onto a CDROM is just not as intuitive to me as it is under Linux!
Forgive the long post, but many of you are much more in tune with the computer industry, and I just wanted to put in a few cents from someone who is a normal guy determined to make Linux work from a personal satisfaction point of view.
Claim Red Hat features as yours? Namely BlueCurve?
> Actually, I just purchased an iMac 700mHZ
iBook 700 MHz? Sounds like YDL is *made* for you.
From the article:
Of course, the big news is that YDL 3.0 has smooth, anti-aliased fonts! This alone is reason to ditch all previous versions of Linux.
Hep hep! I much prefer bitmapped fonts on my LCD display. Much easier on my old eyes anyway.
When I looked at the “Store” page at terrasoft, I was a little surprised and disappointed that it won’t be available off-the-shelf until April. Further, I was bummed that it only looks to come in two versions: sans printed manual for $25, and manual + tee-shirt for $55. I’d like to see just the disks and printed manual for around $30 – $35.
Anyhow, I couldn’t wait, so I got hold of some debian woody disks and installed on my newly-acquired Powerbook G3 (Firewire, aka “Pismo”). The mouse/pointing device (hmm, not sure what it’s called) wasn’t detected correctly and I had to seach the web to find and copy someone else’s XF86Config-4 and copy it. It still moves the pointer too fast across the screen. Also, I still don’t have the 2nd and 3rd mouse buttons emulated.
Booting it, and calling startx, I got KDE — still don’t know how to get any other WM to come up.
So I guess the moral is, YDL sounds nice if you aren’t interested in fiddling with every little thing to get it working the way you want. In this way, I think that YDL and Debian are fairly complementary.
to get another WM, edit ~/.xinitrc and put in the name of the window manager you want to load like “blackbox”.
…though, perhaps part of the problem is that I don’t have a .xinitrc file. If I’m supposed to create it, I surely don’t yet know what I’m to put in it.
I do however have a /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file. It just sources /etc/X11/Xsession — and I’m not familiar enough with shell scripts to see if I’m supposed to pass something in (ie. startx blackbox).
Redhat 8 comes with /usr/bin/switchdesk which looks like it would do what I need. I still don’t know enough about apt to go and get/install this (if it’s even available).
I’d heard something about something called debconf, but I can’t find that on my system.
Interestingly enough, when I was using the laptop yesterday, upon booting I was just given a login and a console (from which I ran startx to get into KDE). I just turned the computer on, but this time I had a graphical debian login screen and a small console X window that hung around even after KDE started. Weird.
Oh, also, hibridmatthias, rather than:
iBook 700 MHz? Sounds like YDL is *made* for you.
I meant to write:
You mean an iBook 700 MHz?
Regardless, it sounds like YDL is *made* for you.
From what I’ve seen on my 600 MHz iBook, YDL 2.3 is significantly snappier than OS X. Plus, one grows tired of shelling out over a hundred bucks to upgrade from one version of OS X to the next. I got hooked on open-source after I replaced IE with Mozilla, then tried out OpenOffice, then went to Linux. Kinda hard to go back to the proprietary stuff after you’ve experienced freedom!
Somone was saying that an 800Mhz Mac is not comparible to a 1.x P4 The difference is in floating point calculations and also cache memory and also the speed at which that cache can be accessed! So as far as I’m concerned you CANNOT compare the two although I feel that the Mac processor is DEFINITELY better for graphics. I should know, my wife is a graphic designer and I am a sysadmin, using all different OS’s and platforms.
So please be informed before you post
The entire review seems to assume the reader has experience with RedHat 8.0. That’s fine for me (I’ve used RH8), but what about readers coming from different distros (or OSs)? I think the revew should have covered more basics rather than telling us It’s RH 8.0 for your Mac.
Firstly I did not try to argue with anyone – I was simply asking some questions. Now if that is too much for you, i.e if you are too sensitive to cope with a little bit of questioning and discussions, then maybe you should not use Forums as that is what they are for – discussions in a civilized manner, voicing opinions and so on.
Now here a quote from the article:
>>Linux is still not for the faint of heart. Mac OS X is a much better experience for anyone who wants to avoid the command line. And with Apple’s beta version of X Windows, Mac OS X really can do almost anything that YDL can do. It even has apt-get, thanks to the Fink project.<<
This was exactly my point – if i buy an apple mac, then there really is no reason why i should run linux on it, apart from having no proir experience with linux and being curious, even if i like the hardware i have to think if that is really worth the extra money, when i can run Linux on cheaper hardware, being able to do the same things and even have a wider choice of hardware – or the other way round if i know i want to use linux, i would not buy an imac.
now of course everybody is entitled to do what they want and run whatever os they want on whatever hardware they want – that is why i was just curious and i for myself cannot see any benefits (as the author stated: yellow dog is a niche within a niche). and of course there will be those who like to tinker,play around, fiddle do whatever with their system and that is great, so be it – and most people did state simply why they want to or would use yellow dog. so luckily not everybody on this forum gets out their flamethrowers straight away – could it be that you are a little bit highly strung ??? i suggest you take a cold shower to cool off a little bit!
Well so much from me
It is really nice to see someone really believes in Apple propaganda. Man I dont think Apple really expected this much support when it released its MHZ myth a few years back. Bottom line is that PC Processors are faster than the Mac and Adobe recently released benchmarks to the fact. I know this is upsetting to the Mac community but I really dont think Adobe follows Apples ways and lies to the consumers. I like Mac hardware but as soon as YDL starts selling the ATX boards and cases I am done with Apple for good. Good luck
many of use are proficient on many platforms. i have intel, AMD, alpha, 68040 macs, g3macs, g4macs…etc. and i’m calling bullshit on you sir.
if you prefer to call Apple’s marketing material as “propaganda”…then by your standards, microsoft, redhat, intel, Adobe, Terrasoft, and AMD must be propagandist as well.
if you can’t separate reality from the hype of any company, i don’t see how your limited reasoning abilities are going to prevent you from being dissappointed by any other platform.
Personally, I am content with Adobe products on x86 architecture, but unlike you, i’m not naive enough to confuse my preference with truth.
Do any google search, and you will find plenty of info on Adobe. They are like any other company. They have their good points, and bad points. They have made their fair share of unpopular decisions as well.
if you were to believe your own propaganda, what kind of idiot agrees that adobe software is slower on apple hardware, then turns around and chooses, lo and behold…PPC HARDWARE RUNNING LINUX?
let met get this straight, you make fun of people who use apple, then you agree that adobe software is slower on apple’s ppc hardware, then in the same breath you state that you will go with a PPC system, running software that does not have native adobe software?
what a troll.
why don’t you get back to us when those PPC motherboards are shipping. many of us will likely be using 4ghz pentium 4s, 2ghz opterons, and power4 based apples.
Why can’t I download it for free?
All companies have propaganda, they ALL do. No you will not be using a power4 Apple anytime soon. And guess what smart guy I do not use Adobe Software thats A and B is I care nothing what computer I use, I just dislike people who come on these forums and spout propaganda that has been proven as false many times and still spout it. Just like you have your preferences I do too. And no I do not use Apple hardware full time, the only reason I have a Mac was to try out Mac OS X when I found out that it sucked big time, I went to Linux on the Mac so I didnt waste my money and being a Linux developer I can use the PowerPC machine to write and refine PowerPC Linux apps. My home network is a Mix of Alphas, PowerPCs x86 Sparc and Im waiting to get my hands on an iTanium based blade for my home network. At work We use Suns, SGI, x86 and like 2 Macs running LinuxPPC Q4 which I will update to YDL when 3.0 is released.
For a daily workstation, my experience with YDL 2.3 told me that 256MB and a 400MHz G3 makes it usable. You can do it with a 233MHz machine (the original CPU in my 9600), but the 400MHz chip makes it so that it’s snappy enough for me to actually want to use every day. DRAM is definitely your friend with YDL, RHL, or anything else running X + either GNOME or KDE. I haven’t tried running xfce on YDL, but xfce reduced the RAM requirements by about a quarter on my Red Hat 7.3 box (this is vs. GNOME). I assume the same would be true on YDL.
For a server, it’s a different story. You don’t need (and shouldn’t run, IMO) X on a server. If you’re running a file server (Samba or FTP, we’ll say), or a (not enormous) mail server, 64MB DRAM and a 100MHz CPU will be fine. For a Web server (e. g. Apache), go with 128MB DRAM unless your requirements are pretty big. 200MHz is quite sufficient for that.
So, why YDL over OS X? OS X, despite its FreeBSD 4.4 kernel, is really geared toward being a workstation OS. YDL can easily (that’s the key) be configured to do both. OS X requires the resource-intensive GUI; YDL does not. OS X is not, despite its FreeBSD roots, Free Software. YDL is. And finally, YDL will actually run on older Mac hardware, e. g. my 9600 + G3 card…at a decent clip…without having to go out on the Net and search for something like XPostFacto (everything for YDL is already on the CD). And finally, with all the GNU/Linux installations going into server farms, I’d rather work with something that I’m going to see lots of in the server racks, given my job, than OS X.
ydl 2.3 runs fine on my old powermac 6500/250, ram is a bit of an issue but with 64 mb, i got away with most things and processes in kde/gnome.. it’s sluggish, but a joy to use
kde and gnome are getting better, but also more bloated (in a windows xp kinda way), i dont think my 6500 will deal too well with ydl 3.0, its a shame that it requires newer macs to run what older pc’s can do, linux on mac is not a big deal apparently, but tinkering is a great hobby of mine, linux does work and does work well, but its a hobbyist’s OS (somewhat like BeOS, now that nobody develops PPC versions)..
I last tried YDL 1.3 on a Mac 7200/120 which was supposedly the low water mark of supported Mac’s with YDL. It didn’t install due to a bug in the package install script. I’d love to know if anyone else has tried YDL 3 on a 7200/120.
The IBM 970, a Power4 based desktop/workstation processor is expected to be announced as the next Apple processor some time in the middle of this year by most industry observers. Of course, no hint from Apple about any such thing, but then there never is…
there is a persistent myth that you can regain use of older hardware with linux, that myth is bigger when it comes to macs and linux..
To whoever said here that you can put YDL 3.0 on a PowerBook 5300c, in order to have a cheap linux mac laptop for $60, you’re wrong. Powerbook series 5300, 1400 and 2400 are PowerPC (that leaves the 3400, then the G3/G4s), but still based on the old NuBus standards, and no Linux distros will run of them so far (with the exception of MKLinux, a dead distro that hasn’t seen much updating since 1998). Furthermore, pre-G3 Macs have to be PCI-based to run most PPC-flavoured distros.
YDL 2.3 is the ONLY Mac distro that worked on my 7300/200, but it’s very slow when in KDE 3, lots of heavy disk access because it’s holding on to swap memory, everything takes forever. I tried Gentoo, it wouldn’t install at all, always had hardware conflicts with my built-in Ethernet (the Tulip-based cards seem to be hated). Mandrake 8.2 wouldn’t even detect my hardware, just show me a screen of inits and come to a dead stop; I emailed them 2 months ago to get details, and I’ve received no answer. SUSE doesn’t have downloadable ISOs, I’m unwilling to let the installation download everything off the net over my home connection, plus if the connection fails for some reason, the installation is a total failure.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy YDL is putting out a new version of its distro, but it’s completely misleading to advertise such stuff as “wanna spiff up that 3400?” (from their site). YDL is an alternative to MacOS X, the hardware requirements are not nearly as high, but they’re still higher than, say, a 1997 Powermac for running the desktop environments decently.
I’ve been running various Linux distros (currently Debian) on
my iMac for four years or so now and it works a treat. Have
never tried OSX (and never will) so can’t compare. With a
333MHz cpu and 160MB RAM, I have no problems with this box
as my desktop workstation. Have never had problems with the
modem and wheel mouse works great.
Linux on a Mac is also good for security; an x86 exploit will
go nowhere on a PPC.
Personally, I wouldn’t dream of running anything other than
Linux on a Mac.