Home > Linux > Why Install Linux on your Mac Why Install Linux on your Mac Guest post by Dhanesh Ramachandram 2004-12-02 Linux 80 Comments Yeah, why? Your typical modern Mac comes with all the Unixy goodness you could ever need, right? But there are a bunch of Linux PPC distributions that you can, if you feel the need, install on your Apple hardware. 80 Comments 2004-12-02 8:17 pm “OS X costs money. Linux is free.” Wrong, Darwin is free “Mac OS X can only be customized within the constraints placed upon it by Apple. Linux can be customized to an extraordinary degree, with the right knowledge.” Wrong again, you can customized what you want even if compile your own kernel or launch X11 server with KDE instead of Aqua. “Mac OS X requires Apple hardware (most of the time). Linux is the same whether its running on a PowerBook, a PC, or yeah, even an Xbox.” Wrong, Darwin runs also on x86… and the topic is about why install linux on Mac so it is not a good argument. This article is in fact, useless … 2004-12-02 8:20 pm yes DARWIN runs on x86 not OSX…the article is about OSX. While Darwin may be the underlying technology behind Darwin, there are lots of things which Apple has not opened to Darwin. 2004-12-02 8:21 pm “”OS X costs money. Linux is free.” Wrong, Darwin is free ” OS X!= darwin. 2004-12-02 8:27 pm I installed Debian PPC (Sarge) on my 800MHz iBook G4 over the weekend. As it turns out, there’s no real driver for Airport Extreme cards, and the power management support is skimpy at best. This is really a shame because wireless net and portability with good battery life are main reasons why I have a laptop. For me, this ends up meaning that Linux on PPC isn’t really much more than a novelty at this point. Beside those two complaints though, the experience was very smooth. The install went over without a hitch and I got everything up and running so that I could at least show the install off. I’ll probably try it again in the future, when those issues might be figured out. 2004-12-02 8:32 pm Darwin isn’t OSX. OSX is built on Darwin IIRC, but there are huge chunks of it that aren’t free. Maybe you can customise OSX to use another X server or whatever, but frankly why would you bother? It’d be a hell of a lot easier to install Yellow Dog/Gentoo/Debian/whatever and do it in that. “Wrong, Darwin runs also on x86… and the topic is about why install linux on Mac so it is not a good argument. ” And again, Darwin isn’t OSX. They said “Mac OS X requires Apple hardware”. They did not say “Darwin requires Apple hardware”. “This article is in fact, useless …” I thought it was okay. On the other hand, your comments are, in fact, useless. And wrong. 2004-12-02 8:33 pm Still doesn’t answer the question of why i would want to do this. I spent a good bit of money on my powerbook why would i want to run linux on it when i can(and do) run linux on a much cheaper PC. Doesn’t make sense. 2004-12-02 8:34 pm As it turns out, there’s no real driver for Airport Extreme cards, and the power management support is skimpy at best. This is really a shame because wireless net and portability with good battery life are main reasons why I have a laptop. Power management on iBooks/PowerBooks is right about finished. Reportedly well working patches have been posted, and it only needs testing. Broadcom’s hostility towards the idea of open source Airport Extreme drivers is a really sad thing, though. The biggest hope currently might be in reverse engineering the binary drivers that come with some Linksys WLAN routers. 2004-12-02 8:39 pm I’ve heard there is no airport extreme support? Does that mean that my wireless will work, just not in G mode and only in B? Or that no wireless works at all… A super portable, lightweight notebook is worthless without wireless internet. -Kevin 2004-12-02 8:39 pm “Still” sure does. If I know and want to work with Linux and Linux has the capability to work on MAC systems why not use it? Why learn a new operating system? 2004-12-02 8:40 pm I agree. For most people, you can do exactly the same thing on a 17″ Powerbook running OS X or an Thinkpad running Linux. If you’re going to spend the money to get a Mac, it’s most likely because you want to run the hardware/software combination. On the other hand, most people who buy an Xbox want to play games on it rather than running Linux. It’s something that fun and interesting to do, even if it isn’t really the most practical. 2004-12-02 8:40 pm Because Apple makes some really sweet, competively priced laptops. When I bought my 12″ PB about a year ago, the only comparably featured 12″ laptops were insanely expensive (over 2004-12-02 8:42 pm I would argue that LinuxPPC is also a good idea for those who have older Apple hardware. Personally, I have a Rev. A iMac. Even with 288MB RAM, I won’t install OSX– the performance is just too dismal. Linux, on the the other hand, can give life to those old machines like mine. And BTW, Ubuntu has a great PPC distro, but for some reason it gets little mention in the Linux PPC community (or so it seems to me anyway). 2004-12-02 8:43 pm In fact, when you buy a mac, you get macosx for free,so install linux on it is just for linux zealots. Linux is only usefull on very old apple hardware. The real question is “why don’t install linux on a mac?” -> Because linux doesn’t support all the Apple hardware. 2004-12-02 8:49 pm Well one reason would be to take advantage of the 64 bit hardware, since OS X is still using a 32bit kernel. Dunno if the article mentions this .. 2004-12-02 8:53 pm Yes but for the 6 months before Tiger… 2004-12-02 8:56 pm “OS X costs money. Linux is free.” True. >”Wrong, Darwin is free” OSX != Darwin, Darwin != OSX If you’re going to run a Darwin based system, that is really no different than running linux or netbsd, or not at all like running OSX. Another problem is the high price of maintaining OSX with limited support for “old” versions by Apple, and subsequent drop of update support from both Apple and many ISVs. Personally I am disgusted by Apple’s annual expectation of significant additional cash for, more or less, nothing but security updates and a few other minor changes. Additionally support for older hardware, esp. G3 machines has NEVER been what it should be or have been. For yearly update fees, I certainly expect Apple to do optimizations and improvements that apply across the ENTIRE supported hardware spectrum, and not mainly focus on optimizations applicable only to the newest hardware, or another nail in the “new” “features” yearly upgrade treadmill. These items along with other issues caused me to move one of my machines as an experiment to linux, for speed and ability to remain up-to-date wrt security, development, etc. Additionally, with the rates of growth developing/working with linux is more likely to generate saleable opportunities than working with OSX is. All of this said, I still like OSX, but cannot abide the update/”upgrade” merry-go-round(even M$ & ISVs have better support for their “old” OSes), although it finally looks like Panther MAY have enough real new features to be an upgrade option, especially if resellers sell it for <<$130 a copy. 2004-12-02 9:08 pm …but for the hardcore geeks (if you are reading this forum, then you should be one..perhaps not necessarily _are_ one) dual booting linux/os-x should be mandatory on an ibook or such. it’s about learning. for me, linux on my ibook is to get work done. but i kept os-x around because it’s nice and i wanted to learn about the guts of os-x. i also run solaris, redhat, & slackware. 2004-12-02 9:10 pm Linux is great on normal x86 desktops, on those it’s the ONLY operating system i’ll use. But my powerbook is a whole lot happier with OS X than it would be with linux. If i get sick of aqua, i launch fullscreen X11 (blackbox wm) and run Xchat, XMMS, dillo, Gaim, etc., and its hardware accelerated, as well. If you get ants in your pants cause it isnt free, install GNU darwin or something, and go from there. Thats completely free and open, and all your power management and hardware will work perfectly, plus you can get most linux software through fink or darwinports. There just isnt a good case for linux on macs except “because i can” 2004-12-02 9:10 pm I ran Ubuntu on my G4 iMac for a few weeks before I replaced it with a brand new iBook– and I wasn’t impressed. Well, I was impressed by Ubuntu being so darn good (especially for a Linux distro) but I already knew that since my x86 almost exclusively runs Ubuntu. So, it felt like I was simply using my x86. And that’s not what I bought my Mac for. There were some things broken, seriously annoying: – G4 iMac’s have the eject button for the (in my case) SuperDrive on the keyboard– not supported in Linux. So, I simply made a shortcut to the “eject /dev/cdrom” command, but that isn’t really the way to go. – No sleep function. It simply didn’t exist– too bad. 2004-12-02 9:15 pm i hate about OS X is that UNIX apps are “second-class,” i.e. you cant select xmms to open mp3 files with 2004-12-02 9:23 pm In fact, when you buy a mac, you get macosx for free,so install linux on it is just for linux zealots. Linux is only usefull on very old apple hardware. Just as Windows XP, MacOS X is included in the price when you buy the computer. The only difference is that when you buy a machine from a x86 vendor, you can usually get it whitebox. 2004-12-02 9:31 pm [i]Still doesn’t answer the question of why i would want to do this. I spent a good bit of money on my powerbook why would i want to run linux on it when i can(and do) run linux on a much cheaper PC. Doesn’t make sense.</> I agree, I can use linux on my two x86 pcs, when I’ll buy a Mac I’m going to use Mac OS X 2004-12-02 9:34 pm “Just as Windows XP, MacOS X is included in the price when you buy the computer” not necessarily. Apple ships only hardware to distributions like YDL and Pogo linux 2004-12-02 9:36 pm “I spent a good bit of money on my powerbook why would i want to run linux on it when i can(and do) run linux on a much cheaper PC. Doesn’t make sense.</> ” because sometimes people pay for better hardware and yes Apple can and does ship powermacs without an Operating system 2004-12-02 9:45 pm There are loads of problems with Linux that make it impractical to run it on my Powerbook as my default OS. -No wireless support. This has been beaten to death, but unless Broadcom releases the specs to the Airport Extreme chipsets, there’s very little hope of this problem ever going away. Getting an external USB wireless adaptor isn’t a good solution since you use up 1 USB port and you have something sticking out of your laptop. -No good drivers for nVidia cards. There isn’t any 3D acceleration, 2D is just so-so. People often complain about the OS X UI being slow. Ever tried using GNOME on a Powerbook 12″ with the default nv driver? Try moving a window around. KDE doesn’t fare much better. -Following on from the lack of nVidia drivers, video out isn’t supported. This makes the laptop useless for presentations. -No sleep. One of the benefits of OS X is the sleep function. Close the lid and the laptop goes to sleep in about 1 second. Open it and it wakes also in about 1 second. yes, I’ve timed it with a stopwatch so the accuracy is about +/- 0.5 seconds. -Lack of general power management. Fans on my powerbook seem to come on more frequently and the laptop gets hotter than when running OS X. It doesn’t matter if you have CPU frequency scaling enabled via the powernowd daemon. The laptop still gets hot. The hard drive also doesn’t spin down. In fact, it seems to generate more heat than when running OS X as the left side of my powerbook where I rest my palm gets very hot. Tweaking hdparm doesn’t help. -No flash/Java support in browsers. Some people do need this functionality. -Lack of commercial apps. MATLAB is a program I need to run daily. It’s available for Linux (x86), Windows and Macs. It doesn’t run on OS X PPC. -PDA syncing in Linux is pretty much hit and miss. Mostly miss. Getting a Palm Zire 31 to sync with Evolution or any other app is a task not for the faint of heart. Free (as in libre) software is nice and all. But some of us do like to have machines that work. Those of us who do don’t mind paying for OS X. 2004-12-02 9:47 pm i do own a PowerBook G4 and i do use Debian SID as my primary OS – why? i switched from x86-laptop to the PB because of portability and linux runs great on it! (standby, wifi (not apple extreme), most other things) then why not osx? -> compilation worx same as x86 (mostly) – i could take over all my settings from the old laptop, no problem there. i like the _philosophy_ of linux which is probably the main point. i don’t wanna boot osx to run fluxbox on it, i can do this natively without underlaying aqua. however some things still need a bit of work on linux/ppc that’s why i still have os-x as second OS which i mainly use for DVD-playback and java/flash-extensive browsing (doesn’t happy often as i don’t like those two “things” very much) i’m happy with debian as operating system on the mac but if you’re not (and are not interested) that’s your business. i wont force you to install it 2004-12-02 9:56 pm Any benchmarks between linux and MacOs on a G4? 2004-12-02 10:14 pm I’m looking at laptops now, and over the past year I’ve been obsessed with PowerBooks… waiting and waiting for the Dual Core G4 and hopefully a widescreen 12/13″ version. But now I’ve been messing around with Debian on my PC and I have found a lot of really really cool software that I like. I can’t leave my Windows desktop behind, its too important (Games and iTunes.. and some other things I don’t know of Linux alternatives for (Like FileZilla and Media Player Classic)) But Dual Booting is a pain, and I have little incentive to keep switching from Windows… if I had a laptop, I could have my desktop booted to Windows, laptop to Linux, and have tons of fun! But I loooooove Apple Hardware…. but the driver issue is too poor… no wireless, no accelerated graphics drivers, etc etc…. I’ve been eying a ThinkPad more and more lately…. although I don’t think that they are going to offer ThinkPads with Geforce 6800Gos I’m not an ATi fan when it comes to drivers although I have a 9600 XT right now. I’d prefer nVidia hardware…. yet all the laptops using nVidia are the big and nasty ones ! I can’t win! 2004-12-02 11:25 pm “Still doesn’t answer the question of why i would want to do this. I spent a good bit of money on my powerbook why would i want to run linux on it when i can(and do) run linux on a much cheaper PC. Doesn’t make sense.” Well, at least that’s easy to answer. There are a lot of reasons to like Apple’s hardware even if you don’t like Apple’s OS as much as you like Linux. One (very technical and vertical) example is my last workplace. We ran Gentoo on a iMac 500 because we were doing some PPC embedded work and wanted a common development environment between our target machine (an embedded Linux PPC board) and our development machine (the aforementioned iMac). Worked perfectly. Erik 2004-12-02 11:36 pm to ppc was that the hardware was sexy. So I bought an iBook and tried OSX for a month. It sucked, big time, so I’m running debian on it now happly . Soo… the reason that it sucked? here they come: 1) the packaging system was really bad if you compare it to debians apt. 2) the dependencies was crazy, I hade to download like 600Mb to install strace (wtf 600Mb for strace!!!) 3) the default install had like 47 suid programs, thats about 40 to many for me to feel secure. 4) I had a really hard time figuring out how to run aes256 crypto on the root partition 5) it wasn’t free so I couldn’t poke around with it. 6) It had some really weird directory structure /users for example 7) the gui is based on that I should click on things instead of using my keyboard. I hope I don’t score to high on the flamebait score, this is just how I feel about OSX 2004-12-02 11:46 pm 1) the packaging system was really bad if you compare it to debians apt. Decent operating systems don’t need package management. Good OSs such as BeOS and OS X don’t need package management because they are designed around the fact that an app should have its own dir which you can place anywhere you like. Unlike Linux and even Windows, where most apps are locked down to one position, and changing those locations is a pain in the butt. Very free and open indeed. 2004-12-03 12:07 am I disagree. Though the self-contained package paradigm is vastly superior to Windows-style “stuff stuff to random places” method, proper package management makes installing, updating and uninstalling a lot easier. On OS X I use Fink, http://fink.sf.net/ (which is basically a port of Debian apt system (with a smaller package tree, though)), for almost all my installation handling. 2004-12-03 12:07 am Ahh I was a bit unclear, what I meant was that fink, didn’t have very large amount of packages (right now it has 4479 against debians 19051) and when I tried it was even worse and some packages was broken. Wether a program should have its own diectory or not is (for me) not an issue. It depends totally on the philosophy of the operating system beneath. All I care about is that I should be able to install it easily (like for example apt-get install <pgkname>) and remove it just as easy. 2004-12-03 12:22 am “The only difference is that when you buy a machine from a x86 vendor, you can usually get it whitebox.” That ain’t the only difference. The Mac/OS X combination is a a vastly superior machine. 2004-12-03 12:25 am Here in lies your problem… using fink.. worest thing ever for OS X 2004-12-03 12:27 am ” Decent operating systems don’t need package management. Good OSs such as BeOS and OS X don’t need package management because they are designed around the fact that an app should have its own dir which you can place anywhere you like. ” where did you learn to talk crap like that. Even apple ships software which needs a wizard style installer to install stuff which require dependencies. any non monolithic systems would require *dependencies*. learn the technology and package management properly first 2004-12-03 12:58 am As an original 1984 Mac user I started playing with Linux seriously in 1998 on i386 hardware. My Mac hardware got out of date and ended up in the closet. 18 months ago I just could not resist an iBook G3 800 and had various family reasons for the purchase. I thought I would love OS X – spent lots of time learning, played with Fink, etc. After a year of OS X I was sick of trying to use it for anything but surfing the web with Mozilla. I fought with iPhoto, Finder, iTunes (I use ogg on iRiver), etc and ended up spending lots on stuff to suit my needs: iView $30, Path Finder $34, Speed Download $20, Retrospect $60, 80GB Firewire external HD $166 (backups), MacDrive $36, Panther $99, etc. Finally I said ENOUGH!! Mac == $$$$$ I spent tons and tons of money on Apple products over 10 years. I am retired now and do not have that fat paycheck to throw money away anymore. So I recently loaded Ubuntu and love using my iBook now – it does everything the way I like it! I don’t expect to ever spend another dime on anything Apple. When the iBook dies I am done with Apple. My reason for loading Linux on a Mac: Quit spending Apple ‘ownership’ money and be able to do everything my way. 2004-12-03 1:40 am You winge about the video drivers in Linux for Mac yet hello, with all the GUI crap on OS-X any standard Vid Card Apple ships is strugling to deal with it. On a G4 things like surfing the web are intolerable yet alone trying to get any real work done be it in Office of any adobe app. Screen draws in OS-X are painful to the extreme and anything would be better accelerated or not. 2004-12-03 1:51 am You wrote: Decent operating systems don’t need package management. Good OSs such as BeOS and OS X don’t need package management because they are designed around the fact that an app should have its own dir which you can place anywhere you like. ” where did you learn to talk crap like that. Even apple ships software which needs a wizard style installer to install stuff which require dependencies. any non monolithic systems would require *dependencies*. learn the technology and package management properly first He was referring to the application space and user space levels of OS X and not the low level space. The Installer maps to very specific locations that target System specific libraries as well as various configuration files and executables. This is no different than any UNIX system. Personally, I preferred the NeXTSTEP approach to applications which installed on a Server a copy of the application executable and when you launch the application you are just running a local instance on your system without having to install a copy of the software on every system in the network. But then again most people don’t work within a large corporate network, at home. Regarding Debian vs OS X. I run Debian SID on x86 going on 4 years. I configured Java for Debian years before Debian got off its ass to having an Java useability in it worth a shit. OS X comes with the JRE built into the OS. Installing The DeveloperTools.mpkg is a breeze. I now have Java 5 on Debian, semi-officially, thanks to the java package script that builds a deb to install the SDK into a Debian location ala /usr/lib/j2sdk-1.5sun/ Java 5 with Apple will be ready to go with Tiger and it will include many advancements that coordinate with Cocoa. Apple works on improving Java so that explains its delay. Debian which I love doesn’t so what is their excuse? Oh I forgot! The License! Nice to see it boils down to legalities. I’ve still got to build my own packages for Tomcat 5 since Debian hasn’t gotten around to switching from Tomcat 4 to Tomcat 5. I can easily install Tomcat 5 on OS X. I can Develop Objective-C Cocoa on OS X and on Linux I have to deal with the lack luster Linux community attitude regarding GNUstep. Objective-C++ is currently being debated within Apple regarding the timeframe to release it with GCC 4.0. I still expect the lack luster support from the Linux Community regarding this even though people are constantly wowed by Cocoa applications. Fink is a breeze to use with OS X Panther. I had KDE 3.3 built from source and running inside OS X without a hitch. When I purchase a PowerPC G5 system I won’t run Debian. I will run OS X 10.4. When I purchase an AMD 64 system I will run Debian and nothing else. Sure I could run FreeBSD amongst other BSD’s, as well as various Linux distros, but I enjoy the infrastructure of Debian even with its hangups on Java and Eclipse 3. 2004-12-03 2:36 am as well as various Linux distros, but I enjoy the infrastructure of Debian even with its hangups on Java and Eclipse 3. —- just for your info Fedora core 4 is planned to release a gcj compiled eclipse including the gcj webapplet plugin which runs java applets in mozilla/firefox completely with the free software stack.. debian and others like ubuntu will pick it up pretty quickly since they are also closely following it 2004-12-03 3:19 am Clearly, in this thread, many people love Linux/PPC and many people also hate it. Also, some people love OS X and some hate it. So what’s all the whining and fussing about? If you don’t like Linux/PPC or just don’t like Linux, then don’t use it. Stick with OS X. It isn’t like the Linux people in this thread are going to jump out of the screen, twist your arm behind your back and force you to use Linux. >>In fact, when you buy a mac, you get macosx for free,so >>install linux on it is just for linux zealots. >>Linux is only usefull on very old apple hardware. Many people have stated that they like Apple’s hardware and hate Apple’s OS. I mean, in fact, when you buy a lot of PCs, you get Windows for free, so installing Linux on it is just for Linux Zealots 😛 (jk by the way). My aunt who is running Linux on her PC that she bought with Windows runs it cause it just plain works better FOR HER. For some of the people in this forum, Linux just plain works better FOR THEM than OS X. So again, why is everyone argueing here? Is it accomplishing anything so far? Has anyone’s mind been changed about which OS to run so far (Not including some people that came here wondering about Linux and saw the poor hardware support)? And if you came here wondering about Linux, wouldn’t your time be better spent actually downloading a free copy of YellowDog or Ubuntu (I’ve heard Mandrake PPC is horrible and Debian/Gentoo are harder to use for newbies) and seeing how good it runs instead of trying to figure out whether you will be one of the people who it works for or doesn’t work for based on conflicting posts in this forum? Anyone have any logical answers to any of my questions? 2004-12-03 3:25 am If it isn’t Linux some people are gonna bash it no matter what. Just because it isn’t completely open source and “free” != bad. 2004-12-03 3:26 am “In fact, when you buy a mac, you get macosx for free” s/Mac/new Mac/ And btw, an old Mac won’t run OSX very well. Might as well run XFce4 on it and use the fine hardware advantages otherwise, but i guess you’ll have to be an anti-x86 zealot to understand that… *ZzZz*… 2004-12-03 4:04 am google, darwinports, i had xmms running on osx. 2004-12-03 5:02 am OSX is the OS release. Darwin is the underlying FreeBSD Unix. (Free) Quarts/Aqua is the windowing/graphics system. (Not free) 2004-12-03 5:03 am http://developer.apple.com/macosx/architecture/index.html 2004-12-03 5:47 am An old mac? What is that? Are you talking old world or what? OSX runs just fine on a blue&white… Heck, I’ve got 10.3 running on an old iMac G3 233mHz with 96MB of ram. Sure it’s not whiz bang, but it works just fine and doesn’t ever complain. I find it amazing that people who can figure out linux are so blind when put on a Mac. They’re worse then PC weenies when it comes to having to learn something “different.” 2004-12-03 6:23 am i mean, when i click a .mp3 file in finder, it wont let me select xmms to open it with.. still only itunes. Yeah, xmms works great on OS X, i use it as my main mp3 player. 2004-12-03 6:34 am I posted something like that on the O’Reilly site, but it seems that most people who do comparisons Mac OS X/Linux fail to notice that the really interesting part of OS X is its collection of professional-level components. There is nothing elsewhere like ColorSync, CoreAudio, CoreImage, Quicktime, CoreData, the “10,000$” worth of fonts and the typographical system, etc etc. That’s the kind of thing that allows people to build pro quality apps on the Mac. The other point that a lot of comparing people seem to be missing is that, yes, if you don’t need those for your work, and can do everything on Linux, why not stick with it? That way you will have a lifetime of free upgrades that will suit your work all the time anyway. You pay for OS X when you buy the mac (if it’s a new machine), and then you stop caring about it. But in the end the choice has nothing to do with the lickable GUI, or the kernel. Ok ok, it does make a difference in usability (GUI) or performance (kernel), but it’s not the thing your apps are immediately dependent on. 2004-12-03 8:47 am You winge about the video drivers in Linux for Mac yet hello, with all the GUI crap on OS-X any standard Vid Card Apple ships is strugling to deal with it. On a G4 things like surfing the web are intolerable yet alone trying to get any real work done be it in Office of any adobe app. Screen draws in OS-X are painful to the extreme and anything would be better accelerated or not. Yeah, yeah. You and all the Linux fanboys can keep telling yourselves that OS X has an unbearably slow UI. Once you come down to reality, you’ll see that you’ve just spewed a bunch of BS. Linux is great on the x86 world where a lot of development is going on. I use in on my desktop and have been using RedHat and then Fedora since 2001. Much as I would love to run it on my Powerbook, I can’t due to the lack of support. You obviously don’t own a mac. Otherwise, you’ll know that web-surfing ain’t a problem. Heck, you don’t get to see the screen refresh due to the way OS X handles screen updates. Get a grip. Get a clue. Some of us just like using what works. 2004-12-03 9:31 am Hey, don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a bunch of smoke coming out of your ass. You obviously have never used a Mac to do any “websurfing” as you say. I’ve got YDL 4.0 on my iBook as well as OS X, and believe me, Firefox runs immensely smoother in OS X. Not to mention actually having support for all my hardware (wireless, etc.) 2004-12-03 10:57 am There is another reason for using YDL. My Mom’s iMac-333 can’t swallow MacOS X and she likes her computer, so phasing it out is not an option. So she is either stuck with MacOS 9.2.2 or I can install YDL 4 for her, giving her the opportunity to use OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird… With Gnome and some careful configuration, it should be smooth and easy to use (and not be so crash-prone as MacOS 9) 2004-12-03 11:29 am You want to be a crack and don’t know even this simple way how to connect a file to your favorite programm? You really don’t know anything about OSX, so don’t write about something you don’t know. 2004-12-03 11:48 am I agree. Linux with a light weight window manager (IceWM, FluxBox, etc) is a good option for keeping old machines in use, including old Macs. GNOME and KDE are resource hungry. I’d suggest replacing OpenOffice with AbiWord and perhaps GnuMeric. These apps are much lighter than OpenOffice and should make for a much more enjoyable experience. 2004-12-03 1:13 pm In fact, when you buy a mac, you get macosx for free,so install linux on it is just for linux zealots. …or people who don’t want to pay the ~18-monthly Apple upgrade tax to maintain an up-to-date system. Other reasons to run Linux on a Mac: – Performance (especially responsiveness) increase – X-Windows all the way. People love aqua until they find out there’s no (free) way to run Carbon apps over a network – Running apps which have not been ported to OS X, or don’t work as well there (still quite a few around) – Linux allows you to do things which OS X just won’t do, like copying mp3 files from your ipod. If OS X works perfectly for you, great, you’re one of the 80% of people Apple designed it for (and designed it rather well, one may add, compared to the shit out of Redmond), keep using it. But there are many things in OS X which don’t work perfectly for everyone, and Linux generally allows you to do them. Having said that, if you’ve got (or are planning to buy) a 12″ Powerbook, you’re probably not going to have much fun under Linux, because of the missing hardware support mentioned by other posters. The 15″ one is fine, it has a PCMCIA slot which you can use for inserting a supported WLAN card, and the ATI graphics card is also better supported, so things like power management and sleep now work. If you’re bent on a 12″ Apple consider the new ibook G4, that should work better (minus the WLAN). As for why one would want to pay more money for the machine just to run Linux on it, the laptops are actually rather competitively priced. Especially if you can get a discount through your university/school, the performance/price ratio beats anything out on i386. And the hardware is mostly well designed and produced, not like your usual Dell laptop which falls apart if you stare at it too hard ;-). 2004-12-03 1:30 pm “An old mac? What is that? Are you talking old world or what? OSX runs just fine on a blue&white… Heck, I’ve got 10.3 running on an old iMac G3 233mHz with 96MB of ram. Sure it’s not whiz bang, but it works just fine and doesn’t ever complain.” You don’t get it, do you? 1) The performance of Linux with a lightweight, user-friendly DE outperformes MacOSX on such machine. Now imagine, some people *like* that. 2) Have you paid for MacOSX? What do you use it for on that machine? For some people, MacOSX would not be worth the price on such machine. 2004-12-03 1:31 pm My LOM (linux on Mac) experience was awful. This was back in the days of OS9. I was a COmputer Science student and wanted a unix environment to work in without TELNETing to school (I had a modem, no high speed stuff like now so speed was an issue). Decided to give LinuxPPC a try, as it was the only linux that I could find that could support my G3 B&W tower. Formatted my HD to create partitions (pain in the rear given all the backup that needed to be done). Once installed, and configured…guess what, my modem would not work! Even though I did not want to use TELNET to do the majority of my work, I still had to SUBMIT that work via telnet…ond of course I wanted to go online and check mail and such. Modem never worked for me. Then, the only WM that would work was GNOME. I wanted to use KDE. Used it once and then it fudged up my user account and I could never log in again! solution> erase and re-install…. why subject yourself to this torture? Just use OS X, UNIX goodness, and if you want those other apps, get ’em with fink! 2004-12-03 1:46 pm ” …or people who don’t want to pay the ~18-monthly Apple upgrade tax to maintain an up-to-date system.” Nobody forces you to buy a new version besides you can say this regarding Linux as well, there are Updates like Suse etc. which you have to pay if you want support. “Other reasons to run Linux on a Mac: – Performance (especially responsiveness) increase” On my Dual G4 i have no performance Issues with OSX “- X-Windows all the way. People love aqua until they find out there’s no (free) way to run Carbon apps over a network” I prefer Cocoa apps anyway and why should I want a Carbon app running over a Network anyway? “- Running apps which have not been ported to OS X, or don’t work as well there (still quite a few around)” Which one? None at least I am missing “- Linux allows you to do things which OS X just won’t do, like copying mp3 files from your ipod. ” Sorry I can do anything with OSX what you can do with Linux and much more. That is nonsense. 2004-12-03 1:55 pm I bought an iBook and really liked OSX, but I couldn’t use monodevelop with it. That was my main reasion to put linux on mac. (Still can’t get MOL to work) 2004-12-03 2:07 pm “I bought an iBook and really liked OSX, but I couldn’t use monodevelop with it. That was my main reasion to put linux on mac. (Still can’t get MOL to work)” Well, good news from you, now you can get rid of Linux again. Monodevelop runs on OSX now too. From the Mono Homepage: “Monodevelop is a Mono/C# Integrated Developement Environment for Linux and MacOS X.” I have it up and running, no problem. 2004-12-03 3:29 pm I installed Ubuntu on my wife’s iMac DV 500 because Panther / Safari was loading web pages too slow. I had tried OSX Firefox but it didn’t really help. Ubuntu is a bit faster than Panther, and now she’s happy with her iMac again. The main problem I had was with adjusting the screen so all of it could be seen. The right side leaked off the visible area. I had to reboot to OSX to make the adjustments in the control pane. I never could figure out how to do it under Linux. Things like that can be a real pain, especially if someone doesn’t really know what they’re doing. 2004-12-03 3:42 pm ‘to be leet’ is about the only reason I can think. the author says effectively he can make linux look like windows easier – what is he smoking, has he ever spent any time using aqua? sheesh. 2004-12-03 4:00 pm “- Linux allows you to do things which OS X just won’t do, like copying mp3 files from your ipod. ” You can do that on MacosX too, with iPodDownload or with the terminal… 2004-12-03 4:08 pm 1- “s/Mac/new Mac/ ” that doesn’t work, I have written “mac” 2- “but i guess you’ll have to be an anti-x86 zealot to understand that… *ZzZz*…” I have 4 PCs and only one powerbook… *ZzZz*…. 2004-12-03 4:27 pm 1- “s/Mac/new Mac/ ” that doesn’t work, I have written “mac” Very important. s/mac/new Mac/ then but at least i got the brand name correct by starting with a capital. 2- “but i guess you’ll have to be an anti-x86 zealot to understand that… *ZzZz*…” […] Irrelevant for that ironic remark which was about myself (self-humor and ironic). I wrote a lot more which are actually my points. Why do you reside to making remarks about irrelevent details? 2004-12-03 5:12 pm LOL, let me heckle you a little 🙂 You got the code, you can make changes, woop-woop! can I hear a woop-woop-woop-dee-doo! ;-). This is what I want to do: 1) use an office suite for my daytime job 2) use software relevent to my daytime job 3) browse the internet, check and send email, chat 4) play some games when I have some downtime 5) on my spare time I want to learn some new coding languages, and expand my learning. Does having the linux source code help me? Not one doodly squat! 🙂 Now here’s what I don’t want to do 1) I don’t want to customize my OS beyond it’s current customizability. Coders have worked to make the OS stable for use so I don’t want to foobar my work machine, foobaring it means downtime for me – not good If I want to customize I will look around for shareware/commercial stuff for the OS. This stuff is tested and has been OKed for use 2) I don’t want to contribute to the linux community, there are TONS of people working for linux, professionally and for fun. This is not my idea of fun and since I am not paid for it, why do it? Keep yer code I want stability, I want to do my job 2004-12-03 5:18 pm if someone can point me out to a source howto to install linux on my oldworld nubus powermac ill be sooo happy. they can run make linux run on weirdest hardware, but a nubus based mac is too much asked. lol [/rant] 2004-12-03 5:33 pm To draw fire at your local internet cafe:) No seriously, I’m looking for a cheap and small 12″ laptop to run Linux on (already decided, wouldn’t choose anything else) and ibook seems like my best choice. Would run Slackware on it if it was availiable but CRUX seems to be a good alternative to Slack. Hardware support doesn’t bother me, all I need is ethernet, usb and not completely broken graphics. This just sums up why I use Linux in the first place. It allows me to choose my OS first and my HW second. 2004-12-03 6:15 pm Yeah, yeah. You and all the Linux fanboys can keep telling yourselves that OS X has an unbearably slow UI. Once you come down to reality, you’ll see that you’ve just spewed a bunch of BS. But OS X does have an unbearably slow UI. I have a dual 2 GHz G5 PowerMac and I find using the UI in OS X 10.3 to be like wading through a pool filled with sticky goo. Linux is no better. Gnome and KDE both have this problem. I’ve found that Windows sets the UI speed standard. It’s fast and unobtrusive in a way that OS X and Linux just aren’t, but should be. I still use OS X and Linux, but I just wish Apple will fix the UI speed issues and make OS X as responsive as Windows. Unfortunately, with Apple’s multi-layered approach to the architecture of the display system, I doubt this is going to happen any time soon, if ever. 2004-12-03 6:35 pm “-Lack of commercial apps. MATLAB is a program I need to run daily. It’s available for Linux (x86), Windows and Macs. It doesn’t run on OS X PPC.” Try octave. It’s something like 99% compatible with matlab unless you are using some esoteric toolboxes, or the “visual” interface(simulab). Most scripts, however, will run under octave with few changes. Mathematica is the only commercial math package without an equivalent level of functionality opensource/free competitor. OpenOffice on linux/ppc or OSX actually offers MORE functionality than the MS products… i.e. closer to the x86 version of Office apps. “-No wireless support. This has been beaten to death, but unless Broadcom releases the specs to the Airport Extreme chipsets, there’s very little hope of this problem ever going away. Getting an external USB wireless adaptor isn’t a good solution since you use up 1 USB port and you have something sticking out of your laptop.” Don’t use airport extreme, and something like 99.9999% of people interested in linux probably won’t have Broadcom(airport extreme) cards either. Other flavors work fine with the caveat that they invariably seem to require, yet again, knowledge, skill, intelligence, and some tweaking to get working. “-No good drivers for nVidia cards. There isn’t any 3D acceleration, 2D is just so-so. People often complain about the OS X UI being slow. Ever tried using GNOME on a Powerbook 12″ with the default nv driver? Try moving a window around. KDE doesn’t fare much better.” Faster for me than OSX. Then again I usually use something more like fluxbox + other stuff, or xfce + ROX. “-No sleep. One of the benefits of OS X is the sleep function. Close the lid and the laptop goes to sleep in about 1 second. Open it and it wakes also in about 1 second. yes, I’ve timed it with a stopwatch so the accuracy is about +/- 0.5 seconds. -Lack of general power management. Fans on my powerbook seem to come on more frequently and the laptop gets hotter than when running OS X. It doesn’t matter if you have CPU frequency scaling enabled via the powernowd daemon. The laptop still gets hot. The hard drive also doesn’t spin down. In fact, it seems to generate more heat than when running OS X as the left side of my powerbook where I rest my palm gets very hot. Tweaking hdparm doesn’t help.” Power management as in sleeping, etc. works on my powerbook, however you are correct in that it may not work on all models yet as power management has to be reverse engineered or guessed at based on lack of available documentation on the particular implementation. And, actually sleep/wake is as fast for me in linux now as it is in OSX. OSX sleep/wake has actually SLOWED down since the DPs/PB/10.0. It used to be ungodly fast, now it’s more sluggish, while linux went from sluggish to faster. “-No flash/Java support in browsers. Some people do need this functionality.” Try IBM’s Java SDK & JVM. True there are no browser plugins, but I don’t miss them or flash as 99.99999% of flash stuff is either crap or ads(and bloated). “-PDA syncing in Linux is pretty much hit and miss. Mostly miss. Getting a Palm Zire 31 to sync with Evolution or any other app is a task not for the faint of heart.” Works for me, although you are correct, it does take knowledge, skill, and intelligence to setup correctly. “Free (as in libre) software is nice and all. But some of us do like to have machines that work. Those of us who do don’t mind paying for OS X.” It does work, it’s just that its not for the entirely clueless, which points out the continuing major fault of linux which you end up sort of alluding to: The never finished development methodology. i.e. release after release of say GNOME with half finished supporting apps, followed by yet another new release with even more half finished apps rather than stopping on a version and FINISHING everything and THEN moving onto a new version. This along with the absolutely abysmal(hence the not for the clueless comment) installation methods, but at least XF86 configuration is(comparatively speaking) trivial nowadays… (Of course none of this applies to server setups, as e.g. you shouldn’t be running X11/GNOME on your server, but then again a *BSD would be a better choice for a server…at least for x86s. *BSD support for ppc outside of Darwin + et. al. isn’t as complete as linux coverage.) Of course OSX has it’s warts as well: cron should be replaced by anacron, or have asynchronous functionality added to it dialup networking support has gone to hell in a handbasket installation needs to have an …even more advanced… install option REAL case support for HFS+ drivers, which should be doable since HFS+ actually does store case information more documentation(included) as to low level OSX functionality requirements for OSX operation a NEW completely rewritten fast finder better bultin process control for the clueless (cmd-opt-ESC) file dialogs that actually remember things(GNOME/KDE/Qt/GTK+ aren’t so hot on this either file locations, “hot finding”, etc.) CPU speed cycling like there used to be for G3 processors under classic OS less focus on the mostly useless iapps and more on the OS itself a move away from applescript to more portable scripting technologies as default, e.g. Ruby, Perl, Python, etc. More “standard” BSD setup, esp. handy for installing/compiling various items not already handled by fink or Darwin ports. (It is MUCH better now than it used to be, but part of that is a fixed autoconf setup & more support for OSX installation by apps, etc. but it still could be better…) Few decent commercial game ports, but more than linux ppc. VM needs to be re-examined/re-written, and probably the entire memory management functionality. …and the good things: Project Builder/XCode: nothing even close on linux Installation process that actually manages to setup everything correctly, even if installation options are severely minimal, requiring post-install cleanup… General application installation is better, even when compiling from source. Surprisingly, better “UNIXy”(?) installation apps: (fink, darwin ports, etc.) But, even overall OSX is not WORTH an annual, or even 18mo. upgrade. Not enough true “features” are offered from release-to-release to justify the pricing, and it looks like no having seen DPs-10.4(expected “feature” set) that it will be every ~4th upgrade that will finally be worth the cost, assuming that your hardware is still supported, or unless you upgrade systems(i.e. entirely new purchase of system) in the meantime, and hence by default purchase a new OS copy included with the purchase. Beyond that linux with all of its own warts is a much better value, unless you a) don not have the minimal amount of time to set things up after installation, or b) are clueless. 2004-12-03 9:51 pm Try octave. It’s something like 99% compatible with matlab unless you are using some esoteric toolboxes, or the “visual” interface(simulab). Most scripts, however, will run under octave with few changes. Octave is no way comparable to MATLAB. We’re not even going into the toolboxes it lacks, but the really basic stuff like plotting multiple series of data on a single chart. The ‘hold on’ functionality seems to be rather broken. Then you don’t have the same tools like you’d have in MATLAB like a debugger, profiler, workspace viewer, etc. And we haven’t even gone into the missing toolkits and simulink. Don’t use airport extreme, and something like 99.9999% of people interested in linux probably won’t have Broadcom(airport extreme) cards either. Other flavors work fine with the caveat that they invariably seem to require, yet again, knowledge, skill, intelligence, and some tweaking to get working. That writes off all the new iBooks and Powerbooks then. No amount of ‘intelligence’ will help here. You need a different machine, or buy a USB adapter which adds to the cost, uses a USB slot, and has something sticking out of your laptop. I love the way your post is condescending to those who choose not to use Linux on a mac because the hardware doesn’t work or the functionality is truly lacking. The automatic assumption when stuff doesn’t work in Linux is that the user is ‘clueless’, a ‘newbie’, lacks ‘intelligence’ or ‘skill’. The fact that Linux requires requires tonnes of ‘skill’ points to how much further it has before becoming a viable alternative to OS X for many. Till then, loads of Mac users will be happy with OS X and the alleged sluggish/expensive/proprietary beast that it is. 2004-12-03 11:18 pm This gives no real reason for that many hackers to improve the various macppc ports of the BSDs and Linuxes out there.. 😀 2004-12-03 11:24 pm You’re right, I’m delusional x86 Linux wannabe. I only use macs for Graphic Design and printing but used Web Surfing as an example as it is probably the only thing many around here could relate to. BTW both Safari and Opera run like dogs on a 1Ghz G4 with OS-X 10.3 as does everything else especially in screen draws. Apple needs to pull the finger out and do some serious optimising of their GUI or simplify it so yes, we don’t get the wizz bang look but we get something that bloody responds to User Input without needing Dual G5 2.5Ghz Macs. Pathetic from the supposed “Industry Leaders in User Friendly Productive Computing” but then you wouldn’t know cause I would presume you have never left your Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field have you? Tell me to upgrade, hey I’d love too but A$ 7,796.00 for a top of the line Mac here in the Land of Oz is way too steep. Apple prices outside of the US are extreme in the least. But, then if you’re willing to forkout? 2004-12-03 11:36 pm Uh…. so the only people who find Macs usable are believing in Steve Job’s reality distortion field? Geez…. someone’s been drinking too much on a Friday night. Or too little. I work on Linux and OS X daily. Your criticisms of the screen redraws on OS X are unwarranted. If you knew how OS X drew stuff to the screen, you’ll know that it’s pretty much impossible to see redraws. Safari is fine on my 12″ Powerbook and my 14″ iBook G3. Scrolling up and down a web-page doesn’t show any issues. It looks pretty much the same as it would under Linux and I assume Windows. Text and images scroll by very quickly. You don’t need a top of the line mac for good UI responsiveness. I’ve got Terminal, Mail, Safari, SubEthaEdit, Adium, iCal, MATLAB and Netbeans open at any single time. I don’t see any slowdown in UI responsiveness. Maybe I’m just lucky and got a Mac that just works. 2004-12-03 11:38 pm Probably the real prob with PPC Linux is Display Driver support for the hardware vendors but I know with Linux on x86 and Nvidia GF4 series hardware the GUI beats anything else hands down. Maybe something to bug Nvidia about? Kernel 2.6.9 X-Org Gnome 2.8 Nvidia IA32 Linux drivers. 2004-12-03 11:46 pm “BTW both Safari and Opera run like dogs on a 1Ghz G4 with OS-X 10.3 as does everything else especially in screen draws.” Mmmm, then please tell me how it comes that when I scroll on my 12″ iBook 1Ghz 256 MBRAM it’s everything but slow… I’m scrolling *right now* up and down this comments page and I see no problems. OSX runs very fast on this machine. 2004-12-03 11:49 pm I second what the person above me said 2004-12-04 3:37 am I’ll third it, my iBook G4 1 GHz 640 MB of RAM runs great, it’s slower than my G5 but that’s to be expected. Before I moved to OS X I was using Linux on the desktop for 10 years I can see no reason to go back. Linux is a great server OS, OS X is a great desktop one. 2004-12-04 9:13 am (Games and iTunes.. and some other things I don’t know of Linux alternatives for (Like FileZilla and Media Player Classic)) Winex (games… mostly anyways)… iTunes? I just use zinf… mplayer does most things media related easily as well as media player classic, and can easily be integrated into mozilla or firefox (works with everything I’ve seen but launch.com, because they suck). And if you want a pretty ftp interface, FireFTP is good enough. Not nearly as detailed as FileZilla, but easy, clean, and integrated into the browser (ease of use as most ftp addresses, that I use anyways, come off of web pages). Not saying they will let you ditch Windows©, just that they are generally workable alternatives so you won’t have to reboot as often. As for full GPU support, I don’t know about linux, but I’m pretty sure that OpenBSD has acceleration support for the ATI mobility 9200 in the iBooks (read: 9700 support for Powerbook will probably follow soon), so if you really needed it you could go that route too. 2004-12-04 4:01 pm In use the latest yellowdog feels faster but less smooth than OSX and the user interface is less complete. YDL is not quite good enough on a G4 iBook yet for me to switch. When you try to follow advice like ‘just use a usb adaptor for wireless’ Linux falls over. I have two of them and neither of them work and who knows if they ever will. Even the G4 iBook video card is not fully supported under YDL. A real weakness of Linux on PPC is no binary drivers are available. Linux on x86 depends a lot on closed source binary drivers. You only appreciate this when you try to run Linux on a Mac. Meanwhile since you can still run most of the best Linux software on OSX and OSX is reasonably secure there are few compelling reasons for Apple users to switch. It may be that using a Mac is enough of a minority hobby without changing to a barely used operating system. However for a low end mac like an iBook G3 clamshell, YDL works very well, arguably better performance than OSX, the wireless chips are old enough to have Linux drivers, the power management works when you close the lid and so on. And YDL is miles better than OS9 for stability.