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iMac G4 800/256MB && *Nix. Opinions?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Viper_Security

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 01:25 AM

Hello Bleeping, I have some questions. all opinions are welcome as long as you explain the reasoning behind it.

I have an old iMac G4 800 (PPC Architecture) I have installed Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) using the USB 1.1 ports and the Open Firmware(bios basically) using:  boot usb2/disk@1:,\\yaboot . . .  and booted to a CD, Ubuntu 9.04 works just fine with the iMac no errors during install or start up.

But when I try to boot anything higher than that the screen just stays some pinkish color,i did however get Lubuntu 12.04 PPC installed on there and i can see and read the screen (barely) but it's not the right colors, it's purple and swirly, i have edited/made countless xorg.conf files and none of them seem to fix it.

 

Changing the sources list /etc/apt/sources.list does not help when trying to install an updated (as possible)

 

and using:

live video=ofonly - No Go.

live nosplash video=ofonly - No Go.

live nosplash video=nouveau - No Go.

I've tried

 

Should i replace the CD drive with a DVD drive and try that way?

 

Thoughts?

So my question is, What PPC version of Linux/UNIX do you recommend for PPC iMacG4 800MHz/256MB, and why?

 

 

Please No Mac/OSX Variants.
 


Edited by Viper_Security, 27 June 2016 - 01:26 AM.

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#2 NickAu

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 01:38 AM

256mb Ram?

 

 Puppy linux, Because its light weight, I mean super light weight you can run it from CD or USB.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux

 

When our resident Puppy expert Mike reads this, He will be able to help you with selecting the right version for your PC.

 

#3 Viper_Security

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 01:43 AM

 

256mb Ram?

 

 Puppy linux, Because its light weight, I mean super light weight you can run it from CD or USB.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux

 

When our resident Puppy expert Mike reads this, He will be able to help you with selecting the right version for your PC.

 

 

Yes 256mb Ram.

 

Puppy huh? I'll wait for his suggestion on which version.

 

Thank you NickAu.

 

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#4 DeimosChaos

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:12 AM

I second puppy with those low end specs. Anything else is probably a bit to heavy for it, especially Ubuntu.


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#5 Viper_Security

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:23 AM

I second puppy with those low end specs. Anything else is probably a bit to heavy for it, especially Ubuntu.

Yeah, it's my Crapple haha,


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#6 Al1000

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:49 AM

Since you're having graphics related problems with Linux distros, I suspect you'll have the same problems with the Puppy distros that are based on these Linux distros. That's what I found when I tried booting Tahr Puppy on my old laptop which doesn't boot any *buntu 14.04 distros.

Two Puppies I suggest trying are Precise Puppy Retro, and Lucid 5.2.8.7

http://puppylinux.org/main/Long-Term-Supported%20Puppy.htm

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=90461

You could also try antiX which uses around the same amount of system resources as Puppy, and unlike Puppy is a "full" Linux distro.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 11:10 AM

Hello, Viper_Security.

 

I suspect Nick is 'banging my drum' a bit too hard on this one..!

 

Now, then; are we right in thinking that this is the 'beast' in question?

 

GFxsP3o.jpg

 

Specs-wise, Puppy would run fine with the hardware side of things.....but the fly in the ointment is that damn 800 MHz PowerPC 7445 (G4) processor you've got running in there. It dates from a period in history when the AIM conglomerate were in existence (Apple, IBM and Motorola), all working to help each other out, and generate new sales for themselves in the process.

 

The trouble with the PowerPC's was that they used a rather different type of architecture to everybody else; RISC, as opposed to CISC, which the majority of manufacturers went with. Many used or tried RISC in the late 80's/early 90's, but on the whole consumer grade CPUs ended up travelling the x86 path. This explains it to some extent:-

 

http://www.firmcodes.com/difference-risc-sics-architecture/

 

Now for the bad news. No-one, to the best of my knowledge (which is NOT extensive, believe it or not!), has managed to compile a Puppy distro on a PowerPC machine. It would have to be built from the ground up on such a machine in order for it to work correctly. A few people attempted it, some years ago now, but all the projects ended up being still-born.....apparently due, in the main, to problems with the compiler itself.

 

Are you able to upgrade the RAM on this beastie? Ideally, you would need at least double, if not four times the amount.....but machines of that vintage often didn't have the available slots to install the amounts you would need.

 

Edit:- According to this:-

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_800_fp.html

 

...it will upgrade to 1 GB of RAM; but it's quite low spec RAM (only PC100/133). And accordingto this:-

 

http://www.datamemorysystems.com/apple-imac-flat-panel-g4-800mhz-17-m8812ll/a-2002-memory-upgrades/

 

...the two slots are in completely different locations on the machine. Not only that, but they're completely different types of module, too! One is a 144-pin SoDIMM, the other is 168-pin.....and both are SDRAM. Not the much more common type of DDR that is prevalent today. You can get it, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.....

 

There's also the problem of the Adobe Flashplayer. Adobe dropped support for PowerPC's back in 2011:-

 

http://lowendmac.com/ed/bashur/11db/powerpc-flash-support.html

 

.....and without Flashplayer, your web-browsing experience is going to be a bit bare, to say the least! That's assuming you can find a browser that will actually run on it. The whole problem hinges around the fact that although the PowerPC chips were in many ways far more capable than the alternative Intel x86 architecture, Apple themselves are the masters of 'planned obsolescence'.....the whole point of which is to make it so hard to run an older machine that you have to purchase a new one in order to be able to actually do anything..! And other people won't continue to develop software for an architecture that is fast becoming rarer than hen's teeth.

 

I hate to say it, but in light of the hardware side of things, I think you're going to have to 'bite the bullet' and just admit that this particular hunk of hardware is not going to achieve what you'd like it to. I know it's not what you want to hear, but just sometimes, ya gotta call it a day.....

 

 

Mike.  :(


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 27 June 2016 - 11:27 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, Seagate 'Expansion' 3 TB  USB 3.0 external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Belkin PCI USB 2.0 4-port card, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz P4, 1.5 GB DDR1, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external storage, HP HD2300 webcam.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#8 Al1000

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 11:49 AM

but the fly in the ointment is that damn 800 MHz PowerPC 7445 (G4) processor you've got running in there.


Good catch.

The only supported Linux distro listed on distrowatch for old computers with PPC architecture is Lubuntu:

http://distrowatch.com/search.php?ostype=Linux&category=Old+Computers&origin=All&basedon=All&notbasedon=None&desktop=All&architecture=powerpc&package=All&rolling=All&isosize=All&netinstall=All&status=Active

....but it sounds like the graphics aren't up to the job on this particular machine.




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