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For starters, I do not have the disc yet, but upon going into Ubuntu, I was advised to try Jaunty Jackelope.... I am a complete newbie when it comes to ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! tazz4vr's Avatar
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    Linux install on Old IMac


    For starters, I do not have the disc yet, but upon going into Ubuntu, I was advised to try Jaunty Jackelope.... I am a complete newbie when it comes to linux, not a clue! I can handle my own on a computer, if pointed in the right direction.

    My first and foremost question is in regards to the IMac. Although I tried several apple sites, I still do not have an answer and I can not get past the login screen.

    Here's what I have, hopefully someone can help me out here.... Was given an IMac with no orig install cd's, by going off of wiki, and pictures, it appears to be a 98 G3.

    As I am unable to get past the initial login screen upon it's startup, a friend suggested resetting the admin user password, so he had me do a single-user boot thingy, but nothing.... then he stated that it had to do with a 'firmware' thing, so he had me do another boot thing that got me into it, something with reset-all, hit enter, she rebooted/restarted, and brought me right back to the same startup login screen.... Now he tells me, oops, guess I am not that familiar with Macs... so wanted to dis-member him and beat him with his own arm!

    Helpppppppppppppppppppp!

    First off, do I need the orig install cd's from the Mac to turn this machine into one running linux?

    Second, is there anyway to get past this login screen without those stupid orig cd's?

    Sorry, semi-tensed about this, my patience level is at about 2.5 right now....

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome!

    First... no. You don't need the Mac discs to install Linux
    Second, on a Mac the only way to reset the Admin password if you don't know what it is is with the installation disc.

    As far as installing on this box, what can you tell us about the hardware? Isn't the '98 iMac a G3? If so, that would be a PPC processor. I may be wrong, but I don't believe Jaunty is compatible with PPC chips. But rumour has it that the next release, Karmic Koala, [I]may[I] be what you need. And it should be released in October.
    Otherwise, you'll need to shop around for a compatible distro.
    Jay

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  3. #3
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Do you know how much RAM this thing has? I was looking at Wikipedia and it looks like it came default with 32MB. If so, you're going to have a very difficult time running much of anything on it. Even lightweight linux distros usually want at least 128MB. Ubuntu recommends at least 512MB.

    If you can upgrade your ram to 128MB, I would recommend trying Debian, which is one of the few distros with an official PPC architecture port.

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  5. #4
    Linux Newbie tetsujin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    Do you know how much RAM this thing has? I was looking at Wikipedia and it looks like it came default with 32MB. If so, you're going to have a very difficult time running much of anything on it. Even lightweight linux distros usually want at least 128MB. Ubuntu recommends at least 512MB.

    If you can upgrade your ram to 128MB, I would recommend trying Debian, which is one of the few distros with an official PPC architecture port.
    It all depends on what you choose to run on the machine. In the 1990s my Linux machines had about that much RAM. (I think my first Linux machine had either 8 or 12MB... It's hard to remember.) I wouldn't necessarily try for Gnome or KDE but there's no reason a machine like that can't run an X server, window manager, and web browser. (Maybe an old web browser, though...)

  6. #5
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    Do you know how much RAM this thing has? I was looking at Wikipedia and it looks like it came default with 32MB. If so, you're going to have a very difficult time running much of anything on it. Even lightweight linux distros usually want at least 128MB. Ubuntu recommends at least 512MB.

    If you can upgrade your ram to 128MB, I would recommend trying Debian, which is one of the few distros with an official PPC architecture port.
    I agree with the need for more RAM.
    And along with Debian, CRUX also has a PPC port, found here.
    Jay

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  7. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    I would think Crux is a little advanced for a new user.

    I have a minimal Arch install on my Dell Mini 9, running pekwm, which is a very lightweight window manager. With just the desktop running, and almost no services - alsa, wicd, and ssh pretty much - it uses about 90MB RAM. I would assume a minimal Debian install to be roughly equivalent. With 64MB, and swap, you could function, though performance wouldn't be great.

  8. #7
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    I would think Crux is a little advanced for a new user.
    You're probably right
    I was just at a loss of what distros might have native or ported support for PPC
    Jay

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  9. #8
    Just Joined! tazz4vr's Avatar
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    whoa.... slow down!

    Okay, that's a lot of stuff to take in at one sitting, wow!

    It appears to be the G3 IMac. It is the tangerine case/cover type. If I can not get past the login screen or into the single user screen, how can I tell how much RAM she has, just on the chance that prior owner added/upgraded something at some point?

    Do I need to use tools for this answer?

  10. #9
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazz4vr View Post
    Okay, that's a lot of stuff to take in at one sitting, wow!

    It appears to be the G3 IMac. It is the tangerine case/cover type. If I can not get past the login screen or into the single user screen, how can I tell how much RAM she has, just on the chance that prior owner added/upgraded something at some point?

    Do I need to use tools for this answer?
    I forget the site at the moment, but I can find the basic stock specs for your machine. Can you at least get the serial umber for us? Should be on the bottom of the base.
    Jay

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  11. #10
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    Debian -- PowerPC Port
    is an alternative, if you don't mind running an older kernel. There are some issues with upgrading, but all the links are there.
    OpenBSD/macppc isn't linux, but if you can't find a linux distro that works, this one is tougher to install, but very solid, if your hardware is supported.
    Last edited by Hal343; 09-03-2009 at 06:32 AM. Reason: addition
    Registered Linux User #420832

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