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  1. #1

    Question Shoehorning linux onto a G4

    Hi all, I need help installing a Linux distro on an old mac to make a simple desktop home computer details below.

    The Scenario:
    I am trying to breath a couple more years of life into a computer illiterate friend's Mac G4 [POS] computer, it is a paper weight but all he needs is a basic desktop and an web machine and he can't be made to buy a new one unless all other options are exhausted.

    The computer:
    Is a Mac G4 power-PC architecture, 450 MHz, 18 GB HDD, 1024 Mb ram ugly little thing that was gotten for free it currently has mac OS 10.2 [unsupported] and newer OS-X (he is more familiarized with Mac) don't run on power-PC. Currently web pages don't display correctly, flash and other plug-ins and web scripts don't operate and it is very clunky with software bloat.

    My solution???:
    Is to install Linux so he can have a trim clean operating system. Ubuntu 10.04 [community ppc variant] runs off a live CD but is dead slow on account of the low processor power and I was unable to get gnash to run flash video a necessity as Adobe has abandoned power-PC, I suspect the gnash error is between chair and keyboard, advice is welcome. I would like to install a distro more suited to this system currently I am looking at mintPPC but can't quite follow the installation instructions – what is meant by Debian “squeeze” the download link gives me a mini.iso is this the same thing? Also clarification on the terminal commands would be of help. Advice on a different distro is also welcome preferably one with an all in one installing process rather than the mint, Debian, Ubuntu multi-part thingy that mintPPC is; it just needs to be power PC compatible and able to run on a few hundred MHz maybe there is an easy way to put LXDE or Xcfe on a more popular Disto? Any suggestions?

    As for me:
    I am a new Linux convert, discovering the glory this past July and am still learning my way around I am computer literate and somewhat savvy but I am not a tech head and I HATE working on them I can and do it but I don't like it and I am often hampered by ignorance of the latest new/trends and an acute allergy to Macs and Apple products in general.

  2. #2
    what is meant by Debian “squeeze
    I'm guessing that the PPC Version of Mint has Debian Squeeze repositories and underneath it is based on Debian Squeeze instead of Ubuntu.

    To use apt in Debian (or even Ubuntu based for that matter). After a Net install. The first command as root user in terminal is

    apt-get update
    first before installing any packages or upgrading existing ones.

    If using aptitude instead of apt-get

    aptitude update

    for LXDE in Ubuntu (since you say it is already installed) Edit: My bad. I see you said running LiveCD. You really can't judge speed yet of a distro till you install it first. Running off live CD is slower than a install. So I am just answering on how you can install LXDE in a installed Ubuntu and change desktop at GDM Login>Sessions
    Ubuntu -
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Mason Texas
    Ubuntu, Lubuntu or Mint should run fine once you install. Try those, if you still aren't satisfied with the speed, go to and search for older hardware distro's. Have fun.

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