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Old 03-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
jeffpeck
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Advice requested on installing Linux on a G4 400Mhz


I have a Mac G4 with 10.3.9 installed. It's main use is for the internet - email, Youtube, etc. as well as playing DVDs and music. I have installed Firefox 2 and Flash 9 and Youtube videos will play... very slowly. I am wondering if it would be better in Firefox 4 and Flash 10. Unfortunately they do not exist for OS X 10.3.9. It is not worth it to pay $200-400 for OS 10.4, so I am wondering if it would make more sense to install some build of Linux.

Does anybody have any advice as to what build would be the best for my scenario?

Thanks,
Jeff
 
Old 03-11-2010, 10:08 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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A Linux distribution would at least give you modern software and wouldn't cost you anything, though I don't know that your performance will be any better.

As for a distribution, you could look at Yellow Dog Linux, which is the last real distribution focused on PPC. Other choices would be Debian or Gentoo.
 
Old 03-12-2010, 01:38 AM   #3
replica9000
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Someone gave me a G4 [733mhz, 768MB RAM, Geforce2 MX 400] with OSX 10.4.8 installed. Also has Firefox 1.5 and Flash 9. I have tried a few videos on Youtube and they seem to play ok.

I have installed Debian 5.04 on the same G4. Performance, using XFCE4, is a little slow compared to OSX. This could be partly due to the only Nvidia driver available for PowerPC is the xorg nvidia driver.

I have installed Firefox 3.6 which seems to run ok, however, there doesn't really seem to be a Adobe Flash plug-in available for Linux on the PowerPC platform. I found this link telling me about alternatives such as Gnash and swfdec. I tried both. swfdec didn't even seem to be recognized by Firefox. Gnash kinda works on some sites with flash images, but all I have for Youtube is a empty black box. It's possible newer versions found in Debian testing or unstable may work better...

I think I could get better performance out of Linux on my old AMD K6III+@550mhz than I can get out of this G4 running Linux.

I'm finding out that support for Linux on PPC isn't as great compared to the x86/x86_64 platforms.
 
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
jeffpeck
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Thank you for the advice. I decided to try to install Debian and and ran into this issue:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...eady..-796119/


Did you have something similar happen?

Based on what you told me, I might just give up and go back to OS X and eventually get a cheap AMD PC to run Linux. I have been working at this issue (at the above link) for a while now.
 
Old 03-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
jefro
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http://lowendmac.com/mac2win/08m2w/v...contender.html
 
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:35 AM   #6
replica9000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpeck View Post
Thank you for the advice. I decided to try to install Debian and and ran into this issue:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...eady..-796119/


Did you have something similar happen?

Based on what you told me, I might just give up and go back to OS X and eventually get a cheap AMD PC to run Linux. I have been working at this issue (at the above link) for a while now.
I haven't had that problem. Could be a hardware or software thing. Did you install Debian Stable? At this point, a 400mhz machine may be too slow for a current Linux kernel. Even if there was Adobe Flash for Debian PPC, might not have the processing power to play videos on Youtube. OSX seems to be well optimized for the hardware it's used on.
I have an older G4 (333mhz I think), I might play with that soon to see what it's capable of...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Any idea how it runs? I tried installing Debian for PowerPC in Qemu on my dual core machine (3300mhz) and it probably ran slower than a 286...
 
Old 03-18-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
Endrew
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Quote:
At this point, a 400mhz machine may be too slow for a current Linux kernel
How do you mean? Is a customized 2.6.33 kernel slower than a customized 2.6.27?
 
Old 03-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
jefro
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Can't say how well it runs. QEMU without accelerator is slow. Virtualbox is about as fast as it would get. Simple enough to try and let us know.
 
Old 03-19-2010, 02:35 AM   #9
replica9000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endrew View Post
How do you mean? Is a customized 2.6.33 kernel slower than a customized 2.6.27?
Customized? Maybe not. A generic kernel, maybe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Can't say how well it runs. QEMU without accelerator is slow. Virtualbox is about as fast as it would get. Simple enough to try and let us know.
The only two accelerators I could find in the Debian repo only seem to accelerate for x86 based machines. I like VBox, but the version I have (3.0.12) doesn't seem to support PPC.
 
Old 03-19-2010, 04:19 AM   #10
Endrew
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Adobe Flashplayer sucks even on an Intel PIII machine too...the problem is the player, not the HW.

I use downloadhelper add-on in Firefox to download youtube videos and playback with MPlayer smoothly. You can do the same. I agree this is not so convenient, but a workaround.

So i don't care about slow flashplayer...
 
Old 03-19-2010, 01:32 PM   #11
jeffpeck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endrew View Post
Adobe Flashplayer sucks even on an Intel PIII machine too...the problem is the player, not the HW.

I use downloadhelper add-on in Firefox to download youtube videos and playback with MPlayer smoothly. You can do the same. I agree this is not so convenient, but a workaround.

So i don't care about slow flashplayer...
That's a great idea. I just might go back to OS X and do it that way using VLC. Thank you for the idea!
 
  


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