LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 10-27-2006, 01:34 PM   #1
Ogi
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Belgrade
Distribution: Anything with a bash prompt :P
Posts: 74

Rep: Reputation: 15
PowerMac G5 with linux (info on potential and pitfalls)


Hi all,

Since the Intel transition my friend want's to get rid of his old Dual PowerPC G5 Power Mac (2GHz I think), and I am thinking of taking it off his hands.

The thing is I primarily want to run linux (gentoo most likely) on it, I'm not really interested in OSX. But as this would be my first foray into PowerPC architecture I want to know what the pitfalls may be.

I primarily want to use the system for number crunching, also things like Audio/Video encoding/editing (using mplayer primarily) and other multimedia programs.

What I want to know is what is the performance like. Some people have told me that the G5's altivec beats everything else for multimedia processing, but others say that modern AMD64's and Intel core CPU's are better. (there don't seem to be many benchmarks in this area)

Also what is linux support like on PPC? For example it would be great if Altivec does indeed provide a lot of performance gains in multimedia, but this would not be of use if most programs and compilers cannot generate code that makes use of it.

Also whats the hardware support like? Anyone running Linux on a Power Mac which could provide some insight? I don't want to end up with something I can't really use.

Thanks.

Last edited by Ogi; 10-27-2006 at 02:05 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2006, 01:55 PM   #2
johnson_steve
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
Posts: 1,152

Rep: Reputation: 46
I don't have a G5 but I've run gentoo on a G3 and G4 and it worked great many programs such as mplayer can be compiled with Altivec support by adding 'altivec' to your use flags in make.conf Hardware support is very good in my experience; I have everything but my modem working (never tried) on my G4 ibook. One thing to be aware of is there are a few programs that are available for mac and linux but not linux on a mac. For example skype, mupen64 or flash support for firefox. But overall I would say everything works very nicely with gentoo on a mac.
 
Old 11-01-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
Ogi
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Belgrade
Distribution: Anything with a bash prompt :P
Posts: 74

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks alot for info about your experience.

Some questions though, are there any opensource programs which can't be used with PowerPC?

Basically can any program I compile and run on x86 Linux I can compile and run on PowerPC linux without any code modifications, or do programs require some modification between archs?

(for example compile gaim, firefox and the GNOME subsystem? )

Also, what is driver support like? What graphics do the MAC's use and does 3D accel exist for them??

And for example can I stick a "normal" AGP graphics card in and use the binary Nvidia Drivers for GL support (I would like to give XGL a go) or are there only certain hardware cards supported?

Thanks.

Last edited by Ogi; 11-01-2006 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old 11-02-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
johnson_steve
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
Posts: 1,152

Rep: Reputation: 46
most but not everything that you can get in source form can be compiled and run on ppc. I have firefox, gaim and gnome support on my ibook with no problems. My ibook has an Ati Radeon Mobility 9200 (AGP) and I get full 3d with the opensource radeon driver that comes with x.org. all of my hardware is supported by the kernel (including wifi, firewire ,sleep, special keyboard keys.) As far as I know the powermacs take regular pci and agp cards but the nvidia driver is out because its a binary (for x86)
 
Old 11-19-2006, 10:03 PM   #5
LingXioayu
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
PowerPc Mac

Power Pc Linux huh. Hehe Ok lemmie just start with a little back ground. I own 26 computer, Yes 26 in my lab "Living Room" im a total nerd. I happen to own and run 5 macs "hopefully ill be trashing my 040 mac when I get my emplant card working in my amiga" Any ways I have used os X and os 9 and os 8 os 7 and even lower, I finally got pissed of at os X every time you try to bend the rules you end up reloading. its annoying its slow its mac os for ya. so I tried linux. Gentoo I didnt have a hole lot of luck if you wanna compile every dam thing thats your choice. Yellow dog has very poor support. Now Ubuntu thats a ppc os. I run Kubuntu 6.06.1 these days running on a emac g4 700mhz nvidia card. 1gig of ram and 250gigs of harddrive with a dvd burner. I have had my problems with ppc linux like major "NO OPENGL" yea it sucks but I found that NVU works on it torrent software media "for the most part keeping in mind its a trick to get windows media formats to work" but disadvantages its a pain in the ass to get flash working. NOT IMPOSSABLE but a pain in the ass. Open gl on a nvidia is out of the question since nvidia is stingy and wont make open source or release ppc drivers. So I suggest ati you can get most of those working much easyser on ppc since most ppc had ati any ways. I ran it orgainlly on an imac and the sound works a little funny on aio systems. so if possable get a desktop much better sound support. but other the opening up repositorys and maybe compiling some stuff of my own I love it much better the mac os and I suggest trying it. Hey if all else fails you can still use Mac On Linux notten better then running os x under linux in a nice convenent window right? sure it is so you can make more worthy apps running at the same time. Install os x on a partition install your classic then get ububntu.
 
  


Reply

Tags
apple, g5, gentoo, linux, macintosh, powermac, powerpc, support


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
trying to understand 'sudoers' and its potential pitfalls nass Linux - Security 1 04-28-2006 11:56 PM
Buying a laptop for linux/ dual boot- what are the pitfalls? jrbiochem Linux - Laptop and Netbook 4 12-09-2005 06:31 AM
Linux on PowerMac dysfunction Linux - Newbie 2 09-28-2004 06:07 PM
Linux on a powermac G4 question idontknowwhoiam Linux - Newbie 2 10-24-2003 08:24 AM
SMP (Dual CPU) Linux pitfalls. bluceree Linux - Software 0 10-14-2003 11:46 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:38 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration