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No luck on this try. I created a live CD from the Ubuntu 12.04 PPC image I downloaded and tried in in that G5. Everything went smoothly until the very end of the boot process, when the desktop flickered on for an instant, then disappeared, leaving a blank white screen except for the top panel, which functioned correctly, and the default Ubuntu wallpaper under the invisible Unity launcher. The launcher was present; the tooltips appeared when the mouse was rolled over the unseen icons. Applications also launched; the cursor changed when the mouse was rolled in and out of where the window would be if it were visible.
I expect it might be a video-card issue. At any rate, I'm going to seek out and try other PPC builds of Linux distros. I haven't found many. Other than Ubuntu, Fedora and Kubuntu are all I've found so far. I hope I find something that works. Thanx for your help.
The latest in this saga is that, I couldn't find any live media that worked, so I installed Kubuntu 12.04 PPC from an install-only disk. The installation was successful; but there's still the same problem I had with the live media, which is that bootup goes normally until login. The desktop then fails to render, and I'm left with only the mouse cursor against a black screen. The mouse works normally, so the mouse drivers are OK. I expect it's something to do with the video drivers and\or the video card itself.
Last edited by hawkfeather; 07-28-2013 at 12:38 AM.
I think if you can see the mouse, it proves the video card is working. There is some other issue going on. Try other distro's to see if exact symptoms maybe. Test other consoles maybe. See if ctrl-alt 1 or F1 or such gets you to a command prompt. There you might figure out what is stopping in x.