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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 11-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #1
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Best User Friendly Distro For iMac?

I've got an old (circa '01. 400mhz CPU and 128mb of RAM) G3 iMac that's about as usefull as a large, fragile paperweight with its current install of Mac OS 9, and it couldn't hurt to have another Linux box, so the only question is, which distro?

I was originally thinking about Debian, since I've gotten fairly comfortable using Ubuntu, been wanting to try it for a while, and most PPC machines from this era I've seen seem to be running Debian along with a lightweight window manager. The install process doesn't seem as user friendly as Ubuntu's though, and the G3 is a pretty arcane peice of hardware compared to most x86 boxes. So still being fairly new to Linux, I fear I may be left with a half bricked machine if I go down that path.

I considered Yellow Dog for a while, but I've kinda fallen in love with apt-get, and it doesn't seem to have as many packages available as Debain based operating systems do.

I've also seen Fedora and Gentoo suggested for iMacs like mine. Gentoo doesn't seem too user friendly, and while I'd be fine installing either of 'em on one of my PCs to screw around with, for this, staying as close to home as possible seems to be the best course of action.

So I guess I'm looking for a (preferably) Debian based distro that's user friendly and has good PPC support. Or a whole bunch of reassurance about the ease and compatibility of Debian or another OS like Gentoo or Fedora.

Oh, if all else fails, what about a flavor of BSD like FreeBSD? No apt-get, but I've been wanting to try BSD for a while as well.
Old 11-26-2007, 07:48 AM   #2
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You have a NewWorld Mac there, so the install will be no problem; you don't have to jump through hoops with chainloading from OS < 9 or any of that foolishness (which is terrible, I have had to do it on a Beige G3).

As for the distribution, just use Debian. The install process is extremely simple, I can't imagine how you would have any problems with it; it is largely automated. Just answer the questions it asks, and wait.
Old 11-26-2007, 08:02 AM   #3
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The main thing I disliked about the Debian installer is the partitioning tool. When I installed Ubuntu, I just had to set the size of the partition and hit enter. When I got to that chunk of the install with Debian (also where I decided I'd try it again later when I had more time and exited), it asked about which partition to use for the swap file (Ubuntu just made one), and a couple other confusing things regarding my partition setup (details are more than a bit hazy, this happened a few months ago and at well past midnight). That may have happened because when I installed Ubuntu it was more or less a clean disk, just Windows, and when I was trying to install Debian I had the Ubuntu partition, Windows, swap, some unformatted free space, and a couple other small partitions that don't want to be read with any tools like gparted. Guess it couldn't hurt to try the Debian install, since I just be wiping the disk and starting fresh...

Yeah, I know the pain old world Macs can be. If it were an old world machine, this post wouldn't exist, lol. Got an old world Powerbook sitting under my desk ATM. Waiting until I have a couple weeks of free time to attempt installing Linux...

Last edited by Apt403; 11-26-2007 at 08:07 AM.


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