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Old 02-14-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
jim preston
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Mac G3 to linux

Hi from a newbie here.
Some of you might know me as Jim Preston from other forums (bladeforums, edcforums)
My computer in my room is an IMac g3, blue, running 10.3.4 (Panther) I connect to the Internet using a Hawking Wirelless Utilility USB wireless card, built specifically for Mac

I don't like OSX that much, even Leopard, much less Panther. So, I was thinking that I could maybe switch to Linux

IIUC, there are different operating systems of Linux, right. I would want one that is closer to XP/Vista, general Windows systems, than OSX. No dock, etc. A plus however would be having a Gadgets/Widgets type thingy.
The type of stuff I do is basic computing- surfing the Web, including videos from Youtube and Yahoo, writing and other schoolwork, and listening to music.
Programs I would want:
Internet browser: I 'd probably use Firefox, but if there is a good program more similar to IE, tell me about it.
Word Processor: As close to Word as you can get. Same with Powerpoint and Excel
Email- would be a plus. I currently use a Yahoo email adress, but something like Entourage, or whatever the Windows version is called, would be nice
A paint-type program.
Itunes, or a similar program preferably compatible with Ipods.
Basic games comparible to Space Cadet, Solitaire, Minesweeper. Doesn't have to be exactly that.
Those would really be the ones I would need, and I could download more, right.
Okay- I think I would want to wipe out OSX and reinstall Linux, delete all files.
However, the Internet, the dreaded Internet comes into play. Like I said, I connect using a Hawking wirelles card, to which I posted a link to. It is engineered for Mac, as is the software it came with. Would I be able to run it on a Linux, or is there some type of bootcamp program? I would need internet.
Also, is there any chance that, on my power-pc based Mac, I could use Linux as a type of middle-ground bootcamp thing to install XP- cause that's what I really want.
Thanks in advance
-Jim Preston
Old 02-14-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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I would advise you to proceed ... if at all ... with great caution.

OS/X is a Unix distribution that is highly tuned to your particular hardware ... and there's a lot that you can do with it if you do not happen to prefer the Apple-supplied veneer. Since you have a piece of hardware that has a vendor-supplied Unix distribution (called "OS/X") already custom-made for it, I would suggest that you focus on discovering all that it can do.

For instance... "if you don't like Aqua and you know what you are doing, you can get rid of it completely." You do not have to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

P.S.: I have a G3, still in service...
Old 02-14-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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First things first. iMac g3. Is that Mac with Motorola or Intel chips? It makes a difference which Linux distro you use.

Then, point your browser at There is a search (near the top of the screen) to search for distros that work with Motorola or Intel hardware.

Refine the search to look for liveCD that will work with your hardware. Download the .iso and burn it to a cd/dvd. Then reboot and try it out without installing. There are several that work with Motorola chips; many that work with Intel chips.

PS: they pretty much all have what you have outlined as your desirable features.
Old 02-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #4
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I have SuSE Linux 10.3 PPC on a G4. There is also Yellow Dog Linux and I think a Ubuntu ppc distribution. You might want to investigate whether you could use Yaboot to multiboot between OSX and Linux instead of wiping out OSX. I needed to get rid of any propriety stuff on the Mac and wanted to use Linux instead anyway. I downloaded an install iso image ( ~20MB ) and used a net install. It worked pretty slick. ( The dvd player in the mac was flacky. Three different DVDs I burned had read errors, but I had verified them )

SuSE may be the most XP looking distro theme wise. You would need a 3d accelerated video card module before using XGL however which some Vista effects resemble. ( I'll take the cube over the "big ass analog clock" anyday! )
For ppc that may be a problem depending on which video card you have.
Old 02-17-2008, 05:33 PM   #5
jim preston
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s that Mac with Motorola or Intel chips
It has Power PC, so I guess that's Motorola, cause it's not Intel. If it was Intel I could just install XP on it.
And how do I do the search at distrowatch? And what do you mean by copying the iso, burning the disc, etc?
Old 02-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Here is the image file for an openSUSE10.3 ppc network installation:

You need to use a cd burning software and burn the file as a disk image. You don't simply want to backup the file. You want to produce a bit-by-bit copy that will give you a bootable cd with a number of files. If you have cable or dsl, the installation should go slick. Like I said, I had a problem with 3 different discs so I tried a net installation. I was surprised how well it went.
Old 05-25-2008, 12:17 AM   #7
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ppc burining cd's

I burn ppc iso's at only 8x. the machines seem to read the disks better.


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