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Old 03-02-2006, 05:14 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX or Lakeland, FL
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
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putting linux on ibook g3, can't fix some things

a couple hours of searching online, and I'm still stuck.

I picked up an old ibook g3 to use as my personal laptop running Linux. I've tried a few distros, each having its own quirks that made me look elsewhere, and now after a few days of spending too much time on this, I still don't have it working 100%.

first I tried Debian, but the instructions I found online didn't work for my machine and I couldn't grasp the basics enough to make Debian install the way I wanted. figured that's something I'm just not ready for.

next I went with Yellow Dog. it installed just fine and was running ok. the special ibook keys for screen brightness, volume, and ejecting the cd drive all worked. the right click was set to F11, which I found annoying, but at least it was there since the mouse only has one button. but, YDL 4.01 came with no Firefox or Thunderbird, and since that's pretty much all I want to use on this machine, I couldn't go that route. (spent the better part of yesterday trying to figure out how to get those programs onto the machine, with no luck.)

I tried the live cd for Kubuntu. it didn't boot up until the 3rd try, and even then it didn't seem to have what I needed so I moved on.

finally I installed Fedora Core 4, and was pleased that it came with Firefox and Thunderbird right off the bat. in fact, all the software I wanted was there, and I was excited, thinking I would finally be finished with this mess. lol

while Fedora is running just fine, there is no right click that I can find, either online or by trying different key combinations. the buttons for the screen brightness work, but the rest didn't. I found a program called PBbuttonsd and installed it (tried anyway) and the eject button works now, but the volume buttons don't seem to do anything. tried to test them out by inserting a cd, but heh, the audio wasn't coming out of the speakers anyway, even though the sound card had worked when I tested it during installation.

so now I'm stuck. I've searched everywhere I can think of for some solution, but I'm at my wits end. I can't use Linux without a right mouse button. I would like to be able to set a key of my choosing to act as my right mouse button, since the ibook has this useless "option" key anyway, but I'll deal with anything so long as it works. but I can't go back to YDL because it doesn't have the software I need. (supposedly, YDL 4.1 includes both programs, but it is not available for download, and I'm not really cool with paying so much when I don't know if it will do the trick for me. given how many distros I've tried on my laptops so far, I don't want to start spending money on an OS until I am absolutely sure it's worth it.)

so, any suggestions? is it worth fighting it out with FC4 to get it to work? or should I shelve the ibook for a few weeks in hopes that YDL 4.1 becomes available for download later on? or is there some other distro that I haven't tried that might work better?
Old 03-02-2006, 07:55 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Vancouver BC
Distribution: LFS, SLak, Gentoo, Debian
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alt+click is also available.

mac defaults, so they could have put them into the bios.

you did use the ppc version of fedora?
it would have the mappings for the single button mouse added to it automatically.
Old 03-03-2006, 02:28 AM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX or Lakeland, FL
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yeah, I tried those as well, but no luck. I did use the ppc version of FC4, but perhaps it's better suited to newer ibooks? I don't know. after a day of thinking about it, I've decided it's probably best to leave it on the shelf for a few weeks while I focus on other things, and hope that YDL 4.1 is available to the public when I come back to it.

thanks for the suggestions, though.


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