Why run Ubuntu on a G4 Mac?

The real question is why not?. Especially if the Mac only had OS 9.2 on it, and that won’t run at all.

Anyway, the background to all this is that I have a G4 400Mhz Power Mac that I bought from work, it had OS 9.2 on it, but I couldn’t find the system disks anywhere at work, so I installed Ubuntu on it.

It runs really, really well. It’s responsive, more responsive than my Duron 1.3 Ghz machine was back when I used Ubuntu on it – and its the same version I tried on the Mac – I only have a CD of Breezy Badger (5.10) for PPC.

I’m busy downloading Feisty Fawn (7.04) for PPC, because the dist-upgrade refuses to upgrade from Breezy to Edgy or Feisty (I didn’t try going to Dapper), and I got tired of downloading 700+ MB every time I formatted the machine, so I figure a once-off download so I can install a fresh version of the OS is a better alternative …

I’ll be posting more on this little project of mine as I progress through it.

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3 Responses

  1. Ah – I might be able to lay my hands on an old mac in the near future. Perhaps I could get Ubuntu on it like you. Did you have any success with Feisty (or Gutsy)?

  2. Jason says:

    Hello Andrew, congratulations on being the first to post a comment on my journal! Thank you.

    I gave up trying to get Breezy to upgrade, I’m just downloading a n ISO of Feisty instead. I found out the reason it wouldn’t upgrade from Breezy to Feisty is because Ubuntu (and most Debian-based Distros) do not support using the apt-get dist-upgrade the skip versions. That means I would have had to go from Breezy to Dapper to Edgy to Feisty.

    So I am just waiting for the torrent of the Feisty PPC ISO to finish, then I’ll install it. I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work though…

    I have a 800 Mhz Power Mac at work that I use as a PHP development server, its running Feisty on it, although I disabled the GUI and only access it via SSH, so I don’t know how well it would perform as a desktop machine.

  3. That sounds good – I’ll give it a go. It’ll only get used as a server, or maybe for a bit of web browsing, so I’m sure it could cope.

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