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#1 2017-11-04 18:31:17

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 307

Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

Hey guys,

For a long time I've used lubuntu on my 1.67ghz G4 Apple PowerBook, but Debian and Ubuntu have both sunsetted their support for powerpc. I think there may be some sort of 64 bit PPC support moving forward, but 32 bit is basically EOL'd, and was in a crap state to begin with.

So, I pulled the trigger and did something masochistic: I installed gentoo. smile

What a difference. I mean, getting the whole thing up and running has been a week long challenge, and I'm still doing a fair bit of tweaking, but the speed comparison between lubuntu and gentoo is...well, no comparison. Lubuntu reminds me of my 60 horsepower '69 Beetle, and gentoo is my girlfriend's 2017 BMW 340i. It's incredible.

Now, don't get me wrong. On a core-i7 with 16 gigs of RAM, I don't think we'd see a drastic change in speed between gentoo and any other distro, but for these resource constrained older computers, it's pretty incredible.

I'd be curious to do a bunsenlabs like build on this gentoo PowerBook and see how things look and feel. Anyone do any bunsenlabs skinning on other distros, aside from ubuntu or arch?

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#2 2017-11-04 19:59:28

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,393

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

cloverskull wrote:

2017 BMW 340i

OT: I'm seeing a controversial issue right here.


A silent kite against the blue, blue sky

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#3 2017-11-04 20:06:18

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

cloverskull wrote:

the speed comparison between lubuntu and gentoo is...well, no comparison

Benchmarks?


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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#4 2017-11-05 04:02:44

glittersloth
...always giving it to you straight
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 745

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

twoion wrote:
cloverskull wrote:

2017 BMW 340i

OT: I'm seeing a controversial issue right here.

I don't see the problem. Girlfriend has deep pockets. Dude's living the sponger's life. Every man's dream.

Last edited by glittersloth (2017-11-05 04:03:08)

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#5 2017-11-05 10:51:20

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

cloverskull wrote:

Anyone do any bunsenlabs skinning on other distros, aside from ubuntu or arch?

I've replicated the basic configuration in Slackware, Alpine Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD and they're all pretty similar, just copy the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME stuff over and profit.


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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#6 2017-11-06 02:09:12

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 307

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

twoion wrote:
cloverskull wrote:

2017 BMW 340i

OT: I'm seeing a controversial issue right here.

I also have a 1967 GTO that I neglected to mention. wink

I have no need for a daily car, she commutes, so she gets the new fancy car. I get to have weekend toys.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

Benchmarks?

Not sure how to grab meaningful benchmarks, but I'm open to suggestions. The R300 driver on linux for PPC is screwed, though, so no decent 3d.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

I've replicated the basic configuration in Slackware, Alpine Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD and they're all pretty similar, just copy the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME stuff over and profit.

Interesting. I'll give this a shot. Right now I'm stuck on trying to get firefox to work. Gentoo is a lot of things but straightforward ain't one of em.

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#7 2017-11-06 06:59:25

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

cloverskull wrote:

Not sure how to grab meaningful benchmarks, but I'm open to suggestions

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PhoronixTestSuite

Gentoo is a lot of things but straightforward ain't one of em.

I always like to run Gentoo in the winter — the compiling keeps the room warm  monkey


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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#8 2018-02-28 19:52:18

m1rr0r5h4d35
Member
Registered: 2017-01-08
Posts: 40

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

Yes, as someone with a lot of old hardware, and an interest in installing Gentoo at least once in my life, I would be interested in the benchmarks as well.


"A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding."

- William Gibson

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#9 2018-03-02 19:18:21

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 307

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

Hey, sorry, neglected to follow up here. The powerbook is gone, I sold it as it was mainly serving as a bookend. smile

That said, under gentoo it was more or less usable, under lubuntu it was not. But gentoo had a ton of problems with their 32 bit PPC ports. I couldn't even get a web browser working, so I abandoned it.

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#10 2018-03-02 22:25:36

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

I always like to run Gentoo in the winter — the compiling keeps the room warm  monkey


Hahaha... Actually there is a startup using computers' heat to warm up rooms - and it even works... Speaking of warm: Undusting the fan of my notebook lead to a temperature decrease of around 4-5 C. It even lead to longer battery times.

Gentoo is on my to do list. I've been just collecting mental strength for this task to give it a try one day.

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#11 2018-03-02 22:32:55

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: Linux on my G4 Apple PowerBook

martix wrote:

Gentoo is on my to do list. I've been just collecting mental strength for this task to give it a try one day.

Tbh I never really bothered with Gentoo, the stage3 tarball seemed like cheating to me so I just went straight to LFS instead glasses

I couldn't use a source-based distribution for my main system though 'cos I would almost certainly mess up my kernel configuration and remove something critical from the USE flags roll

The urxvt author refuses to accept bug reports from Gentoo users, this is from the FAQ:

urxvt(7) wrote:

I use Gentoo, and I have a problem...

There are two big problems with Gentoo Linux: first, most if not all
Gentoo systems are completely broken (missing or mismatched header
files, broken compiler etc. are just the tip of the iceberg); secondly,
it should be called Gentoo GNU/Linux.

For these reasons, it is impossible to support rxvt-unicode on Gentoo.
Problems appearing on Gentoo systems will usually simply be ignored
unless they can be reproduced on non-Gentoo systems.

I completely agree about GNU  monkey


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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