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iBook G3 Clamshell I Scored!


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#1 OFFLINE   Cookie

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:46 PM

Hey All,

No, this is not a Mac question.  This is most certainly a Linux question.

Background first.
Apple repair shop guy gave me an old...wicked old, iBook G3.  The awesome Clamshell model.  It has a handle for crying out loud!

It is a 366mhz G3 ppc.  128 mb ram. 12 gig HD.

Slow and ancient...but oh so cool.  

I wiped the password locked version of OS9 that was installed on it and installed Ubuntu 10.04.  So slow it was not functional.

So, I went Lubuntu.  Slow!!!!  And some kind of vid issue.

Then Gentoo.  I got my butt kicked.  

Finally Ubuntu 9.04.  It works! It is somewhat usable.  But just to run Gnome it takes up 70% of my processing resource.  RAM and swap are fine.  Not perfect but fine.  

I plan on hitting up eBay and trying to find a 512mb RAM stick for it.

So it seems to me the issue is processing power.  Bad news.  My question.  Is there a distro out there that would make this awesome piece of computing history usable again? Or should I crawl back to OS9 and be happy?

Thanks, I leave this issue to the Linux Gurus...

Cookie
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:22 PM

Here are some I know of off the top of my head:

Bodhi Linux only requires 300+MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, and 2.5GB hard drive space plus the developer is a member here (Jeff Hoogland): http://www.bodhilinux.com/

Puppy Linux is another lightweight distro. It only requires 333MHz CPU and 64MB ram.
http://puppylinux.or...temRequirements

Crunchbang is also a lightweight distro that is based on Debian and uses openbox. Crunchbang will run on 128mb but 256 is suggested http://crunchbang.org/

Vector linux is a light distro based upon Slackware and is super light. It also only requires 128mb of ram and a P3 or higher: http://vectorlinux.c...on#requirements

Those are some off the top of my head although I had to look at their system requirements. That should get you started and I hope it helps.
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#3 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:45 PM

Ah crap, hold on.... The G3 had a powerpc processor
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#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:52 PM

Debian is available for the PPC: https://www.debian.o...pc/inst/install

Mint PPC is a linuxmint/debian based distro for PPC processors that only requires 128mb of ram and looks pretty cool!!!  http://www.mintppc.org/about
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#5 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:53 AM

That MintPPC looks interesting!  Mint used to have an LXDE desktop version, but I haven't seen it for several release cycles now.  Looks like MintPPC is around the same era (based on Katya, versus Lisa).  Never heard of it before, but looks quite polished in screenshots.

And just to add to your list of low-resource distros, both AntiX and LXLE perform very well on "limited" machines:

AntiX (distrowatch link with screensot):
http://distrowatch.c...tribution=antix

LXLE (distrowatch link with screenshot):
http://distrowatch.c...stribution=lxle

Disclaimer:  I have no idea what PPC is, potentially rendering my suggestions as unusable.  I'm suggesting them based on your hardware speed/RAM.  Being "stuck" with MintPPC doesn't look like a bad thing?!

#6 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

MintPPC might be good, however, if you run into issues getting X to run:

http://www.mintppc.o....php?f=10&t=502

Pure Debian with LXDE has been run in 128MB RAM on PPC.

Great to see you Cookie!
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#7 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:49 AM

View PostHedon James, on 15 May 2014 - 06:53 AM, said:

Disclaimer:  I have no idea what PPC is, potentially rendering my suggestions as unusable.  I'm suggesting them based on your hardware speed/RAM.  Being "stuck" with MintPPC doesn't look like a bad thing?!

PPC is the PowerPC processor that Apple used in their computers up until they made the switch to Intel Processors a few years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC
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#8 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:31 AM

Thank you for the link SB.  Unfortunately, most of that technical jargon is way above my pay grade.  Here's what I understood, as paraphrased:  a legacy chip architecture that once looked promising as the wave of the future, but is no longer viewed that way because something better came along.  Now relegated to a legacy "niche" status and no longer actively being pursued.

#9 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:00 AM

Basically it is a processor type that is no longer being used. Like Intel, AMD, Sparc, etc. Older macs had a PPC processor instead of an Intel processor like the current ones have.
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#10 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

This is a great article on PPC at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC
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#11 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:12 AM

View PostLilBambi, on 15 May 2014 - 11:07 AM, said:

This is a great article on PPC at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC

Posted that above ;)
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#12 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

Yeah, knew that but it is a great article and worth repeating. ;)
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#13 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

http://penguinppc.or.../distributions/

Above for a list.

http://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/

http://penguinppc.org/mac/

These may help also. :shifty:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
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#14 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:57 PM

Here's another one: http://oss.gonicus.d...x.php/Main_Page
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#15 OFFLINE   Cookie

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:49 PM

Awesome!!  The mintppc looks promising.  I looked into it and I had a question.  Did I read right that I download and burn the generic Debian and then CLI Mint PPC once I am booted into it?

That could be a problem as Internet connection with the onboard Airport Extreme card will have to be configured AFTER I have installed the new system.  

Looking for a work around.  Wonder if there is a way to download a self-contained .iso and install from CD.  Will look into it.  And thank you.  Its good to see all of you too.  

Incidentally, I took that iBook into the Apple store, just for a laugh asked if they had an OS9 CD, the guy at the Genius Bar looked at me like I was insane and told me to buy a new computer.  Said he had never seen one of these before.  They all gathered around and poked at it.  Was funny
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#16 OFFLINE   Cookie

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:52 PM

IDK, my wife has a new MacBook Air.  I hate it.  It just works entirely too well.  lol.  I prefer a bit of a struggle.  

So, this iBook G3 is rapidly becoming my "Windmill."  I will make it cool.  I will make it useful.  This I vow!! :)
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#17 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

View PostCookie, on 15 May 2014 - 09:52 PM, said:

IDK, my wife has a new MacBook Air.  I hate it.  It just works entirely too well.  lol.  I prefer a bit of a struggle.  

So, this iBook G3 is rapidly becoming my "Windmill."  I will make it cool.  I will make it useful.  This I vow!! :)

Thats the spirit. :breakfast:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
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#18 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 09:06 AM

I believe you will Cookie! One way or another...
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#19 OFFLINE   Cookie

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 12:48 PM

Quick update. Getting smashed! Can't get internet working once I am booted to the Debian install CD.

Looking for a workaround. Honestly, the whole "can't download an ISO" thing is bumming me out.

I'll get it figured out. This laptop is too cool to let die. It has a handle!!! C'mon! ;)
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#20 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 01:40 PM

Might want to try Lubuntu which has a PPC port:

Quote

PowerPC version. For Apple Macintosh G3, G4, and G5, including iBooks, PowerBooks and IBM OpenPower. To avoid unnecessary problems, please see the Ubuntu PowerPC FAQ and PowerPC Known Issues pages before installing.

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#21 OFFLINE   Cookie

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:08 PM

View PostLilBambi, on 18 May 2014 - 01:40 PM, said:

Might want to try Lubuntu which has a PPC port:

Thanks for that.  I tried Lubuntu once before...there was a problem with the installer.  Thinking I got a bad burn.  Burning it again and will give it a whirl.  

If and when I get this thing up and running, standby for many pics of myself and the Tangerine iBook spending time out on the town.  Catalog poses and ascots. ;) I will truly be utterly intolerable.
Cookie

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#22 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:28 AM

View PostCookie, on 18 May 2014 - 11:08 PM, said:

Thanks for that.  I tried Lubuntu once before...there was a problem with the installer.  Thinking I got a bad burn.  Burning it again and will give it a whirl.  

If and when I get this thing up and running, standby for many pics of myself and the Tangerine iBook spending time out on the town.  Catalog poses and ascots. ;) I will truly be utterly intolerable.

I, for one, would be utterly entertained by that and look forward to your anticipated future success!!!  My amusement depends on it!!!  Good luck!  :D

#23 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 01:13 PM

Can't wait! :yes:
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