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SuSE Businesses

SuSE For PPC 80

Maktoo writes: "According to MacCentral, the June 2000 issue of MacTech magazine will include a CD containing a 'SuSE for PowerMac' Linux distribution. The full distribution will be available from SuSE at that time as well. It's nice to see SuSE coming to the PPC market!" It'd also be nice to see some less expensive PPC systems.
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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Two questions. 1) What is the significance of this release? How is it different than other PPC Linux distributions? I assume it has to do with the fact that it is "enterprise level" but what exactly does that mean? 2) How will this result in cheaper PPC systems? Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I would really like to know the answers.
  • On a serious note, if the PPC version has _half_
    the applications as the Intel version, it's going
    going to really help PPC as a platform for linux
    Both LinuxPPC and Yellowdog are a little light
    in the desktop apps department compared to versions for Intel.
  • Wonder if it it'll work on Mac clones like my Umax S900. According to this (related) page []

    it seems like as long as the box is PCI, it's cool. Hope so...

  • The PowerMac 6100 was a first generation Nubus based PowerMac, none of which are supported by the Linux kernel or NetBSD. If I remember correctly, the ASICs and bridge chips on the motherboard are actually closer to the 680x0 Macs than modern ppc motherboards. MkLinux does work on it though.
  • I used it yesterday to install Potato on a PPC box.
  • There are a few people with 'plans' for boards 'real soon now' at the moment, but all there is at the moment is vapourware.

    The only shipping products cost $2500 at the moment and are slower than the ix86 equivalents at 1/20th of the price.

    If you want a PPC motherboard, your cheapest option is to buy a Mac and strip it. Mad isn't it?

    For details check out :

  • Alpha

    And the package management is fantastic (once you get used to it).
  • Im sure this isnt exactly what you meant. But you can pick up plenty of cheap apple machines, ranging from older 68k machines to pretty darn good ealrier ppc machines that run linux great. Ive been running linuxppc since r2 on my 8500 and its always been great. And I just installed debian on a Quadra I picked up for a 100 dollars on ebay and it works pretty good so far too. I mean I dont know, Im more of an old hardware freak so maybe Im biased. But just a suggestion.
  • I dont know. I seem to see a lot of people here at slashdot like hooray for suse now I can finnally try out linux on some ppc machine, but I dont understand. I mean Ive used SuSE before, hey its cool. Ive used Redhat before, Ive used Debian before. Yeah they're all a little different, but they all are pretty much the same stuff besides differnt package handling. I dont know. I guess all Im saying is, i think its good that SuSE is getting out their ppc version cause options are a great thing. But people are copmplaingn like hey maybe now we'll get better support. I don't know about the other ppc linux people out there, but I use linuxppc, and its got pretty damn good support. I got tv cards and sound cards and ide controllers and ll sorts of things stufffed into my 8500 powerpc and all of them work and rock. And these linuxppc guys are damn hard workers. No linux doesnt run without a hitch on newer apple machines, but progress has been made so quick to suport them you should be congradulating the devolopers for such good work. The fact is no ppc distro is going to support bleeding edge apple machines perfectly right away because Apple isnt exactly always friendly about giving out info. And yeah I know, "oh but most new macs have standard ide and this and that" yeah but you know what theres stil all sorts of custom apple chips inside those bad boys and thats exactly what apple doesnt release info on and it makes it a pain. Alright thats it, just wanted to respond to a bunch of stuff here
  • Years ago (Like 1997), when monolithic Linux for the PowerPC was first starting to stablilize, approached RedHat asking about making a RedHat distro. They said at the time, they weren't really interested, but that LinuxPPC would be free to do what they wanted with a RedHat-based distro, assuming it didn't stomp on their own trademarks.

    At any rate this is basically paraphrased from the Linux/PowerPC RedHat Installation Addum, as used to be found at []. I don't have an updated url, although I know you can get the RPM with these docs at [].

    My opinion (if you should care :) is that LinuxPPC, Inc. would benifet greatly if bought by RedHat, they could get some better management people (instead of using hackers to run it), better quality control (LinuxPPC isn't known for it's exceptional quality, at least in my book), and more people (it seems that more developers/people are looking away from LinuxPPC when it comes to distro of choice for using/developing).

  • Well if RedHat wanted a chance at getting into the PowerPC market, realisticly they would need to purchase LinuxPPC, Inc. -- there are just too many distros competiting in too small of space to have Red Hat attempt to join in without purchasing somebody else out who is pretty big.

    Currently (or to be released soon), include Debian, LinuxPPC, MkLinux R1, RockLinux, SuSE, Yellow Dog and some are experiment with Slackware (including the people behind Slackware) on the PowerPC. And don't forget similar things like NetBSD and Darwin are also in the PowerPC race.

    Competition in the PowerPC market is going to be tough -- with many respected leaders in this field. While there won't be any real clear winners or losers for a while, at any rate expect to see the populuarity of PowerPC Linux distros in general to increase -- as people see big names, and big companies join in.

  • Until the monokernel has NuBus support, the older x100 series PowerMacs run only on MkLinux (or MacOS of course).

    The community pretty much took over development last year, have a web site [] set up, and a "formal" Release 1 will be coming out soon. Apple's old web site is either outdated or gone, but they continue to provide mailing lists for the community.

    There's been some talk lately about porting Darwin's Mach Kernel to MkLinux, which would provide support for new hardware, and then catching up the Linux side of things to 2.4. That will come after Release 1.

  • Actually I find the internationalisation better
    on Mandrake. I do have both distributions as
    well as Caldera and Corel. I was quite impressed
    with Mandrake's internationalisation which I think
    is the very best of all the distributions. It was
    rather easy to setup my Joual version of Netscape
    under Mandrake while it was somewhat more
    complicated under SuSE 6.3.

    On the console SuSE is king as far as support
    for updates with yast. On Mandrake, Caldera,
    Corel or Redhat this leaves to be desired.
    It basically sucks big time. On the other hand
    Mandrake is quite interesting when you change
    hardware. Take these two cases as an example.
    1- At work I couldn't install any decent
    distribution of Linux except Slackware. Having
    only 1 week to do a project I don't have much
    time to screw around with Slackware. The reason
    is the HD Controller is a promise UltarDMA66
    and I didn't want to mess around with the
    connectors. I compressed the whole installation
    of Mandrake and burned it on a CD at home.
    I then booted on Slackware and decompressed
    Mandrake on a new partition that I stole from
    winblows. I setup lilo and rebooted on Mandrake.
    The boot up script noticed the changes in hardware
    and prompt me to do the proper changes. It did
    eveything OK except bombed on trying to setup
    X with the TNT card. I continued on anyway and
    used XF86Setup which worked correctly.
    2-I just bought a Voodoo 3 for $100 at Staples.
    On winblows It crashed when I removed the old
    driver (before I shutdown to changed the card).
    3 reboots later the card was setup.
    When I booted on Mandrake I was prompted that
    some hardware was changed and the setup went
    smoothly and the new card was setup. I then
    typed startx and had a beautiful new X.

    It wasn't quite as easy on Caldera and SuSE.
    It looks like Mandrake is unbeatable on that.
    I gave up on Corel for now.

    OS/2 crashed and I couldn't find any way to
    get it to boot so I removed the partition to
    make more room for Caldera Linux. A sad day
    but it had to come to that at one time or another
    considering that IBM has abandoned the Joe Blow
    market on OS/2.

    When we look at the printer support I have no
    great love for Mandrake where I can't get either
    my printer here or at work to work correctly. I
    have an Epson Stylus 660 at home and Canon
    BJC200ex at work. The printer works beautifully
    with SuSE 6.3. I could never get it to work with
    Slackware which I had no choice but to remove.
    Replacing it with Mandrake seems to have been a
    good choice for the rest, as for the printer
    support I don't understand why it screws up.
    The raw mode works but that's it.
  • "I've been looking forward to a ppc board market similar to the x86 board market for awhile."

    You will probably need to keep waiting. The PC Board market really doesn't exist to serve hobbyists - it exists because Intel's distribution strategy allows anyone from IBM to the guy in the corner store to become a "PC Manufacturer". Most of these bare boards end up under someone's desk running Windows 98, never to be tweaked, overclocked, or upgraded ever again. The fact that hobbyists and upgraders can get cheap parts is just a nice side-effect of this model.

    IBM originally intended the PowerPC platform to rival the Intel platform in bredth and size. In the early days dozens of MBs were available, as well as lots of prebuilt non-Mac PPC systems. Unfortunately, the market never took off, and Apple has been the only significant customer for lower end computers. Still, it would be nice if someone could get IBM's reference boards into production -- it's just that the price will probably always be higher and the selection less diverse than the Intel market.

  • Yeah, but even though used macs are plenty that's still a 5 year old advantage.

    If you wanted to buy a new machine today to run Linux, there really isn't a compelling reason to use PowerPC, with laptops being the big exception. (Another exception might be an application which makes particular use of the G4's vector processor.)

  • For insightful! Terse, cogent, and too the point. This kind of statement needs more exposure in Slashdot.

    Brevity, short, and well thought out.

  • Suse is the first linux I installed with "virtual PC " PC emulation software. Of course it runs slowly (even at 400 mhz), so I "upgraded" to native linuxPPC (not surprisinly much faster).

    I've installed (linuxppc) it on 2 machines both clones (motorala star max and Power Computing TPP), It runs pretty well even on the motorolas 160 mhz processor .

    Lnux PPC seems to lack a lot of software that SusE packs as standard.

    I know that linuxppc is based on red hat, does having another ppc distribution help or hurt (will some packages be for linuxppc and some for suse, diluting the ppc market?)

  • Okay, you've got a point.

    Most of the discussion here was about Macs running Linux, and you're just not going to see these exotic compilers in that environment.

    Given the set of parameters that most of us are working with, egcs is the clear winner.

    Maybe IBM will open-source the mighty xlc someday - I'm not going to hold my breath.
  • Some possible reasons, aside from mobility, to use a PowerPC system for Linux:

    1. The cool-looking case. :-)

    2. You don't like x86. (People who have a problem with Intel, etc.)

    3. You need to dual-boot with MacOS.

    4. You're a conservationist (all of these systems consume less energy than their Intel counterparts). This becomes especially relevant as you engage in SMP.

    For a while there, you could get non-Apple PowerPC boxen from LinuxPPC ( I don't know if they're still doing it.

    If you're hardcore, get the plans for IBM's open PPC motherboard and roll your own. :-)
  • I hate to break it to you, but I was responding to Espen as well. We're at the same depth on the thread.

    © 2000 James Lanfear. All rights reserved.

  • What does this have to do with my post? He commented on the price, I responded with a listing and mentioned that you get a nice machine for $6,000. I never said it was a good deal, just that the box was nice, and, oh, it happens to cost six grand. Nowhere did I say that it was worth it.

    That aside, some of us like quality, and quality is expensive. Homebrew machines are wonderful, and I'm quite happy with both of mine, but do you think that I wouldn't trade them for an Alpha if I had the cash? Or that I wouldn't pass over the best PC's in the world in favor of a RS/6000?

    I have my priorities, and all of them feast on ungodly portions of floating-point ops.

    © 2000 James Lanfear. All rights reserved.

  • The 'Ultimate []' G4 from the Apple store weighs in at $7,498. The interesting thing is that if you scan across the table the only difference between it and the 'Fastest' is the display. I'm sure it's a great screen, but $3,001 just so you tell everyone about you 31337 flat-panel monitor. Yikes.

    Their next most expensive box is a server at $6,000, which actually looks like it would make a nice little PC. You could probably get an Alpha for that price, but still, it's a nice box.

    © 2000 James Lanfear. All rights reserved.

  • Have any companies started producing Motherboards bases on IBM's open PPC design. IBM's website doesn't give any specifics and I havn't found much info otherwhere. Has anyone heard anything? I'd love to build a PPC based Linux machine but but I'm not very interested in buying an overpriced Apple system with all their propritary hardware.
  • It'd also be nice to see some less expensive PPC systems.

    When will you guys ever get it? Apple is the only desktop box maker that does REAL r& when you buy a g4, which are not that expensive, you are also funding ongoing development of some of the best hardware on the planet. Plus they have to fund development of Mac OS. Gateway, Compaq, etc., they just throw cheap components into boring gray boxes and sell 'em.

    That's also why cloning didn't work....Apple can't compete with companies that do nothing but make boxes. The only way cloning would really work is if Apple stopped being a hardware company and focused on Mac OS only...

  • I know I'd sure like being able to get work from my home computer to my school account w/o a disk or a hard copy.

    This is already possible on a mac. If your files are stored on an appleshare ip server or a workstation with mac os 9 you can connect via appltalk over tcp/ip. The volume shows up on your desktop just like it was a local disk.

  • SuSE is IMO one of the best distributions. Particularly if you do not have a decent internet connection.

    For example, many distros have the attiude, that you should start simple, and download the rest. If you have a t3 running to your machine, that would be great.

    If (like me) you're stuck in an area where DSL is still around $70 a month and not available all over the area, cable modems have been comming "next year for sure" for three years running, and the phone lines suck so badly that a two hour connection (even for voice) is a remarkable thing, SuSE is the only real alternative. I can install whatever I need from the disks provided, and then just download some of the patches.

    SuSE's biggest strength is that everything is available on the disks. The internationalization is big for some people, but not relevant for me. SuSE has released three new versions since I bought mine, and each has more than the last. I estimate that SuSE will ship on 7 or more CD's before long. It is already shipping on DVD.

    Yast (yet another setup tool) is also great. I prefer yast over yast2 however. Yast allows you to install, or uninstall the standard packages in a reasonable menu driven interface. If there are dependancies, yast informs you, and gives you the option of selecting them automatically. It even tells you if installing certian packages together might cause problems. Many system administration tasks can be completed through yast, but using yast create obscure scripts that only the setup tool understands. It is easy to hack anything by hand.

    Unlike a couple of other distros I've tried, SuSE gives you the choice of graphical or text login, and you can also choose between KDM or XDM if you choose a graphical login. Changing this is simple and accomplished through Yast.

    SuSE does have a couple of disadvantages. It is an international distribution, and does not contain strong encryption utilities. (newer releases may have fixed this, but there is still none on the U.S. website). It is necessary to download that information from the German website.

    Once in a while, some of the documentation looks poorly translated as well. Everything seems gramatically correct, but it is often stated in a way that would cause most North American to have to think about what is said.

    On occasion, there will also be an error message (espically in yast), which will end up in german.

    Other than those few annoyances, SuSE is the best I have used.

  • egcs produces the best-optimized code for the PPC architecture (as well as most others), and all of LinuxPPC is compiled with it (since origina-flavor gcc generates brain-damaged code for PPC). It's *really fast*

    Do you have bench marks contrasting the performance of binaries compiled with egcs vs. xlc on PPC architecture machines? Likewise for egcs (now gcc) vs. aCC on hppa (HPUX) architecture machines?

    If there's one thing IBM does well, it's compilers. Some developers on the core Mac OS, and Apple's initial Modern OS efforts (the first Mac OS 8), were of the opinion that xlc produced tighter code for the PPC than any other compiler. I don't know if metrowerks was able to tighten up their compiler since then to the level of xlc, but xlc on PPC pretty much dominates. Same for aCC on HPPA.

    I would be surprised if gcc was able to produce better results than either of those compilers on their respective architectures. Naturally, it's moot with regards to linux, as I haven't seen xlc or aCC running on linux ever. :) But on AIX and HPUX gcc plays second fiddle.
  • development of some of the best hardware on the planet

    Umm. Earth to Jonathan. Best "Desktop" hardware.. MAYBE (only if you consider things like SGI to not be desktops, I for one consider them to be quite useful as desktop machines). Most well integrated hardware, absolutely. Best hardware? When there are Cray's and O2's and BigAss(TM) Mainframes out there all over the place, best hardware on the planet is just plain SILLY. Besides, the main advantage of PPC IMHO is, ironically, the PPC chip, which, correct me if I'm wrong, was developed by motorola. And arent all the latest greatest G4s mostly IBM's doing?

    Plus they have to fund development of Mac OS

    Heh. 'Cause we all know how Billy G is just getting MURDERED on development costs for the (albeit slightly inferior) hugely more widely distributed Windows.

    Any way you slice it, Mac prices are high because Apple's got a strangle hold on the platform and can charge whatever the hell they want. Granted, they have to charge a lot these days to pay off the loan sharks they had to turn to in some of their worse years (heh)

    The last time I checked, Gateways were actually kind of expensive as well, custom building dont come cheap. What makes the PC platform cost effective for folks like me is the freedom to do it ourselves. For under 2 grand I put together a dual pentium box with a half gig of RAM that will blow the pants off your G4... put that in your pipe and smoke it. And Gateway can kiss my ass too!

    they just throw cheap components into boring gray boxes

    Not to be a troll or anything... but this is SO FREAKING TYPICAL of a mac user... ooo ooo look at my pretty clearish blue Computer Thingy with all these nifty animated Aqua buttons and stuffies!! OOO OOO Look how I can play snood and surf the web on my iMac. If I GAVE A DAMN about what the box under my desk looked like I could go to and get a case whose styling I personally prefer to the hideous G4 cases, but I don't, so I saved the hundred or so bucks. I didnt have the extra case cost rammed down my throat by a big closed proprietary pigdog. The point is choice. With Intel (or Alpha for that matter) I can CHOOSE what components go into my system, where I get them, and who puts them together (me me me!). With apple, that option is not there. I personally don't like the idea of paying MORE for less freedom.

    Tell a man that there are 400 Billion stars and he'll believe you

  • Ack, I hate when I mistype an HTML tag then accidentally hit "SAVE" instead of "PREVIEW" Stupid laptop trackpad... grrr..

    Tell a man that there are 400 Billion stars and he'll believe you
  • PowerMacs and PowerMac clones from the 603/604 era had the processor on a daughtercard. This daughtercard controls the bus speed of the machine, so that a replacement processor card can up the speed of the bus (within limits, of course). Many of the third-party PPC upgrade cards let users very easily experiment with the speed of not only the processor but also the main bus and the backside bus to the L2 cache.

    Memory speed is of course an issue, but starting the PPC750, level 2 cache is located on the daughtercard with the processor and is on a separate backside bus running at up to 1:1 with the processor clock. Combined with the large caches typically used by 750 systems, this can aleviate some of the bottleneck created by memory.

  • However, Debian has no installation tool for the PCC, making it extremely hard to install for those of us who don't already have linux running.

    I haven't really ever seen SuSE running on a machine before, but it just seems like a larger RedHat distro(6 CDs? Wow!). I have LinuxPPC, installed from the 1999-Q3 CD, installed on my little RevA iMac(233! :-P). I didn't much like it, at first, but after a lot of tweaking and updating(LinuxPPC 1999 really wasn't configured well, I heard LinuxPPC 2000 is better, distro wise)

    Once you get used to your system, how you update it, and other items-you might as well be making your own distro.

    Could someone explain to me why "Gnome runs better under RedHat than KDE"? Is this just a configuration issue?
  • It's different than other PPC Linux distributions in that it's SuSE. Whether that's good or bad is an opinion.
    I run LinuxPPC on my mac, and SuSE on my K62 homebuilt and my laptop. I like the SuSE distribution better than the LinuxPPC one, so I might swap it out once it's out of beta.
    SuSE has different configuration tools. LinuxPPC is based on Red Hat, so if you have a preference between RedHat and SuSE, that would be the way to go.

  • What matters is not the cost of the most expensive setup, but the cheapest one 'cause once you have a basic box you can populate it with standard component memory and drives as you see fit.
  • no. upgrade cards are not supported in the 6100 with any linux except perhaps MkLinux. All the linux distributions for ppc require a computer that has pci, not nubus like the 6100s.
  • Actually, a few years ago, the flavor of linux that Apple had some of their people working on, MKLinux, was supposed to be largely a port of Redhat 5.0. It wasn't a complete port, however, as they wound up changing a few key aspects of the kernel, most notably moving it from a monolithic kernel to a mach kernel.

    Apple no longer has anyone working on MKLinux, however, as in like 1997 or 1998, they pulled everyone on the MKLinux team away (as well as a portion of their code) to go contribute to OS X.
  • Why have a cheap badly designed beige box which needs fixing with screwdrivers, soldering irons tweaking IRQs etc, when you can have a cheap well designed iMac running LinuxPPC for less than $1000 (plus Contour Unimouse 3-button mouse for $30 or so)?
  • James Lanfear wrote: > What does this have to do with my post? Nothing! I was attempting to reply to Espen: Espen wrote: > What matters is not the cost of the most expensive setup, but the cheapest one 'cause once you have a basic box you can populate it with standard component memory and drives as you see fit.
  • That's also why cloning didn't work....Apple can't compete with companies that do nothing but make boxes. The only way cloning would really work is if Apple stopped being a hardware company and focused on Mac OS only..

    Interesting comment, IMO, in view of Microsoft's legal battle. Microsoft does focus on the OS (and just about every other category of software under the sun). Makes me think Microsoft can only become stronger if it is broken up. (No flames, please.)
  • Although MkLinux installs and runs on NuBus, there is no NuBus peripheral card support.

    NuBus was a short-lived bus which left comparatively little documentation. This is what makes supporting it, and its cards, so hard. Most PPC distros decided to exclude NuBus altogether, but MkLinux, which worked under Apple's wing, had access to enough information to support the NuBus.

    Despite lack of peripheral support, MkLinux is a good way to breathe new life into old Macs. I get lots of work done on my old 66 MhZ 7200 NuBus mac, now that it has MkLinux.

    See [] for more information.

  • by GCP ( 122438 )
    Thanks for a very useful posting. Posting as an AC means you don't get your frequent flyer miles, uh, moderator points, but here's a virtual 5 from me. ;-) Very helpful.
  • I like my single button mouse. Control + click gets the same result as the right click and is just as simple (for my purposes). If you want a multi-button mouse, buy it and add Alessandro Levi Montalcini's USB Overdrive [] to take full advantage. Works with joysticks and gamepads, too (if InputSprockets doesn't suffice.).
  • for PPC slackware. Most likely I already passed out and hit my head ;-). Anyways I'm happy SuSE did this deed, because diversity never hurt any one and because its 4:20 in the morning.
  • To clarify..

    - I'm in that big frozen land north of the US.. The 7k figure was based on the Canadian price, not US..

    Next time I'll make sure I check a few things before I post:

    1) don't post drunk
    2) State that you are a Canadian
    3) Make sure that "Rant Lock" key is not on
    4) MOST IMPORTANT- Stay the hell out of the PC/Mac Holy wars..

    The G4 Looks better than the PC, Has an WAY better monitor, and A WAY crappier mouse and keyboard (whatever happened to form following function... A Round mouse?)

    I love the new G4, BUT.. The price they paid to Apple for the IDE DVD, Ram, Etc, was WAY above what you can find it around this town.

    Hell if I personally had a large budget to burn at my year end.. I would buy a few of these, but I'm approaching this from the point of view of my own personal machines.. I get the parts and put 'em together myself. I had a Power book that the LCD ribbon cable snapped on, and it was hell getting the part out of an Apple dealer, so that I could fix it myself, rather than pay them for the labour on an old machine out of warranty..

    .oops, looks like that 'Rant Lock' key is sticky.. Need a new keyboard.. Maybe one of those AOL freebies :)

    /Rant Off

  • Right click this, right click that, if you really want a mouse with so many buttons, buy it... but you have to realize that the mac os was NOT built for 2 button mice, but for 1, so stop complaining about not having enough buttons.
  • Yeah but you must remember, I'd bet that that 7000$ system includes the apple cinema display, you know, the 4000$, 22" LCD display... which is... awesome.... *drool*
  • 2) How will this result in cheaper PPC systems?

    In theory, a manufacturer other than Apple could use the PPC processor and build their own Linux system around it. Having a number of distros to choose from may slightly increase the chances of this happening. It should be possible to put together a low cost headless PPC server for less than anything Apple sells.

    The reason I think this is unlikely to happen is there probably isn't a large enough market to justify anyone doing this commercially. You'd need to design your own motherboard and all the rest of the packaging that goes into producing a complete system. It probably wouldn't be cost effective to do this unless you were fairly certain of shipping several tens of thousands of these boxes.

    Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I would really like to know the answers.

    There are no dumb questions. Sometimes there are dumb answers.

  • There are even rumors abouot a headless iMac for about $600.

    How could there be a headless iMac? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of putting the monitor and system components in the same box if it were headless?
  • I couldn't fear anyone who replaces letters with numbers and uses the term "H4X0R1NG".
    I mean, come on, you could at least say "H4X1NG".
  • I have a 1995 mac system that runs Q3A [] and Q3f [] just fine. I picked it up for about $200 (just the CPU). I did overclock it but it seems to hold up just fine. I still love my G4 best though for liuxppc and the Mac OS for quake. You can't beat that case, pull a lever, pop in a 40 gig maxtor hard drive, close it up.
  • It is also possible to control a remote machine through Timbuktu and other like software. Apple Remote access allows dial-up access to a LAN. -PSM
  • As far as I know the open PPC board project is going ahead as planned. This would be great for Linux, and hopefully avoid having to boot MacOS and then reboot into Linux (though I think the New World rom Macs aviod this already). The G3 350 iMac is $999 and dropping. There are even rumors abouot a headless iMac for about $600. If there is enough of these non-Apple PPC boards sold Apple may even consider making the slight mods to have MacOS X run on it (or at least allowing tech-heads to make the mods through source changes or Darwin with the ability to let Aqua install on it, it wouldn't cannibalize their consumer sales and would allow Apple to get a foot back into enterpize systems).
  • As long as it is open source software and the distro comes with a compiler then there should be no real "dillution".
  • I agree. Leave LinuxPPC alone. Competition is better. RedHat buying Linux PPC to get into the PPC market sounds a little M$-like to me. If Red Hat sells 80% x86 and 15% PPC then they could just cancel PPC development. Better to have a few PPC only distributors until PPC saturation gets to 40% or more.
  • It comes with an arm that can carry a pumpkin-shaped monitor.
  • Look here, asshole moderator. That was "Funny". Perhaps you didn't get it. The poster of the article to which I replied was "A moron".
  • What? $900 is an "expensive" computer. I run LinuxPPC on my Blueberry iMac 350Mhz. Netscape launches nearly twice as fast as Linux on a P-III/550Mhz.
  • You can do it at the X Server level or at the kernel level.

    To do it at the kernel level (as required by gpm and/or XF68_FBDEV) you can use the adbbuttons=x,x,x kernel argument, the three numbers represent the key you want to map it to on your keyboard -- many use the F Keys for that function.

    Some XServers (namely Xpmac) support mapping of second and third mouse buttons, by default Xpmac makes middle equal option-2, right equal option-3. Although this is easily changed by adding arguments to startx.

    Then again, you can be like most of the PowerPC Linux users, who end up buying a cheap two or three button mouse.
  • Just in case you are wondering, there are a few projects out there to port Slackware to the PowerPC.

    LinuxPPC developer Ani Joshi has been playing around with Slackware for the PowerPC for some time, he has a bootable system, although I don't know if it's avalible yet on the net.

    The offical Slackware project also now has 2 G3s and an iMac DV. So it looks like they may be also working on a port.

    Finally Slackintosh is working on another PowerPC port. It appears it is the most complete right now. They started out a year ago with a 7200/120mhz machine, and now they are on a screaming G4 machine. See [] for details.

    It appears we will be seeing more of Slackware on the PowerPC -- more sooner then later. :)

  • Red Hat has no reason to buy LinuxPPC Inc., and I think it would be a bad move. Here's why:

    1. Red Hat already has a PPC distribution, albeit an unsupported one. It's on their "Rough Cuts" [] CD. (A complete list of PPC distros is on the OpenPPC software page [].
    2. There are business problems at LinuxPPC -- I personally had to sue them to get paid for work I did. (Follow-ups in private, please.) In the process, I discovered that their papers of incorporation weren't in order and other irregularities.
    3. LinuxPPC Inc. has only two assets: (1) A (sort of) well-known name, and (2) connections with the community. I'd argue that the latter is tenuous at best, and that developers would put their efforts behind a Red Hat brand without any money changing hands.
    In short, LinuxPPC Inc. adds nothing to the equation.

    --Tom Geller, co-founder, The OpenPPC Project [], for PPC hardware based on open designs.

    P.S. I'm talking about LinuxPPC Inc., the corporation, not, the community collaboration. And there are some individuals at LinuxPPC Inc. who are quite good (get well soon, Jason!). But Red Hat would be foolish to throw any money their way IMHO.

  • The cost of Macs are usually in the same ballpark with IBM, Dell, and so on. However, the common Slashdot objection is that they can't go buy a $100 motherboard, a $200 PPC CPU, and screw the thing together themselves. People are working on this problem, but nothing yet.

    The question is not that PPC systems cost more (IBM designed the platform to be competitive with Intel), it's that they don't really offer a compelling price/performance advantage over Intel-based systems. (The one exception is the Powerbook and iBook which offers a price/performance/battery life combo that kicks dust all over Intel.) The only really compelling thing about current PPC hardware is that it runs MacOS, and of course comes in cool looking cases.

    This is a major letdown for a product that promised to always "scale" better than Intel. (Think back to when Apple was selling 604e chips, and all Intel had was Pentium Pros.) People will deal with various incompatibilities and minor hassles on platforms like the Alpha to get the enormous speed advantage. I just don't see the 'win' with PPC based systems right now.

  • How would you emulate three buttons with a one button Mac mouse?
  • is now available on PPC. Those Germans are rad! I was actually wondering about this yesterday, lots more people have old PPC hardware lying around that they would like to get some use out of than people with old Alpha hardware (I assume). I think SuSE is a very good system overall, it's more middle of the road than the other distros. It's fairly simple to install (YaST is great for beginners) and it has pretty good security and stability. I admit though I haven't tried Redhat since 5.something or other but SuSE has always been my pal. I'm glad it's on PPC now, maybe I'll take up that offer for the 6100...
  • I disagree. the PowerPC environment is still growing, playing catchup in a few areas to x86. I, as a user of LinuxPPC, value it for its cutting edge support and aim to be a viable linux solution. Part of this is because is very close to, which focuses on development including the kernel. If RedHat bought LinuxPPC, PowerMac Linux would almost certainly suffer IMHO. For those who want a more server-oriented, supported, with a full blown company behind it, Try Yellow Dog or Suse. But PLEASE, leave my LinuxPPC alone.
  • Both Yellow Dog and LinuxPPC distributions are based on Red Hat, so so they support Gnome better than KDE (quite a few KDE utlities are missing and so on). Suse should be better for those of us who prefer KDE over Gnome.

    Well... as a Yellow Dog CS 1.2 user, this isn't true. Yellow Dog defaults to KDE, not GNOME. Especially with the 1.2 release, Yellow Dog seems to be outgrowing it's RedHat origins. SuSE would be coming from a different angle though, who knows what they would bring to the table? I'm looking forward to it, though, because I've always been a SuSE man for my x86 machines. I love YaST!

    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity

  • I'm amazed at just how negative you can be. You want a cheap PPC system? iMacs are pretty cheap. You could also look at a used Powermac as well.
    I suppose next I'll hear "Those ultra 30s are sure nice. They should make a really cheap one." Think of all the money you're saving with your "free beer" software. You should be able to buy almost any machine you would like.
  • First of all, there are plenty of packages coming with the standard distribution: six CD's full of software. There is also a lot more of documentation available, including the SuSE handbook, which you will get even with the "evaluation version" found sometimes on CD's distributed with magazines.

    The next issue is internationalisation. Being a German company, they stress the internationalisation of documentation and installer, so during the installation you can choose one from dozens of languages, including Turc, Polish, Russian and some even more exotic. And with the distribution you get a lot of material translated into various languages. And you get national fonts, too.

    The SuSE users guide is quite comprehensive, so is the SuSE support database, which gets installed (if you choose it) on your local Apache server.

    I have heard that the RPM packages are somewhat not as good prepared as the RH ones, but I myself never had problems. The directory structure is different in one aspect - the /etc/rc.d/* scripts sit in /sbin/init.d/ (to quote a character from UF, "It's just plain wrong!").

    But overall there are not much differencies. Linux is Linux. I use SuSE because of the internationalisation (being a Polish guy in a German lab).



  • Both Yellow Dog and LinuxPPC distributions are based on Red Hat, so so they support Gnome better than KDE (quite a few KDE utlities are missing and so on). Suse should be better for those of us who prefer KDE over Gnome.
  • It will work on anything that the current PPC kernels boot on, which includes all PCI macs (but NOT nubus, you need mkLinux for that) including Umax, Motorola, and PowerCC clones. (I'm running it on a PCC box with a NewerTech G3 upgrade)
  • You can also remote control a Mac using VNC. You can either use VNC viewer on a remote machine, or just a web browser to control your mac.

    You can use AppleShare IP to get to your files over the Internet from another Mac. Or you can run an FTP or Web server on your mac and get to files from any other computer over the Internet.

    All of this can be done very inexpensively. Timbuktu, while it has nicer features (such as built in file transfer), will cost you money.

  • Its too bad Apple killed off the clone Mac market and the CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform) with it. I'd love to have lots of different architectures to play with but I'm stuck with Intel/AMD lossage. Alpha's too expensive (unless someone out there knows better!) and buying a Mac to run something other than MacOS seems a little 'funny' when you are paying the premium over the Intel hardware so you can have MacOS.
  • Many of you may be aware of this already, but Connectix is selling a version of Virtual PC that comes with Red Hat pre-installed for $99. mpany/press_vpc_mar1300.html []

  • Wonderful now that PPC is getting some mainstream support. Hopefully SuSE will have more compatibility then PPCLinux -- but who's to say at this point.

    Regardless of what OS you prefer as a consumer/workstation, Linux is unbeatable for remote administration and remote work.

    At the school where I go, it's an entirely Mac network, with no way of accessing the network without being connected to their Ethernet LAN.

    Hoepfully more support for Linux on Macs will encourage some admins (*cough* I'm looking at you, Mr. Readman *cough*) to give it a try.

    I know I'd sure like being able to get work from my home computer to my school account w/o a disk or a hard copy.
  • Excuse me, but the $7000 G4 happens to have 256 megs of RAM, a 27 gig hard drive, a DVD-RAM drive, a Zip drive, and a 21 inch flat panel monitor. You are not going to find a comparable P3 for $2000 dollars, idiot. Enough said.
  • I havent used SuSE and happen to be one of those BSD is better than Linux dorks. What does SuSE have over the other distributions and what are its drawbacks?
  • It should work fine on the S900. I installed the beta a month or so ago on a J700 as well as on a Power Tower Pro; both pretty much without a hitch. I'll be reviewing it and LinuxPPC 2000 (which I also installed on both machines) for GNUpples [] sometime in the near future. But here's a preview -- I found SuSE much easier to install, configure, and I liked the default package set that came with the distro much better than LinuxPPC 2000 (in spite of its slick X-based installer). Stay tuned for more details....

    Commodore Sloat

  • by tgeller ( 10260 ) on Saturday April 08, 2000 @09:07AM (#1144605) Homepage
    well there's already a project in progress to build an open powerpc motherboard that has all the standard pc components.

    See The OpenPPC Project [] to get in touch with the community. The mailing list [] is essential for those interested in this subject.

    IBM has basicly given to any serious takers the full specs for their reference ppc board.

    Not yet, they haven't. Because of problems with the Northbridge, they've held off on releasing the all-important Gerber (layout) files. The schematics are there, though.

    --Tom Geller
    Co-founder, The OpenPPC Project []
    President, Pop Computers [] (to build motherboards based on open designs).

  • by earlytime ( 15364 ) on Saturday April 08, 2000 @03:57AM (#1144606) Homepage
    well there's already a project in progress to build an open powerpc motherboard that has all the standard pc components. IBM has basicly given to any serious takers the full specs for their reference ppc board. The board had pci/isa, pc100 ram, udma33, up to 1GB RAM, and the standard ppc bridge chips (north and south bridge). Take a look at ibm's linux news page [] for more details:
    They've got linux booting on it now, and the process is takin time, but once a real board hits the market, we'll probably see several ambitious pc board makers jump on board trying to differetiate them selves in this commodity market. Now, as this will clearly have lower volume than the x86 board market, we should expect relatively higher prices, but as people come to realize that powerpc without apples pricing is actually very price competitive, and the initial costs are recovered, the prices ought to come down a bit.
    I've been looking forward to a ppc board market similar to the x86 board market for awhile. Fortunately the one-two punch of linux's cross platform compatability, and the fact that most of the apps that run on linux are open source means that having linux on ppc become more of an equal to intel and alpha linux is a realistic goal on the short term. That was the biggest problem with NT on non-intel platforms, sw companies had to invest resources in porting their x86 centric apps to non-intel, and then attempt to support them on very low volume platforms. With open source, the user community can ensure that the apps have cross platform compatibility and support, while the developers have the option of doing that work, developing new features, or even doing nothing. The code lives on regardless.

    so, I'll get off my risc soapbox now, but I hope i've made the point that we can expect to see much broader support for linux on powerpc real soon now, and who knows, with the kind of performance you could get from altivec with intensive apps like encryption, packet filtering, compression, rendering, etc should make it easy to see that there are genuine advantages to working with alternative technologies. appliance wise, you would think that one of these security vendors would jump all over the opportunity to make a high performance security appliance that can do some serious vpn-ing at a relatively low cost, or even if you think about Be selling ultra low overhead (and cheap) rendering farms of dual G4s to graphics designers or digital animators or whatever they call themselves these days. That would be fscking cool! (never mind the mandatory references to beowulf clusters, or even just seeing natalie portman straddling one of those bad boys ;)

  • by alannon ( 54117 ) on Saturday April 08, 2000 @12:01AM (#1144607)
    Red Hat buying LinuxPPC would be a very wise move, I think, especially considering the fact that the ppc linux reference release is based off of RedHat source packages. There would hardly be any work left to do to turn it into a real RedHat release. I'd be looking forward to more sane support for X. Right now there are 2 different types of X you can run. You can run Xpmac, which is older and tested, but I have no idea what sources it was originally based on. There's a more recent XFree86 port to PPC, but it's fairly flakey and lacking features that are typically needed on the Mac (like 3 button mouse emulation). I think I'd be very pleased to see a real PPC port of RedHat.
  • Red Hat has Sparc, Alpha and i386 ports. But not PPC. That keeps wondering me. There are a lot more PPC systems in the world than there are Alphas or Sparcs...

    I think that if SuSe finally decided that they should port to PPC, Red Hat will soon be following. I don't know if they will port themselves, though. Maybe they'll just buy LinuxPPC. Seems like a logical move to me.

  • by Eidolon ( 29916 ) on Saturday April 08, 2000 @05:37AM (#1144609)
    It's been said many times here. Here we go again:

    PPC systems are NOT significantly more costly than their Intel counterparts.

    By the time you factor in the fancy case, motherboards with actual engineering (!) and the exotic (and in many ways superior) microprocessor, how exactly are you paying so much more for one of these machines? The iBook is the best example. The closest thing to it in terms of features and performance is a certain ThinkPad model, which costs several hundred US dollars *more*.

    Of course, if you want to run Windows, you don't have much choice. But how many /.ers are going to admit to wanting to run Windows? ;-)

    You can run NetBSD or Linux on a Mac. Some poster above felt native Linux didn't run much faster than emulated Linux... I want some of whatever he's smoking. egcs produces the best-optimized code for the PPC architecture (as well as most others), and all of LinuxPPC is compiled with it (since origina-flavor gcc generates brain-damaged code for PPC). It's *really fast*. I know it's meaningless, but close to 500 Bogomips on my wimpy old upgraded-to-300 MHz-G3 box, with teeny 512K cache and slow 45 MHz bus.

    I bought this machine in 1995, and have only spent a couple hundred bucks on upgrades to stay fairly current. Anyone playing Q3A on their 1995 PC? If so, let's hear from you.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.