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Linux for iMac g3

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March 16, 2012 1:58:56 PM

What linux is good for an 350mhz iMac g3 with 100mb ram. Tried debian ppc but does not work, every time I type startx the screen goes black. I need a Linux distro with lxde or icewm as default and doesn't require a internet connection to install. If their is non, than is it possible to legally to down load macos 9, I know apple released macos 7 as free.

More about : linux imac

March 16, 2012 4:11:34 PM

Ug, one of THOSE things? /bangs head on desk Hate those stupid, horrible things.

Anway, 100MB is really not very much. Even DSL calls for 64MB min. Have you looked at DSL? icewrm and lxde usually recommend at least 128MB. You're struggling not only with a PPC but very low memory.

Pretty sure OS9 is no longer distributed (legally) by anyone, anywhere, free or otherwise.

Out of morbid curiosity, WHY do you want to bother with the plastic hulk?
a b 5 Linux
March 16, 2012 4:43:20 PM

I really wouldn't say it's worth you time to try and resurrect this. We're talking about some seriously low specs here. DSL running something like OpenBox/LXDE MIGHT work, but it'd just be painful to use regardless.
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March 16, 2012 5:18:08 PM

Pyroflea said:
I really wouldn't say it's worth you time to try and resurrect this. We're talking about some seriously low specs here. DSL running something like OpenBox/LXDE MIGHT work, but it'd just be painful to use regardless.

Why would it be painful to use, I have an old computer with a 300mhz K6-2 and it only 64mb of ram and it runs just fine with puppy linux, it even plays back video nicely.
a b 5 Linux
March 16, 2012 5:33:28 PM

Yes lxde (uses openbox wm) is likely too resource intensive to work well in 100mb. And really there are no other distributions like that for old ppc :( 
try something like http://www.enlightenment.org instead of lxde. needs only like 16mb of ram.

You should really just try to get debian ppc to work, its your only option!
IIRC you just need to grab a working xorg configure file. :) 

Instructions for getting working xorg.conf:
1.)find xorg.conf for your specific imac here: http://mac.linux.be/content/g3-imac-tray-loader-slotloa... (this one should work http://mac.linux.be/files/xorg/imac4.txt )
2.) as root:
  1. wget http://mac.linux.be/files/xorg/imac4.txt
  2. mv imac4.txt /etc/X11/xorg.conf

3.) reboot, startx

a b 5 Linux
March 16, 2012 5:38:44 PM

shafe88 said:
Why would it be painful to use, I have an old computer with a 300mhz K6-2 and it only 64mb of ram and it runs just fine with puppy linux, it even plays back video nicely.


doesnt puppy use JWM? not lxde?
March 16, 2012 5:52:06 PM

skittle said:
doesnt puppy use JWM? not lxde?


Yep. Stock puppy is JWM.
March 16, 2012 6:27:17 PM

Ok so lxde is a little too much, but would be better, icewm or jwm in terms of low mem usage, ease of use.
March 16, 2012 7:24:42 PM

icewm is 128 too. You can try it (you've got nothing to lose but time) but I wouldn't hold out much hope. You might look at Enlightenment, but even the lightest weight distro I've seen for it (Bodhi) is again, 128 (no PPC support)

You're confronted with 2 pretty profound issues: PPC and < 128MB of RAM. I think the only thing you can really do here is find the smallest distros you can and just see what works, and don't be surprised when nothing does.

All this will go to hell when the tube in the iMac blows out. ;)  Even when they were new we'd send them back to Apple and get new ones back, since there was no way (even when new) to really repair them in a cost-effective manner. And we lost a LOT of them to various display issues. College enviroment, first/2nd gen, I saw hundreds of the monsters. :cry: 

a b 5 Linux
March 16, 2012 7:28:52 PM

And not to say that lxde/openbox wont work, you just wont have much ram left for other things. tinycore uses flwm ~ 16mb, jwm will be similar. both are super light weight and would be good for this use.
btw please report if that xorg.conf works for you :) 
March 17, 2012 12:42:10 AM

It's the older imac with pop out cd drive.
!