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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > Ubuntu on a Pismo? Will it be faster than OS X?

Ubuntu on a Pismo? Will it be faster than OS X?
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Jul 4, 2006, 03:11 AM
 
There's been a lot of talk recently about Ubuntu (with a couple of high-profile Mac users switchng to it) and I'm wondering if it would run well on my Pismo which is currently running 10.3.9.

Will Ubuntu be faster than OS X on the Pismo? And will it recognize my wireless card? The only other thing I'm worried about is battery management.
( Last edited by Spliff; Jul 12, 2006 at 04:10 PM. )
     
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Jul 4, 2006, 03:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spliff
There's been a lot of talk recently about Ubuntu (with a couple of high-profile Mac users switchng to it) and I'm wondering if it would run well on my Pismo which is currently running 10.3.9.
It should.

Will Ubuntu be faster than OS X on the Pismo? And will it recognize my wireless card? The only other thing I'm worried about is battery management.
Yes it will run faster. You'll need to extract your firmware for the wireless card to be recognized. The tools are already incorporated into Ubuntu Dapper. The process is well-documented in the Ubuntu Forums.

Ubuntu will actually eat the battery quicker but you can easily tweak the system.
     
Spliff  (op)
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Jul 4, 2006, 04:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by alphasubzero949
It should.

Yes it will run faster. You'll need to extract your firmware for the wireless card to be recognized. The tools are already incorporated into Ubuntu Dapper. The process is well-documented in the Ubuntu Forums.

Ubuntu will actually eat the battery quicker but you can easily tweak the system.
Thanks.
     
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Jul 4, 2006, 06:17 AM
 
erm.... wrong forum..
iMac Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 1.25GB RAM | 160HD, MacBook Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 13.3" | 60HD | 1.0GB RAM
     
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Jul 4, 2006, 08:50 AM
 
I can tell you I have already tried it. I recently sold my Pismo (G3 400mhz / 576MB Memory / 6GB HD) but before I did I gave Linux a go on it. Ubuntu was by far the best of the bunch, couldnt even install Yellowdog Linux (the supposed king of PPC Linux), but all was not perfect.

Airport is always a pain to get working cause of the broadcom chip in it, older hardware seems to be lacking on Ubuntu development, probably cause they are moving forward instead of backward. Things like Java are near impossible to get running on PPC Linux, and the videocard was just broken with no OpenGL support is seemed.

Stick with OS X, if you have to use Panther then do it. I ran tiger on mine without a hitch, ran quite well once I dragged Dashboard to the trashcan for good (memory hog most the time) and lightened up the OS install. Also try to keep font installs down to a minimum and things will be snapier. If you can toss 1GB of ram at it then it will be even better! A faster more modern HD would also help things along nicely.

Tiger ran on mine well though, so I recommend sticking with OS X
iMac G4 / Macbook
     
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Jul 8, 2006, 06:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by ChasingApple
Airport is always a pain to get working cause of the broadcom chip in it
At first it was but not anymore.

I recently had success in getting NetworkManager to play well with my bcm43xx driver and firmware extracted from OS X. I no longer have any show-stopping issues with connectivity, even after waking from sleep. It's like having that Airport menu all over again.

Now if someone can just hurry up and make WPA work so that I can switch my AX back to WPA from WEP.
     
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Jul 8, 2006, 04:40 PM
 
There is always something in Linux that doesnt work, seems it will always be like that since none of the Linux OS companies are catering to specific hardware, which is understandable. MS has to deal with the same thing, get it to work on everything welll enough and leave it to the user to get the rest working. OS X is the only OS for our Macs that we dont have to do a thing, it just works.

I stick with OS X now, Linux I will wait a few years and see where it is at, and Windows I have given up on completely. Perhaps a company will come out with a Linux that has been tailer configured for each Mac that has come out, with profiles for each seperate hardware system (wishful thinking), but until that happens I see no reason to even use Linux. If a Pismo can run Tiger well, why use anything else? (Just give it memory!)
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Jul 8, 2006, 04:43 PM
 
On a side note, if Linux annoys you too much when it decides not to work 100%, as an alternative you can install OS 9. I have found it to be blazing fast on older machines and other then the browsers being a little weaker on it (I used iCab) everything in your computer will work! OS 9 is actually kinda nice and there are alot of things I miss about it.
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Jul 11, 2006, 07:19 AM
 
Maybe he has valid reasons for not wanting to run OS X (philosophical, hardware limitations, etc.).

I think you are exaggerating the problem a tad bit. I installed Ubuntu Dapper on two older PCs and everything worked out of the box. I have a clamshell iBook running Ubuntu Breezy and it runs circles around Panther (288 MB RAM). Everything was recognized out of the box as well. And to be quite honest, I have never had a need to compile anything or tweak Xorg (unless I specifically wanted something from it).

Only reason why Linux distros have problems recognizing hardware is because the companies who make the components refuse to release information about them (e.g. Broadcom and their chipsets). Granted, PowerPC development isn't quite up to speed with x86 (especially with Java and Flash), but you have to remember that the vast majority of hardware out there run on x86 instead.

Not bad for something that costs literally nothing except for your time and willingness to learn.

As far as "just works," on OS X, not entirely true. New printers and digital cameras that haven't made it into Apple's releases still require that you install the driver.

Don't easily dismiss Linux just because you had several issues. That would be like me dismissing Macs as a whole because I can't watch DRMed Windows Media clips on web sites.
     
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Jul 11, 2006, 08:36 AM
 
I don't know how I missed this thread earlier, but it belongs in the Alternative OS forum, NOT the iBook/MacBook forum. And isn't a Pismo a PowerBook?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 11, 2006, 09:12 AM
 
Why not try the Ubuntu live CD and see if your hardware is detected?

Somebody mentioned Java, Flash, and the Pismo's video card being detected being sore spots. It's not as if there is more than minimal support for the Pismo video card in OS X anyway, and I believe you can download the Flash player for Linux - it just isn't in parity with the very latest version of Flash. The OS X Flash player is rather slow anyway.

I say at least give Ubuntu a try. Report back your findings!
     
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Jul 11, 2006, 09:39 AM
 
i actually went thorugh the painful process of installing 5.04 on my beige. (sig -> other coms)

it is actually slower than OS9, and OS7 on my 25mhz LC475 feels faster.

it is continualy loading from the disk. and it takes about 10secs just to open the HD dir.
     
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Jul 11, 2006, 03:20 PM
 
My experience is that there isn't much speed difference between Ubuntu and 10.4.x on a Pismo. I was actually surprised at this, as I expected Ubuntu to be much faster. However, Apple has done a lot of work on OS X since the days of 10.1 and 10.2, when it was, at times, very slow.

As an aside, you will be moving from a relatively small user base to an even smaller one, PPC Linux. Because of that, there are some issues: no WMV codecs, limited Flash support, etc. However, I have enjoyed fooling around with Linux and have learned a lot.

edit: To get Ubuntu to use the Pismo's video card for full hardware acceleration you will need to modify your xorg.conf file to change the default bit depth to 15 and add some kernel modules. I can't get to the links right now, because they're on my Pismo which is dead because of a dead processor card, but if you google around and check out the Ubuntu forums, the info is there.
The era of anthropomorphizing hardware is over.
     
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Jul 11, 2006, 03:30 PM
 
first, don't try ubuntu first, try Xubuntu. it's less resource intensive so if you are worried about that on the Pismo then Xubuntu will be a good benchmark. I am betting Xubuntu will be faster than OSX. but first download the Xubuntu LiveCD and see if it detects stuff. I have heard (but cannot confirm myself) that getting the Airport card to work has gotten a lot easier.

I hope you update on this because I myself and very interested in seeing how Xubuntu would run on the Pismo.
( Last edited by abbaZaba; Jul 12, 2006 at 01:21 PM. )
     
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Jul 12, 2006, 01:22 PM
 
a friend has a 333MHz intel celeron laptop with 64MB of RAM. he had installed Ubuntu on it and it ran only OK. He took off Ubuntu and put on Xubuntu and there was a HUGE difference in how responsive the system was. Xfce has very few setbacks but you can definitely work around them. if you're serious about it, then install Xubuntu.
     
Spliff  (op)
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Jul 12, 2006, 04:09 PM
 
Sorry about the lack of updates, but I've been away from home without an internet connection. I'm still going to try this just to see how it works. I'll look into Xubuntu, as well. I'll post my experience once I'm back home and have backed up my Pismo's OS X installation.
     
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Jul 12, 2006, 06:08 PM
 
Personally installed Xubuntu today. I prefer it over the regular ol' Ubuntu now.
     
Spliff  (op)
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Jul 12, 2006, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba
Personally installed Xubuntu today. I prefer it over the regular ol' Ubuntu now.
What are the main differences between Ubuntu and Xubuntu?
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 03:24 AM
 
Xubuntu uses Xfce window manager and Ubuntu uses GNOME. the difference is really amazing. it's a whole lot snappier and I gaurantee Xubuntu will be better than Ubuntu on your Pismo.

things to look out for are: Xubuntu does not have a trash can like Ubuntu does, but you can easily make a "move to trash" command for the right click menu or a similiar setup.


if you have any questions when you get around to installing Xubuntu feel free to pm me. mine's running quite well.
     
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Aug 17, 2006, 01:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by alphasubzero949
Ubuntu will actually eat the battery quicker but you can easily tweak the system.
Really? What kind of tweaks can we apply? I'm currently running Xubuntu, but I'm sure any Ubuntu tweaks you can offer will be applicable. Also, do you know if Debian will eat the battery more/less than Ubuntu (or OS X)? Thanks!
     
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Sep 19, 2006, 06:46 PM
 
I have installed Ubuntu Breezy on both the Wallstreet and the Lombard. I'm currently replying with Ubuntu with the KDE Desktop (I installed both GNOME and KDE). I'm finding the installation to be quite snappy even on the older Wallstreet.

For fun, I have Tiger, OS 9, and Ubuntu installed on my Lombard.

My only problem so far is lack of Flash Player support for Linux PPC. Also, its very funny but I have both Ubuntu Dapper and MS Server 2003 installed on an old 550mhz pc. Dapper is definitely slower than MS Server 2003 - hard to believe.

I once installed Dapper on my Wallstreet, but ran into a few problems so when I installed on my Lombard I stuck with Breezy. Also people forget that NDISWRAPPER is a Linux/i386 support situation not a Linux/PPC one.

So in short my only issues with Ubuntu Dapper on the Lombard is Flash Player which I understand will never happen and my wireless card, which is probably just a matter of my getting time to figure it out.
     
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Sep 20, 2006, 07:17 PM
 
The wireless card isn't too bad. I recently reinstalled Dapper to rid my / partition of excess garbage (been dist-upgrading from the Dapper betas and RC). Let me tell you that it is much more painless than from before:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...bcm43xx/Dapper

You'll need the AppleAirPort2 file (you can also get a copy of it from your own OS X setup).

Once you modprobe bcm43xx, be sure to install Network Manager (from Add/Remove programs) or KNetworkManager if you're using KDE. Go to your /etc/network/interfaces and comment out anything having to do with eth0 and eth1 (or ethX). See pt. 1.3 in the documentation linked above.

Reboot and you should be able to see a list of networks in your panel. Passwords are stored in your keychain. For WEP you'll typically need to specify 40/128 ASCII and 'shared' for the key.

*IMPORTANT: Make sure that your base station is set up to support BOTH 802.11b AND g! In Ubuntu your AirPort card will show up as 802.11b.
     
   
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