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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Is there a (relatively easy) way to run linux on a mac?

Is there a (relatively easy) way to run linux on a mac?
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onlykaria
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Jul 10, 2005, 10:57 AM
 
Ok, so i dont really know much about linux (actually next to nothing) but i want to learn as much as i can. i have a ibook. i wanted to use a cd based distro of linux so as to not have to install it on my computer. is there a way to do this on a mac? if so is it free and how would i start?
     
Jacke
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Jul 11, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
I recently got interested in Linux too, and a Slashdot post tipped me off about Ubuntu. I'm downloading the Live CD right now to try in my old rev. b iMac (233 Mhz).
     
doucy2
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Jul 11, 2005, 12:40 PM
 
cool im downloading it now on my emac
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Taipan
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Jul 11, 2005, 01:39 PM
 
Hi!

There's another distribution called Yellow Dog Linux which many consider the best distribution for the Mac. I don't know if there's something like a live CD, though.
     
cybergoober
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Jul 11, 2005, 03:11 PM
 
Mandrake (Mandriva now?) has a PPC variant as well
     
Ron Goodman
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Jul 11, 2005, 07:48 PM
 
You don't really need to install Linux to begin learning about it--you have the Terminal application which will let you use all the standard Unix commands.
     
Kristoff
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Jul 11, 2005, 08:04 PM
 
SuSE has/had a PPC version as well. I used that in the time between buying my Pismo and the release of OS X Public Beta. Once OS X was release, I didn't see the point of keeping a second *nix OS on the machine.
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GSixZero
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Jul 11, 2005, 08:23 PM
 
Play around in the terminal. Apple considers OS X to be a linux release, I'm not sure if I agree, but nonetheless... playing in the terminal is as *nix as it gets.

ImpulseResponse
     
Chuckit
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Jul 11, 2005, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by GSixZero
Play around in the terminal. Apple considers OS X to be a linux release, I'm not sure if I agree, but nonetheless... playing in the terminal is as *nix as it gets.
What are you talking about? Mac OS X is definitely Unix (by almost anyone's definition), but it is not in any sense Linux and Apple has never even implied it is. It's based on on the BSD branch of the Unix family.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Jul 11, 2005 at 08:46 PM. )
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nonhuman
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Jul 11, 2005, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
What are you talking about? Mac OS X is definitely Unix (by almost anyone's definition), but it is not in any sense Linux and Apple has never even implied it is. It's based on on the BSD branch of the Unix family.
Shh, 'Linux' refers to a Unix with a GUI. It certainly has nothing to do with the kernel. There is nothing that distinguishes OS X from Linux other than Aqua.
     
Horsepoo!!!
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Jul 11, 2005, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman
Shh, 'Linux' refers to a Unix with a GUI. It certainly has nothing to do with the kernel. There is nothing that distinguishes OS X from Linux other than Aqua.
Nothing? F--.
     
Chinasaur
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Jul 11, 2005, 09:30 PM
 
1. BSD is UNIX. Linux is a "unix like" OS.

2. The history of BSD - http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opens...k/kirkmck.html

3. What Apple says about OS X - http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/unix/

4. History of Darwin - http://developer.apple.com/darwin/history.html

This is BSD baby!! Not Linux.

Linux is not just UNIX with an X11 interface. Gnome and KDE are Windowing environments, not an OS.

As to the OP, Ubuntu has many devotees now and there is lots of support to be found. YDL is the older distro and thus has more fans.

Play with both and see what you like best But you already have the best *nix around installed on your Mac. Using the Terminal and any *nix book, you can learn/do anything. Most people think the Window environment is the *nix, and that is not so.

Best of luck!
( Last edited by Chinasaur; Jul 11, 2005 at 09:47 PM. )
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Chuckit
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Jul 11, 2005, 09:45 PM
 
Er...nonhuman was pretty obviously joking.
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Millennium
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Jul 11, 2005, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by GSixZero
Play around in the terminal. Apple considers OS X to be a linux release, I'm not sure if I agree, but nonetheless... playing in the terminal is as *nix as it gets.
Apple does not consider OSX to be a Linux release. To set some records straight:

Unix, in the original sense, was an OS developed at AT&T in the late 1960s. Its claim to fame was a solid, stable core with good underlying technology and easy programmability. It was invented by the same people who invented the famous C programming language, who used it to write their operating system.

The source to Unix was made available from the start, but it was not Open-Source in the sense that we know the term today. In time, however, several different "flavors" of Unix developed. There were two main flavors: System V, which was a late revision of the AT&T version, and the Berkeley Standard Distribution, often abbreviated to BSD, developed at the college of the same name. It's worth noting that BSD was eventually Open-Sourced in the way we currently think of things. In the process it forked off several other flavors, notably FreeBSD (the most popular version), NetBSD (which has been ported to many platforms), and OpenBSD (which has the best reputation for security).

Now, having defined these, let us consider a kernel: a set of low-level routines which control how the computer interacts with the hardware it's running on. System V and BSD have their own kernels. Most Unix kernels are based on one of these. However, neither Linux nor OSX is.

Linux is its own kernel. It was inspired by a kernel called Minix, which was itself based on System V, but Linux shares no code with these. Because it is not a descendant of these kernels, it cannot properly be called Unix, nor has this ever actually been a goal of the Linux developers. They mimic Unix in many ways because it provides a convenient base to work from, but it does its own thing in many cases. Still, however, it is "close enough" that most code written for Linux will run on most versionf of Unix, and vice versa.

Mach was a specialized kind of kernel created at Carnegie-Mellon University. It was intended to be used for research more than anything else. The architecture is nifty in many ways, but performance has been known to suffer. But anyway, at one point in its development, Mach integrated a lot of code from BSD, and when used in this way it becomes a true Unix variant. xnu, the kernel behind Darwin and therefore OSX, is a descendant of this kernel.

Now, one final thing: Unix has never had its own GUI, per se. Many GUI systems have been built on top of it, however. Two of the most famous are the X Window System and Display PostScript. The X Window System, sometimes abbreviated to X11 (being in its eleventh version), is the most common system on Linux and many flavors of Unix, and a version of it comes with OSX as X11.app. Display PostScript, meanwhile, is a descendant of Adobe's PostScript printing language. Quartz, the GUI behind OSX, is a descendant of Display PostScript.

So the point of this? OSX is not Linux. Linux is most definitely not "Unix with a GUI". Linux is not Unix, but is close enough that it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference.
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cc_foo
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Jul 11, 2005, 10:25 PM
 
Linux≠Superman
Mac OS X≠Clark Kent
Aqua≠Glasses
     
   
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