A sane way to install Puppy on that old G4?

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Mr. Sluagh
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A sane way to install Puppy on that old G4?

Postby Mr. Sluagh » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:32 am UTC

So I got Ubuntu installed on my iMac G4 (thanks, J the Ninja), but it's running slower than a butcher's shit, so I'm trying to install something lighter--namely Puppy. The thing is, I can't find a PPC architecture Puppy LiveCD ISO; the Puppy site wants me to just download the source and build it. This would be fine, except that (correct me if I'm wrong) it will only build for the PPC architecture if I build it on a PPC computer, and it will only build at all (or even extract) under an OS that uses the same kernel as Puppy. The standard solution here seems to be to build it under Slackintosh, but Slackintosh is even more bulky than Ubuntu (four CDs or one DVD, and I don't have a DVD burner) and even when I do finish downloading and burning the beast (which I am, just in case), its system recommendations are so far beyond what I'm working with that it's probably going to take another day just to install it and build Puppy. Is there any more efficient way to do this? Thanks in advance.

Nemiro
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Re: A sane way to install Puppy on that old G4?

Postby Nemiro » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:49 am UTC

Did you try installing a lighter desktop environment for Ubuntu? Say, xfce, or lxde? Gnome is not the most frugal. Should be available in the repositories, and then it's just a matter of choosing it as a session at login.
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phillipsjk
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Re: A sane way to install Puppy on that old G4?

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:19 am UTC

I have the same problem with my 604e based PowerMac. The version of Debian that actually installs has an annoying bug with the SCSI driver that took about a year to narrow down (ruled out other components one by one).

Anyway, just writing to let you know you can do something called "cross compiling" to compile the PowerPC binaries on your x86 computer. The compiler just defaults to the current architecture for convenience. I have not yet done that, so don't know the details.

PS: the Mac Boot process and partition layout is a little different as well.
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heydonms
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Re: A sane way to install Puppy on that old G4?

Postby heydonms » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:20 am UTC

Mr. Sluagh wrote:This would be fine, except that (correct me if I'm wrong) it will only build for the PPC architecture if I build it on a PPC computer.


It is possible to setup a cross-compiler, (I had one a while ago so I could compile software for my MIPS router on x86) but it is a bit of work, so probably not the best place to start.

Mr. Sluagh wrote:it will only build at all (or even extract) under an OS that uses the same kernel as Puppy.


Extracting will be fine, building may be an issue depending how smart the build scripts are. I doubt it would be an issue if you are using the distro's official build scripts which should be written to deal with exactly this sort of situation.

Mr. Sluagh wrote:Slackintosh is even more bulky than Ubuntu (four CDs or one DVD, and I don't have a DVD burner)

Only if you want X, the international versions of KDE, the source, all the depreciated and testing packages. For a basic install only the first CD is required and even then half of it can be skipped. If all you want it for is a build environment you only really need the A, AP, D, L and possibly N package sets.

Mr. Sluagh wrote:its system recommendations are so far beyond what I'm working with that it's probably going to take another day just to install it and build Puppy.

Which system recommendations are you looking at? I can't find any requirements on the FTP server and the website FAQs (although outdated) list a G3 as suitable.

I used to run v12.0 on a G3-300MHz ibook. It wasn't incredible, but it certainly wasn't overly slow either. I would be somewhat surprised if 12.1 is too much worse.


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