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stazich
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Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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Location: indy

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: iMac G3 related questions Reply with quote

Hi,
i am since recently an owner of my first Apple product.
A New World iMac withe the code name "Kihei" :-)
I updated it alittle by adding an 80gb hd and inserting 560mb memory all together into its slots. The prcessor is still 350MHz.
First trials of making it GNU compatible were with Ubuntu that i came across at work, and obviously it seemed like not the best choice for this machine due to its over-grown package tree and the fact that it wanted to grow unnecessary roots/branches on my besides that, slow machine. So i then switched to Debian Sarge which definately was a better choice for me as i did know somethings about it from experience before including on i386, and it didnt seem as resource wasteful as ubuntu to me (i am not trying to offend neither of these distros and want to make it clear that that is strictly my perception of these systems, and i do not exclude the possibility that others have come to think otherwise)
---
Nevermind all the above said now because i finally got convinced to give Gentoo a try.
This choice i do not at all regret as probably most of you folks on this forum. Gentoo is to-the-bone, edgy and finely configurable. All one needs for performance on older hardware like mine.
---
The installation was a pain since it was the first one id done in my life.
Kernel mostly presented some unanswered questions.
Why are Preemption Options recommended to be off in the installation Handbook? I was told in the #gentoo-ppc on Freenode that these options were not yet supported till next kernel and that if activated the system would be Unstable. // well, this is fine with me, and i admire the fact that Gentoo is there and is edgy on PPC too, but having it run on 350MHz isnt as nice as on most modern ppc's, so i definately want to compile the new Kernel with those features activated. So when is the next kernel coming?
Another question arose is the long debate i had with others over what to put into /etc/make.conf for the CFLAGS.
What i have ended up putting is is CFLAGS="-O2 -mcpu=750 -mtune=750 -mpowerpc-gfxopt -ftracer -pipe"
//although i still think there is room to work on this expression. e.g. In the contraversy of this all, some sites/ people have mentioned changing the -02 parameter to lower values or based on size (-0S) while others increased theirs to -03.. than the -mcpu=750 needs no change. but the -mtune=750 i am still in doubts about. I heard before of mtune=G3 option from a person on #gentoo-ppc, while others dont mention it at all ;-)
And finally the USE flags. I know that i have to go ahead and read all the documentations on Portage and the USE flags but a couple of ideas come in right away. for example, is it most right to have -cdr -dvd in /etc/make.conf since the system has neither? what about adding samba in there if i want it as a file server, and would it be more wise to activate it only for apps that really need it, so as to save on compilation size of other apps that dont? I was called a "ricer" in the chatrooms before for asking such "petty" questions, but i would like to put in a justification for myself which is that i strongly LACK processing power while i am having to deal with this older iMac. So, whenever i am configuring the Gentoo system for it, i consider myself in full right of asking questions on ways to fine-tune things!!! Afterall.. not all of us are blessed with huge amounts of MHz's, and the Gnetoo system is directed alot at this segment. Anyways, for the last part, i am sure i will figure all of this out once i start messing with Portage and USE flags. But a little conversation over the forum and some feedback from live users would support me and those in my situation.
---
Besides that i am very happy so far with the system, and i would like to thank everyone for their help anmd input.
Especially the people that have helped so much and multiply answered the same questions sometimes in #gentoo-ppc.
Thanks!
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JoseJX
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Joined: 28 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preemption is still buggy on PPC. If you really must use it, turn on SMP support as well, that will prevent the memory corruption issues that occur with regular preempt. You're more than welcome to try using preempt, but if you submit bug reports for things crashing, we will insist that you try with it disabled. I've found that it doesn't really make as big of a difference with the modern schedulers in 2.6 as it did in 2.4 kernels.

Those CFLAGS are okay, but -mpowerpc-gfxopt is redundant and useless. From GCC's man page:

Quote:
You use these options to specify which instructions are available
on the processor you are using. The default value of these options
is determined when configuring GCC. Specifying the -mcpu=cpu_type
overrides the specification of these options. We recommend you use
the -mcpu=cpu_type option rather than the options listed above.


Using other CFLAGS will also likely get you little to no benefit and no support if you have a problem. You can use -mcpu/mtune G3 instead of 750, but there is no real difference.

Finally, for use flags, the best thing to do is to install ufed, learn what the use flags do, enable only what you're going to use and learn how to use /etc/portage/package.use for per package use flags.

Good luck!
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stazich
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Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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Location: indy

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So when is the next kernel for PPC coming?
How can we find that out?
anyone has a clue?
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JoseJX
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Joined: 28 Apr 2002
Posts: 2774

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were some preempt patches in 2.6.15, but they didn't solve the problem completely. The regular kernel is the PPC kernel, we're a supported arch.
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