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gsfgf
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject: Thinking about Gentoo-PPC Reply with quote

I used to use gentoo on x86 back when i had pcs. I have since switched to macs, but as good as osx is, i really miss linux. I have a powerbook G4 that is on its last legs, but i bet i can get a few more months out of it. I was wondering how big a deal it is to use gentoo on a ppc instead of x86. I'm so out of date that it may be no difference, but before i go through all the trouble i want to feel assured that it is better than osx.

Anyway, i hope to be more active on this board again (i don't think i've posted since 2004, the last year i had a PC).

Peace,
Jeff

EDIT: If the forum rules have changed an this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it.
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ddc
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ia32 x86 is much more used than ppc: this means you will find less bugs in specific drivers, and much more applications in you emerge portage.

however, i don't want to say ia32 is better than ppc. PPC is at the end of his life, icore (ia32 compatible) is the future



i'd like to speak about gentoo vs macOSX


first of all, gentoo is a linux distribution, like debian, mandriva, suse, ecc ecc

linux is the kernel
gnu & open source provide applications
X11 is the graphical equipment application that runs a window manager like KDE, gnome, fluxbox, etc and handles everything need a graphic interface
gentoo has chosen to make you able to recompile everything from sources, while other linux distributions provide pre-compiled binaries only.
If you choose gentoo, you have to consider recompiling time and the reason to do this.


so, kernel+application(system+user side)+X11+window manager+graphical-applications are what you called "my system"


well, if you want to compare macOSX we have to consider that
darwin is the kernel (it has been declared closed in sources)
there is a specific graphical equipment where aqua is the window manager
open source mac-ported + apple specific binaries are applications
mac-port makes you able to use X11 applications, but only the 60% have been successfully ported (65% for console text applications)




well, is now gentoo better than macOSX ?
it depends about what you need to do

linux is not supporting everything in apple machine, and it has troubles to be right configured.
When you emerge something, sometimes it works, sometimes it doen't, so you have to fix.
(spending a lot of time)

if you need zero problems in multimedia, if you need to be immediately ready in your applications, if you need program like "maya, photoshop, finalcat, modo, ecc" YOU'D BETTER USE MACOSX !

(i'd like to underline this example: the open source gimp is not powerful like adobe photoshop)


macOSX is not a compiling/development system, it is not linux, it is BSD and it needs a lot of work to adapt development tools and the environment if you need to develop something out the XCODE development suite
macOSX uses a closed source kernel, that means you can't use whatever hardware you want, but only what apple provide in drivers (what apple provide is immediately ready to work, while linux need to tune, fix, plug, pray)
macOSX needs a lot of extra work in case you want to use it for networking specific task: again, the kernel is source closed, it is a problem in case of kernel intergrated networking services

to short it out: if you need to develop something, if you need to do networking, if you need to use particular hardware YOU'D BETTER USE GENTOO


p.s.
example about the particular hardware
when your job requires you have to configure a router, it may be .... that a 2007 cisco router uses a 1989 UART interface. Well, my powerbook-G4-alluminium (and every newer one) is missing of such interface (powerbook-G3-wallstreet has it), but it has pcmcia port and pcmcia-to-uart board are still existing. The problem is ... you will not find that card for darwin, i searched a lot of apple-shops, and in case you will find (if god wants to help you) you will pay double the double the price. In this case, the better choice is to use gentoo, to buy a supported interface and recompiling the kernel to attach it ;)
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddc:
PPC is hardly at the end of it's life as a useful ISA. Look at *all* of the current generation of gaming systems for an example. :p If all you're missing is a UART, just buy a USB serial device. I picked one up and it works equally well in OSX as it does in Linux.

gsgf:
There really isn't much of a difference, all of the hardware is supported except the nvidia drivers. This isn't a problem except on 12" Powerbooks. If you need OSX, you can even run OSX under MOL (mac-on-linux). Because of this, I find that Linux better suits my needs, but your needs might be different. If you have specific applications that you want to use that would making choosing one OS better over another, feel free to let us know.
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gsfgf
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you say the nVidia drivers aren't supported? is that just acceleration, or total since i have a 12" PB. I just use the thing for internet, mail, and the occasional word processing. Assuming gentoo will be reasonably happy with the powerbook, i'm sure that i can get a lot more speed out of it with a stripped down setup.

I think i'll give it a try as soon as i have some free time.
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no real acceleration support yet. The noveau project is working towards fixing that, but it's not really ready for general use yet.

The other big issue with nvidia is that since there are no specs, the machine cannot be woken up after sleep. Because of this, suspend to ram is disabled on these machines. You can still use suspend to disk though.
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ddc
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

usb to uart is not stable as pcmcia to uart

but, it was an example, imagine other PCI cards ... and how macOSX sucks about drivers
or kernel support to applications

the point is that macOSX is not comparable with linux/gentoo if we don't consider the goal

the goal of macOSX is to be a user friendly desktop system, well supported by apple and by apple hw producers

the goal of linux/gentoo is to be a development / flexible / customizable / open system, it misses to be user friendly, it misses with powerful graphical applications, because it has other goals to aim for.



@gsfgf

suggestion: try ubuntu to test the linux desktop speed: you have only to download the iso, burn it, and boot the machine with the cd inside. It will boot showing you exactly what is the situation. If you will be satisfied by the system & deskto, you may choose it to install ubunto into you hd, or if to spend days recompiling gentoo from sources
;) (recompiling with the right USE flag, will speedup the system, customizing the desktop, may speedup more .... example using a customized fluxbox instead of kde ....)
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DirtyHairy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using gentoo on a Powermac G4 as well as on a Thinkpad T60 and hardly notice any difference --- bugs aren't more frequent than when using the x86 branch for me, and hardware configuration was painless. The performance is good (it's clocked at 1.33GHz with 256MB RAM), and the system work extremely reliably. Personally, I think that the closed platform nature of macs and the therefore rather well-defined hardware (in contrast to x86 machines which vary in their configuration over a huge range) makes setup in fact easier than on x86 systems (although there are those few unsupported components).
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Guyver3
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tbh i havnt been around in a long time took a long break from both PC's and Mac's, but im back with Mac's now and have tried Ubuntu + Varients.

I find Ubuntu (being Debian based) to be extremly restrictive (it may just be my personal preference but emerge is still the best :D).

The whole MacOS vs Linux tbh is old. I prefer linux on my Mac's because i have a lot more working apps to choose from. The support is far better in these forums (or other linux distros) than you will find in any of the Mac forums around. Linux Kernel is still very much in development on all platforms, Mach Kernel (MacOS kernel) is pretty much down to Apple now. Apple has made "Darwin" the basis for most the MacOS's, OpenSource under Apple's version of a Free Software Licence, Darwin although almost complete lacks Quartz, Aqua, Cocoa and a few other "proprietry" apps meaning unless you run X you wont have a GUI, if your going to use X may aswell use Linux imo.

As most ppl know MacOS is based around BSD. Ive worked for many years with both Mac's and PC's and of all the installs ive done on both platforms, Gentoo on a PPC is by far the most enjoyable. The reason i find for this are mainly due to what DirtyHairy said, its less "configuration" differences between Macs and even if there are a few they are nothing major.

Nvidia's lack of support for the PPC community is worrying for most ppl with the newer cards, but with advancements to X.org's support with the "nv" driver (no 3d accel yet) and the noveau project things will only get better for PPC.

As for the "dying" bit as JoseJX said look at the latest "Media Entertainment" systems both of the top runners use PPC varients (IBM PowerPC 970 and CellBE). IBM developer site has information about how to incorparate the "Cell BE" into systems (wonder how long it will be before we possibly see a Blade or even a Desktop/Workstation using it). Too me this opens many possibilities for Linux as a whole, imagine a whole Arch with no applicable OS but Linux and with the backing of companys like IBM (who already have good relations with a lot of Linux communitys and the Open Source community in general).

I know all this sounds a little far fetched (it does to me at times) but my imagination and commitment to Open Source has always been there and will continue (on a PPC arch aswell :D).
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It works great. (G4 desktop here). I've had gentoo on this box for a year, and have run kde, gnome, fluxbox, and xfce (all built from gentoo's repositories). Gentoo has the best support for ppc among the distros I've been exposed to (with the possible exception of Yellow Dog, if you can stomach a distro based on an old version of RedHat and has very infrequent releases). Gentoo has a ppc-specific version of the Gentoo Handbook that walks you through installation/configuration (see link on home page). And there is this ppc-specific forum with some very knowledgeable users.

I also run Gentoo on a Pentium III box, and I don't see much that's different. I frequently copy configuration files back and forth with minor edits. I can't see flash in my browser on ppc, that's about it (which is probably a good thing anyway). Obviously there are some kernel configuration differences, as there are with any different hardware. And it also uses a different bootloader (called 'yaboot'), but it's a no-brainer that any former LILO or GRUB user can handle.

I see packages for which there is no ppc ebuild, although not so many that it's an issue for me. And I notice a lot of packages will still be in "testing" status for ppc when they've been marked "stable" for x86. In general, it's not as far out of mainstream as my AMD-64 x2 (on which I have a different distro), although AMD-64 x2 will rapidly gain full integration.

I'd say set yourself up a dual-boot to begin with and try it out, if you can free up a few gigs of hd space.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:04 pm    Post subject: Very stable and fast on PPC! I've got it on my firwall,web.. Reply with quote

My firewall is an apple b&W g3. It's been running gentoo since 2004. It's very stable.
I'm in the middle of an upgrade to 2006.1 now.
The longest uptime with it has been 380 days. No problems. I only took it down when I added more RAM!
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