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Yellow Dog Linux Gets 64-Bit Version For G5

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the apfel-apfel-apfel dept.

Apple 352

An anonymous reader writes "There is an announcement on the page regarding the new release of a 64-bit distribution of Yellow Dog Linux for the Apple G5 and some custom hardware from IBM. The 64-bit release is being dubbed 'Y-HPC' and is scheduled to be released along with the new 32-bit Yellow Dog 4 at the end of May."

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Just curious (5, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800722)

Just curious.... but who wipes out MacOSX on the G5 to replace it with Linux? Call me a troll, but I just don't see the point when there are cheaper architectures out there.

Re:Just curious (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800756)

Such a machine may well fall into your lap from somewhere - a friend always uppgrading to the latest wanting to sell off some stuff; getting an opportunity to buy it used, cheaply (from a failed business, for instance); or wanting a G5 for some reason, but not OSX.

And don't forget the possibility of people that leave Linux to go for OSX, then, after a while, decide Linux was a better fit for their work after all.

Re:Just curious (2, Funny)

mrklin (608689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801055)

---Such a machine may well fall into your lap from somewhere

Don't tell me.

Your real name doesn't happen to be Tony Soprano and you don't happen to live in New Jersey, where many such G5s fall into your lap from a truck somewhere, right?

Re:Just curious (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800758)

The people for whom:

1. The hardware provides an advantage over other hardware.
2. The existing OS (OSX) doesn't do the job.

The hardware costs $$, yes. And OSX is a very very good OS, but for some purposes cost of the hardware is a minor issue and an existing linux solution may do the job immensely well with a strong stable track record

Re:Just curious (5, Informative)

xenotrout (680453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800763)

I don't know about the G5, but I have an iBook running GNU/Linux (just linux, not dual boot). The iBook is very light weight, slim, and quiet. There are a bunch of other good mechanical/design features as well.

Re:Just curious (5, Insightful)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800890)

Wouldn't it be just as light, slim and quiet with os x? The question is why run linux on a mac, not why choose a mac.

Re:Just curious (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800938)

Um, because you prefer Linux over OSX?

Because you're developing Linux apps, not OSX apps, and that is easier to do using Linux directly than try to do it via OSX?

Because you like the hardware, but want to distance yourself from a user community seen by many as insular, conformant and intolerant?

Because you are working on UI issues (either as a hobby or professionally) and it is easier to experiment with new and alternative UI designs on an OS that does not have a deeply ingrained standard UI already?

There can be any number of reasons. Don't disparage people for making choices different from yours (see my third example above).

Re:Just curious (1)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800988)

Your responses were all good responses, and in fact I agree with them. I am a mac owner and I've even attempted to install linux on my mac for reasons 1,2 and 3.

I didn't disparage. I just pointed out that the response was unrelated to the question.

Re:Just curious (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801012)

Sorry; didn't mean you personally. More of a defensive statement towards any possible forthcoming reactions to that line.

Re:Just curious (1, Insightful)

Mr. Frilly (6570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800947)

no, the question was why run linux on mac hardware when you can run linux on cheaper i386 hardware.

and i also run linux on a mac portable (12" powerbook). i do it 'cause i got the powerbook for free, and i didn't like os x.

Re:Just curious (5, Interesting)

pararox (706523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800790)

While your point is valid in the way that many of Apple's customers buy a Mac for the total package. The cohesive nature of all things Mac (both on the hardware and software sides), which is so endemic to the platform, are a primary motivating factor.

That said, I initially began using Linux to fulfill both my curiosity, and for the availability of such high-powered software - all of which is largely free. That was back when I began my college work; I'm now old enough, and thereby have enough money in the bank, that the latter reason for my taking up Linux is not an important reason for my continuing use of it.

Truly, my interest and love for Linux is now supported solely by my unending curiosity in complex software systems. I want to be able to take apart and piece together all elements of my system; I want to be able to inspect and tinker.

I think a user's inability to do this on this still greatly proprietary MacOS platform, answers your original inquiry. YellowDog does support a true niche market; I'm glad they've been, and continue to be successful, and I think the reason for their success is that many people still cherish the ability of open software systems. Even if that system isn't as cohesive as MacOSX.

Re:Just curious (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800794)

Just curious.... but who wipes out MacOSX on the G5 to replace it with Linux? Call me a troll, but I just don't see the point when there are cheaper architectures out there.

Presumably people who want to run certain Linux applications on the G5 processor.

Why was this a question? Isn't the answer pretty obvious.

Re:Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800812)

What application out there can't be recompiled for OSX?

Re:Just curious (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800980)

What application out there can't be recompiled for OSX?

64-bit applications, for starters.

Re:Just curious (4, Interesting)

kitzilla (266382) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800814)

We don't wipe out OS X (well, we do -- then we repartition and reload). Then it's dual boot time.

I love OS X, but am really looking forward to trying out 64-bit Linux on a dual G5.

Re:Just curious (5, Informative)

bsartist (550317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800835)

That's really two questions - why buy a G5, and why put Linux on it.

For the first, the answer is I/O. For purely CPU bound benchmarks, the G5 compares fairly well with 64-bit x86 chips, but it's nothing to write home about. On the other hand, the I/O subsystem smokes, so unless you're doing almost pure number crunching, that's something you have to take into account as well.

As for putting Linux on it, it's funny you should ask that in a comment for this particular story - prior to this release I would have asked the same thing. However, YDL appears to now offer something that OS X doesn't - a full 64-bit address space for applications. Mac OS X is not "full" 64-bit; the OS can manage all 8GB of RAM, and apps can use 64-bit ints. But, apps run in a 32-bit address space.

Re:Just curious (1)

oscast (653817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800949)

the G5 compares fairly well with 64-bit x86 chips, but it's nothing to write home about. Fairly well? You're not giving it anywhere near enough credit. So that nobody misunderstands... it dramatically outperforms all Pentium series chips... its a bit faster that XEON and roughly on par with AMD64.

Re:Just curious (1)

Mr. Frilly (6570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800972)

Interesting claim. You got benchmarks? I haven't seen anything where the G5 can consistently beat a Pentium IV, much less an Opteron.

Re:Just curious (4, Interesting)

SEE (7681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801057)

Given the G5 uses the same jointly-developed-by-AMD-and-Apple HyperTransport bus architecture that the only 64-bit x86 chips on the market use, I'm skeptical that the G5 outperforms them on I/O tasks. Have any numbers comparing the Athlon 64 and G5?

Re:Just curious (4, Informative) (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800847)

This is a really good question, and not a troll at all.

The answer is "people like me" and the explanation is as follows: roughly once or twice a year, I find that my job requirement shifts a bit, and the platform of choice for said work might change overnight from windows to macos to linux. One of the reasons I used yellowDog for about a year was because I really liked my g4 machine and its cinema display, and didn't want to junk it just so that I could run the OS (linux) which I needed at the time to get my work done.

These days I usually spend about 1/3 of my time in windows, 1/3 in linux, and 1/3 in MacOS. Certainly I enjoy my life the most while in MacOS, but that's beside the point. The solution for getting my work done has come down to runing Mac at the office, and Linux + vmWare at home. With this setup I have just one machine at each location, and between the two I cover all my needs in a day. The linux machine is the stablest and fastest a=of them all, and I really wish that masos could be one of my vmware sessions... but that's another story.

Anyway, I agree that YellowDog linux is really a niche product, given that slicker OSes+applications exist for the hardware in question. But sometimes Linux is what you need, and sometimes a Mac is what you want to use, and that's when YellowDog is the answer.

Re:Just curious (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800849)

The simple answer is that Linux is 64bit from YellowDog, and OSX is not.

No, OSX is NOT 64 bit. Not yet anyway. It has some kludges that allow it to use more memory than a normal 32bit OS, but it is FAR from being a true 64 bit OS.

Re:Just curious (3, Insightful)

kc8apf (89233) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800855)

I put linux on my Xserve. It's a server. Linux fit the problem better. No GUI overhead, easier to maintain, etc.

For G5s, the person generally is either using it as a server or for sciTech work, such as long simulations or massive calculations.

The sciTech programs are typically written on linux x86 systems and then someone else gets the job of finding the best system to run them. Putting linux on a G5 ends up being easier than getting the initial developer to port the app. Not to mention it gives a consistant interface for all the systems regardless of architecture. This has the nice side effect of making it easier for the admins to maintain the systems and keep up to date on whats new.

Re:Just curious (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800874)

Check these pages for who [] and why [] .

Here's one reason: J2ME development (4, Interesting)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800879)

Currently, Sun does not offer the WTK (Wireless ToolKit) for the Mac platform - only Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

That's not the only software that is available for Linux and not for Mac. For some people, a couple missing programs is what they need.

Personally, I would like to dual-boot Linux alongside OS X. You don't have to "wipe out" Mac OS X and run only Linux. The only thing that stops me from doing this is that my Apple is a PowerBook, and there is still no support for Airport Extreme wireless cards in Linux. I'm always on wireless nets (between my apartment, my girlfriend's, and the university campus), never plugged in. As soon as that is supported, I'll start looking to set up a dual-boot.

Re:Just curious (2, Interesting)

pyrotic (169450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801041)

I'm very impressesed by OSX, and I use it on my laptop, but I wouldn't want it on our servers. Partitioning disks, software RAID, tpmfs, RPM/yum, kickstart, logrotation, disk quotas, cron - these are all things that I prefer the linux way of working. And then there's all the shell scripts that we already use with linux that need to be tweaked for Apple's unix. I like the way you can install linux without a gui. If we were looking for a 64 bit 1U server, we'd choose the xServe over Sun's comparable hardware.

Re:Just curious (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801077)

For the nerds who use a mac.

Linux is faster then MacOSX and many Linux users like kde and gnome better then aqua. Of course you can run these apps wiht Fink underOSX, the applications seem to run better or compile better with Linux. Thinks like the Gstreamer and mplayer for example I have had trouble wiht previous versions of FreeBSD.

Re:Just curious (1, Informative)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801094)

I can answer that because I did it: a Mac looked nice and fit in well with my furniture. But after trying OSX, I didn't find it to be a good replacement for Linux, so I wiped the disk and replaced it with Linux and have been quite happy with the machine since.

GNAA & Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800725)

smelly nigger dongs for all!

Re:GNAA & Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800754)

You're stupid.

Re:GNAA & Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800792)

Pot Kettle Black.

Re:GNAA & Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800853) said 'pot'

heh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800728)

These guys just gotta make a "Yellow Snow" distro...

I'll Second that! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800730)

Frosty Piss!

why? (1, Redundant)

eddiecore (592547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800743)

why would anyone with a g5 who's already running os x want to run yellow dog linux? (serious question.)

Re:why? (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800781)

I guess you do it if you really, really want a 64-bit OS.

Also, somebody at Yellow Dog once told me that most of their sales were in the sciences/HPC arena. It may be that their custom software requires more parts of the OS or core libraries to be open/modifiable than Apple provides. Yes, you might be able to pull it off by downloading Fink, or building your own Darwin kernel or whatever -- but if you can get Linux pre-installed (something the Yellow Dog people provide), then why bother?

Re:why? easy. (2, Informative)

rohan_leader (731431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800795)

This is a matter of personal preference really.

One obvious reason is that Yellow Dog is completely free as in beer and OSX is not. You have to purchase every second update and it is not *completely* open source. Even if it IS apple, the magic words, "open-source" does make people listen up.

If compatibility with industry standard programs such as Microsoft Office and Photoshop is not needed, and if the UI is unimportant to you, then linux might be an option.

People use OSX to have the best of both worlds: to have the familiar "hacker" interface, the shell, and also have the convenience of programs. If you're going to run a server, linux will run faster, without Cocoa or X Windows, no question about it. Or, if you're addicted to KDE or fluxbox, why use the Aqua interface then? (yes, there IS an X11 server for apple, but hey, it is an alternative...)

The most convincing reason, I think, is the rpm format. You can use programs like yum [] although I believe that is for i386, and redhat/fedora, but certainly, it derived from the original yellow dog updater (would anyone care to provide a link?). You can keep your system up to date easily with a known technology, set as a cron job, perhaps.

Re:why? easy. (2, Informative)

citog (206365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800954)

Forgive me if I'm wrong here. Reading [] or the link in the article [] :

'Y-HPC' -- Terra Soft's new 64-bit offering will be available pre-installed on Apple, IBM, and Momentum 970-based hardware, from the Terra Soft Store, and for download from the forthcoming Professional account.


Built upon Yellow Dog Linux v3.0.1, a beta version of Y-HPC is now available for download via Enhanced accounts, offering double-precision, 8GB memory addressing, 64-bit tool chain, and the 2.6 kernel.

The key bits being the references to Enhanced & Professional accounts. Enhanced costs $85 which isn't completely free as in beer. Granted, that is cheaper (possibly quite a bit cheaper over time/multiple release??) than OS X. However, I don't think it's the cost factor that will be the major attraction. As you mention, some server apps may be faster on the G5/Linux platform rather than G5/OS X. When choosing between OS X & YDL for the desktop, I personally don't see the advantage for the mainstream user (i.e. the largest group of Mac users).

All that said, having this choice is a good thing and if I ever get a G5, I'll give it a go :)

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

DeathPenguin (449875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800799)

Same reason someone would install Linux on an x86 with Windows pre-installed.

That, and OS X is not fully 64-bit yet.

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800807)

What? Don't you care about quality?

Re:why? (3, Informative)

bastard01 (532616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800811)

I would probably think that they want to run the G5 at it's true 64 bit capacity, since OS X doesn't really have native 64 bit support, and probably won't for at least a little while. Although for the older Titanium Powerbooks, YDL worked very well with the hardware in the more recent releases, I was impressed. Although I currently use OS X on my Macs, I am glad that if they are developing linux for Macs because it is nice to have a choice.

Re:why? (2, Interesting)

cilix (538057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800828)

why would anyone with a g5 who's already running os x want to run yellow dog linux? (serious question.)

I know several linux geeks who really liked OSX when they started using it but found it more and more annoying as time went by. Not being very customisable was a common complaint. (no focus follows mouse etc)

Also, if you want a linux box with 8GB of RAM, it wouldn't be a bad choice.

Some people think software freedom is important. (2, Informative)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800833)

In a nutshell, some people are willing to go the extra mile for software freedom. I'm one of those people. I've paid for free software before and I'll do it again. I dig it, I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the free software community, and I enjoy being able to make copies of free software for my friends and help them get jobs done. All without breaking the law or compromising my values.

Re:why? (3, Interesting)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800860)

A while ago I saw an article where the U.S. government bought a bunch of apple Xserve's to use interpreting sonar images on submarines. Of coarse they wanted linux for an application like that. The interesting thing is that they didn't buy the Xserve's directly from apple because if the hire-ups knew that they were buying macs they wouldn't approve it. They had been using G4's with custom made boards before they bought the Xseve's.

Re:why? (1)

antic (29198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800926)

I agree. That, and the marketshare would be like 1% of the 5% that buy Mac.

So, to all 12 people out there interested in Yellow Dog Linux, tell us why. ;)

Just kidding!

Re:why? (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801034)

So, to all 12 people out there interested in Yellow Dog Linux, tell us why. ;)

Well, I don't have a G5, but I do run YDL. (If I had a G5 Mac, I'd have it set up to dual boot.) I've got a couple of older PowerMacs (in the 200MHz 603e range) that will never run MacOS X (in fact, were never upgraded beyond MacOS 8). Mostly I use them for testing software portability. (I've also got a Sparc Linux box, and x86 BSD and Solaris boxes). When I get newer PowerPC hardware I'll probably put one of the old boxes to use as a firewall to protect myself from all those x86-based Linux viruses around ;-)

Re:why? (2, Funny)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801006)

You do it because OSX won't install on a dead badger [] .

Re:why? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801035)

Why install Linux on a SPARC? Heck, why install Linux on a PCfor that matter? Maybe we should all just listen to our corporate masters at Microsoft, Sun and Apple and do what they tell us!

Bill Neill Solution for SPAM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800745)

This letter and proposal has been sent to Google, Microsoft, and

I get too much SPAM!!!

It came upon me that there is a SIMPLE SOLUTION to the 180 or so e-mails I receive every day and have to spend several hours
determining which are important and which ones are junk. This is a PERFECT SOLUTION with NO WORKAROUND BY SPAMMERS

This is an invasion of privacy and I have the solution that provides pretty good privacy: it is to include a KEY ACCESS ALPHA-NUMERIC (includes HEXADECIMAL CODE) NUMBER within the E-mail as shown below:

My proposal, THE NEILL SOLUTION, would solve ALL SPAM problems.

As "Bill Neill" another example
is "Bill Neill" where the #123BFD456 or #Family124 is an alpha-numeric (or hexadecimal) number or word THAT IS assigned BY ME and can be changed at will BY ME, and is known as the ALPHA-NUMERIC NUMBER CODE (ANC) KEY.

ANC KEY is the BEST SOLUTION by far. If you send an e-mail to me with the wrong ANC KEY (#123BFD456) OR (#Family124) your e-mail will not be received in my INBOX/Sub Box, but will go to a PENDING BOX that would allow me to read it, if I think it is possibly important and then respond with the current E-mail ANC KEY for further communications. This effectively expands
my existing e-mail box into several sub boxes or none at all, if I
should so choose not to use it.

ANC KEY SOLUTION is preferred over much more complicated attempts to solve the problem because it is simple, easy to program, it is in control of the user, it costs nothing to implement, and is EXCLUSIONARY not INCLUSIONARY.

Attempts to exclude e-mail from a source exposes the test to all the computers in the world, but including the ANC KEY code expressly grants delivery access for this message.

In high security applications for the government and such, the ANC can be extended (made longer, so harder to pick, limited only by the 256 network limitation) and generated on the fly (using a random number generator) or made to follow a particular and predictable algorithm with more keys, and ultimately, we see that this approaches security similar to encryption and digital signature software that provides pretty good privacy.

Since I can change the ANC KEY whenever I want to, without changing my actual e-mail account (, unlike attempts to invoke a blocked list or some other "list" of the "do not send to me" type, both of which are circumvented by relocating off shore, out of reach of the law or simply send a batch and vanish, by changing the source of the sender, will NEVER WORK in todays world. This is a world-wide problem that contaminates the web and slows transmission to a crawl.

With ANC KEYs, I am able to keep the SPAMMERS out of my IN BOX as below:


Bulk Box Mail here is filtered as to SENDERS being known as a spammer to the server.


Private Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected private ANC KEY, #34C56, or #private69

Business Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected business ANC KEY, #4444D, #office34

Family Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected family HEX NUMBER KEY, #1A937, #family22

Public Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected public ANC KEY, #9FF999. It comes from my answering a public question requiring the entry of an E-mail account for verification or access.

Pending Box: Mail here is not filtered using any ANC KEY or using a KEY of #? or * where the question mark signals to allow ANY OLD, OBSOLETE KEYS AND SO ON, to gain access and is the same as a person sending with NO NUMBER KEY( # ) AT ALL.

Bounce the Message:
NONE OF THE ABOVE: BOUNCE THE MESSAGE, have a nice day SPAMMERS. Notice that no E-mail address is in fact changed from what it is today, just add an account maintenance page to allow selection of the ANC (alpha-numeric) KEYS, and allow me to change them when needed to make the SPAM message bounce.

Example of procedure:

-Bill Neil-






-Bill Neill- -to General Inbox
-Bill Neill- -to Family Inbox
-Bill Neill- -to Family Inbox
-Bill Neill- -to Office Inbox
-Bill Neill- -to Office Inbox

Example WHEN to Office Inbox is
compromised and some SPAM is being received, simply change #86 to #90 or whatever and inform known senders of your NEW address. All email sent to #86 will now be REFUSED, BOUNCE MESSAGE or be placed in HOLD Inbox for you to decide if you want to read any of them or simply delete all of them.

Consider set up a dynamic ANC KEY. It is the date plus random number. ENTER AFTER THE # THE ANC KEYS TO BE USED FOR THIS FOLDER: *DATE*1212 where *DATE* inserts todays date

And so on. I hope you will consider implementing my proposal, THE NEILL SOLUTION which would solve all SPAM problems. Keep in mind that if the sender of SPAM gets no response, his advertiser will stop paying to have them sent to us, ending this mess very quickly.

Kindly forward this to your staff for consideration and evaluation.

yawn (0, Offtopic)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800922) Your idea is too late.

I can't understand it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800753)

OSX is vastly superior to Linux, why would you even attempt to install it on a Mac?

Gotta ask... (1)

AssCork (769414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800755)

I've been skulking around here for awhile, and this is Article 1 I've heard about Yellow Dog. How do they expect ANY market penetration on ANY box, let alone a 64-bit Mac, with so little exposure? Isn't that whipping the coders for no payback? Call me a Troll, but I'm genuinely curious...

Re:Gotta ask... (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800796)

They're well known in Mac circles. They've been around for a long time, and they seem to have a solid product.

However, I can't see myself ever thinking "Boy, I sure wish my computer's UI was way crappier than the one I bought...let's install Linux!"

*dons fireproof jockstrap*

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

AssCork (769414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800822)

Ahhhhh...good return. However I still don't see where one would be inspired to work on a project with so little return...even an 'ego' return. How well known is Yellow Dog in the Mac circle? I know many coders who have little time to work on personal projects, let alone ones that seem to be brushed in the corner by the masses. Why the lack of cohesion in the Linux community? Once again not a Troll, but wouldn't these powers be much better mustered under a single flag? Probably an entirely different thread, but a simple synopsis of the division would be a real bonus for me. Cheers (:-)

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800881)

Yeah, I know what you mean. I can only assume that the coding required isn't huge, and ppl do it because they love it.

It's a good bet that if your a Mac flavored geek, you know about Yellow Dog. As far as the rest of your questions, well, I dunno. I'm not a coder, and I don't know whether the balkanization of the Linux market is a serious issue. Since it seems like most stuff can be recompiled on different platforms without BEWILDERING amounts of hullabaloo, I'd surmise it's less of a big deal than we might think.

Having said all that, I seriously covet a 12" Powerbook, and Linux isn't going to get anywhere near it. : )

Re:Gotta ask... (5, Funny)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801011)

The true beauty of slashdot: Serious discourse between people named Moofie and AssCork.

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

00420 (706558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800961)

However, I can't see myself ever thinking "Boy, I sure wish my computer's UI was way crappier than the one I bought...let's install Linux!"

Yeah most people probably wouldn't ever think that. They may however think something like "Boy, I sure wish my computer's UI was way more customizable than the one I bought...let's install Linux!"

It all boils down to the users preferences.

Of course, applications would probably factor into the decision to install Linux as well.

Re:Gotta ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8801068)

A UI that's skinnable isn't automatically better than a UI that's designed well to begin with. In practice, in fact, it's just the opposite.

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

00420 (706558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801091)

Being skinnable is not at all what I was referring to. I was referring to the "Feel" more than the "Look."

Re:Gotta ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8801039)

OK, I've always been kind of anti KDE and so last week I installed KDE and decided to use it exclusively for at least a week.

I have to say it has improved greatly. The first thing I had to do was make it not look so QT-ish. Once that was done and some keybindings were changed I found that it was highly usable.

What I didn't like was in Konq when you opened a new tab--in the background--the current window would black for a second. Highly annoying. Also if you have alpha transparent pngs it slows Konq scrolls slllllllowly.

I also have been using OSX for a few months now and although I have a lot of good things to say about it I find that between the two I prefer KDE. And I don't even like KDE that much. My favourite thing to use is enlightenment 16 and gtk apps. It just works great for me. I like how easy it is to configure every possible detail. Using OSX I feel too constrained. I tend to use the console a lot just because it's waaaay faster than any file manager. File managers suck, but if I had to use one I would prefer KDEs any day.

The real deciding factor for me was that I felt like throwing the powerbook across the room at least five times a day. I've never once felt like doing that to my Linux or FreeBSD box. Another thing is that in the Linux/FreeBSD there is an emphasis on free software. On Mac OSX it's all about shareware and trial software :P

Re:Gotta ask... (5, Informative)

Durindana (442090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800851)

Yellow Dog's been the premier Linux solution for Macs specifically, and PowerPCs in general, for several years now, since A/UX and MkLinux for the 68k more or less fell into disuse. Mandrake has maintained a PPC distro (skipping some point releases and not supporting as much hardware as on x86) for awhile, but Yellow Dog put out a quality product. And it's the only thing they do, which matters.

Probably more important is Yellow Dog's long-standing PPC Linux hardware solutions, e.g. the Yellow Briq Node G3/G4 standalone server. Terra Soft does a good bit of HPC consulting and installation (check their web pages for a few site descriptions and PPC Linux "wins").

In short, Yellow Dog is _the_ Linux distro for Macs, has been since 3.1 or so when it really blew Mandrake 8 away in terms of legacy and peripheral support. People doing real Linux work on PPC, especially if they're serious about PPC but don't care about having OS X, already are familiar with Yellow Dog. With *nix aficionados supposedly moving to the Mac in droves, opinion leaders are going to steer them toward Yellow Dog, rather than Debian or Mandrake/PPC. It's Red Hat for Macs, more or less.

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

AssCork (769414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800872)

Thanks. Ignore my last post then. Good info...I'll check it out.

Re:Gotta ask... (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800944)

I don't use a Mac. I think they're great, well-built machines, but I just don't have the money. But I heard about Yellow Dog a year ago. Everything I've heard is good. The fact that OS X is such a great piece of software speaks volumes about it's lack of market penetration. Why mess up a good thing? But imagine a dual boot: a *BSD system and a Linux system on the same machine. Geek heaven if you ask me.

Why Fedora?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800772)

Why not have YDL based off RHEL instead of Fedora? I don't get Terrasoft.

Will it work on a pSeries? (3, Interesting)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800785)

Since SuSE has locked up the deal with IBM, it would be good to have a less expensive or "free" 64-bit distro for pSeries hardware. Right now all you can get is SuSE and Redhat. (Debian will run on an rs6000, but not 64 bit AFAIK). To get one of these you have to shell out at least a grand. Then again, if you have a 64-bit pSeries, you are not worried about money.

I've never been that impressed with Linux on Macs (5, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800791)

I first started using Linux almost 6 years ago when I was a 15 year old high school sophomore. Most of my friends and I thought it was da shit until OSX came out and then most of us dropped Linux like a bad habit for OSX. There are so many areas that OSX beats Linux for most geeky things that I couldn't even begin to start.

Since so many geeks are fond of comparing computers to cars, think of it like this. A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord. It's fast, stylish, reliable and expensive, but it definitely looks cool to most people. A PC can be anything from a pinto to a ferrari, but is usually like a typical late 80s, early 90s American car on reliability. It may go faster and turn sometimes better, but it falls apart a lot faster than the more expensive hybrid Honda/BMW (aka, the Mac of cars).

Many of my peers in CS used to not be able to understand why I almost never use PCs anymore. We do a lot of work in Java, some of it in C/C++. They cannot comprehend how the Mac JDK runs faster than a Windows JDK. Or for that matter how convenient it is to have your Swing apps look 99% native. If I demonstrate an app to my prof on my laptop, which is a 1Ghz G4, it usually has more of a wow factor because Apple's Swing defaults to Aqua which is a hell of a lot slicker than anything from KDE or Redmond.

It's all of the little things that make MacOS X worth using over Linux. From the ease of which you can install software to the consistency of the interface to the amount of good software for it as opposed to Linux. Linux is great, but it's not really got much of a place on modern Macs. Between the services that Apple provides like its own version of Apache and Fink, you have most of the software you'd use Linux for.

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800917)

Do you feel L337 yet?

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (1)

mkro (644055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800919)

A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord
but if you open the dashboard you see that everything including the car radio is well-secured inside one big chunk of epoxy?

Sorry, tried to get into the car analogy mindset :)

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800942)

Or the fact that it's cheaper to maintain and buy individual parts for a PC than it is a Mac, just like the typical disagreement of native vs import cars...

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (1, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800940)

Well, if you're going to use car analogies, then a PC running Linux is like a modified Honda that looks just like a normal Honda in every way. No fart pipe, no wing, no suspension kit, and no chrome wheels. But, it has been set up to go 0-60 in under 6 seconds, AND it could run a 24 hour endurance race without problems.

The Mac is like a Honda with a giant fart pipe, fruit colored lights underneath the body, giant VTEC stickers, shiny chrome wheels, a fiberglass body kit, big thumping stereo and a giant wing on the back AND on the front too. The thing is so heavy it can only go 0-60 in 12 seconds, and the engine overheats because it weighs 5000 pounds. But, the owner thinks the damn thing looks good.

Personally, I'm not really fond of car analogies, because they can be stated to support almost any position. The real problem is that a computer is not very much like a car at all.

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800968)

I've always thought of a PC running Linux as being something like this [] .

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800945)

Slashdot is being taken over by boring mac astroturfing. We've all heard it before, creeps.

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800952)

A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord.

Built for insecure, middle-aged men desperate to recapture some sliver of youth and cool?

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800971)

most of us dropped Linux like a bad habit
Have you ever tried to drop a bad habbit? I'm stuck with linux till my friends drag me to detox.

I can only afford an late 80s, early 90s car. (1)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800973)

You may like MacOS, and prefer it over other, cheaper, functionally equivalent alternatives. Fair enough.

I don't think your car analogy works though. Car "geeks" don't drop their late 80s, early 90s car for a new BMW/Accord for "geek" reasons. If they do, they aren't car "geeks", they are "ricers".

This is what car "geeks" do to their Hondas - The New LCRX [] .

Could you be a MacOS "ricer", and not know it?

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (3, Insightful)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801002)

I'm a very recent (about a month and a half) convert to OSX. My desktop is Gentoo, which I also use on my PC at work. I run a Debian server, use RedHat far more than I'd like at work, and run OpenBSD on my own server. I've also got similar experience running FreeBSD. I used to have Windows on my desktop as well, up until late last year, simply for the software compatibility. It was only recently that I decided that everything I did in Windows could be done without significant extra effort on Linux.

I had, prior to buying my 12" Powerbook, used OS9, and found it to be quite unpleasant in that the interface is perfectly friendly, if a bit archaic-feeling, but that there seemed to be a complete and utter lack of any real features in the area of networking, no multi-user capabilities, and generally poor reliability and usability. I had also used OSX a small amount, and it seemed to be, if a bit slow (and still does feel that way, even on my Powerbook), a perfectly tolerable Unix-ish OS.

Nevertheless, I suspect I'll have a Linux desktop around for a long time (and in some respects truly do prefer it over OSX). Firstly, I found switching to a closed-source OS to be a bit of a bother. Certain minor things I'd like to change I can't, at least, without significant work. While the initial installation is easy, and getting a working desktop for basic stuff like email, web browsing, etc, I can't change certain things how I'd like. The sec ond issue I have is more anticipatory--sooner or later, I just know Apple is going to bite me in the ass with upgrades. OS 10.1 users are apparently expected to upgrade to Panther. When 10.4 comes out, am I going to be expected to plop down another $120 just like that? And finally, in terms of usability, yes, OSX has many nice features. And it's pretty. But it runs X11 apps clunkily at best, Fink and OpenDarwin ports and all are great, but there's not NEARLY the range of Free software available (e.g. the lack of a non-alpha level, non-X11 Free, or even free, word processor). Closed Broadcomm drivers mean I can't put my Airport Extreme card into passive mode. And of course, I'm simply less familiar with OSX, as well. If I decide to implement GRSec and PAX protection on my Gentoo box, I can do it. Being a bit of a security hobbyist, how do I know my Apple is as secure?

OSX is great, to be sure, for a desktop. It patches the weakness of desktop Linux and is, in many ways, a paragon for that endeavor. And XCode and all are certainly good enough that I have no real issues doing development ON OSX, though most of what I write is written FOR Linux/x86. But I'd never use it for a server, rarely for anything truly serious, certianly not on a desktop where the price of Apple hardware is prohibitive, and not simply because Aqua apps look ``a hell of a lot slicker'' :P

Overall, however, I am happy.

Re:I've never been that impressed with Linux on Ma (1)

Build6 (164888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801078)

They cannot comprehend how the Mac JDK runs faster than a Windows JDK.

Is this true?

Are there any benchmarks/evals online anywhere?

OSX Lunix (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800800)

'nuff said.

Fedora port? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800804)

Did anyone else notice that these guys are gonna become a Fedora reseller with the next release? Y would you use them instead of the actual Fedora port for ppc?

as usual.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800805)


Re:as usual.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800832)

Suck a Boot, Nutsack! w00t!

This is definitely good for Apple (4, Interesting)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800808)

I always see posts where people rationalize buying Apple laptops buy saying "if I don't like OSX I can always put linux on it". This makes it a lot easier for apple to get people to switch from linux to OSX. Maybe apple should try to make macs that are capable of running Windows so more people will switch to macs from the Windows world.

Re:This is definitely good for Apple (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800865)

Maybe apple should try to make macs that are capable of running Windows so more people will switch to macs from the Windows world.

But since Windows only runs on x86 architecture, MacOS would have to be ported to x86. The neat thing about Linux is that it runs on everything.

Re:This is definitely good for Apple (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800911)

Actually apple already has an x86 port for OSX. It is after all based on Next Step, which originally ran on the x86. So mostly they just had to recompile the GUI stuff. They could release an x86 mac that can boot into windows or OSX and encourage developers to release their programs as 'fat' binaries that run on PPC and x86. Then they just have to decide if they want an Intel Inside sticker or not.

Re:This is definitely good for Apple (2, Informative)

sr180 (700526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800896)

They've already tried that. First they had emulators, then they had PC cards that fitted inside your Mac, then they had emulators again, then they had PowerPC's that did both, then emulators again... I think they have emulators atm..

Good to hear it (5, Insightful)

menace3society (768451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800871)

Being locked into an OS, even if it's the niftiest thing in the universe (which OS X is), and even if it's core is open-source, is a bad thing. If you buy a refrigerator, you don't want to be locked into whatever food it comes with, plus whatever further food stipends the manufacturer provides. Having another good software reason to buy a mac (64-bit Linux with AltiVec) will only help Apple's sales, and make the newest Macs a force to be reckoned with in high-end personal computing.

Re:Good to hear it (4, Informative)

oscast (653817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800970)

I don't know why anyone would think that you're locked into OS X if you buy a Mac. There's just as many OSes for PPC as there is X86.

Canucks! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800891)

Calgary can suck a west-coast BOOT!

Question (1)

weekendwarrior1980 (768311) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800902)

I see this version supports upto 16GB of ram, does MacOS X support it too. Also the most highend model of apple can only support 8GB, so what is the point of having the OS support 16GB when you can't use it?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800908)

OSX supports 38 FloppaBytes over a 14 Bot class act.

Re:Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800967)

Yea, because obviously Apple isn't going to make another model that will support 16GB or anything. Seriously, what the hell is with this "planning ahead" bullshit?

I don't get this (1, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800909)

I don't get this. I mean you buy the expensive hardware because it comes with that great operating system that just plain "works" and you put linux on it? I mean don't get me wrong, but if you're going to use linux, use it on an x86 that's cheaper. Unless you're specifically using this G5 machine for number crunching on a 64 bit level, what justifies the price of the hardware if you're not using that beautiful os?

Re:I don't get this (1)

oscast (653817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800978)


How is a G5 more expensive than an x86 PC of the exact same components.

(Its not)

Can it run from a CD? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8800957)

are there any distros for mac that work direct boot from a CD, a-la knoppix? Can you direct boot from a CD on mac?

Aha! (5, Informative)

RadRafe (632260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800969)

There's the long-awaited IBM G5 blade server! I knew it was coming, and now it's here.

BladeCenter JS20 []

Specs, as stated on IBM's page:

Modular blade server optimized for the BladeCenter enclosure

Two PowerPC® 970 processors at up to 1.6GHz standard

512MB standard/4GB max PC2700 ECC DDR memory

Up to two IDE hard disk drives for 80GB maximum internal storage

Two Gigabit Ethernet controllers standard with load balancing and failover features

How disappointing. For the sake of perspective, here's the Xserve G5 Cluster Node:

Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5


80GB Serial ATA drive

Mac OS X Server (10 Client)

Dual Gigabit Ethernet

OK, so the IBM server is slightly cheaper. But look what you get:

slower processors: 1.6 GHz vs. 2.0 GHz

slower memory: 333MHz vs. 400MHz

slower storage: ATA-100 vs. SATA

no storage in the standard model: 0 GB vs. 80 GB

less expandable storage: 80 GB vs. 750 GB

less expandable memory: 4 GB vs. 8 GB

That being the case, I'd say this is a disappointing product. Why would anyone choose it over the Xserve?

Re:Aha! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8801085)

You comment is offtopic, but the answer is this:
"Up to 84 2-way blades may be installed in an industry-standard 42U rack."

That's twice the density of the XServe, which can only fit 42 units in a 42U rack.

Sure, individual nodes may have less compute power, RAM, etc, but you can have twice as many packed into the same space. If you need processing power over storage, and have limited space, these make sense.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8801088)

nothing to do with 64-bit YDL.

Remember (1, Redundant)

mac os ken (732050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800982)

Remember a few days ago when /. ran the story about Linux on the iPod? It isn't a matter of WHY anyone with a G5 would want to use Linux on their hardware. It is because they CAN. Just like running Linux on a dead Badger.

Ever Used YDL? (5, Informative)

Becho62282 (172807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8800996)

Have any of you ever used YDL at all?? I first used YDL in 2000, it was my first time touching Linux on a PPC and I felt it quite robust. Sure people wonder why you would used YDL on a Mac that has OS X on it. For the same reason that some people have Win 98 at the same time as XP.

Flexibility. Sure you may want to use OS X day to day. But sometimes you just need to be in a true X environment. Yes you could do that otherwise in OS X, but it tends to have a high overhead (2 window managers, one sitting on top of another), and OS X is a bit quirky when it comes to certain NIX things (case sensitivity, others).

The other issue is that YDL is a GREAT solution when you want to just do number crunching. No need to run the OS X GUI, just a rock solid number crunching OS. If I remember correctly the Navy is using a bunch of XServes (G4 era) with YDL on them for this reason.

Basically it boils down to whether you want to run the OS X window manager and OS X apps, or you want to run "real" LINUX with it's app suite and it's window manager.

Besides, if you X86 zealots can have 18 differant distros why can't PPC users have a few too.

In answer to the 'Why Linux' folks (1, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8801014)

One reason to run Linux on a Powerbook is to go wardriving. Apple hasn't released the specs for their Airport card, so the only way to passively scan and/or spoof your MAC addy is to run Linux.

Granted, this is offtopic as I'm not talking about a G5 or 64 bits of anything, but I think this demonstrates that there are uses for Linux on a mac.

Of course, I would run Mac on Linux if I was going to do this, but it definitely shows that Open Source has advantages over closed and can do things that closed source can't because of licensing, lawsuits, and lameness.

Chooses are good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8801087)

I use OSX but I like the fact that if I want I can switch OS's.

Also OSX is set up very differently to most LINUX installs. OSX particularly Panther, is much more LINUX like.

Open Source is good, Good on you Yellow Dog!
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