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Live CD for PPC?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the hard-drive-not-required dept.

Data Storage 45

An anonymous reader writes "After reading this article, I was pretty excited about trying an Ubuntu live CD on my Mac, because I've heard a lot about the distro. But it turns out the only live CD is for x86. Looking around for PPC live CD's that support modern hardware (like a G5) and demo modern versions of KDE and Gnome has proven fruitless so far. Does Slashdot know of any current projects that have released or are working on releasing a nice PPC live CD?"

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Gift Horse (-1, Troll)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710159)

Just stick with OS X. It's clearly superior unless your brain is strangled by wanting to be a part of the retarded 'free or death' zealot syndicate.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10710160)

strange....nothing to see here...FP...?

Gentoo (5, Informative)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710171)

See here [] . I've used a Gentoo live cd a while on my iBook G3 and it worked fine (and no, you don't have to compile anything to start a nice X-environment).

Re:Gentoo (3, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10721935)

It says on url you referenced: "G5 fans run full speed".

A G5 machines 9 fans running full speed is easily louder than most vacuum cleaners.

So, G5 owners, I wouldn't suggest.

Re:Gentoo (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10722000)

But that was november 2003. I'm quite sure this has been solved in the mean time.

Re:Gentoo (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10742624)

It shows no sign of updates at gentoo.

I don't understand how come my post is +5 informative either.

If any g5 owners out there, to experience the evil sound, just run "apple hardware test" from os x came with your machine :)

Re:Gentoo (1)

bbuR_bbuB (804723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10758965)

"Gentoo" wouldn't have updated this, but perhaps the Linux Kernel developers might have...

Construct your own (5, Informative)

Tr0mBoNe- (708581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710257)

If you have the time, do what I did. Put Gentoo on the system by a normal install method. you can make it like a 4 gig partition and then export the system as an image. It will definitly fit on a DVD, and a CD if you go min.

I do this at school here because all the computers the kids have are the same... so I just get a perfectly working system on mine, and then create a liveCD from it for the other computers. It makes data recovery in the user support center a sinch.

And a live CD for gentoo PPC is in the works. Should be out with the 2004.4 version release.

The Gentoo PPC live CD is already out (1)

joelhayhurst (655022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10716652)

A live CD for Gentoo PPC is already out, and has been for a while.

Re:Construct your own (1)

mousehouse (610712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10721048)

personally i use the Gentoo LiveCD on my TiBook quite regularly. the only problems occur when the CD gets too much damage from being in my backpack all the time!

gentoo boots into a nice Xwindows environment which i assume you don't care to customise... otherwise you'd make your system dual boot anyway...

and actually one of the nicests includes i found was that Airsnort is on the liveCD as well, making it easier for me to locate wireless networks when i'm on the move. i know there are some Mac alternatives but they usually involve messing with the Airport Driver which i don't like... i like the fact that my Mac just works.

so grab the Gentoo LiveCD from their site... works great.

Re:Construct your own (1)

Tr0mBoNe- (708581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10722330)

Yeah... I guess I should have read their site recently.... hehehe

I find that since the Apple drivers come, basically, from one little sector of the market, their drivers are decently written and easy to setup. That's not the case with some x86 wifi cards

I enjoy a nice copy of knoppix which comes with Kismet, Airsnort and other great little programs like that. It makes war driving simple.

Re:Construct your own (1)

spuzzzzzzz (807185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10732938)

while(1) { fork(); };

I laugh at your puny linear growth!


Re:Construct your own (1)

spuzzzzzzz (807185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10732944)

Oops, not linear. Nevertheless, my exponent is bigger than yours :)

Re:Construct your own (1)

jesboat (64736) | more than 9 years ago | (#10807383)

Don't you mean base?

Re:Construct your own (1)

spuzzzzzzz (807185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10808291)

Yeah. I wasn't having a good day ;). Actually, I'd be better off with
:(){while true;do:|:&done};:
But it doesn't look as cool with all those silly letters in there :P

Also (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10710309)

Answer, as others have said, is Gentoo...

Meanwhile, does anyone have an estimate for when Yellow Dog 4.0 ISOs are going to be freely available?

Mac Live CD's (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10710391)

I tried 3 and at this moment, only the Gentoo version works. It is not nearly as autoconfiguring as Knoppix is on the PC. First, I found this site which is a compilation of most of the Linux Live distributions around: php
Then, by sorting on the right most column and scrolling down to PowerPC I found 3 PPC Live distributions:

A. Knoppix PPC
B. Knoppix-MiB oc-html/Knopp ix-Mib.html b-ppc/ - somewhat active mail archives for MiB
C. Gentoo LiveCD
http://www.metadist l/2004.0/32bit/livecd/kde-gnome/ - location of the ISO I used 301 - the discussion that told me where to get it and good tips on getting it working 24 - the full Gentoo PPC forum .xml - good Gentoo PPC FAQ's

A. Knoppix PPC - Nothing much seems to be going on with 'A'.

B. Knoppix-MiB - I had previously tried 'B' and while it worked ok on my iMac, I was looking for something for my iBook that I could bring to Linux meetings. At one time this version also worked on my iBook, but it no longer does - I don't know why. Apple has had several software releases since I last used it including one major one which made patches to Open Firmware. Others have also reported problems with the alpha 2e Knoppix full version - particularly on iBooks. Knoppix MiB has not released any further full versions but have released some Xtest versions designed to resolve these issues and get their autoconfiguration process tested. I tested the latest of these (pre10) and they are on the right track as my iBook gets further along in the process and no longer crashes and shuts off. Update 3/11 - their latest Xtest version is now pre12 which I am downloading today.

C. Gentoo LiveCD - The problem with Gentoo in the past was that it really never worked very well as a GUI Live CD before - was primarily an installer. Now, however, they do have an experimental version which is apparently designed to be a more full blown GUI Live CD ala Knoppix. It is not yet very autoconfiguring for the GUI and this is what was giving me some problems until I saw some helpful comments at a Gentoo PPC forum. Following are the details that finally got the GUI going.

1. Download the G3G4 ISO : nta l/2004.0/32bit/livecd/kde-gnome/g3g4.iso dated 11-Feb-2004 (664M)
2. Boot the CD by holding down the 'c' key while restarting.
3. When asked use 'root' as the user with no password
4. Once the kernel is up, type ' Xeasyconf ' - note upper case 'X'
-Let Xeasyconf attempt to figure out your settings
-My iBook has an ATI RageM3 video but the ATI Rage choice did not work for the iBook - it almost did, had problems with Horizontal sync.
-Use the Framebuffer choice for the iBook. Use the autoconfigured settings for everything else.
5. At this point typing startx brings up a black screen with 3 working Xwindows terminal windows and Xclock
6. Instead of doing step 5, type ' nano /etc/rc.conf ' . This allows you to change environment variables - For Gnome, edit out the comment symbol (#) in 2 places and use 'gdm' and 'Gnome'
- If you prefer KDE, edit out the comment symbol (#) in 2 places and use 'kdm' and 'kde-3.2.0'
- Save the changes
7. - To get a LAN working assuming a dhcp network
- for ethernet - type 'dhcpcd eth0'
- for airport - type 'dhcpcd eth1'
8. Type ' startx '
9. To end and restart in OSX type 'shutdown -r now'

The Gentoo environment is very Mac like and smooth looking. The kde environment has more tools. Some apps work, some dont (many games and OpenOffice) but kdeoffice works . It is clearly still a work in progress but well on its way.

Hardware things that I can't get to work:
- emulation for right mouse button
- sound
- external video
- man pages
- can't see Mac hard drive
- can't see thumb drive
- would like to make changes so that I can autostart with my settings but don't know how

- Some have suggested typing 'boot hda=1,1,1' or 'boot hda=16383,16,64' at the yaboot prompt but this didn't work for me (course I have no linux formatted partitions)
- cdrom is mounted at /mnt/cdrom
- Sound related suggestions I have seen but none work for me
-modprobe dmasound_pmac or dmsound_pmac
-turn on OSS option ( huh?)
-Other commands some have mentioned for (?) - 'setup' and 'Xautoconfig'
- Other useful commands
-ifconfig -a
- while in kde - 'kdf' ( does a kdiskfree )

Re:Mac Live CD's (1)

whitlock (796252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710899)

I'm glad that you made a whole list for bootable PPC CD's. I'm printing off a copy to keep handy in my drawer, just in case something happens.

Re:Mac Live CD's (1)

chess49 (714692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738842)

Anyone find this mirrored anywhere? I can't seem to yank that image...

Ubuntu straight-to-disk worked fine for me.. (4, Informative)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710429)

or at least the one on the PPC Ubuntu CD I downloaded after that same article .. and I used it to install Ubuntu on a spare partition on my aging tiBooks' disk, and its a dual-boot fantasy machine, finally.

linux+OSX, easy as pie. But maybe I skipped the "LiveCD"-ness of it?

can't say i like the debian'ness, but its nice to have linux on PPC, and have it be at least as smooth an install as OSX is ...

Re:Ubuntu straight-to-disk worked fine for me.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10710444)

Debian rox yur sox, yur brain jus cant handle it

Re:Ubuntu straight-to-disk worked fine for me.. (2, Insightful)

kraig (8821) | more than 9 years ago | (#10711080)

The point of a LiveCD is that you don't need to put it on a partition of any sort, spare or not. Everything runs off CD or RAM disk.

I went looking too, a few weeks ago, and never had much luck.

Boot CD (5, Informative)

kfs27 (261031) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710748)

there is a simple shareware called BootCD that will take any OSX box and make a bootable CD from the OS and u can choose what apps you want to be included on the disc then burn it.

Takes about 10 minutes to boot depending on the speed of the machine but it's a great way to diagnose machines if you don't have a spare firewire drive laying around.

Re:Boot CD (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10712038)

Have you any experience on if you can take an image from a G5 and use it on a G4? I've been toying with the idea of using BootCD to make some headless systems that boot from CD to take part in a distributed computing project. Take advantage of spare CPU cycles as the systems pass through my hands. Here is my vision.
  1. Insert DVD
  2. Boot Mac
  3. Without user input, boot up and start application.
  4. Profit!
Optimaly, I'd have one DVD image for every mac. I have Powerbooks, G5s and G4s to deal with, so having one image that would work on all of them would be ideal. having 3 or more images might be annoying.

Re:Boot CD (2, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10713223)

Generally, OS X is very backward compatible with all previous hardware. If you use a commercially bought copy of OS X and updated it on the newest hardware, instead of a CD that came with a specific, especially new, model of i/PowerMac/book, you can be pretty sure that it will run on most any supported hardware.

Makes it nice and relatively quick when you're re-imaging hundreds of different models of older Macs.

Re:Boot CD (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 9 years ago | (#10722226)

Didn't I just answer this on <a href=" 3137624.html?style=mine">livejournal</a>?

And the poster next to mine is half correct. Sometimes OS X specific CD's ship with macs, but the the machine specific part is only in the OS loader for the cd ie, if you run the installer's off the cd through the installer app instead of booting of the cd, you're fine.

Re:Boot CD (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10724674)

yup, I'm the same dude. :) Figured I ask both places and see what sort of answers I got.

I don't know about macs... (-1, Offtopic)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710821)

But here [] 's a pretty cool live cd distro that works dang well on a pc.

Sorry if it's unrelated

Re:I don't know about macs... (-1, Redundant)

FrkyD (545855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10711040)

So were you born stupid, or was it something you had to work towards?

Unintentional puns are the best (4, Funny)

silicon not in the v (669585) | more than 9 years ago | (#10710967)

From the summary:
Looking around for PPC live CD's that support modern hardware (
like a G5 ) and demo modern versions of KDE and Gnome has proven fruitless so far.
*BA DUM CHING* Thank you, thank you. I'll be refreshing this page all week. Don't forget to mod up your waitress.

I wonder if he even knew the pun he was making.

Re:Unintentional puns are the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738028)

Huh, what pun?

Re:Unintentional puns are the best (1)

vettemph (540399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746876)

Perhaps he is refering to the original iMacs which came in colors called 'flavors' like Strawberry (My GF has one), Blueberry, etc....

In the next series of releases, they switched to 'flavors' like 'Graphite'.

I believe some poeple were bitter about this.


Gentoo Torrents (3, Informative)

anourkey (676478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10715697)

Gentoo seems to have an Xlivecd posted on their torrent site near the bottom. []

Debian sarge (2, Informative)

joelhayhurst (655022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10716690)

There is a Live CD net install for Debian sarge ("testing"). It uses the new installer and is very nice. I have it as a dual-boot on my PowerBook.

Debian net installer page []

netinst is not a live cd (1)

mu22le (766735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10724732)

I followed the link you provided filled with excitation but what I found is just the official net-install debian cds.
When talking about a live distro I assume you do not have to write on your hard disk in anyway to acces the full power of that distribution.
On the other hand a netinst image is designed to let you run just the installer and little else so hardly qualify to be a live cd.
I am really looking forward a live distribution fully compatible with debian (knoppix has a lot of issues if you try to apt-get upgrade it since its a mix of testing, unstable and hacked packages), maybe some day there will be even an "official" live cd.

Btw (sorry if this is slightly offtopic) but there is an x86 based live cd called Kanopix that tries to be as debian friendly as possibe to help those who wand to upgrade thei system sooner or later.

Blue G3 with SCSI (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10717926)

Is there any PPC Linux (Live CD or otherwise) that will work on a Blue G3 that has SCSI (most of them had ATA interface but they made a few with SCSI)? I've been messing with one on and off over the last year, with several distros to no avail. It's been a few months but as I recall the machine would not even boot from the CDs.

NETBSD (2, Interesting)

bobba22 (566693) | more than 9 years ago | (#10721255)

Since you didn't specify that you want a Linux live CD, I thought I'd mention that netbsd do a ppc bootable CD. I'm in the process of checking it out and will reply to myself later whether it's worth bothering.

Re:NetBSD (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10787731)

Is there even a NetBSD/x86 live CD? The only references I've seen were a 1.5.x version.

LWN have a PowerPC distribution summary up today (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10721877)

Find it at:

It's subscriber-only content this week but should be available to all next week (I think...)

CRUX PPC (2, Informative)

carboncopy79 (619156) | more than 9 years ago | (#10722092)

Anybody tried CRUX PPC [] ?

It is small and neat. BSD like /etc/rc.d scripts. The ISO disk is only about 280Mbyte

Has Gentoo changed? (2, Insightful)

Orien (720204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10731161)

A couple of people have mentioned the gentoo live cd for PPC, but I'm comfused about that. I tried that once and all it seemed to be was enough of a command prompt to install to disk. Most of the standard commands were missing, and there certainly wasn't any GUI. Was I doing something wrong, or has the live CD come farther along since then? I don't want to waste my bandwidth downloading it if it hasn't changed any.

Re:Has Gentoo changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10785689)

No Gentoo's Live Cd at the moment for PPC is still only the command line. It is there so you can install your gentoo distro. They are working on the Gui Live CD should be out when 2004.4 comes out.

Bluetooth Keyboard and mouse (1)

grandmofftarkin (49366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10764727)

Any chance that any of these will work with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse?
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