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Installing Ubuntu Linux 6.06 on iBook G4

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Installing Ubuntu Linux 6.06 on iBook G4

Picture of IrvinOver the weekend, I have installed Ubuntu Linux 6.06 “Dapper Drake” on my iBook G4 1 GHz. Some people have asked me why I would do such a thing? They ask isn't Mac OS X enough? The answer is really simple. No. I don't like a lot about Mac OS X. I don't really like HFS+. I don't like how slow it is. I don't like the DRM being built into the OS. I don't like spotlight. There is a lot in OS X that is bloatware. Also, I don't like its security. But basically I have lost some of the trust that I've had in Apple over the past couple of years. This trust has been lost primarily because Apple's support for the Open Source community has been waning at best.

It seems that when Apple needed the OSS community at the beginning, when they were developing their operating system, they embraced sharing, but since their OS now has a little notoriety and people are saying good things. they've closed up the source. Stuff like that worries me, plus its just wrong. I know that it isn't illegal or anything for companies to use OSS for their purposes, but it just seems like Apple is a little underhanded with their motives. From prosecuting journalists and their employees to leaks to this, Apple just seems like just another big business to me. Probably they've always been this way, but things seem a little worse now than they were before.

At any rate, those are some of my reasons. But the biggest is probably because I am somewhat of an OS freak, always wanting to try different OSs. I have several Ubuntu installs on PCs at my house, but I wanted another one.

The installation went really smoothly, the only thing I would advise is that anyone attempting the install should have a wired internet connection available. If you don't, there will be problems. The wireless connection at this time with the iBook's Broadcom chipset isn't working very well, really out of the box, at this time it doesn't work at all. I found a post here Installing Ubuntu on iBook G4 that helped me through the steps necessary to do this. I am amazed at how good the deep Linux guys are at solving problems. The gist of the issue is that there is no documentation for the broadcom interface that Apple is using. I guess they just haven't had a reason to make it public. So these guys just used Apple's driver to do it. The details are on the page. WPA doesn't seem to be working, but the driver and the process aren't completely finished. It will probably come down in an Ubuntu update sometime soon. One of the cool things about Ubuntu.

After everything is installed it runs really well. The fan management is much better, and my iBook no longer cooks my lap. The battery management isn't quite as good as with OS X, but that is to be expected. This should improve if they keep working on it. But so far so good. The speed has been excellent. The stability is excellent, even with development wireless drivers. If I could play Black & White 2 on Linux, I'd have all my machines running Ubuntu!