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iMac G3 700MHz PPC32 with Gentoo Linux
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fra9OOO
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:40 pm    Post subject: iMac G3 700MHz PPC32 with Gentoo Linux Reply with quote

Hello PPCs,

I am the owner of a iMac G3 700MHz (PowerPC 750CXe version), 1GB Ram, SSD HD.
I am looking for a linux distro which is fast and that still supports PPC32 bits.

There are small sized distro options and with debian stopping the support Gentoo remains the only big sized one.

Is there any chance to make Gentoo launch an X session with this HW (Ati Rage 128 Pro 16Mb VRAM)? (XFCE/LXDE DE)
Is still possible to use and compile MESA 7 which is the latest one supporting that graphic card?

Is Gentoo worth to try here?


Thank you for your time.
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MarcGentoo
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

i think it is technically possible but rather of academical use than practical.
On a 1.6 GHz dual core surfing with firefox on i3wm (slim window manager) is at the edge of tolerable latency).
I expect LXDE/XFCE to perform worse.

I have no information on MESA7 though.
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Etal
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mesa 7 was dropped 4 years ago. I'd imagine getting it building on an otherwise up-to-date system won't be easy.

The other option, I suppose, is to forgo acceleration and try to use the fbdev driver.
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fra9OOO
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarcGentoo wrote:
Hello,
i think it is technically possible but rather of academical use than practical.
On a 1.6 GHz dual core surfing with firefox on i3wm (slim window manager) is at the edge of tolerable latency).
I expect LXDE/XFCE to perform worse.


I know ArticFox runs smoothly nowadays on G4:
[url]https://youtu.be/QCiKkrYZf8Q
[/url]

On the MESA 7 side I know it needs a downgrade of the kernel in order to accept the ATI Rage.

I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried Gentoo on those machines.

Thank you for your kind replies.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your goal. Web surfing is a pain with a machine like this. Not because of the OS or WM or browser, this is the bloated web programming. I read somewhere merely opening a "modern" web page can easily fill over 400 MB of RAM, and all this code needs to be interpreted by web browser and it requires a good deal of processing power. Not a job for 700 MHz RISC processor. You can have X up and running with less than 100 MB of RAM used, but what do you want to run on it? Some old game will run. For web browsing you need some minimalist browser which will not display web sites "in full".
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fra9OOO
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
What is your goal. Web surfing is a pain with a machine like this. Not because of the OS or WM or browser, this is the bloated web programming. I read somewhere merely opening a "modern" web page can easily fill over 400 MB of RAM, and all this code needs to be interpreted by web browser and it requires a good deal of processing power. Not a job for 700 MHz RISC processor. You can have X up and running with less than 100 MB of RAM used, but what do you want to run on it? Some old game will run. For web browsing you need some minimalist browser which will not display web sites "in full".


You can call it a Proof of Concept. Trying to use it at its maximum capabilities.
The switch to an SSD HD with instantaneous seek time, enables swap to be a quite fast alternatives to the limited 1 Gb of RAM. I repeat, ArticFox seems good and optimized on G4s. G3 CXe its like a G4 without AltiVec and is much faster compared to original G3s.

I got here since I have heard Gentoo is one of the best when it comes to performances. I always used debian derived OSes and I was curious about it.

I would like to try but I want to be sure first is not a mission impossible to install it. Do you have some sort of guidelines on how to install it on an iMac G3 or comparable HW?

Thank you.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fra9OOO wrote:
I got here since I have heard Gentoo is one of the best when it comes to performances.


Gentoo is DIY Linux. Consider it LFS with added convenience of superb package management. It is only as good as you are. To beat Ubuntu or Debian performance-wise with Gentoo is definitely possible, but it takes a good deal of knowledge and effort. With only 1 GB of RAM even a fast SSD for swap is not much help. The radical solution is to build binary packages in some powerful PC, using cross compiling in chroot. When you search these forums you will find plenty of threads where this method is discussed. Search also for SPARC and other non-PC architectures, the principle is the same. The search function of these forums is rather weak, use site based search with your favorite search engine. Something like this.
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