Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Linux MintPPC the Future?

Dr. Dave pointed me out in comments to MintPPC which I used briefly and forgot to write about. Dave says it's the future of powerpc, and I'm prone to agree with him. Basically it's an out-of-the-box-everything-just-works distribution that ports the Linux Mint Debian distribution over to PPC and includes some fixes specifically for PPC hardware. These are features Debian's main distribution makes you enable manually, giving birth to some of my more verbose and prose-award worthy blog posts, specifically wireless, graphic hardware rendering, and sound.

Wireless on an original Airport card and some hardware rendering don't work out of the box in Debian because of licensing issues, and sound doesn't work apparently out of ultra caution about some bug in the past that may not even exist anymore. But instead of making you, the user, muck around forums and horribly written blogs looking for answers, MintPPC takes care of all these features for you and has them enabled by default. Much easier on the newbie.

When I was using it, I was generally impressed. It has a slick look (screenshots) and snappy performance, and the MintPPC developers have even compiled the newest versions of Iceweasel (Firefox re-branded), something unavailable to Debian PPC users. I ended up going back to regular Debian, though, because I wanted to use Openbox on top of Gnome-core for my iBook install, which you can do on MintPPC but you'd end up with a bunch of Mint-specific software you weren't using. Also I'm a masochist.

So go ahead and check out MintPPC's website. It's completely painless.


  1. mintPPC continues to impress. MintPPC 11 looks like a clone of th Linux Mint 10 install on my core duo Dell Latitude, now my "main machine", ie the one I use if I absolutely positively have to watch Flash. One tip: don't run the updater from the menu bar, I did and a bunch of PPC Debian crap got installed and broke VLC,open a file and get a black screen,audio but no video. I've tried everything I can think of and google'd it for solutions and nothing works, will likely just have to do a clean install.

  2. For what it's worth, VLC has been broken for me on every Debian Squeeze derivative. Mplayer, too. I thought maybe someone forgot to compile these to run on G3s, but if you're having problems, too...

    I've been using Totem and xine-ui instead.

  3. You should try the various ubuntu mixes too. The fixes that MintPPC has 'built-in' are very well documented and take literally seconds to implement in other debian-based distributions. The MintPPC interface is pretty basic, if you want shadows and transparancy then it is not for you. If you have a G3 then I recommend lubuntu (it's far less bloated than MintPPC so quicker to load), a G4 xubuntu, and G5 will easily run standard ubuntu or kubuntu. This post explains how to install them . It also contains a lot of fixes missed by MintPPC!!!

  4. Just want to let you guys know that MintPPC 11 is out!