Saturday, March 12, 2005

Ubuntu PPC on PowerBook 17"

I had been thinking of installing GNU/Linux on my PowerBook since I got my 15", and that was since October 2003. Now, with my master thesis done, not in a mood start packing yet, and waiting for graduation (and waiting to see my girlfriend), I decided that it's a good time to kill my boredom.

This is my first time to install GNU/Linux on PPC (or, basically, a non-x86) architecture. I am really at home with install any distro, including Gentoo, on the x86 and especially for the Debian (and Debian-based) distro, my hands and heart remember the installation steps.

I tried Ubuntu, Warty release with my new PowerBook 17" last night. It did work and installation went fine. I had problem with getting X11 works, or more precisely, get the graphics displaying, correctly. All I had were glitches, like a broken television.

Today while reading OSNews (this topic), I learned that Ubuntu had released the preview of their upcoming 5.04 (or Hoary) release. Both the installation and LiveCD. So I gave it another shot.

The LiveCD works fine and the graphics now displaying properly. So I had my fingers crossed and install it for real.

The installation was flawless. Ubuntu installer (Debian installer, actually) works really fine. It is still in text-only mode, which is quite less attractive than Anaconda installer of Fedora-based distro. I like it more than Anaconda, however. All I had to do was hitting enter and telling the name of computer and my name. All hardware were correctly detected, with exception of Airport Extreme card, which had yet to open the spec, so it is not supported entirely.

After a few minutes (10 maybe), the installation was done, reboot, greeted by GDM, then GNOME desktop, do the software update. Beautiful. Here's how it looks like (which doing software update):

I like the new default desktop. I always think the default Warty desktop was a bit dull, especially comparing to the default Mac OS X desktop. I know I can change this later, but still ;-)

The Software Update works fine (was doing it in the screenshot).

More on this later, with might be a full article about experience and installation guide. Now have to go back to OS X to reinstall things and copy data back from backup ;-)