How to install Ubuntu on a Mac Power PC (PPC) G4

How to install Ubuntu on a Mac Power PC (PPC) G4

In the next tutorial I am going to teach you install Linux Ubuntu, En a Mackintosh Power PC G4This will help us get this sensational personal computer ahead of its time out of the drawer of oblivion.

The installation will be done from Ubuntu, although it can be done with any Linux distro have a version for these personal computers.

El Mac Power PC G4 that I am going to use is a machine with a Motorola processor 400Mhz PPC, it has a ram memory of 1Gb spread over four slots of 256Mb each one, the graphics card that comes installed as standard is a 128Mb ATI Rage, all this with a storage medium or hard disk of only 10Gb.

To install Ubuntu in this machine that belongs to the past, and update it to be able to give a more adequate service to its potential, we will have two different ways to install this Linux distro.

First way, with a minimal Ubuntu cd

This is the way more comfortable to get install the version of Ubuntu that we choose from the list of available images.

How to install Ubuntu on a Mac Power PC (PPC) G4

We just have to download the iso corresponding to the selected version, the largest occupies only 27Mb, and burn it on a cd using any free burner.

Once the iso is burned, we will turn on the Power PC at the same time we press the key C, and on the screen that appears we will type "Cli" and we will give "Enter".

Immediately an assistant will come out who will ask us a few questions of the type of default language for installation, or keyboard type, it will automatically detect our Hardware and everything necessary for an optimal installation will be downloaded from the network.

It goes without saying that we will need to be connected to the network via Ethernet.

Second way, with an Ubuntu Live CD

Like the first way, we will have to download an iso image and burn it on a cd, the only difference is that this iso is much larger, since it occupies almost the 700Mb, in addition to having all the necessary files, we should not have active internet connection.

The link that I have left you is to download the Ubuntu 12 04 Live CD, which is the latest stable version of Ubuntu.

Once burned on a CD, we will insert the aforementioned medium in our Power PC and we will turn it on while keeping the keys pressed. Command + alt + f + oIf we do not have a Mac-type keyboard and what we have is a conventional keyboard, you must use the button as command key OTHER, and as a key ALT the Windows prompt.

How to install Ubuntu on a Mac Power PC (PPC) G4

The screen of the open-firmware where we will type the following line:

  • boot cd:; \ install \ yaboot
If this combination of buttons will not work we would try to start from the Live CD in the same way as in step one, that is, pressing the key C while we started the system.
This step cost me a lot to get it in my Power PC, that's why I recommend the first installation mode, which although it is much slower works much better.

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  1.   hachiko said

    Good article. Would installing the latest version of Debian LTS be easy? Greetings

  2.   ahmed said

    very good contribution ... besides that we will give a very important use to our old and beautiful apple ns we will put more fully into free software that is the future of computing it is important to know different operating systems and believe me that having an OS as efficient as linux and on a computer like mac I think it is the best fusion that can exist,….

    1.    Francisco Ruiz said

      Totally agree friend

  3.   david.andrade227 said

    Hello friend, thanks for the tutorial but… I'm having a problem when using minimal, the disk doesn't recognize me. And when it comes to using the full ubuntu disk it tells me: ATAPI-DISK: open of DISK-LABEL failed can't OPEN cd:; installyaboot

  4.   oswaldo sanchez said

    I start the ppc but to the amount of passing me to the option to boot from the ubuntu cd it stays as hung and does nothing! I have already downloaded different versions of the ubuntu iso thinking that it could have been the iso that would have been damaged when downloading it but it is not that! i downloaded from 10.04 ppc and ppc alternate

  5.   alfredo ochoa said

    hello my friend could you help me? I just could not and tried with all versions of ubuntu ppc but in the middle of the installation it hangs

  6.   Oscar said

    I did not run the free ce with the commands, I restarted by pressing "c" and I pressed "tab" then it gives you various options that you must write after "boot:". I have selected "install" and installed it ... After the complete installation, I have rebooted the machine and
    It tells me after entering the username and password the following: image @ ubuntuMac: ~ $
    And it does not start ... Does anyone know what the reason is ????

  7.   nzn said

    Hello, I hope you can help me… reading your post I try to start my iMac G4 with the lubuntu live cd, to install it but I can't. I want to try with the way you indicate boot cd:; installyaboot but after booting with alt fo command, I can't write the colon: nor the semicolon; so I can't continue the installation… Do you have any ideas to suggest…? Thank you very much for your attention.

  8.   Jose Miguel said

    I have found how to write the colon and the exclamation mark but it still tells me that it cannot open it ...

  9.   AnthonyLron said

    Excellent article and very well explained, after doing so many laps on the internet my PPC seemed totally dead I only had access to the Firmware and the boot command (Alt Option) ... I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my PowerBook G4 (PPC) 100% operational, I only have A small problem that I cannot change the date and time of the operating system since the firmware has the old date (03/02/1970) and I also cannot connect to wireless networks since it tells me: The device is not ready yet ( Open Firmware is missing)… Thank you in advance.

    1.    Miguel said

      hello anthony I have the same little problem that tells me an error in the fireware could you fix it can you tell me how to solve it please

  10.   Jose kills said

    Hello, I will tell you, I have an imac g4 (light bulb), with minimum requirements, I previously installed ubuntu 14.04 from the live cd on an imac g5 intel core duo at 2.1ghz, 4gb in ram and 128mb in video, and it worked well, all without problems, but now I want to do the same with my imac g4, it only has a ppc processor at 800mhz, 384mb in ram and 32 in video, do you think it works? Has anyone tried? At the moment I am formatting it from scratch with osx 10.4, since I had 10.3.9 installed and most of the pages that I opened in safari, such as fb and youtube, could not be, supposedly due to the java version, (obsolete) that's why I decided to install 10.4 tiger, if someone tried to install ubuntu 14.04 on a machine like this one, hopefully you can tell me how it went, kind regards!

    1.    Humberto said

      Greetings friend, do not get fat with an ubuntu distro for PPC, look for the newest version of ubuntu but that says AMD64MAC.

      That is the one that I have used in Intel equipment that they stopped giving support!

  11.   oscar carmona said

    Hello everyone, does anyone know why it does not give me video when installing ubuntu on my ppc G5?

  12.   Miguel said

    Well everything ok in the installation but at the end it tells me an error in the fireware and not because this is because I am missing drivers eye I have done it with the botable cd and 12.4 and it was not connected with the ethernet cable could you tell me how to fix this anomaly so that my imac ppc works correctly that I am missing

  13.   gabriel said

    ◾boot cd:; \ install \ yaboot can t open cd install yaboot
    anyone can help me?
    tavernario690 @ hotmail

  14.   benjamin said

    I have tried to install ubuntu in ppc in a thousand ways! I think it is a myth! Well, I looked for help in ubunter groups and nobody helped me or could, so what I can tell you is I think this ubuntu on power pc is a dick!

  15.   My ppc g5 said

    Good, I have a power pc g5 and I have not managed to install any linux for ppc, all of them give me an error such as problems with the graphics, the sound or it simply does not install.
    I think that it is a real shame that Apple does not have OS more updated than OS 10.5.8 since it is a great machine and from which it could be used a lot I do not understand why you do not get updates because my 2007 imac does It has them for being intel and the g5 does not exist many users of ppc and it is a neglected and abandoned market, they would have to open universal versions of the most essential for example adobe, safari, itune etc.
    I have a g5 and I cannot connect my iphone because having ios 9 is inexplicable since if they were there, I would personally buy them

  16.   Jose Abel Mar said

    I just installed Ubuntu on an eMac G4 and everything is very simple and straightforward.

  17.   Jesus said

    Hi, I got a PPC G4 with 2Gb of Ram and 80 Gb of HD, MacOC 10.4 and I want to put the Linux distribution on it but in the two cases that you put it gives me an error, in the first one I cannot create the RAMDISK due to problems of Addressing the memory and the second one simply does not work, some solution or I accumulate the Mac like one more old TV, by the way I was born in '71.