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My old computer is a mac powerbook g4 that I am considering turning into an Ubuntu Server for my house of eight to share movies and music and whatever. I've never even thought about doing this kind of stuff before so I don't even know where to start. Can someone point me in the right direction?

My Concerns:

  • Most of my house mates have macs. Will there be compatibility issues?
  • Can I make it a wireless network?
  • My old powerbook g4 might not have the balls.
  • Money


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Isn't that a PowerPC model? If so, not that many distros even support that CPU anymore. I tried it with an old Mac PowerPC once, and was disappointed in availability of distros to choose from. I was trying to get a GUI running, to, and that was really futile. Too many apps require intel cpus these days.

If you're into using the commandline for everything, you can probably do it. There may still be a community-supported version of Ubuntu available, but nothing official. Yellow Dog Linux (YDL) is a good candidate, as they are a long-time supporter of PowerPCs.

It's something that you probably shouldn't attempt unless you want to learn a lot about Linux, and are willing to spend a lot of time getting it to work. Just don't expect it to be anything like a standard Ubuntu installation.

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It is a power PC Model, I just want to use that old Dinosaur for something other than syncing my ipod, which is becoming an increasingly large pain in my butt considering its becoming less and less supported. I'm going to make this my answer because you have saved me a lot of effort. I'll just save up my pennies and keep an eye out for an old desktop in the thrift stores. Thanks! – Stanton.Sculpture Jun 7 '12 at 5:30
I know how you feel. I have an old Imac that works OK, and has a nice monitor, but is in my attic gathering dust because its usefulness is not worth the amount of space it would take to set it up. I also considered that it would make a nice server, but gave up when I installed Ubuntu, then later couldn't even change the partition size without running special Mac software I didn't have. It was only able to shrink the Mac partition, but nothing else. Also, it was just too different for me to take time to deal with it. – Marty Fried Jun 7 '12 at 18:21

Ubuntu doesn't officially support PowerPC, but it still provides a version for it:

According to their FAQ, PowerPC is a community-supported architecture of Ubuntu, and the downloads are available at selected mirrors.

Read their FAQ for more info.

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