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How to install Linux on an eMac

Filed under
HowTos

Why replace Mac OS X with Linux on an Apple eMac? I did it to revive an aging hardware platform and provide a computer to a friend. Here's how I replaced "Tiger" (OS X 10.1) first with Debian, then Ubuntu.

My friend Jack asked me a couple of weeks ago to help him find a good deal on his first computer. He just wanted something he could use to browse the Internet and keep in touch by email over a dial-up connection. I thought of the eMac in my living room, which has done nothing but gather dust the past few years.

The eMac is a fine machine, but it has always been a little slow, due primarily to the fact that it has only 128MB of RAM. That shortage of RAM kept me from upgrading to a later version of OS X several months ago: the latest version would install only on machines with 256MB. I didn't want to give Jack a machine that he would immediately need to spend several hundred dollars on in order to bring its operating system up to snuff, so I decided to see if I could install Linux on it.

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