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Revive your old Mac G3, G4, or G5 with Linux

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Do you have an old Mac G3 or G4 lying around doing nothing? Did you know that old dinosaur could make a great server or desktop with the help of everyone’s favorite open source operating system Linux? Most people don’t realize there are Linux ports for PPC. There are, and they will make that old machine seem like it’s younger and snappier than it ever did.

One of the issues with trying to use those older Macs is that they do not meet the requirements of newer versions of OS X. Within the last year I purchased an older eMac which had a 900 Mhz processor. I bought it mostly just to have it. It wouldn’t get too much use. When I received it it had the latest version of OS X it would support. The machine had a Gig of ram along with the G3 900 Mhz processor. I shouldn’t have to even type the fact that the machine ran very slowly. At first I attributed it to the processor speed. But after a few OS X updates I realized it wasn’t the processor but the version of OS X that was placed on it. That, of course, got me thinking…

I have installed Linux on a Mac before. The Mac in question was an old G3 800 Mhz iBook. With OS X the laptop felt sluggish. With Linux on the machine it felt much more powerful than it should have. The version I used on the laptop was Ubuntu. And man did it make a difference.

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