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old skool iMac G3 + Debian 4.0 Etch = : )

Posted by notKlaatu , 04 March 2008 · 166 views

About two months ago, I embarked on a journey to rehabilitate an old G3 iMac with a Linux installation so I could send a really functional and nice computer to Skirlet's little cousin in Mexico whose family could not afford a computer. The installation went splendidly. NOTHING else would even cause this computer to boot, but that trusty old "Net Install" Debian disc bootstrapped the computer, allowed me to install the barebones system with a few clicks (well, hits of the RETURN key), and then it pulled the rest of the system in its most up-to-date form from the internet. The Debian installation method is quite quite progressive; all you need to do at first is download the Net Install CD image. This is a 100mb download, maybe, so it's a quick download. Burn it to CD as a bootable disc and boot off of it. Start the installation, which is entirely menu-driven; very clear choices are given to you...almost difficult to screw up, really. The rest is downloaded straight from a Debian mirror (so obviously you must be hardwired into an internet connection) - so you're installing really up to date stuff every time you install. It's great. For the iMac, this installed all components flawlessly; I used all the default settings so there wasn't any fancy partitioning I needed to do. It took a while to download all the packages (although no longer than Leopard typically takes to install from its installation DVD) but once it did, it prompted me to reboot. It then booted straight into a GUI environment, a GDM login screen, and is now purring like a kitten. Fast, too! As fast as OS 9 would be on the computer, but having the funcionality of OS X. The specs on this machine are: iMac G3 "Grape" / 333mhz 6mb VRAM 128 + 64mb RAM No wireless card. What's now running on it: Debian Etch 4.0r1 Gnome desktop XFCE or Enlightenment (both faster than GNOME) It's a beautiful thing.

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