12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2006 9:02 PM by samohtaz
samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
First I don't mean to offend the Mac purist,but I have an old iMac G3 slot loading computer I guess its the one they named the color "Bondie Blue" for.Any ways I bought it from a guy I work with and it had no OS I've posted about this before but I don't have the money to buy a mac OS(family to feed and all) so I figure linux will probably be the only way to get this thing to run the question is what distro would best be suited for this machine?Ubuntu,Slackintosh,and Debian all leave me unable to start X windows.I realize this may not be the best forum for this ? but I've found the people here to be helpful and hope someone may have an answer
Thank You,

imac g3 slot loading(Bondie Blue?), Other OS, 300 mHz 128Mb ram 6Gb Hd No os :(
  • funkymonkeypie Level 1 (95 points)
    I dont know if it will work on the iMac but try either Ubuntu or SUSE 10.1 , yellow dog, or Fedora Core 6.

    Both Ubuntu and SUSE can be installed with a live CD, so you can run it a bit and make sure all your hardware is supported before you install it. Fedora 6 is a whole DVD install.

    I spent the last couple of days installing a bunch of different distros,and found the Ubuntu the most trouble free. The system overhead is much lower than 10.4 so it runs a fair bit faster than OSX.

    It can be got here:


    If you have an old mac running OS 8.6 that you cant justify spending $100+ for a newer OS, and you want a more modern browser, and software give linux a try, all it costs is a CD or two and a little time. Besides Linux on a G3 is way wierder than just a G3.

    Have you tried the three distros that you mentioned? Were you able to install but just not get into the GUI desktop?
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    you nailed it exactlly! I was able to intstall but not able to load the GUI except with Ubuntu that would go through all the motions of loading the live cd then the screen would go black I got the same with Fedora
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    p.s. thank you for the response
    Thomas from Az.(samohtaz)
  • funkymonkeypie Level 1 (95 points)
    Do you mean black like nothing on the screen or nothing but an x shaped mouse cursor? If you get to the x mouse cursor thats good, just give it lots of time.

    Which Ubuntu distro, the one I got I got from the above site 4 days ago (6.10ppc). I ran the live install disk and installed from there. Allowed it to completely repartition its own hard drive (I disconnected the PCI card w. main system drives) so there was not a mac partition on the drive. After the install it booted fine, and surfed the web right away like a champ. The only problem I am having is i cant get the display above 800*600 yet. I think the support for the earlier mac cards is patchy, but as long as you have an ATI rage chip of any type it should work.

    Go here:


    Identify exactly what mac and video chip you have and try to specify that while installing. If you are going to spend any time spend it on Ubuntu. I found the whole SUSE bootloader whoohaa to much trouble, and fedora would rarely get into the GUI after the install.

    Keep in mind even after installing it is really slow the first couple of times it boots into the gui (really,really, leave the room and start a new hobby kind of slow)if you get the X mouse keep waiting.

    During parts of the Ubuntu install the screen went black a couple of times for several minutes each time. The only time I had to do a forced restart was after an install of some suplimentary hardware after booting up a couple of times. Try it again and give it WAY longer than you think you should when you think it stalls. Think of it as a meditative statement against the urgency of our modern times.

    "African open source code on a hip west coast box? Sacralige."
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    sorry I waited so long to respond I've Been busy with the holiday. Anyways with Ubuntu just before it goes to start the screen goes black it's defenitley not the x startscreen
    Again thank you for all your help and patience
    Thomas : )
  • funkymonkeypie Level 1 (95 points)
    Do you get a Linux prompt at any point?

    I was completely sucessfull installing Kubuntu both as dual boot with OSX and as a stand alone.

    If you want I can step you through the install. I found that some of the other Linux distros were not set up to automaticly install a bootloader partition with Yaboot on it. The Kubuntu Alternate Install cd did that. If you want to give it a try it can be downloaded here:


    Make sure to get the alternate install cd NOT the desktop CD.

    When you boot the CD type: "expert-install" and take notes, pay attention to the monitor settings.

    Warning: I knew nothing about Linux whin I started, now I think I know less, but after a couple of tries the Kubuntu is running very nicely. It runs faster than OSX and sees all my hardware.
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    Right on man I'll give a shot.Frankly I've been too intimadated(don't think I spelled that right lol)to try the expert install I am using the PPC version but I too am a self taught linux newbie(not that u r a newbie but self-taught) I really appreciate all your help and feed back you've really been great.
    Thank You Sincerely,
  • macQ Level 1 (10 points)
    i did a successful install of the "breezy" ubuntu release, but NOT "dapper" on my g3 tray loading imac. also managed to setup a tripple boot on that tough little g3 (ubuntu, os 9 and panther). installed dapper on a slot loading g3 imac via upgrading from breezy. you might want to try the earlier breezy badger version. also check out the ubuntu forums for help with installation. there you'll find lots of folks willing to help. there is a special section within the forum for ppc. also once you complete install, you will need to make some changes in the config file re resolution. that info is on the forum. try using the search within the ppc forum.

    g3 333mhz imac, g3 600mhz imac, g4 867 digtal autio, mdd 1ghz fw800   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   quick pull the wagons into a circle! we are surrounded by information...
  • funkymonkeypie Level 1 (95 points)
    imacQ hit the nail right on the head, with regards to setting the resolution for your monitor, for some reason it defaults to a really high refresh rate setting, causing the blank screen, that's why you run the expert-install from the Alternate Install CD. Don't frett about the expert part, just press Enter about 18 times once you start it to accept all the keyboard and language defaults (unless you are using some obscure eastern-block-proprietary keyboard). Pay attention to the monitor settings, make sure the resolution is set low (800-600). Once you get it running you can set the display to the final resolution and refresh rates.

    This is how you fix the refresh rate:

    If you have unbutu installed and can get a promppt just try : sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
    for the heck of it

    I can only help with the Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) Alternate install version. The advantages with the alternate install CD are threefold.
    1-Shorter download (only 700 MB instead of the whole DVD with all the available packages)
    2-Shorter install time (it might take a couple of tries)
    3-A multitude of install options.

    Once you get up and running you can easily install any of the packages that you would have gotten with the DVD.

    Good luck.
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey man how's it goin' I've been pretty busy with work and the holidays But I'm gonna give it go tonight I really think you r on the right trackand for the first time since I got this thing my frustration has given way to confidence .you really stuck with me on this thing man thats pretty righteous.If I get going the first thing I'll do is send you a message of victory:)!Thanks a whole for time again.
  • funkymonkeypie Level 1 (95 points)
    Yo Believing Thomas,

    If you try the 6.10 Kunbutu alternate install and it dosent work, I will post a keystroke by keystroke guide from CD-boot to get you through.

    Take notes.
  • samohtaz Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm posting this from the troublesome iMac! Thanks to you I finally got it took a few tries to get the ISO burned properly,but hey it's a done deal
    Thank you so much for all your help.I couldn't have done it with out you