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Old 06-27-2004, 05:34 AM   #1
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Linux Guides


I've seen a lot of people asking why Linux, and why is it better, so I decided to make an easy guide for everyone interested in trying a new OS, from partitioning to installing and finding your way around. I'm no Linux guru (yet ) but I'll try to explain from a beginners point of view on how to get your Linux up and running. Please also read these stickies for they will answer a lot of your questions as well.

- Opinions about distributions (CompDude) (When choosing your distro)
- And this very interesting page about Gaming with Linux

If you're really planning on at least trying Linux, I would suggest reading both great threads, and choose your distribution (aka distro).

Remember that you can install Linux and have Windows installed and working as well, and choose between both.

I can say here that I like Linux mostly because:

-It's free.
-You can have all win software alternatives for free, and perform equally or better.
-There are no viruses/trojans/worms/spyware/adware.
-The OS isn't sending information about yourself all the time.
-It's way safer
-It has grown easier to use with the time, having a learning curve much smoother than before.
-You can run win programs thru emulation, and manage your FAT32 & NTFS (windows) HDs. Also with Captive-NTFS you can write to your NTFS Partitions (thanks Arkaine23)
-A penguin is cuter than a multicolored flag

Getting Started
Now that you know which distro you're going to install (for newbies I would suggest RedHat, Fedora or Mandrake), go to www.linuxiso.org and download and burn the ISOs. Yes, download all ISOs for your chosen distro.

The first step is creating a partition for your Linux OS. If you don't have a spare empty partition that you could use, you can resize your current(s) and create a new one. For more than a complete installation, and lots of utilities, you don't need more than 5GB for Linux (including swap [Linux' virtual memory] ).

Creating a partition
I've done some research on how to resize/create partitions with a "free" software, and I found Ranish Partition Manager. Sad thing is that it's not as intuitive as other commercial softwares such as PartitionMagic.
After downloading the latest version (or any other software linked in that page), and reading the readme to feel familiar with the proggy, we can get started.
Here you just resize one of your partitions following the readme included, to 5 to 6GB smaller and create another partition on the empty space. It doesn't really matter the file format you use on the new partition, as the Linux installer will take care of that later.
A simple yet good partitioning/resizing tutorial can be found here.

Installing Linux
So now, you got your CDs burned with your distro and a brand new empty partition for Linux. Let's get into installing.
If you downloaded RedHat, Fedora or Mandrake, installation will be quite easy. Just put the first distro CD in, make sure your BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM, and restart your pc.

Here you just have to answer all the questions when prompted, and when you reach the hard disk partitioning part, choose "Custom disk partitioning" and remember to choose your partition created for Linux, click on "delete" over the desired partition and then "auto allocate". If you can have the option "with /usr", check it.

Now Linux Installer will usually create a partition called /usr, /swap and / . You can see what they are for in the Linux FAQ sticky.

Configuration during the install process
After choosing your packages (additional softwares to install, usually in categories such as Games, Scientific, Development, etc.) and your Graphic Interface (usually KDE or Gnome, install both and try yourself) your installation will start, and eventually will ask you for all the CDs. At the end you have to create users (always create at least 1 user) and the "root" password.

The "root" in Linux is known as the "superuser" and has all the privileges and power (for good and evil) to modify every content and aspect of your OS. You probably won't need to use root, you can always get root privileges with another user, with the password you created.

You probably have to configure your network card, and "X" at the end, which is the graphical environment of your Linux. All you have to do is choose a video card of the ones listed and a monitor. If you're not sure, just select "Standard VGA" and "PnP Monitor". Always click on "Try settings" to see that the X is configured correctly.

After that you can choose the BootLoader (being LILO GUI or GRUB the preferred choices). This will let you choose at every boot if you want to go into Linux or Windows, and which will be the default. I suggest leaving all settings by default, there's no need in modifying anything.

Everything is very intuitive, no need to be scared.

Now Linux Installer will eject your CD and reboot the PC, showing you your chosen bootloader. Choose Linux and you're good to roll

Inside Linux
Having X loaded and with graphic interface, select your Windows Manager (KDE or Gnome, but there are lot more to download), select your user, type your password and start playing with your new OS. You probably will want to find winamp's equivalent (XMMS) or a graphic design program (GiMP), that can be found in the "start" menu.

There are several interesting features Linux has (very few that doesn't) comparing to windows, for mentioning one, multiple desktops. My suggestion is just play around and see which Desktop Theme you like most.

Now, you can configure your internet going into configuration, networking, netconf, or other similar according to your distro. You should find it easily. Now, fill in with the information provided by your ISP (you can call them for technical support), and after activating you can use one of the various web browsers that come with your Linux. I would suggest you downloading your graphic drivers first of all.

- ATI Linux Drivers
- nVidia Linux Drivers

As far as I know there are no softmodded drivers for Linux. Please PM me if you know.

Downloading common programs
You probably want to download your common win programs to feel at home:
- AMSN (MSN Messenger)
- gaim (Multi-Messenger [AOL, YIM, ICQ, MSN])
- Overnet eDonkey 2000
- Folding @ Home (You better keep folding under Linux!)
- Media Player with subtitles support
- Captive-NTFS If you're interested in writing to your NTFS partitions.

Also, if you miss your win programs, most of them can be run under Linux via emulation with wine.

Installing software
Installing programs that come as "source code" (without self-installing rpm's [Linux Packages] ) varies from proggy to proggy, so always read the readme file or the website's FAQ, but as a general rule it's always like this:

open a "shell" (start menu, terminals, *any*).
type "su root" w/o quotes, and your root password.
go to the folder where you extracted the source code.
type: "./configure"
"make install"
without the quotes and waiting for the # prompt again after each command.

Remember to try different things and downloading programs for your Linux, and try to be open minded and not afraid of leaving your OS useless. You can always install again, I probably installed 3 times/day when I started learning Linux by myself

I just hope that this guide has been helpful for at least one person, and please feel free to contribute with anything you think will improve this guide and correct my typos

And welcome to the Linux world!! (Penguin power!)

Thread updated with Linux Mandrake 10.0

Last edited by Copycat; 08-04-2004 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 08-15-2004, 04:48 PM   #2
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Linux FAQ

Q: What is Linux and why should I use it?
A: Rather than go into great detail here, there is a write-up found here written by LUG'er(Linux User Group).

Q: I'm a newb to Linux, what distro should I use?
A: I would suggest Fedora. It is easy enough for the new Linux user, but still has the ability to do the more advanced stuff once you are comfortable with Linux.

Q: What about a more advanced distro? I want down to the nitty-gritty!
A: Slackware is good for that. Slackware requires a lot of configuring to make it feel like home, but you also have the most freedom with everything.

Q: What about the BSDs?
A: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD are not actually Linux, but they are UNIX. They are usually a lot more difficult to use as a desktop machine, and are more suited as a server(imho).

Q: The machine I want to test Linux out on is very slow/lacks a lot of memory. What should I do?
A: Only install what you need. If you're not wanting a GUI, don't install X, Gnome, or KDE, or the X libraries. If you're still going to use X, I would suggest a light-weight window manager, as Gnome and KDE are memory hogs. I suggest FluxBox.

Q: Where can I get <insert distro here>?
A: http://linuxiso.org/ has many many distros for many architectures(PPC, x86, Sparc, etc).

Q: I don't like KDE/Gnome. Is there another desktop/window manager out there?
A: Yes, yes there is. In fact, there are MANY. XWinMan has a list of all the ones out, screenshots and download links for all.

Q: What are some basic Linux command-line commands?
ls - Lists the contents of the current directory
cd - Changes directory(cd ~ will take you to your home directory)
cp - Copies a file(cp <source> <destination>)
mv - Move a file(mv <source> <destination>)
pwd - Shows the current directory you are.
su - Switch User(su <user-to-switch-to>)
whoami - Shows the currently logged-in user
man - Manual pages. A great resource for help. man <command> will give you everything you need to know about any command
rm - remove a file
rm -rf - Recursively remove everything(rm -rf /home will remove everything inside of /home and /home itself, no questions asked)
ps ax - shows list of running processes
ps aux - shows detailed list of running processes
kill <pid> - kill a process
killall <name> - kills ALL processes matching that name
pipes(|) - used to string commands together. Doing a ps aux will yeild all running processes, but if you want to do something with those results, you add a pipe in. An example is found below.
grep - can be used to search results...
such as ps aux | grep ayttm will show all instances of ayttm
more - used to make stuff more viewable ps aux | more
apropos - used to find programs related to a function. ie, apropos print would list all programs related to printing.
Q:What's a good AIM/MSN/ICQ client?
A: Gaim is a very popular one, as well as Ayttm.

Q:What about an IRC client?
A: Most distros come with XChat. If yours does not, it can found here. An alterntive to XChat is Irssi.

Q:Where can I find more help on Linux?
A: Google is your best friend. Specifically, http://google.com/linux. Also, LinuxQuestions has a very large forum database of many many questions that have been asked and answered.

Q: I'm looking for <insert software here> in RedHat package format(RPM).
A: RPMFind.net should have what you need. Also remember to check the developer's website.PBone.net is also a good place to look.

Q: I'm looking for <insert software here> in Slackware package format(TGZ).
A: LinuxPackages.net is a good place to start.

Q: I'm looking for some new/alternative software. Where can I find some?
A: Every Linux user's best friend is SourceForge. SourceForge is the centralized home to thousands of open-source projects, and is often home to good, but generally-unknown software.

Q: What does . .. and ~ mean?
A: . refers to the current directory. .. refers to the directory above(in /home/forkvoid, .. would refer to /home) the current. ~ refers to the current user's home directory(if the current user is 'forkvoid', then cd ~ will take you to the home directory for 'forkvoid').

Q: My main drive is hda! What does that mean? / How do I know what my drives are?
A: Linux handles drives in a much different way than Windows. Your primary master would be known as 'hda' to Linux. Your primary slave would be known as 'hdb', and so on down the chain. This only applies to IDE. SCSI are the exact same way, except that use 'sd' instead of 'hd'. Now say you want to access a partiton on that drive. The first partition on your primary master would be 'hda1', while your second partition on the same drive would be 'hda2'.

Q: How do I access my NTFS/FAT32 partitions from Linux? / Accessing floppy/cdrom.
A: The term used is 'mount'. To mount a floppy, type at a terminal, mount <drive-location> <mount-point> -t <fs-type. <drive-location> is the drive itself. See above for an explanation of how Linux handles drive references. <mount-point> refers to where you want to access the drive at. A good place to mount everything to is /mnt/<folder>(ie, /mnt/drive1). This location must exist before you can mount it there. <fs-type> refers to the file system type you wish to mount. Floppy is usally vfat, FAT32 is vfat, a CD is iso9660, and NTFS is ntfs. Mounting an NTFS drive gets a bit tricky, at times, because support for it is fairly new to Linux. If you have trouble mounting it with the command provided, feel free to post your question here.

Q: How does the Linux directory structure work?
A: The Linux directory structure is very organized. if you know how the directory structure is set up, you will often know exactly where a file is, right off the top of your hand.

/bin - Includes the most basic of Linux binaries, such as 'mv', 'bash' and 'cp'
/boot - Here you will find the kernel binary.
/dev - This is where your devices are referenced. Everything in Linux is a file, as are these files. It's just a handy way for the OS and you, the user, to make reference to the hardware.
/etc - Includes all your config files for the system. On some distros, *all* config files are here.
/home - Your home directory. All your personal files are stored here.
/lib - System libraries. libraries ~ Windows DLL
/mnt - Where devices are mounted for your use.
/proc - Kernel information. Includes such things are your CPU information(/proc/cpuinfo) and uptime(/proc/uptime).
/root - the root user's home directory.
/sbin - Includes system binaries
/usr - All programs a normal user normally needs access to, such as the X-server(GUI server) are found here.
/var - Often includes logs and other such things. A useful file located here is the /var/log/messages file, which is the system error log. The contents of this file are very useful in debugging an error.
Q: How do I extract tar.gz/.bz2/zip files?
A: tar xfz <file> for tar.gz, tar xfj <file> for bz2, unzip <file> for zip.

Q: How do I install an RPM/TGZ?
A: For RPM: rpm -i <file>. For TGZ: installpkg <file>. If you're on Slackware, and have an RPM file, there's a handy command for you that converts from an RPM to a TGZ: rpm2tgz <file>.

Q: How can I run Windows programs in Linux?
A: See WineHQ and TransGaming.

If anyone has anything to add/correct/change, please do not hesitate to tell me!

Myself, kempokaraterulz, Whooper, Sound-Mind, buzzert, -=bluebird=-, wicka_wicka

Last Updated: 08-15-04
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:39 PM   #3
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How to: Gentoo quick install

Gentoo 2.6.8 *quick* install guide –navairum-

tell me what you tihnk guys

Ok here goes.
This is a general Guide for installing Gentoo Linux with the 2.6.8 kernel, using your network.

Download the ISO according to your architecture. This would be x86 for you pentiums and athlons (the others are self-explanatory)
To download the correct iso, you want to go to the mirror, then "Releases", then your architecture, then the newest version, then the LiveCD, then Minimal.
so (at time of this writing)

Now burn the image onto a CD.

Next, you want to boot off of the CD, so put it in your drive, and reboot. If it does not boot off of the cd, make sure you have your bios options set to boot off CD.

Now that you are booted off of the CD, you will see a nice splash screen, and now it will show you a command prompt.

***TIP*** alt+f2 switches to second display, alt f3 switches to third etc etc

Your network should generally work right off the boot, but if it doesn't there is a script to help you configure it. type the command net-setup eth0
If you aren't connecting through a lan, then use the command adsl-setup, then follow that, then adsl-start


Now assuming your network is working we will continue.

Partitioning and all that fun stuff

Now, alot of people get messed up with the partitioning scheme of gentoo. I will explain it.
If you have 1 hard drive, it is known as /dev/hda , whereas your second harddrive would be /dev/hdb

Now, assuming you have one hard drive, your first partition will be called /dev/hda1, your second will be /dev/hda2, and your third will be /dev/hda3
**NOTE: For users Dual-booting with XP, your first partition (/dev/hda1) will be used with XP so do not do anything to it!"

If you are partitioning for a dual boot, read this part BUT DO NOT DO IT, and see the italicized section below.

If you are installing gentoo on a fresh hard drive, then read this.
type the command fdisk /dev/hda
For gentoo, we are going to create three partitions: a boot, swap, and root parition.
Next, type n
Next, type p
Next, type 1
Next, hit enter
Next, type +32M

There is your first partition, type b and you should see a listing that looks like this:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 1 14 105808+ 83 Linux

Now to make the partition bootable (you want to do this):
Type a
Select partition 1
Press p again, and you should now see a * beside the boot column.

To create the other partitions, its pretty much the same way, but I will type it out anyways.
Type n
Next, type p
Next, type 2
Next, hit enter
Next, type +512M

This creates a partition that is 512 megs in size, we will be using this for your swap partition.

For the last partition, do this:
Type n
Next, type p
Next, type 3
Next, hit enter
Next, type hit enter

Now, when you type p you should see 3 partitions. We have to set your swap partition to a swap partition type, to do this:
Type t
Next, type 2
Next, type 82

Now, when you type p you should see 3 partitions, but one is a "linux swap"

**POINT OF NO RETURN** This is where we write the partitions to the disk, if you have any doubts about this, do not do it, seeing as you will lose everything off the disk.
Type w

Now that we have all of our partitions created, and they have been written to disk, you can go make the filesystems.

This is for users dual-booting with windows XP
Read the section above, and now just follow these commands, im not going to explain it, becuase i did up there

Type n
Next, type p
Next, type 2
Next, hit enter
Next, type +32M

Type n
Next, type p
Next, type 3
Next, hit enter
Next, type +512M

Type n
Next, type p
Next, type 4
Next, hit enter
Next, type hit enter

Now, when you type p you should see 4 partitions. We have to set your swap partition to a swap partition type, to do this:
Type t
Next, type 3
Next, type 82

Now, when you type p you should see 4 partitions, but one is a "linux swap"

This is the important information you should see.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 NTFS/HPFS
/dev/hda2 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 82 Linux Swap
/dev/hda4 83 Linux

Creating Filesystems
For this guide I will be using Ext3 file system, because this is a beginners guide I find it the easiest to use and best the for performance all around.

If you are partitioning for a dual boot, read this part BUT DO NOT DO IT, and see the italicized section below.

Type mke2fs -j /dev/hda1
Next, type mke2fs -j /dev/hda2
Next,type mke2fs -j /dev/hda3
Next, type mkswap /dev/hda2 (This creates a swap file system on your swap drive)
Next, type swapon /dev/hda2 (This turns the swap on)

For Dual-Boot users
Follow this exactly, or you might screw up your windows drive.
Type mke2fs -j /dev/hda2
Next, type mke2fs -j /dev/hda3
Next, type mke2fs -j /dev/hda4
Next, type mkswap /dev/hda3
Next, type swapon /dev/hda3

Now we have to mount the drives to their respective directories.
If you are partitioning for a dual boot, read this part BUT DO NOT DO IT, and see the italicized section below.

Type mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/gentoo
Next, type mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
Next, type mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot

For dual-boot users
Type mount /dev/hda4 /mnt/gentoo
Next, type mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
Next, type mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/gentoo/boot

Now, we have to check the date
Type date
If the date is incorrect use, date MMDDhhmmYYYY (month, day, hour, minute, year)

Installing tarballs
For this guide we are going to be using the tarball from the internet, and it is going to be a stage 2 install.

First we need to change directories by using, cd /mnt/gentoo
**note: If you have multiple screens going, you must change directories on all of them**

To download a tarball you have to use a program that comes with the livecd. This program varies, so if one doesn’t work, try the other. These programs are called links links2 and lynx
So here is the command to bring up the mirrorlist where you download the tarball:
links http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/mirrors.xml or
links2 http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/mirrors.xml etc…

Now when you choose a mirror, you are going to want to go to this directory http://MIRROR/releases/x86/2004.2/stages/
Then you will choose what architecture you have (they are easily named)

Since we are using a x86 system for this guide, this is where you would go
and you want to download this file stage2-x86-2004.2.tar.bz2
To download, place the cursor over the filename, and press d

When you are done downloading the tarball, you must untar it.
Type tar -xvjpf stage2-x86-2004.2.tar.bz2

Now there are a bunch of configuration files and stuff that you could edit here, but since this is just a general guide, and those are optional, we wont go into them

Chrooting and stuff

Now, to get the fastest results, we are going to do a command called mirrorselect, to do it, type:

mirrorselect -a -s4 -o | grep 'GENTOO_MIRRORS=' >> /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

Next, type cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/resolv.conf
Next, type mount -t proc none /mnt/gentoo/proc

Now we have to chroot
Type chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash
Next, type env-update
Next, type source /etc/profile

Now we have to update portage,
Type emerge sync
If any of the servers are down, or this fails, you will have to redo it.

Now we get to start doing stuff to that tarball we extracted
Type emerge system
**Note: This is going to take a while, so do it before bed or something**

For your timezone do this
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/GMT /etc/localtime[/b]
(assuming your timezone is GMT)

Next we have to choose a kernel, for this guide we will be using gentoo-dev-sources

To get the kernel type emerge gentoo-dev-sources

Now we have two options. Manuel Configuration, or genkernel.

For this guide, I think it would be best if I explained manual configuration.

Type cd /usr/src/linux
Next, type make menuconfig

Now you have all the options available to you in your kernel
**NOTE: You need these compiled, or you will get errors**[*] /proc file system support[*] /dev file system support (OBSOLETE)[*] Automatically mount at boot[*] Virtual memory file system support (former shm fs)[/b]

Now look around in all the different options, you will more than likely have to recompile your kernel a few times though, so don’t worry if you miss something.

Now to compile your kernel type:
make && make modules_install
Next type, cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/kernel-2.6.9-gentoo-r3
Then, cp System.map /boot/System.map-2.6.8-gentoo-r3
Then, cp .config /boot/config-2.6.8-gentoo-r3

Almost done!
Type nano -w /etc/fstab
**if you are using a dual boot, go to the italicized part below**
This is what your fstab should look like

/dev/hda1 /boot ext3 noauto,noatime 1 2
/dev/hda2 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda3 / ext3 noatime 0 1

For dual-boot users, this is what your fstab should look like
/dev/hda2 /boot ext2 noauto,noatime 1 2
/dev/hda3 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda4 / ext3 noatime 0 1

Now we have to do some more network stuff
For your hostname type:
echo HOSTNAMEHERE > /etc/hostname
Then, echo NETWORKDOMAIN > /etc/dnsdomainname

Then add it so it starts on boot: rc-update add domainname default
Then type: nano -w /etc/conf.d/net

In there set the line iface eth0=”dhcp”
Make it so that it starts on boot :
rc-update add net.eth0 default

Now change your root password by typing
emerge syslog-ng
rc-update add syslog-ng default

Bootloader time

Now it is time to configure your bootloader. For this guide we will be using grub, as I have never run into problems with it before.
First off we must emerge grub
Then type, nano -w /boot/grub/grub.conf
Here is where you configure your bootloader, make sure you type this exactly.

default 0
timeout 20

title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.8-r3
(Or what ever you want the name to appear as when you select your operating system)
root (hd0,0) **note: For XP dual booters, use (hd0,1)
kernel /kernel-2.4.26-gentoo-r6 root=/dev/hda3

For XP dual boots, add these lines
title=Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,5)
chainloader +1

Now save that by pressing ctrl+x say yes, and press enter
Next, type cp /proc/mounts /etc/mtab
Then type grub-install --root-directory=/boot /dev/hda
Next, type grub

In the grub console, you want to type these three lines, XP users see italicized:
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)

root (hd0,1)
setup (hd1)

Almost in our new gentoo system!
Type these commands in:
umount /mnt/gentoo/boot /mnt/gentoo/proc /mnt/gentoo


After you login as "root", you want to add a regular user account, because it is bad to always be logged in as root
Type: useradd YOURNAMEHERE -m -G users,wheel,audio,tty -s /bin/bash
Then type passwd YOURLOGINNAME

Now you have a login and password! And this is the last step in installing your gentoo-based system. I will soon extend this to include installing different windowmanagers and graphical displays and such.

Any questions or comments, email erk_3 at hotmail dot com

Last edited by -navairum-; 10-02-2004 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:42 PM   #4
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GUIDE: Linux on PPC-based Apple machines

Since I like being straightforward, here is what information I know about Linux on PPC-based Apple systems, from what I have gathered about Linux on my iBook.

There are painfully few distros that will run on PPC. My distro of choice was Debian, which ran very nicely. The others are: Yellowdog(RedHat-based), Gentoo and Mandrake. There are a few smaller distros available, as well. See LinuxISO.org for more. NetBSD also has a PPC port.

Hardware support is pretty nice, from what I have seen. The only thing I have found that is not supported is the Airport Extreme wireless cards. Broadcom, the guys who make them, refuse to help out the open-source community in giving support or code for a Linux driver. The normal Airport cards found in G3 iBooks work perfectly fine, however.

I do not know anything about Linux on the Powermacs or iMacs, though it probably isn't much different. Google can help you out there.

A little terminology, too:
OldWorld Macs - Refers to all the old systems running the 68k architecture.
NewWorld - Refers to all the systems running the PPC architecture.

External Links That I Found Helpful
Linux on iBook G4
Debian on iBook
Linux & Titanium Powerbook
Linux on Powerbook G4

And here is a screenshot of my iBook on Linux: Nimda on Linux
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