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Linux Journal: Yellow Dog Linux on the iMac [Review]

Jul 22, 2000, 15:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stew Benedict)

"First, a disclaimer: I'm not a fanatic Macintosh guy. I got a Macintosh late in my computing career, just last year in fact--an iMac. I was working on a cross-platform Tcl/Tk project and I was getting pretty involved in fine-tuning the GUI for MacOS, Windows and Linux. I decided it was too much to rely on feedback from the users, so I opted to buy a cheap Mac on which to test the application. ... Well, wouldn't you know it: I soon discovered that folks were running Linux on these things, so I just had to try that out. Linux on a Mac has now come of age, with about half-dozen vendors offering distributions for PowerPC processors. Yellow Dog Linux is one of these vendors..."

"YUP stands for Yellow Dog Update Tool. It takes the RPM concept to the next level, querying an external network of databases to download and upgrade your software packages on demand, including itself, when necessary. From what I read on the mailing lists, there were some initial problems with YUP and it went through several rapid revisions, but in concept, it sounds like a neat tool. If you run yup update, it will go out and find the newest versions of your software on the Internet and update things for you. I prefer to control when and what I update, but for inexperienced users, this could be a nice option."

"Linux, and in particular Linux on PPC, has come a long way. Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.2 is a very good package. I did hit a couple of rough spots that may have stumped a first-time user, but fortunately, I have the experience to work around them. Were it not for my non-standard SCSI card in the iMac, things may have gone much smoother. In the end I had a very usable Linux system, not unlike what I use on x86 boxes... I have used LinuxPPC and had even more problems with it before I went to Yellow Dog; however, that may have changed with LinuxPPC's newest release. Many resources are available on the Net, including mailing lists from both distributions as well as the mailing list/web site that I help maintain: http://www.imaclinux.net/. If you've got a Mac and would like to give Linux a try, now is the time. With MOL, you can now have the best of both worlds! If you do decide to give Linux on PPC a try and get stuck, I'd be happy to help where I can; drop me a line."

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