"When people say the word "Linux," the usual
connotation is with the Intel, or the x86 architecture. A lot of
development has been done one the x86 architecture over the last
several years, but since Linux is highly-portable, x86 isn't the
only architecture to benefit. In this time, Linux for the PowerPC,
has also gained a lot of ground on Apple's native operating system,
MacOS. In fact, with Apple shifting to a UNIX-based setup with OS
X, it starts to make Linux look more and more attractive with its
arguably more polished interfaces.
With Aqua down and not getting up for a while (until Apple can
revive it), this is Linux's chance to gain a lot of users on the
PowerPC side of things. Apple is already telling users UNIX is the
wave of the future -- so why not Linux instead of Darwin? While I'm
sure a lot of Macintosh users won't even give a thought to running
Linux instead of MacOS, I'm also sure that a lot of Mac users don't
know what they're missing.
I've used both OS X and OS 9.1 a lot over the last few months
(and other versions of MacOS for countless years prior), and it
seems that each has its good points, but Apple seems to have lost
its path along the way. The older MacOS 8.x/9.x is lacking a
command-line and a lot of standard Linux tools, but has a very fast
interface. On the other hand, OS X has all those tools, but lacks
speed in its interface. I'm not here to get down on Aqua, but I
simply have to say OS X is not ready for prime-time, and doesn't
look like it will be for a while. It's a very disheartening
experience seeing your new G4 slow to a halt on Apple's highly
hyped next-generation operating system.
On the other end of the board, Linux is making huge strides on
the PowerPC architecture, especially since its supported machines
list is much more extensive than OS X's own list. It has a quick
interface and all the UNIX tools any user could ever need and want.
In addition to this, with OS X being pushed, Apple users seem to be
warming up to the *NIXes out there, and just might be more ready
for Linux than some Windows users.
But I can't blame PowerPC users who have been disillusioned by
crop of Linux distributions that have been released to date. SuSE
6.4 and 7.0 lacked the compatibility I desired, LinuxPPC has a
sloppy installation (which would be VERY confusing for new users),
and previous versions of Yellow Dog also lacked the polish needed
to really make in-roads with the PowerPC market.
Luckily, although, Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 has come to the rescue.
Version 2.0 is probably one of the biggest breakthroughs I've seen
in a while. Usually advances on *NIXes come slowly, but just going
from 1.2 to version 2.0, Yellow Dog has proven it knows what its
doing with Linux and the PowerPC.
Is it as good as the x86 Linux distributions? Will it work with
your Mac? Can Mac users adjust? Read on to find out."