LinuxWorld: The PowerPC Penguin, Part 1 – A look at the OS, the apps, and the gaps for Linux on Mac

“Although Linux was born on PC machines, it is widely used on
different hardware platforms. And one of those platforms is the
Macintosh. Apple’s hardware is usually considered more reliable and
technically advanced than that of PC machines. But Macs are also
more expensive and suffer from a lack of applications. And Apple’s
prospects as a company could worry some, considering that it was
near bankruptcy before Steve Jobs brought it back to life after his
comeback in 1998. Apple’s financial perturbations have also made
Mac OS technically backward compared not only with Linux but even
with the Windows OS family.”

“In this two-part series of articles, I want to show you why
Linux can be a vital alternative to Mac OS and Mac OS X. You will
see how Mac OS loses to Linux as a server, a development platform,
and, sometimes, even as a desktop environment. This first part will
show you the current state of the Linux port for Power Macintosh
machines and will describe the distributions and applications that
are available. In the second part, you will get a detailed tutorial
on installing the LinuxPPC 2000 distribution on your Mac.”

“The official Apple position toward Linux on PPC hardware is to
ignore it. Apple doesn’t seem to want to fight with Linux and even
admires it sometimes. But Linux will be a strong competitor for Mac
OS X, which is currently in beta and is expected to ship in spring
2001. Remember also, as Apple surely does, that Linux, which is
considered hard to use on desktops, owns a 5.9 percent share of the
desktop market; Mac OS, in spite of its reputation as an extremely
user-friendly environment has only 5 percent.”


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