[olug] [Macintosh] Powermac G3, Ubuntu, and OS X

Matt Anderson manderso at cs.wisc.edu
Thu May 18 19:54:22 UTC 2006

Does the G3 have a DVD player?  As of OS 10.4, I believe regular  
consumer copies of OS X Client are only distributed on DVD (according  
to Apple Enterprise Support).  If 10.3 fits your needs, you can get  
that on CD.

Slightly newer Macs (as of a fairly early G4 revision) have a  
'firewire target disk mode' which lets another computer use the Mac  
as an external hard disk.  I know that the earliest G4 (Yikes!) does  
not support this (as I have one).  The G4 Sawtooth model (immediately  
following the Yikes! model) does support target disk mode (I have one  
of those too).  I don't know if any G3s support that functionality or  
not.  If yours does, you could put it into target disk mode, hook it  
up to another Mac, and install the operating system.

Assuming you don't have a DVD player or target disk mode, I'd say  
your best options are to either (a) install a DVD player or (b) put a  
hard disk into your G3 that had the OS installed on it while it was  
in another Mac.  I think a Mac of your G3's vintage will support  
128GB or so of space on an IDE HDD (bigger is fine, but extra  
capacity will go unrecognized without third party software) -- this  
is assuming hard disk support is the same as on my 2 early G4s.  I  
don't know what DVD players are compatible (maybe all IDE DVD  
players) -- I haven't installed one.

If you're going to run 10.4, I don't think you'll be satisfied with  
the performance of the machine with only 128MB of RAM.  My personal  
feeling is that 512MB is the minimum for acceptable performance (at  
least for how I use a Mac -- slowdown due to extensive swapping is  
very annoying).  I think my early G4s take PC100 RAM.

If you pay fees to be an Apple developer, you can download software  
from Apple, including the client (and server) operating systems.  The  
lowest such fee I believe is $500, and I think the software is  
configured to expire after a year.  I don't know what the  
installation is like if you obtain the OS in this way.

A nice resource with information about older Macs is Low End Mac:


Good luck...

  Matt Anderson

On May 18, 2006, at 2:44 PM, Daniel Linder wrote:

> On Thu, May 18, 2006 14:23, Phil Brutsche wrote:
>> You have a RTU (right to use) for any version of MacOS you like,
>> provided it will run on the machine.  Some G3 machines won't OS X
>> period, some G3 machines will only run OS X through 10.2 or so.
> You
>> might have to check a couple Mac-specific lists to find out which
> will
>> and which won't.
>> Since you got the license with the machine, all you need to do is
> find
>> someone that will loan you media.  It's not downloadable from
> Apple.
> Thanks -- I was thinking that was the case (RTU), but my last in-depth
> exposure to Apples was many years ago.
> So, anyone have an older OS X cd that they would like to loan so I can
> make an ISO image of it?
> Dan
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