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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled 332

dhovis writes "Do you think the Xserve is cool, but you wish it ran Linux? Well, MacCentral is reporting that Terra Soft Solutions, an Apple 'Value Added Reseller,' is now shipping Macs. They are offering several new Macs with Yellow Dog Linux preinstalled now, and are promising the Xserve will be available soon." They are currently shipping Power Mac G4s, iBooks, and iMacs, as well as AirPort cards. See the Terra Soft Store for more information.
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Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:01AM (#4039387)
    The OldWorld ROM machines cannot "boot" from the ISO ... you need to use BootX. Plz review the Guide to Installation for more details: on /guide.shtml
  • It's a dual boot (Score:5, Informative)

    by mblase ( 200735 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:01AM (#4039390)
    For the record, the store page says that Mac OS X is also preinstalled, and that YDLinux is available as a second OS. So this is just a bonus feature for the hackers.

    That said, I'm not sure I see the point, except possibly bragging rights. If you want to get into *nix on a modern Mac running OS X, all you have to do is open a terminal window and go to it. (Yeah, I know it's BSD instead of Linux, but most of the functionality is the same. And if you really really want a Linux box, wouldn't it be safer to run it on its own cheap x86 hardware instead of having it take up hard drive space on your expensive PowerMac or iBook?)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:04AM (#4039405)
    TSS increased the RAM to a min of 256 on all models we ship. The prices are identical to the Apple Store if you configure them the same.
  • by jkujawa ( 56195 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:06AM (#4039419) Homepage
    You have the source code for everything that makes OS X a Unix. You don't have source code for the GUI, but that's not needed for running unix apps.
    Further, any unix apps that require a GUI need X, and that can be installed independently of Aqua/Cocoa.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:13AM (#4039469)
    The prices are the SAME as those provided by Apple ... but the configurations are different than the default Apple configs. Look at the specs --the RAM is a min of 256 while Apple defaults to 128 on some models. The drives have been increased to 80MB on the desktop models, etc.
  • by pi radians ( 170660 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:18AM (#4039502)
    TerraSoft would never choose Mandrake over YellowDog... here's why []. (Just read the title as to who makes YellowDog Linux.)
  • Re:What a joke (Score:2, Informative)

    by nattt ( 568106 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:18AM (#4039504)
    You've not used one, have you?

    Rendering tests using 3delight showed a 7 times speed improvement over a Linux Total Impact Briq. The Xserve was dual 1ghz processors over a Briq which is single 500mhz. It's very stable - I really tried to crash it with renders way too big for it (the test model only had 512 ram) and the remote management software is excellent.
  • by sloveless ( 518479 ) <sdl AT twosixteen DOT com> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:29AM (#4039572) Homepage
    Gnome is available for OSX. html As is KDE. There are a few more here: You're really not limited to Aqua.
  • by Amiga Trombone ( 592952 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:39AM (#4039637)
    I think this is great news, it's good that Apple is at least benignly tolerating Linux on their platform, even if not actively encouraging it.

    I don't see the value of this so much for Apple, but for the Linux/PPC platform in general. Linux PPC, unlike OS X, does not run uniquely on the Apple platform, other implementations are possible. And there have been some interesting developments in the PPC/Power world lately, for example:

    IBM's newly announced [] desktop PPC processor. Possibly this will be the successor to the G4 in Apple's offerings.

    Also, the new Amiga [] platform will be PPC based, and also runs Linux. Whether this new platform will have any substantial success is still open to speculation, but it will be an interesting experiment, whatever the outcome.

    Also, IBM is looking to eventually migrate their mainframe [] line over to the Power architechture, probably starting with the Power6.

    It would be nice to see some competition to the x86 in the commodity processor market. I was ready to write off PPC/Power as doomed, but the recent flurry of activity on that front has caused me to re-evaluate my position. And an OS like Linux which can run across all the various implementations of the architecture would be great for encouraging it's propogation. Imagine applications that are binary compatable across everything from your iBook to a mainframe.
  • No. No, I haven't. (Score:5, Informative)

    by hatless ( 8275 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:40AM (#4039648)
    No, I can't say that I've wished Apple's Xserve ran Linux. OS X is a more polished OS than Linux is, especially on this hardware. It can run essentially all the same software and then some, it has a better JVM and far, far better administration tools for everything from directory services and Apache to Samba. It's got great monitoring tools and drivers for its hardware, true plug-and-play support for things like Firewire RAID arrays, unified management of SMB, Appleshare and NFS file sharing, and commercial grade on-site support for all of the above.

    By going to Linux on it, you get rid of the nice development tools, you sacrifice a lot of the Mac OS 8.x/9.x application compatibility and all of the OS X compatibility. You trade wonderful, richly-featured and consistently designed distributed admin tools for things like webmin. And you give up several avenues for support.

    It's not like PPC Linux will let you run the many x86 commercial packages out there. So unless you're a Linux shop already and someone has given you a free Xserve, why put Linux on it? Surely you can find 1U hardware with comparable performance and more mature Linux driver support for a lot less money, no?

    So no. No, I haven't ever wanted to run Linux on an Xserve.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:41AM (#4039654)
    As I pointed out to others, there are plenty of reasons for using Linux over Mac OS X. First of all speed, on the same hardware YellowDog is significantly faster for server-type tasks. It has better disk and I/O throughput. In addition, Linux is Open Source, while Mac OS X is closed source (the other BSD variant known as Darwin is open source, but will Apple support your Mac running Darwin like they do OSX? I didn't think so). Being Open Source automatically gives you all the benefits of the entire community: quick defect bugs, excellent software development support, etc. Slashdot people know this intrinsically. And of course there is also the side benefit of not being tied to a SINGLE vendor for your hardware AND software. Competition is a wonderful thing.
  • by arloguthrie ( 318071 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:52PM (#4040174) Homepage
    You want to run The Gimp on your iBook? Then do it. []
  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:27PM (#4040443)
    That GUI is completely lame, and other than that I don't see a single selling point for Mac OS X as a Unix.

    Here are a few:

    1. If you buy a new Mac, no matter what retailer sells it to you, it's already there.

    2. It's BSD (actually, Mach+BSD) instead of UNIX. I know this is slashdot, rah-rah Linux and all that, but you would be surprised how many UNIX geeks strongly prefer BSD over Linux when talking about free *nix platforms.

    3. OS X can run a lot of programs that will probably never, ever be ported to Linux. Programs like Photoshop, QuickTime, Quark (in a couple weeks), M$-Office, etc. In fact, with OS X, the Classic environment, the BSD layer, the built-in JVM, and a copy of VPC, you can run damn near every piece of software written in the last 10 years or so, all on the same machine. And don't tell me about open source projects that "do the same thing" as the major comercial OS X & Windows apps... GIMP ain't Photoshop, and Open Office sucks (so far).

    4. The IDE and other dev tools for OS X (all available for free) kick ass. Nobody ever took NeXT seriously as a computer company, but the one thing that everybody who used them really liked was their software development tools. OS X's Project Builder picks up where NextStep left off.

    5. The OS X community is much bigger than the LinuxPPC community (and may even be bigger than the entire desktop Linux community by now... I haven't seen any recent surveys). I personally know dozens of OS X users, while I know only one person who has even installed YDL, apart from myself. Some parts of LinuxPPC (such as how it boots) are radically different from what the Linux communtity at large is using, so the peer support network for YDL can feel very small sometimes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:45PM (#4040605)
    BenH, maker of a fine kernel tree for ppc systems, is hard at work getting linux to work on the XServe:

    Another One Bites the Dust
    July 24, 2002

    Ben Herrenschmidt has pounded 1U of Apple hardware into submission. The Xserve has booted and run GNU/Linux!. There are still some kinks to work out, and your favorite distribution's installer may need some tweaks to install (check with them). Support in the kernel source trees is forthcoming. Word is, running in uniprocessor mode GNU/Linux returned data from mysql databases 4 times faster than OSX running in SMP mode. This was with the same datasets, same queries, same mysql version, and same compile options.

    I have YDL 2.3 on my 250mhz powerbook, and while I think OS X is terrific, my hardware is just too slow for it. If I had a 800mhz G4, I'd probably not use linux on the mac, though, since xDarwin/fink satisfies most of my traditional unix needs.
  • Re:It's a dual boot (Score:3, Informative)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:48PM (#4040635)
    then I realised that the shell had no syntax highlighting, it didn't have vim... etc

    You know, if you have a decent internet connection and a little know-how (which it seems like you do) you probably could have installed all of the tools you missed (and bash, while you were at it), in less time than it took you to get YDL going on that iBook. My G4 tower has a crapload of GNU tools running on it, and they work great. When I first started out (with 10.0.0), I worried that Apple's automatic software updates might break some of the UNIX toys I was installing, but it hasn't happened, and I've stopped worrying about it. Good design pays off.

  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @02:15PM (#4040863)
    Tried BSD. Was too used to default settings (BASH, basic fs structure, etc) from Linux, decided relearning or reconfiguring that was too much trouble for essentially the same software as a result.

    A lot of BSD (and Solaris) geeks react the same way to Linux. You were asking what the selling points of OS X were over Linux, and for a BSD fan, one of those selling points is "it's not Linux."

    IDE? Dev tools? I use emacs. That's it. How '1337. (Personally, I prefer vi or vim to anything else when writing simple Perl scripts, or even big-ish projects in C, so I kind of know where you are coming from.) If Microsofts's Visual Basic tools are the only IDE exposure you have had, I can see why you feel so strongly. Trust me, there are better ones out there. Someday you might even find that you prefer one of them over a raw text editor.

    The point is, you didn't think OS X had any selling points. I listed five. The fact that these might not apply to you is not really my concern.

  • YDL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @03:03PM (#4041232)
    These are also the guys who ship Yellow Dog Linux, an EXCELLENT professional distro for the PowerPC. This is really old news to the PPC Linux community, Terra Soft has been doing this for years. This is mostly aimed at people who want to set up servers/labs, NOT home users. Their Black Lab clustering system is bar-none one of the coolest things I've seen a company do (yes, you CAN have a beowulf cluster of these... they'll even set it up for you!) Anyway, if you have a PowerPC system, check out Yellow Dog, it's a very cool distro (it's apt based, which is another plus.)
  • Re:Wait (Score:2, Informative)

    by One Louder ( 595430 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @03:30PM (#4041493)
    They're an Apple reseller, which means they're buying the machines at a wholesale-type discount. They're hoping you'll buy machines from them instead of another retailer by adding "value".

    Pretty simple.
  • by Xenex ( 97062 ) <xenex&opinionstick,com> on Saturday August 10, 2002 @01:18AM (#4044317) Journal

    "a) the no-button mouse, after using scroll mice and relying heavily on right-clicking and center-clicking for a while now, the lack of buttons is disconcerting."

    It's not a "no-button mouse", it's a one button mouse. Just because the button is built in an innovative way doesn't mean it does not exist.

    You're finding the lack of extra mouse buttons "disconcerting", are you? Then why don't you plug your fancy mouse into the Mac? OS X supports right clicking and scroll wheels straight out of the box, and Logitech [], Microsoft [], and Kensington [] all have free official OS X support software if you'd like to set 'advanced' options.

    "b) it's ugly, that's an opinion, though, and not a fact.

    Then change it. []

    "c) when you close the last window to an application, the application should quit, or at least ask if you want to quit, OS X leaves it running."

    Once again, this is just your opinion. However, the OS X way really is the 'advanced users' way. OS X works around the concept that the window is not the application.

    Close the iTunes player window, the music continues and you don't have to deal with a window being open. Need access to a window again? Click it in the Dock and the window reopens. Close the XMMS (or Winamp, or whatever) window, the music stops, the app closes. If you want to get the thing out of the way, you have to minimise it, or move it out of the way.

    And, for anyone out there now thinking "Well, I do prefer the XMMS example": You can work that way in OS X as well if you'd like. You can still minimise and move windows if you'd prefer not to close them. is the same. I have running in the background, checking my e-mail every 5 minutes. Now, if your advice were to be taken, I'd have to have a window open somewhere to do this.

    The OS X way is far more advanced, and gives more flexiblity. However, if that's to hard to grasp, just be sure to use the Application menu (it's always the one next to the Apple up the top) and choose Quit in that, or press Cmd-Q (Command is the 'Apple Key', just so you know). I assume you're capable of that.

    "d) no apparent ability for the TCP/IP stuff to autodetect traffic and, if needed, initiate a dialup connection...."

    Well, personally all my dialing is done automatically by an Airport Base Station. However, I've just had a look in System Preferences. In the Network Settings, I chose 'Internal Modem'. I then looked in the 'PPP' tab and saw this button that said 'PPP Options'. The first option in there? Connect automatically when starting TCP/IP applications.

    Now, this took me no more then 30 seconds. Perhaps you should try opening your eyes next time.

    "this is all based on very limited exposure to the system."

    What did you do, play with the operating system for 2 minutes in an Apple Store somewhere?

    Most of your 'issues' with OS X do not exist. Informed opinions really are good things to have; perhaps you should try one sometime.

  • by DavidRavenMoon ( 515513 ) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @05:18PM (#4051566) Homepage
    Non-standard GUI? Compared to what? What the hell is a standard GUI? If anything Apple is the only company that enforces a standard, uniform interface for all applications so the user has a consistent interface. Try to say that about Linux/Unix. *laugh* Don't even mention Win32 varients.

    Exactly, and Apple had the first standard commercial GUI on the market. And all the big MS apps like Word and Excel that set standards for business were originally Mac applications.

    Motif always looked like Windows 3 (or vice versa?) and Win 95 very obviously borrowed from NeXTSTEP. Look at the window borders, the window buttons, the recycle bin, the taskbar (dock), and the Windows Explorer. All from NeXTSTEP/OPEN STEP (circa 1978).

    I think OS X turns off some people because it's pretty, and they want their GUI to look like something from a Sci-fi movie...

    I have to admit, Aqua took some getting used to, just because of all the whiteness ... but I love it now. Aesthetics do matter to some people.

    We buy cars because of the way they look, why not computers/OS's?

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats