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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Yellow Dog Linux Gets 64-Bit Version For G5 352

An anonymous reader writes "There is an announcement on the page regarding the new release of a 64-bit distribution of Yellow Dog Linux for the Apple G5 and some custom hardware from IBM. The 64-bit release is being dubbed 'Y-HPC' and is scheduled to be released along with the new 32-bit Yellow Dog 4 at the end of May."
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Yellow Dog Linux Gets 64-Bit Version For G5

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  • Re:why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:53AM (#8800781) Homepage
    I guess you do it if you really, really want a 64-bit OS.

    Also, somebody at Yellow Dog once told me that most of their sales were in the sciences/HPC arena. It may be that their custom software requires more parts of the OS or core libraries to be open/modifiable than Apple provides. Yes, you might be able to pull it off by downloading Fink, or building your own Darwin kernel or whatever -- but if you can get Linux pre-installed (something the Yellow Dog people provide), then why bother?
  • by bigredradio ( 631970 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:53AM (#8800785) Homepage Journal
    Since SuSE has locked up the deal with IBM, it would be good to have a less expensive or "free" 64-bit distro for pSeries hardware. Right now all you can get is SuSE and Redhat. (Debian will run on an rs6000, but not 64 bit AFAIK). To get one of these you have to shell out at least a grand. Then again, if you have a 64-bit pSeries, you are not worried about money.
  • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pararox ( 706523 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:54AM (#8800790)
    While your point is valid in the way that many of Apple's customers buy a Mac for the total package. The cohesive nature of all things Mac (both on the hardware and software sides), which is so endemic to the platform, are a primary motivating factor.

    That said, I initially began using Linux to fulfill both my curiosity, and for the availability of such high-powered software - all of which is largely free. That was back when I began my college work; I'm now old enough, and thereby have enough money in the bank, that the latter reason for my taking up Linux is not an important reason for my continuing use of it.

    Truly, my interest and love for Linux is now supported solely by my unending curiosity in complex software systems. I want to be able to take apart and piece together all elements of my system; I want to be able to inspect and tinker.

    I think a user's inability to do this on this still greatly proprietary MacOS platform, answers your original inquiry. YellowDog does support a true niche market; I'm glad they've been, and continue to be successful, and I think the reason for their success is that many people still cherish the ability of open software systems. Even if that system isn't as cohesive as MacOSX.
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:54AM (#8800791) Homepage
    I first started using Linux almost 6 years ago when I was a 15 year old high school sophomore. Most of my friends and I thought it was da shit until OSX came out and then most of us dropped Linux like a bad habit for OSX. There are so many areas that OSX beats Linux for most geeky things that I couldn't even begin to start.

    Since so many geeks are fond of comparing computers to cars, think of it like this. A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord. It's fast, stylish, reliable and expensive, but it definitely looks cool to most people. A PC can be anything from a pinto to a ferrari, but is usually like a typical late 80s, early 90s American car on reliability. It may go faster and turn sometimes better, but it falls apart a lot faster than the more expensive hybrid Honda/BMW (aka, the Mac of cars).

    Many of my peers in CS used to not be able to understand why I almost never use PCs anymore. We do a lot of work in Java, some of it in C/C++. They cannot comprehend how the Mac JDK runs faster than a Windows JDK. Or for that matter how convenient it is to have your Swing apps look 99% native. If I demonstrate an app to my prof on my laptop, which is a 1Ghz G4, it usually has more of a wow factor because Apple's Swing defaults to Aqua which is a hell of a lot slicker than anything from KDE or Redmond.

    It's all of the little things that make MacOS X worth using over Linux. From the ease of which you can install software to the consistency of the interface to the amount of good software for it as opposed to Linux. Linux is great, but it's not really got much of a place on modern Macs. Between the services that Apple provides like its own version of Apache and Fink, you have most of the software you'd use Linux for.
  • by fredmosby ( 545378 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:58AM (#8800808)
    I always see posts where people rationalize buying Apple laptops buy saying "if I don't like OSX I can always put linux on it". This makes it a lot easier for apple to get people to switch from linux to OSX. Maybe apple should try to make macs that are capable of running Windows so more people will switch to macs from the Windows world.
  • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:59AM (#8800814) Homepage Journal
    We don't wipe out OS X (well, we do -- then we repartition and reload). Then it's dual boot time.

    I love OS X, but am really looking forward to trying out 64-bit Linux on a dual G5.

  • Re:why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cilix ( 538057 ) <tim&nicholas,net,nz> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:04AM (#8800828) Homepage
    why would anyone with a g5 who's already running os x want to run yellow dog linux? (serious question.)

    I know several linux geeks who really liked OSX when they started using it but found it more and more annoying as time went by. Not being very customisable was a common complaint. (no focus follows mouse etc)

    Also, if you want a linux box with 8GB of RAM, it wouldn't be a bad choice.

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fredmosby ( 545378 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:12AM (#8800860)
    A while ago I saw an article where the U.S. government bought a bunch of apple Xserve's to use interpreting sonar images on submarines. Of coarse they wanted linux for an application like that. The interesting thing is that they didn't buy the Xserve's directly from apple because if the hire-ups knew that they were buying macs they wouldn't approve it. They had been using G4's with custom made boards before they bought the Xseve's.
  • by AvantLegion ( 595806 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:16AM (#8800879) Journal
    Currently, Sun does not offer the WTK (Wireless ToolKit) for the Mac platform - only Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

    That's not the only software that is available for Linux and not for Mac. For some people, a couple missing programs is what they need.

    Personally, I would like to dual-boot Linux alongside OS X. You don't have to "wipe out" Mac OS X and run only Linux. The only thing that stops me from doing this is that my Apple is a PowerBook, and there is still no support for Airport Extreme wireless cards in Linux. I'm always on wireless nets (between my apartment, my girlfriend's, and the university campus), never plugged in. As soon as that is supported, I'll start looking to set up a dual-boot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:34AM (#8800957)
    are there any distros for mac that work direct boot from a CD, a-la knoppix? Can you direct boot from a CD on mac?
  • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pyrotic ( 169450 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:56AM (#8801041) Homepage
    I'm very impressesed by OSX, and I use it on my laptop, but I wouldn't want it on our servers. Partitioning disks, software RAID, tpmfs, RPM/yum, kickstart, logrotation, disk quotas, cron - these are all things that I prefer the linux way of working. And then there's all the shell scripts that we already use with linux that need to be tweaked for Apple's unix. I like the way you can install linux without a gui. If we were looking for a 64 bit 1U server, we'd choose the xServe over Sun's comparable hardware.
  • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SEE ( 7681 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:02AM (#8801057) Homepage
    Given the G5 uses the same jointly-developed-by-AMD-and-Apple HyperTransport bus architecture that the only 64-bit x86 chips on the market use, I'm skeptical that the G5 outperforms them on I/O tasks. Have any numbers comparing the Athlon 64 and G5?
  • Name says it all (Score:1, Interesting)

    by grantsellis ( 537978 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:27AM (#8801126) Homepage
    Yellow Dog Linux.

    From the term 'Yellow Dog' Democrat. Coined in the South after the Civil War about people who'd vote Democrat if the candidate were a yellow dog.

    I think that describes a target audience.
  • Re:I don't get this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @04:52AM (#8801396)
    It's a myth that OSX "just plain works".
    No, it's not myth. You really should try it.

    In terms of appearances, it's easy to match the look and style of OSX with Linux themes, so that's not a deciding factor. If anything, you get far more choice of slick, profesional themes with Linux than with OSX.
    That's the dumbest thing I've read on Slashdot today. The thing about Mac OS isn't that it looks good, it's about usability of the GUI. Linux doesn't even have universal cut'n'paste for Christ's sake, let alone a common UI standards between apps. And selecting a theme isn't going to fix that.

  • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shinobi ( 19308 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @04:53AM (#8801399)
    You've been reading too many Anandtech and Tom's Hardware "reviews". Read up on some science-related mailing lists, newsgroups etc. For some tasks, the x86 variants are faster, for other tasks, the PPC970 is faster. Hell, Linpack is mostly CPU-bound, and 2200 PPC970's beat the crap out of 2816 Opterons at 2GHz.

    Also, check out the performances at various tasks such as FFT's. Or why not crypto? Don't make such blanket statements, instead do some research aimed at what you wish to perform on the hardware.
  • by Nice2Cats ( 557310 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @05:35AM (#8801513)
    Terrasoft, the makers of YDL, actually have an answer [] to that question themselves. Their line: Yes, other laptops and desktops run fine. Therefore, we believe there must be people who want more than fine. They want the best.

    Cheesy marketing drivel, yes, but with a grain of truth. At the risk of being moded down to Hades by Mac lovers, let me very carefully point out that to some of us, OS X is not the operating system to end all operating systems. It has some problems (like a clumsy finder that dumps its bloody .DS_Store files all over every filesystem it can get its hands on), some severe limitations (like a Mail program that doesn't do TLS), and lacks important capabilities (no well-integrated office program except MS Office).

    Don't get me wrong, OS X is probably the best operating system available for pure-consumer type users. When my co-worker complained to me a few days ago that he caught some sort of dialer virus thingy, I told him (politely) to get rid of the problem (Microsoft) and buy a Mac. Is Linux for him? No. He would be very happy with Apple's closed-world, choice-is-bad philosophy.

    Some of us, however, like choice, and don't want to, say, pay extra for modern features like virtual desktops that Apple's engineers consider too confusing for us and are covered by shareware. I want a modern mailer (good grief, even the 0.5 BETA of Mozilla Thunderbird [] has TLS), I want Konqueror instead of the brain-damaged Finder, I want my right-click-lelf-click-done! mouse back. But I love the hardware: My iBook G4 is quiet under heavy loads, for example, and battery life is good.

    Linux on a PowerPC gives you the best of both worlds -- even more so because you can use Mac-on-Linux [] to run your Mac OS X applications from inside Linux. Nobody is talking about wiping OS X off the computer (well, except maybe for this guy []), because, remember, though Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are jealous computer gods, Linus is not. I did dual-boot for years with Windows before swiching completely. You can have your cake and eat it, too.

    A lot of Mac people I have gotten to know after buying my iBook have no idea how good KDE and Gnome have become, they seem to think that Linux users still have to figure out the refresh parameters for X11 by hand. With more and more Linux people moving to PowerPC hardware, I think we'll see more discussions between OS X and Linux users. Linux can give OS X a good run for its mon-, er, can force Apple to try harder, a lot harder, in fact. And that is good for Mac fans, too.

  • by klubar ( 591384 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @06:37AM (#8801698) Homepage
    In our case we were already supporting 3 operating systems (OS9, Windows XP and Linux). Upgrading some of our machines to OSX would add an additional OS to support. Some of our Macs are too underpowered to run OSX. By turning those machines into servers runing YDL we can continue to get usable service out of them. My experience has been that YDL on older G3's has been extremely solid. As we are using YDL mostly for server applications, the advantages/disadvantages of the GUI don't matter. Trying to run the same services under OSX on these older machines would just swamp them. In addition to eliminating the OSX learning curve, there is the minor savings of $125 for the OS which seems to have a paid upgrade every year or so.
  • Re:fgg (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @06:39AM (#8801704)
    I don't understand why anyone would bother running Linux on a Mac. For $99 you can purchase Mac OS X and get real live tech support for problems that (probably won't) pop up. There's a lot of technical reasons you should run Mac OS instead of Linux.

    I can give you one reason why I would run Linux instead of MacOS on Apple hardware: I just happen to like Linux more. I have fiddled around with OS X and it just doesn't appeal to me. Sure it has some nice things and some nice eye-candy, but still.

    Apple hardware is pretty nice (espesially the laptops), so I could see myself using the hardware, but ditching the OS. Now, if only the laptops would ship with two-button mouse....
  • Re:Just curious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) <> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:28AM (#8801852) Homepage Journal
    Neither are any of Intels other current x86 offerings. The 64-bit nature of any G5 competitor is irrelevant anyway; 64-bits won't inherently improve your app unless it's the memory/address space you need to tune (read, remove swapping kludges) your app.

    In the PC world, 64-bit computing has been bundled with other, arguably more useful features (like an extra 8 GPRs on x86-64), in order to make it available for future usage.

    In the Mac world, 64-bit computing is there because Apple chose to stop selling non-64-bit hardware.
  • Fan Control? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TVC15 ( 518429 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#8802275)
    The press release doesn't mention if the OS supports the G5 fans correctly. Will all 8-9 fans (+1 for the 9800 Pro if upgraded) be blowing full throttle the entire time? My understanding is that current non-OS X installations do this.
  • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gozar ( 39392 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @09:21AM (#8802550) Homepage

    FYI, you can install OSX Server without the gui... In fact, you can install it on a machine without a keyboard, mouse or monitor. It could be locked away (but that would make it switching disks a little hard). The XServes have a serial port so you can even do it over a terminal.

    A lot of people only think of the capabilities of OS X Client when in the server role they should look at OS X Server. You can configure everything over SSH, and they are a bunch of GUI tools to make things even easier.

  • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @11:20AM (#8803805) Journal
    Who knows, maybe one day we could get our macs without an OS. They are a hardware company after all.

    Apple, are you listening?
  • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by System.out.println() ( 755533 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:25PM (#8806992) Journal
    Let's break it down, just for fun....

    Insular: an "insular community" is something of an oxymoron, but Mac communities tend to be relatively accepting of people who don't own Macs, as long as they don't hate Macs either. (If you hate Macs what the hell are you doing at that forum anyway?) I never got into any forums of the others, but if real-world experience is anything like the forums, Windows would be the most insular. "Your computer should do this... well here's your solution.... buy a PC..." (And before that gets quoted, they're usually talking about something that takes a few seconds of work, example, Windows networking.)

    Conformant: Excuse me? You're thinking Windows. "I don't know what OS to get.... I'll get the one everyone else seems to be getting." Macheads could be seen as conformant to Apple's programs, but only because Apple's programs tend to kick other programs' ass. ( vs Entourage, Safari vs. IE; the Mozilla equivalents are nearly the same, featurewise, as the Mac versions, only less pretty.) Linux users could be seen as Slashbots.

    Intolerant: You know why Macs and Linux aren't more common in the workplace? Because Microsoft's software is closed-standard (AKA "intolerant") - and in many cases, ignorant sysadmins refuse to support other OS's even if it involves little more than flipping a switch.

    Whew, that was fun. :)

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford