Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Mac mini G4 1.42ghz bad performance

Hi there,

After testing 15.10 on my iBook 1.07 GHz, I now tested 16.04 daily build on my Mac mini, which should be working a lot smother and faster - but still very low speeds on everything. Booting alone takes minutes to get to login screen and let’s take the desktop backgrounds - this takes also one minute to load up the thumbnails…

I mean, this is not from live CD (which takes nearly 7 minutes to boot), no this is the speed on installed system.

I think most users here are on old Ppc Mac so where is the point of a PowerPC release when it works that slow on this machines?

I got Mac mini G4 1.42 GHz, 1GB RAM, Ati 9200 32MB which was the 2nd fastest of the Mac mini Ppc line and MATE is really slow on it. I saw a video, where 14.10 was running quite well on such a machine.

What has changed since then?

I went on and installed Debian 8 with MATE Desktop and it works like a charm now!

I (again) suggest you to put up some hints like “minimum system requirements ppc: G4 1.5Ghz, 1.5GB RAM” because it is a pain to use it on devices with lower specs (even it is installable and boots)

In a few days I recieve my G5 Dual 2.3Ghz, 8GB, X800XT, 128Gb SATA SSD… and give ubbuntu mate 16.04 another Chance.

Kind regards


Great news! Thanks for the update!
Would you care to elaborate a bit on how you accomplished the installation?
Preferably Ubuntu Mate and Debian Mate.

I have some experience with PPC-linux, and it seems that the Yaboot boot parameters are some of the most important issues to get a PPC install up and running.

I have a PowerBook Pismo I want to install Linux on, so the Debian route seems best, judging from your experience.


installing both was easy, ubuntu MATE is a guided install, just a few steps.

Debian Need a bit more Setup, but also not that hard.
grab your .iso here
But you Need Patience, it took me a bit more than 1 hour, yesterday! (but also pulled latest Versions from web, while installing)

Does the pismo have at least G4 800Mhz, 512MB or has it lower specs?
I got Debian with i3m windowmanager (very lightweight) on iBook G4 1.07Ghz, 1.25GB Ram and I think I would not run with less than that.

Maybe you should try Morphos on your device, if supported…

edit: To make things easy, just try to install old Mint ppc distro and see, if speed is ok and if is usable. If so, try Debian!

uuuups - this is a G3 500Mhz max... You can try the Linux Mint, but I think it will be very slow and not responsive.
to be honest, I would stay with OS X Tiger or try Morphos instead.

But if you like adventures, try Linux

Thanks again!
I see that you have an onboard 4X AGP ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor. Did you not have to use any boot sequences in Yaboot? Like “live video=offb:off video=radeonfb:off video=1024x768-32 radeon.agpmode=-1”

Is sound working “out of the box” in Debian?

Nope - Video (even 3D) works perfect on this Card! this tweak you mentioned is only for RV300 Cards (like 9500 for example) other cards (9000, 9200) should work AFAIK.


Sound did not worked ooB, I had a hard time, get it working. basically, you got two Options: update to latest ppc Kernel (which worked for me) or download a kernel patch, made by some PPC fellow.

go here

After I had a look at “alsamixer” and some “blacklisted soundcards”, installing new Kernel, sound works on the ibook.
On the mini, I did not bother, it will only run as owncloud - server.

Another thing not working ooB was WiFi - I think it was also a pain to Setup - basically I have read some tutorials and tried a lot - in the end I´ve found out, I had to do just the one Thing or the other - but I did both, hehehe.

My hopes are, I can get the G5 WiFi up and running, by simple install the “non-free” Drivers, when I have MATE 16.04 installed (given, the G5 is fast enough to run MATE, but I think it will)

a good read on installing Debian on ppc mac