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PowerMac + Ubuntu = Server Time!

While on holiday, I was helping my great-uncle out with his study room setup (I ended up saving him a switching of ISP!) and at the end he offered me a Mac that he bought in 2000, that he had replaced and therefore no longer used anymore. He was going to take it to the dump and so I gladly offered to take it back with me.

I took a look inside when back home, and found it was a PowerMac G4 with a 450Mhz PowerPC Processor and about 600mb of RAM (also with two 10GB hard drives). Just to make sure it all worked I fired up an Xubuntu LiveCD and was happy when I saw the familiar layout. Unfortunately, the Mac had just missed OSX and so when I booted from the HD was dissatisfied with the ugly UI that stood before me (I was expecting Aqua!).

After a lot of thought (and disappointment that Apple had made the case so it couldn't be used again) I decided to transform it into a server!

After a short while I had Ubuntu Server PowerPC installed and so I looked at trying to install OpenVZ (a virtualisation option for servers) so if anything went wrong, i still had my server, however after half a day of ploughing through poor PowerPC orientated documentation I took a step back and went to bed.

The next day I found out about an alternative to OpenVZ called VServer. This was much better documented and after about an hour I had it running perfectly :-)

Message of the Story?


If someone offers you an old Mac, kill two birds with one stone:
* Turn it into a server and gain a stylish shelf as well :-)

2 comments:

Alan said...

How much noise does that Mac make?
I'm looking for a quiet box to act as a home server and I'm quite partial to Power PC kit ( I work on AIX & Linux all day )

Andrew said...

It is really silent (apart from that annoying "duh...." noise it makes at startup.

But really, if you are looking for something quite quiet, this PowerMAc (G4) is the way to go.