Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hacking... Ubuntu 7.10

After fubar-ing one of my systems last week with Fedora Core 8, I switched to Ubuntu 7.10 Ballsy Baboon as my main development system and I just love it.

I cannot care less about the over-hyped desktop effects, I am interested in software development, and in this context the eye candy is irrelevant.

Ubuntu 7.10 allows you to install all major GCC/G++ versions from 2.95 to 4.2 which is so cool! I can test with older GCC versions without having to boot up an older distro! Excellent.

So that is the Good. Now for The Bad and The Ugly: the PowerPC is not officially supported.

This is hardly any news, 7.4 is not supported either but it worked great on my second-hand G4. Upgrading from 7.4 to 7.10 on the other hand is a terrible mistake. I repeat: if running on PowerPC, do not upgrade from Ubuntu 7.4 to 7.10!

If you do, your machine may not reboot properly. It is very likely that you will find yourself stuck at BusyBox, and then you will have to type:

modprobe ide_core

to bring the system up.

Then you may also see an error box popping up, about HAL not starting. You will have to start it manually:

sudo /etc/init.d/hal start

The network interface may not start either, and there is no sound. But then again, I am only using the G4 for porting ZeroBUGS to PowerPC (which I devote very very little time to, so not a biggie).

As a bonus point: on the AMD64 (my main system) nspluginwrapper and flash are installed auto-magically.

So overall this Manly Monkey distro is great! Oh wait. I got the name wrong again... I think they call it Goofy Gorilla. Or Ghastly Gnome.

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