(Answer) (Category) Linux on PowerPC FAQ-O-Matic :
I have a Mac. Should I use linuxppc (linux-pmac) or MkLinux?
For some machines (First generation Macs with NuBus), the only option is MkLinux. For other machines (PCI Macs), you can run either port. For non-Macintosh PowerPC machines (like IBM RS/6000 or CHRP), you must run LinuxPPC. MkLinux and LinuxPPC support most video devices. However, one or the other may work better for your particual machine.
In fact, there are only small differences in the filesystems, so you can install only one filesystem, and try both kernels. Linux-pmac is binary compatible with MkLinux.
MkLinux is built on the Mach microkernel. If you want to play with Mach, then this is an obvious choice. If you don't have a PCI bus, it's also the only choice. Otherwise, it runs a little more slowly than does linux-pmac because of the overhead of Mach. See the MkLinux category for more details.
Linux-pmac has somewhat more mature device drivers. It's kernel is completely source compatible with the x86 Linux, you can use the standard Linus Linux kernel with your machine.

It has support for all bit depths and modes on two supported video devices (7500-style Control chips, or 7200-style Platinum), including on-the-fly mode switching. ATI graphics cards are getting close to full support (ATI Rage 128 hardware acceleration is being developed), and any graphics cards can be used using BootX, a Mac OS-based Linux booter.

Both MkLinux and LinuxPPC support Serial, SCSI, IDE, Floppy* and audio.

*Floppy Drive support does not currently work with USB (Blue G3/G4/iMac/iBook) floppy drives, and in MkLinux, some Generic Kernels may not support your machine's floppy drive.


9-Feb-97: 603e note added by: jk@esperance.com
10-Feb-97: 603 note extended by jonh@cs.dartmouth.edu
20-Feb-97: notes about IDE hard disks and 603 on linux-pmac added by paulus@cs.anu.edu.au
28-Feb-97: sound driver info added by slipcon@cs.jhu.edu
28-Feb-97: and moved to its own question by jonh@cs.dartmouth.edu
12-Nov-97: corrected information about PCI Serial and Audio by fray@kernel.crashing.org
2-Oct-99: added info on Floppy Drives, Kernel 2.2 and non-Macintosh PowerPC's by arthur99@global2000.net
jonh@cs.dartmouth.edu, jk@esperance.com, paulus@cs.anu.edu.au, slipcon@cs.jhu.edu, haceaton@aplcomm.jhuapl.edu, fray@kernel.crashing.org, arthur99@global2000.net

Could anyone e-mail chris@printf.net if they've got MkLinux on a PMac 6100 (NuBus) working, please? Thanks much. :)
Users interested in using experimental code can find a monolithic (traditional) Linux kernel for use with the MkLinux pre-R1 and R1 distributions at http://nubus-pmac.sourceforge.net -- it is based on the Linux 2.4 kernel codebase and works well for PowerMac "x100" machines (i.e. 6100, 7100). It uses the MkLinux booter and must be used with an existing installation.
Interactive performance of these experimental kernels is much better than that of the MkLinux kernel.
I have two macs. One Perfoma PPC and one 6320.
How can I install Linux on them? Whats the best distribution?
If anyone read this and could help me please send email to maquinas@portugalmail.pt
Can I install MKlinux on my Centris 650 upgraded with Apple PowerPC Card
The monolithic kernel for NuBus Power Macs and clones (e.g., Power 1xx, System 81/1xx, etc.) is probably the preferred form now; I would guess that Mach-based efforts have shifted primarily to Darwin (as a stepping-stone to OS X?) at this point...Support for G3 accelerators appears to be standard for NewerTech, and is under development for Sonnet and XLR8. A version of BootX for NuBus, general instructions, and installers for LinuxPPC, Debian, and Yellow Dog 1.2 and 2.0 have been available for some time at
An assortment of kernels, including nightly builds from the current stable devtree (2.4.19-pre 10), sources and patches thereof, and an installer for Yellow Dog 2.2, may be found at
The LinuxPPC mail list archives include a NuBus listing

Oops! That last URL should be

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