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Best OS for Ibook G4?

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First post, by songo

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I'm gonna use full potential out of this machine but most of ties to leave OSX Tiger became traumatic.

I want it to make gaming machine or modern OS for surfing net and stuff.

OSX Tiger - decent as gaming platform although performance is dissapointing, especially in Classic Mode (e.g, Tie Fighter runs slow, Super Wing Commander has messed up color palette). For modern system, you can install TenFourFox and that's all.

MorphOS - it's decent as OS but it's NOT free and trial version starts crawl mode after 30 minutes. Poor as gaming machine but not hopeless, there is some advancerd stuff with MorphOS like Shogo or Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

Debian Sid - seems ok but any netinstall gives random error, I only manage to install it once.

Mint PPC - based on Debian edition, being in slumber for year only to reactivated like 2 years ago, I installed in once (Debian install with custom config file), good with IceWm or XFCE. As game machine is terrible, emulator packages refuse to compile, Crispy Doom is a 10 fps slog and DosBox cannot run 486 game like Mortal Kombat 3 at decent speed,

Adelie Linux - hangs once desktop is being loaded from live CD

Void Linux - work well as Live CD but install is beyond me - I've tried every tutorial on net but always fail at partiotioning part (if someone would explain it step by step...)

Lubunto 16 Remix - too many crashes and graphical glitches.

Any ideas? Or should I stick with Tiger and leave it as gaming (Dark Colony/Diablo) machine?

Last edited by songo on 2021-12-26, 09:11. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 21, by Jo22

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Good morning! 😀

Tenfourfox is no more, unfortunately, but InterWebPPC is an alternative.

https://github.com/wicknix/InterWebPPC

Personally, I prefer Tiger over Leopard, also.
Tiger still has Blue Box aka Classic Environment and can virtualize Mac OS 9.1+.

In addition, it already also has Quartz Extreme, Core Image and Quartz 2D Extreme (Q2DE).
Quartz Extreme is handy, because it can draw the GUI via the GPU. A Geforce 2MX+ or Radeon 7000+ can be used for this, if memory serves.

Something Iike a Geforce 5200+ etc can be used to enable Core Image, which provides even more GPU related magic.
Unfortunately, newer GPUs capable of Core Image lost Mac OS 9.x acceleration due to being made after OS 9 'died'.

So I suppose an optional Voodoo2 (Glide API) or Quick Draw 3D Accelerator must be used if any kind if acceleration is still required.

QE2D can be enabled system wide by using terminal in Tiger:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver Quartz2DExtremeEnabled -boolean YES

The downside of Tiger 10.4 is the reduced Aqua interface.
Jaguar 10.2 was the last release with pinstripes and real aqua 'tabs'.
Panther 10.3, by comparison, had the fastest Classic Environment and was the only one being compatible with Mac-On-Mac (Edit: Or was it Jaguar 10.2 that had the fastest?) .
It also knew real AppleTalk and shipped with the complete Apple Filing Protocol aka AFP, still:
The Datagram Delivery Protocol (DDP) was used before things switched to TCP.
For maximum compatibility, Jaguar might be better, though.

That being said, you could try Snow Leopard for PPC - there's a preview that can be found online.
Snow Leopard was much better than Leopard, IMHO.
On x86, it still supported PPC applications written with the Carbon (Mac OS 8/9, 10.0+) and Cocoa (10.0+) APIs.
Through Rosetta, Carbon applications originally written with Mac OS 8/9 in mind, might still run on Snowy, even, despite the lack of Classic Environment.

Last, but not least, there's the Leopard Sorbet release made by the community.
Not sure whether or not it does include older Kexts, though.
Some extensions from Tiger (Rage 128 kext etc) used to work on Leopard..

Anyway, I hope that was a bit helpful.

Merry CrossMas (Xmas).
Jo22🌲🎄😉

Edit: Edited a few times (typos).

Edit: There's a (slightly dated) Glide software-renderer for Mac OS 9.x.: MacGLide
http://macglide.sourceforge.net/
It also works in Classic Environment, which otherwise has zero graphics acceleration.

Edit: There's an interesting read at Macintosh Garden ("Tiger/Panther classicmode smooth emulation") that explains :

"Jaguar plays classicmode games smoothly, Panther and Tiger can't play a lot of games due to what's been called the implementation of "double buffered" screen memory."

Edit: The slower-than-Jaguar but still-quicker- than-Tiger Classic from Panther (60%+ vs Tiger) apparently can be transplanted into Tiger, also btw.
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topi … a03729#msg42306

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 2 of 21, by songo

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-12-26, 00:26:

Edit: There's an interesting read at Macintosh Garden ("Tiger/Panther classicmode smooth emulation") that explains :

"Jaguar plays classicmode games smoothly, Panther and Tiger can't play a lot of games due to what's been called the implementation of "double buffered" screen memory."

That was helluva useful post, thanks! I guess I'll try Jaguar if it allows to play Tie Fighter correctly.

Reply 3 of 21, by Jo22

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You're welcome. 🙂

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 4 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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Linux is crap unless you can build your own custom kernel and manage the dependencies!
otherwise you will see that it's crappy slow and unresponsive due to a lot of people working on the code and optimisation for performance is not the first degree.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 5 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-12-26, 00:26:
Good morning! :) […]
Show full quote

Good morning! 😀

Tenfourfox is no more, unfortunately, but InterWebPPC is an alternative.

https://github.com/wicknix/InterWebPPC

Personally, I prefer Tiger over Leopard, also.
Tiger still has Blue Box aka Classic Environment and can virtualize Mac OS 9.1+.

In addition, it already also has Quartz Extreme, Core Image and Quartz 2D Extreme (Q2DE).
Quartz Extreme is handy, because it can draw the GUI via the GPU. A Geforce 2MX+ or Radeon 7000+ can be used for this, if memory serves.

Something Iike a Geforce 5200+ etc can be used to enable Core Image, which provides even more GPU related magic.
Unfortunately, newer GPUs capable of Core Image lost Mac OS 9.x acceleration due to being made after OS 9 'died'.

So I suppose an optional Voodoo2 (Glide API) or Quick Draw 3D Accelerator must be used if any kind if acceleration is still required.

QE2D can be enabled system wide by using terminal in Tiger:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver Quartz2DExtremeEnabled -boolean YES

The downside of Tiger 10.4 is the reduced Aqua interface.
Jaguar 10.2 was the last release with pinstripes and real aqua 'tabs'.
Panther 10.3, by comparison, had the fastest Classic Environment and was the only one being compatible with Mac-On-Mac (Edit: Or was it Jaguar 10.2 that had the fastest?) .
It also knew real AppleTalk and shipped with the complete Apple Filing Protocol aka AFP, still:
The Datagram Delivery Protocol (DDP) was used before things switched to TCP.
For maximum compatibility, Jaguar might be better, though.

That being said, you could try Snow Leopard for PPC - there's a preview that can be found online.
Snow Leopard was much better than Leopard, IMHO.
On x86, it still supported PPC applications written with the Carbon (Mac OS 8/9, 10.0+) and Cocoa (10.0+) APIs.
Through Rosetta, Carbon applications originally written with Mac OS 8/9 in mind, might still run on Snowy, even, despite the lack of Classic Environment.

Last, but not least, there's the Leopard Sorbet release made by the community.
Not sure whether or not it does include older Kexts, though.
Some extensions from Tiger (Rage 128 kext etc) used to work on Leopard..

Anyway, I hope that was a bit helpful.

Merry CrossMas (Xmas).
Jo22🌲🎄😉

Edit: Edited a few times (typos).

Edit: There's a (slightly dated) Glide software-renderer for Mac OS 9.x.: MacGLide
http://macglide.sourceforge.net/
It also works in Classic Environment, which otherwise has zero graphics acceleration.

Edit: There's an interesting read at Macintosh Garden ("Tiger/Panther classicmode smooth emulation") that explains :

"Jaguar plays classicmode games smoothly, Panther and Tiger can't play a lot of games due to what's been called the implementation of "double buffered" screen memory."

Edit: The slower-than-Jaguar but still-quicker- than-Tiger Classic from Panther (60%+ vs Tiger) apparently can be transplanted into Tiger, also btw.
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topi … a03729#msg42306

Thx! great infos to check on my systems!

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 6 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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"Jaguar plays classicmode games smoothly, Panther and Tiger can't play a lot of games due to what's been called the implementation of "double buffered" screen memory."

That's indeed very interesting, useless for my g4-cube (450/R128pro) because this machine is native OS9 and jaguar in classic should be worse than native OS9.
My G4 iMac 15" Flatpanel (GF2MX) has also OS9 native....and my G5 iMac is 10.3.5 so no jaguar on that one. I am using 10.5.8 on this machine (FX5200/64) but I am not happy with that. I think I will downgrade to tiger or even Panther on this machine.

I never used Mac On Mac. I have therefore no experience and I am thinking about a case I can make use of that.

I have downgraded my MM2009/9400m to 10.5 but you are right 10.6 is the better choice, so will upgrade again. (it also can use the full 8GB ram, 10.5 only can make use of 4GB ram and beside that COD2 and COD4 have massive framedrops in 10.5.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 7 of 21, by BetaC

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Have you checked to see if the system can natively boot Mac OS 9? I believe all but the post-2003 iBooks can. If yours can, I can generally recommend doing that. macos9lives has a way to get it up and running, if you google their 9.2.2 stuff.

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Reply 8 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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Beside these all iBooks can boot OS9 natively.

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Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 9 of 21, by BloodyCactus

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I love morphos on g4 ibook. has a good feel to it. its no gaming machine anyway so I'd not try and make it be. good for fooling around on!

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 10 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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BloodyCactus wrote on 2022-01-04, 19:41:

I love morphos on g4 ibook. has a good feel to it. its no gaming machine anyway so I'd not try and make it be. good for fooling around on!

369 Games available 😉 https://www.morphos-storage.net/?page=Games

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 11 of 21, by weldum

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maybe not the best os for gaming on a PPC but you should try sorbet leopard, but you need to follow the guides to install and optimize it correctly, also you should max out ram on that ibook and get a solid state drive to get the most out of it.
bear in mind that it's a very old machine, and a limited platform

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
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Reply 12 of 21, by BloodyCactus

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2022-01-04, 19:55:
BloodyCactus wrote on 2022-01-04, 19:41:

I love morphos on g4 ibook. has a good feel to it. its no gaming machine anyway so I'd not try and make it be. good for fooling around on!

369 Games available 😉 https://www.morphos-storage.net/?page=Games

I was talking more the hardware not the os 😀 I have MOS on a 1.5ghz g4 mac mini and love it.

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 13 of 21, by Jo22

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2022-01-04, 12:24:

Thx! great infos to check on my systems!

You're welcome. I'm always glad if information gathered from some of my experiments/internet journeys is helpful to others.

I guess that's also why I'm too chatty sometimes.. 😅

As for the Macs.. I learned things the hard way when I got an first gen iMac G3.
The memory was too little, the HDD to small, the OS too old (Mac OS 8.x)..
Back then, I had to dial into the internet.. Over the internet.

It was in the 2000s, I think. The problem was, that the OS was too old to run many interesting applications. And for upgrading to Mac OS 9.x, a Firmware update was required.

However, FAT32 couldn't store the meta data (resource fork?) of the update utility and I had no other Mac at hand to properly download the file.
So I connected the internal modem to the DSL modem router and used a
dial-up connection via one on these old subscription-free dial-up ISPs (Arcor? Freenet?)..
That way, I could let Mac OS 8.5 or so save the file with the correct file type and run the update.

Later, I think, I installed Mac OS 10.0 Cheetah and IE5, Firefox 1.x and Flash Player (7? 9?)..
That 233MHz G3 was powerful enough to play many videos through flash-based video players embedded in websites of the time.
- I have a few fond memories of watching re-runs of the original Pokémon episodes that way, for example. ^^
I've thought that chubby CRT computer was kinda cute, also.
Edit: I also installed ICQ on that little fellow and an Atari ST emulator, among other things.
Curiously, "Tickle Me Pikachu" and other silly little things ran on such an old system, still. 😋
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiGO_7xnXPQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efGnwpJdfb8

Sorry for being a bit OT, I got carried away. 😅

Back then, I didn't really know of the later OS X versions and what they had to offer.
I had no idea, for example, that the slow G3 could fly on OS X 10.2+ with hardware-accelerated Quartz Extreme*.
It wasn't until a few years later that I've found a bunch of emulators that run quite well on a ~300MHz G3.

(*Geforce 2MX and Geforce 4MX cards are OS 9 compatible and rather trouble free to convert to Power PC. Akin to the Radeon 7000, I suppose (did read that online).
Both use the GF 2 GPU and interoperability between various firmware is provided.
Memory timings and memory size, maybe, is about all that must be matching.
Some GF2 card models even have socketed 27xxx or compatible EPROMs, just like those old ISA/PCI VGA cards used to have.
Geforce FX onwards has firmware that is more hardware-dependant and must be altered each time.
Geforce 3 and 4 are interesting, too, but at least the GF4 requires a hardware mod, because it is AGP 8x aware.
That "awareness", simply said, causes issues with AGP slots of older Power Macs.
Also, there were rumors that the Geforce 3 TI has issues with big-endian. Not sure if that's true, though.)

Edit: That guy here did install some crazy upgrades in his G3.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REZ8ciuWZWs

Maybe his other videos can be inspiring in upgrading G3/G4s (some early G4 CPUs are pretty much like G3s)..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 14 of 21, by Bruninho

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OS 9 is still a pretty capable OS nowadays for light tasks. It all depends of what you really want to do with your iBook. I'm a big fan of OS 9 and I have found some use for it recently.

songo wrote on 2021-12-25, 23:20:

I want it to make gaming machine or modern OS for surfing net and stuff.

If this is your goal then Leopard seems to be the best choice, IMO. If you prefer a more light gaming and just surf the net and do light tasks stuff, then Tiger it is.

You can also go with what jo22 said above, the custom-made leopard version called Sorbet Leopard. It has some speed and performance optimizations you might want to try out. In fact, I think that you should try out Sorbet Leopard first before trying out other options. Then Leopard, Tiger, and finally OS 9. Choose wisely. Good luck.

*secretly rooting for Leopard to win, in spite of my love for OS 9*

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Reply 15 of 21, by dr.zeissler

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I really like OS9 but I also like OSX up to 10.9.5.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 16 of 21, by amijim

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Hello Vogons ,
there two very fresh OS alternatives for the ppc macs.
First is Adelie PPC linux edition built late 2021 and
second is Sorbet Leopard (10.5.9) .
both of which are good for gaming machines of their era.

Iwill ZmaxDP
Arima4way
Tyan s2885
Iwill MPX2
Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW+
Compaq SP700
Compaq ml350

Reply 17 of 21, by songo

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BetaC wrote on 2022-01-04, 18:58:

Have you checked to see if the system can natively boot Mac OS 9? I believe all but the post-2003 iBooks can. If yours can, I can generally recommend doing that. macos9lives has a way to get it up and running, if you google their 9.2.2 stuff.

Unfortunately, even custom MacOS9 iso tailored for Ibooks is tainted with small screen issue which I cannot overcome even with additional files from macos9lives forums that were suppose to solve this problem.

Reply 18 of 21, by BetaC

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songo wrote on 2022-01-09, 07:42:
BetaC wrote on 2022-01-04, 18:58:

Have you checked to see if the system can natively boot Mac OS 9? I believe all but the post-2003 iBooks can. If yours can, I can generally recommend doing that. macos9lives has a way to get it up and running, if you google their 9.2.2 stuff.

Unfortunately, even custom MacOS9 iso tailored for Ibooks is tainted with small screen issue which I cannot overcome even with additional files from macos9lives forums that were suppose to solve this problem.

What do you mean by that? do you mean full screen games/apps running in a small window? If so, that's not uncommon for classic Mac OS applications.

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Reply 19 of 21, by songo

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BetaC wrote on 2022-01-09, 09:34:

What do you mean by that? do you mean full screen games/apps running in a small window? If so, that's not uncommon for classic Mac OS applications.

No, entire desktop screen is reduced to half-screen.