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Topic: linux  on Imac (Read 2162 times) previous topic - next topic


Help! I have an old IMac G3 that I'm trying to set up to run Arduino. Since Arduino software does not run on my ancient machine, I've tried to install Linux to no avail. I have an Xubuntu 386  folder that opens up but I don't know how to install the software. The Ubuntu forums on this topic are incomprehensible to me. Do I need to get into the Unix shell and if so what steps do I take after that?

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.


You'll have to get a special PPC version of linux to run on an iMac G3, and it won't run arduino either :-(

As far as I know, an iMac G3  SHOULD be able to run a recent enough version of Apple OSX to run Arduino SW;  It won't be a very zippy machine, but it ought to work.  Whether it's worth buying a newer version of OSX when you can probably get a used P4 linux-capable system for a similar price is a separate question...  (depending on where you are, you can probably find someone to GIVE you a linux-capable P2 or PIII system for free...)


IIRC, the most recent versions of OS X do not support the G3 processors, but I don't recall exactly where the cutoff is.

I've seen a linux distro (BeOS?) on an old old PPC mac (actually a mac clone, that's how long ago it was), but i don't remember any details.



I used to run 10.3 for a short while on a 300Mhz iBook G3, it wasn't great, it used up 2/3rds of the available HDD space but it worked

I think Arduino 0009 will work on 10.3.9, not sure about the newer versions though

Maybe it's time to have a scout around ebay? Or perhaps get a cheap old PC and run Ubuntu to keep things simple, you may even get lucky and find someone giving away old hardware in the next few weeks.


I wonder what it would take to get the Arduino environment running again on PPC?  Older versions were OK, but newer ones not.  Is it the version of MacOS that prevents it running, or the CPU architecture?  Surely Java should be OK whatever the CPU?

Incidentally, BeOS was a completely different OS from Unix or Linux or MacOS for that matter.  Written by a company called Be, Inc.

Oh, and today at the local Linux user group, we had an Elonex mini laptop running Linux, but with a MIPS CPU.  Very similar chip to the CPU in the PlayStation, in fact.  Would be nice to be able to run the Arduino environment on that type of hardware, too!


I would think that the linux version of Arduino would probably run fine on ppc linux.  But you'd have to compile it yourself, along with all the avr tools.

Arduino 0011 worked fine on my PPC Mac running 10.3.9; I only recently upgraded to an Intel-based system. I COULD do some experiments, I suppose.  Somewhere I have a G3 powerbook with 10.3 (?) on it, and my wife still has a G4 powerbook (last of the breed...)


Depending on how old your system is this might be useful:

 Arduino and OS X 10.2


P.S. I still miss the forum "quote" button... :-(


Thanks for the suggestion. Graybeard


I have a G4 Mac laptop running 10.4.8, so I'll grab the various Mac download files and try 'em.  I already have GCC and 'avrdude' on there from the OSX-AVR package:



For the record, I plugged in our old G3 laptop (333Mhz) running MacOSX 10.3.9, downloaded arduino-0011 mac, installed the ftdi drivers it came with, and connected my solarbotics Freeduino.  The IDE came up fine, and it successfully compiled and uploaded blink.pde, which ran fine on the freeduino.  So I think it should be possible to run on a G3 iMac as well.

The 10.3 os did want me to install a bunch of updates, including java updates, and I did these before trying to run the IDE.

It was rather painfully slow.  Sigh.  I remember when a 300MHz CPU was
pretty zippy...

I haven't tried Arduino-0012 yet.  Perhaps tomorrow.


I finally got around to trying 12.0, and it worked as well (to the extent of successfully uploading blink.pde)

It did spit out some alarming messages from gcc and g++ about the non-existence of "readlink", but appeared to go on successfully anyway. (readlink is apparently used to help pick a particular version of  the compilers based on system-wide configuration...)

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