Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adventures in MATE, Lubuntu, and Debian Jessie

It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything and they have been busy ones! I have been putting the iBook to the test loading Lubuntu 14.04 and 15.04, Ubuntu-MATE 14.04 and 15.04, also Debian Jessie. So here is a quick run down of my thoughts on these distros.

14.04 Lubuntu and Ubuntu-MATE

The install of these distros was as expected. No real hiccups to report. I did notice that some web pages did not load correctly in firefox but they would fine on Iceweasel in Debian. There were not many but it was annoying. Also without some compositing (ie using compton) video playback was choppy. Now one thing that di1 d excite me was in the Ubuntu-MATE release notes there are patched .deb files for mesa and .deb files for Compiz. So obviously I installed them to see if I can get some sweet 3D compositing! Well it was a little buggy but I did get the cube up! (see screenshot below).

15.04 Lubuntu and Ubuntu-MATE

Beta1 of Ubuntu-MATE ran really well. I have posted a really nice screenshot of my desktop with Numix based themes and icons. However Beta2 was a total bust! When I upgraded MATE it crashed my system completely. Lubuntu would not even load the live iso and MATE would crash when I try. There is active bug report on Launch Pad detailing it. If you are similar issues please post them there.

Debian Jessie

I am huge fan of Debian. My PowerBook G4 is running stable due to its reliability. I first ran Jessie months ago and was caught by surprise with some of the issues I ran across. Now coming back to it with a lot more experience with Linux on PowerPC it was a much smoother experience. There have been some great improvements since the last time I ran Jessie. Getting KMS going is not the pain it once was due mostly to know what parameters to set on boot (see my previous post here). Video playback was great and overall there is not much negative to say. There two areas that got annoyed me. First was the sound. You need to enable the snd-aoa-i2sbus module to enable alsamixer, however even after I got that working there was no sound. I need to install the pauvcontrol package to finally enable sound. Second there has been a long standing javascript bug that broke GTK web browsers in Ubuntu and Debian Jessie. Finally there is a patch that fixed this issue! Hopefully will be making it to both the Debain and Ubuntu repos soon. Also it looks like Jessie is set for official release on April 25. I will be looking forward to it!


  1. Interesting blog, Rican. I might even consider linking to you also if you could get the name of the blog I founded correct. It's PowerPC Liberation, not "powerpcliberation". Referring to the way you list it in your links.

    Just saying :)

  2. Thanks. I added your blog to the "Reccomended Elsewhere" area in our sidebar. By the way... I got your email about your successful Gentoo install. You're in elite company when you use Gentoo. All the really hardcore Linux people tend to prefer it. Gentoo, Debian and Arch are considered the best for intermediate and advanced users, but more Gentoo than the others.

    Keep at it!