Thursday, November 12, 2015

Testing Lubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

Now that Wiley has been released, development for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) has begun. Daily images have already been posted. Both Lubuntu and Ubuntu-MATE have PowerPC images ready for testing. People over at the UbuntuForums have alreasdy begun testing the new images. Also there was hope that the radeon r300 bug was fixed if you looked at the Mesa 11.0.3 release notes. Xenial as of now comes with the Mesa 11.0.4 package. So here are my initial thoughts.


The install was pretty standard. There was nothing that stood out and to be honest this is a good thing. The installer should ask you the questions the app needs to build the system according to what you have requested. I noticed in Wiley that section the manages setting the timezone was broken and you needed to set the timezone after install. This has now been fixed.


The desktop had a realy nice default look to it. I made the panel dark using the Lubuntu-Dark theme. The panel apps I tried worked as well. I noticed in 14.04 that the weather panel app did not work. Now in 16.04 it is working. The system resource monitor worked as well. I like seeing the CPU and RAM usage plus the app launches lxtask when you click on it. A lot of the default apps that normall come with Lubuntu were not installed but this is something I expected since it is so early in development and there maybe changes as to what ships in the final release.


Sadly eventhough Mesa has stated this bug to resolved it is not the case. You cannot get 3D acceleration with radeon r300 driver with a default depth of 24. Graphics rendering has been an issue for PowerPC since moving to KMS. It is not a show stopper in using Linux on PowerPC, but it is annoying.

Browsing the Web

Firefox worked as expected. I install Midori, Qupzilla, Luakit, and Surf as well. Midori works great! It looks like even downloading files is working better. In the past there were times when that feature would crash. It is really good to see improvement there. Also uploading files is working as well. Luakit has gotten a little buggy. There were times when the browser crashed when I used it. It is something I have seen in 15.10 and I know there is an open bug report on it. Qupzilla has issues when trying to scroll down using the touch pad. Other than that it ran pretty well. Running Surf showed no issues that i could see.

My first impression of Lubuntu 16.04 are pretty optimistic. I will be checking in on it when the Alpha and Beta releases come to see how the distro is doing under PowerPC.


  1. hello and thank you very much for bloggin´ stuff like this!

    I got iBook G4 1.0 Ghz 1.25 GB RAM, 16GB SSD and want to run Linux instead of OSX.

    I also want to use Ranger for FM and i3wm as my Default DE.

    Can you tell, which would be better suited (faster, more up-to-date) for this Little book:

    Ubuntu MATE 15.10 or Debian 8.2 (or maybe even Linux Mint 11 ppc)? Would have choosen Archlinux, but it is x86 only AFAIK.

    The book should mainly serve as fileserver in a Windows Network and will be used for tinkering with Linux...

    best regards


  2. I for what you want to do I think Debian is a better choice. I have used AwesomeWM on it in the past. Also give Gentoo a chance. I had good success on my iBook G4 with it.

    1. sorry, missed the `reply` btn ;)

      Gentoo seems to need a lot more configuration, on the other Hand may gives a marginal-up-to-little edge on performace. but also a bit more risky, because of the update-princip...

      so I will give Debian 8.2 a shot, as Long as there is no ppc-MATE.iso under 700MB or somehow USB boot will magically start to work ;)

  3. great, thanks for your reply!

    I have tried to boot ubuntu 15.10 MATE from USB for about 4 hours last day, without success. maybe something wrong with the usb-drive (I did "Flash" it via terminal "sudo dd" on another ibook, running 10.4.11), but still...

    On my MacBook Pro I burned MATE.iso to a DVD, but it also wont boot on my ibook. only Thing working is a morphOS iso and the old Linux mint 11 ppc Image, I burned to a CD ROM on the ibook.


    So I Need to find distro.iso under 700MB to burn on a CD with my old G3 ibook - this will at least give a bootable media.

    Ok, you mentioned Gentoo - do you think it will be better suited than Debian? what are the pros (and maybe cons)?

    thanks a lot!

  4. oh and do you know, if there is a way to run owncloud on ppc (just for a home-fileserver)?

  5. Gentoo is very much like Arch. It assumes you have a solid foundation on how Linux works since you will be building the system from the ground up.

    I would start with Debian. As a matter of fact there is an awesome guide on setting up debian on a G3 at the PPC Luddite Blog. There is a wealth of info over there as well.

    1. great, will install Debian and try my luck with Gentoo, when I am more comfortable with Linux and got a bit more spare-time to kill