FreeBSD on ibook G4 circa 2004

Nathan Whitehorn nwhitehorn at
Wed Feb 2 20:06:05 UTC 2011

On Wed, 2 Feb 2011, Michael Dinon wrote:

> Hello,
> I am looking for viable alternatives to keep an old ibook I have running
> relevant software.  I have in the past used Debian and various other Linux
> distros but support for PPC seems to be becomes less and less viable.  I had
> looked previously at the BSD's as an option for PPC and found various
> information although somewhat limited.  I am curious how well supported is
> PPC by FreeBSD, is there anyone on this list running similar hardware and
> using FreeBSD on as a laptop as opposed to server duty?  I know the Broadcom
> Airport Extreme card is not well supported by most opensource OS's.  When
> looking at some of the FreeBSD info on PPC I saw that at one point certain
> keyboards and trackpads were not supported which required USB keyboards, is
> that still true?  I also stumbled on a new installer bsdinstall, has anyone
> used this on similar hardware?  Also does one need to keep an hfs partition
> still?  I seem to remember Linux required an hfs partition, not sure if that
> is true of the BSD.  I don't plan on needing OSX.  Anyway thank you in
> advance for any help or suggestions.

Hi Michael --

I'm typing you this message over wireless on a 1.4 Ghz G4 iBook in 
FreeBSD, so it works pretty nicely. The wireless driver (bwn) has some 
kind of issue with the antenna gain, so I need to be closer to the AP than 
in OS X, but otherwise the system works quite well. All hardware is 
supported except the internal modem.

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