iBook G4

iBook G4 with Ubuntu 16.04


my iBook couldn't install from usb stick, actually the easiest way is boot from cdrom.

I burned a minimal cd (32-bit PowerPC), hold c when booting, it should enter the linux installation screen. (use wire network)

it works out of the box, but something needs to setup manually:

airport extreme card

the kernel module is installed, but the firmware is not.

$ sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
and reboot should fix the problem.

graphic card

X freezes frequently, the graphic card is too old and there is no any support. need to disable the agpmode by adding

radeon.agpmode=-1 radeon.modeset=1 video=offb:off video=radeonfb:off
to /etc/yaboot.conf:append= option.

then run sudo ybin, and reboot.

X is more stable now but it consumes more cpu for rendering.


I want to map caps lock as ctrl:

$ setxkbmap -option 'caps:ctrl_modifier'

however, this doesn't work with ibook's caps lock, I think it released immediately even you hold the key. I couldn't find a solution for it yet.

I also want to map command as alt, didn't find the setxkbmap option yet.

more notes on this:

  • to capture the keycode, use xev
  • do not use xmodmap, use setxkbmap instead.
  • to see what options available for setxkbmap, check /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst
  • for xfce, put /usr/bin/setxkbmap -option '' -option 'caps:ctrl_modifier' to autostart (menu: settings -> session and startup)


scrolling is not working yet. seems there're some solutions online, but I didn't try yet.

to disable touchpad tap as click:

$ synclient MaxTapTime=0

Mac OS9 theme

I have to use xfce because either unity or gnome is too slow.

xfwm uses PlatiPlus theme. (since it's hosted on mediafire, I put the file on my server as a backup, click here to download )

gtk uses Classic Platinum Streamlined (click here to download )

above two, extract to ~/.local/share/themes/

icons and fonts from Platinum9

icons extract to ~/.icons/ and fonts to ~/.local/share/fonts

I replaced charcoal font with virtue.

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