This week Terra Soft Solutions announced the release of Yellow Dog Linux 2.0, the latest version of its Linux implementation specifically for PowerPC-based systems like the Mac and ZDNet columnist Matthew Rothenberg thinks it could teach the Mac a few new tricks.
YDL 2.0 comes with a new graphical installer; offers a simplified booting procedure that is automatically configured during installation; and supports the KDE 2.1 desktop, kernels 2.2.19 and 2.4.4, XFree86 4.0.2, Mozilla, Open Office and Java, the article says. Terra Soft has simplified the setup of Mac-On-Linux, an application that allows the classic Mac OS to run within Linux, and the new software supports recent Apple products, such as the Titanium PowerBook G4 and AirPort wireless networking, according to Rothenberg.
Dan Burcaw, co-founder and CIO Terra Soft, told ZDNet that despite the advent of Mac OS X, Mac Linux distributions such as YDL, MkLinux and LinuxPPC have an enduring place in the Mac and Linux communities and play a small but significant role in driving Mac sales. He said that Mac OS X only supports Power Mac G3 or G4 systems, but that users of earlier hardware can use YDL 2.0. And Burcaw says YDL 2.0 is faster than Mac OS X. However, he realizes it’s not for everyone.
“We’re not talking the mainstream OS X user, who needs the [Mac] application base,” Burcaw told ZDNet. “These are the hardcore users, the people who like experimenting.”
Interestingly, he feels that Apple has more or less accepted the Linux competition, neither hindering nor helping them. Burcaw told ZDNet that he believes Apple’s commitment to vertical integration is offset by the business advantages of suffering PowerPC-based Linux distributions to flourish.
“While everyone likes to have every solution, Apple makes a boatload off hardware,” he said. “They’d probably prefer that users be on their operating system, but they’d rather have the hardware sale than no sale at all.”
Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 is available for purchase through Terra Soft Solutions’ online store for US$59.95 plus shipping. A $29.95 that has no installation support is also available as an alternative.