Which distro best to use for a low spec, old iMac.?

Bas G. Roufs basroufs at gmail.com
Sun Dec 11 16:10:31 UTC 2011

Hello Everybody

At present, I am helping a friend to get his old iMac useful again. The 
hardware is still good, but low-spec. But the Apple software running on it is 
hopelessly obsolete - whenever trying to update it, a password is being asked 
for which has not been delivered to my friend, when he bought the machine. In 
the mean time, it has become clear who the original owner was and where she 
lives. He tries to get the password via her.

I have two main questions in this context:
Which distro whould you recommand me?
How best to install the distro on the specific machine?
With respect to the first question - I am considering the latest 11.10 version 
of three *Ubuntu distro's:
Xubuntu (xubuntu.org)
Lubuntu (lubuntu.org).
Ad 1. Which distro?
Which of either of the 3 distro's whould you recommend me, taking into account 
the specificatios summarised below?
Model - iMac
Processor - G4 (2.1.), 700 MHz, L2 cache 256KB per processor;
Internal SDRAM Memory: 640MB, PC133-333, divided into DIMM0, 512 MB and DIMM1, 
128 MB.
HD: Maxtor, ATA4D040H2, 38,16 GB.
Bus: 100 MHZ.
Upstart-CD ROM drive: version 4.40 fi.
Modem: Dash 2, Apple version 2.6.3 with the software 

Ad 2. How best to install the distro to be chosen?
With respect to the 2nd question, how best to install the distro to be chosen, 
I am considering two options - after backing up all the data elsewhere:
simply over writing the whole HD
dual boot.
Over writing the whole HD?
Given the hopelessly obsolete state of the software running on it, I seriously 
consider that option - of course, after backing up all the data at some 
external HD. The new Linux distro would prolongue the life of the machine in 
my opinion.
Dual boot?
This could be an option in case my friend does manage to find the right 
password and to update the whole configuration. However, I am doubting whether 
this could deliver a workable, safe result. I have very little experience with 
Apple/ Mc.OS.

However it may be, I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts.
Respectfully yours,
Bas Roufs. 

Bas G. Roufs MA
Van 't Hoffstraat 1
NL-3514 VT Utrecht
+31 30 785 20 40
+31 6 446 835 10
BasRoufs at gmail.com
OS: Linux Kubuntu 11.04, kubuntu.org
Websites in construction:
* rainbowgathering.eu
* basroufs.eu
* viaconsensus.nl

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