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AmigaOne - Linux

When the AmigaOne motherboards were released, AmigaDOS OS4 was nearly two years away from being available even in pre-release form to the general public, (although it was available to developers prior to this) so the only alternative was to install a version of Linux.

The first choice was SuSE PPC Linux, probably because it was based in Germany, but after the initial release it became rather difficult to obtain, and we were advised that the PPC distribution of SuSE Linux had sold out worldwide and SuSE declared that they would not do another production run unless a guaranteed bulk order was forthcoming. Subsequent to that, SuSE was purchased by Novell, and their primary target became the enterprise/business Linux user. The AmigaOne came with an installation CD for SuSE but it was necessary to purchase or download the complete distro to complete the installation.

As an alternative, Ross Vumbaca in Australia developed an installation CD using Debian Linux 3.0 r0 for PPC to run on the AmigaOne. Debian had been around since 1993 and was the brainchild of Ian Murdock while he was studying at Purdue University, "Debian" being a concatention of his wife's name (Deb) and his name (Ian). Murdock became dis-enchanted with the Softland Linux System (SLS) distro of Linux and wanted to change the way the various components were delivered. Rather than it all being the work of one person or a small group of people, Murdock's philosophy was to use a distributed team connected via the Internet, each member of the team specialising in defined areas, and to feed these elements into a whole distribution, and then let the users debug the system themselves. This concept evolved into what is probably the purest distribution of them all, created in the same way that the Linux kernal was developed. It may not be as commercial as some of the others, it is probably the version most configurable for the AmigaOne. The Debian install consisted of two CDs; one called the AmigaOne installer, and the second was disk 1 from the Debian Woody distribution.

Another alternative, promoted enthusiastically by Bill Mueller (of MAI at that time) was called Yellow Dog Linux - Yellow Dog is the PPC equivalent of Red Hat, so it became popular with many of the experienced Linux users. The installation CD and the distribution CDs are available from intuitionbase.com, including how to upgrade to YDL 4. For those who want a dual-booting system, be aware that YDL does not understand RDB so cannot co-exist on the same hard disk as the AmigaOS, therefore a separate hard disk is required.

Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.

Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 25, 2005.