Every dog has its day. And Yellow Dog Linux is certainly no exception to this rule. Today’s review from Apple-X was a bit mixed. It would seem that this distro of Linux may still be a bit buggy at its heart. This is unfortunate being it could be a distro with a lot to offer.
I’ve always been annoyed by Red Hat and its various RPM-based spinoffs like SuSE and Mandrake. RPM, the package management system for Red Hat and its relatives, pales in comparison to Gentoo’s Portage or Debian’s Apt. RPMs tend to suffer, inexorably, from dependency issues; I’ve almost never had so many of these problems with other package management systems. Worse, many RPMs tend to be binary i386 packages, which won’t work on m68k or PowerPC Linux, while official and unofficial package lists for apt and emerge seem to offer a much wider array of software for other architectures than Terra Soft’s repository for the relatively young, though promising, Yum.
So while deciding between Gentoo and Yellow Dog Linux, I was leaning towards Gentoo. Nevertheless, I opted for YDL. First, I realised that TerraSoft had catered YDL specifically for Apple hardware in a lot of ways. Secondly, a friend of mine had tried a stage 3 Gentoo install on a Powerbook almost identical to mine just a few days back, and, on first boot, his keyboard didn’t work (only external USB keyboards did). He also couldn’t log in for a reason that eludes me still, and of course, X was borked beyond all recognition. I shudder to think of how a stage 1 would have turned out. I was getting a headache just thinking about trying Gentoo PPC. Yellow Dog Linux, here we come. I’ll save Gentoo for x86 hardware.
The binary distribution of YDL comes on four CD images that are available via BitTorrent here. Most installs will only require the first three, but I still recommend downloading and burning all four images to CD-R.