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I have an Aluminum G4 Powerbook model A1138 with a dead hard drive. I've got a replacement drive, but no install DVD for Mac OS. A new Mac OS 10.5 install DVD costs $150 retail.

From the system specs this machine is plenty powerful to serve as a decent laptop - 1.67ghz CPU, 1GB RAM, wireless built in.

I'm aware of this superuser post which answers the question of whether you can install linux on a pwerbook. What I'm interested in is whether I should install Linux. I'm an advanced linux user so that's no problem. However, I hate linux on laptops because it's so annoying to set up. I don't want to go through the work of installing linux only to find that things like suspend and resume don't work reliably.

So, does anyone have any advice here? Should I bite the bullet and buy the mac OS install DVD, or should I try linux? Have you tried it? Does it work?

EDIT: A commenter raises a concern that this question is too subjective. Here are some more objective questions I wish to answer:

  • Is the process of installing linux on this machine straightforward (put the disk in and answer a few questions) or is it more complicated, like you have to track down special drivers or make extra config tweaks outside of the installer?
  • does suspend and resume work reliably running linux on this machine?
  • does wireless networking work with linux?
  • does the system sound work with linux?

Basically I need to get a sense of whether installing linux on this machine is an afternoon tasks or a weeklong battle. I don't want to take on the latter.

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closed as not constructive by studiohack, Randolph Potter, random Jan 24 '11 at 5:16

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is a subjective question so I'm voting to close, but surely if you own a laptop, you can simply borrow someone else's OS X? I thought all of them came with a DVD in the box. Mine did. –  user3463 Jan 24 '11 at 4:57
Hm I haven't had any luck finding an OSX install DVD for a G4 powerbook. Everyone has Intel Macbooks these days. I'll edit to make my question more objective. –  Phil Hollenback Jan 24 '11 at 4:59
You've now got a whole swathe of questions attached to the original of asking if people have tried it themselves –  random Jan 24 '11 at 5:25

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