A couple q’s:

  1. can linnux run on a mac w/o virtual pc?
  2. if so, can I get it w/o downloading it from the inernet?
  3. if so, how?

you might start by spelling it correctly. Linux.

  1. Yes, there are a couple of versions of Linux which will run on powerpc systems. Linuxppc is the most popular, but there is another which I forget at the moment.

  2. Of course you can. You might want to order a cheap cdrom from Or you might want to go to a compuse or bestbuy and buy a version there (for much more).

  3. If you want to download it yourself, try looking around for pointers to a distribution that fits your needs. Or you can try .

To amplify those comments:

Yes, you can run Linux on Mac hardware, but if your Mac is capable of running MacOS X, you really should use it. Yes, MacOS X isn’t free, but it’s a hell of a lot better product than Linux, and it is true BSD Unix. MacOS X is Unix plus OpenStep plus Nautilus Eazel plus MacOS 9… in otherwords, everything that Linux has tried to do but failed.

You can download several different versions of Linux for Mac CPUs, but it depends on what CPU you are using. Older hardware (i.e. my old 8100) can only run MkLinux. Newer hardware would be better served with Yellow Dog Linux or LinuxPPC. The best site for info on Macs and Linux is

they have info on all the available Linux versions for Mac.

There’s also versions of FreeBSD available for even very old Macs, and a friend of mine seems well-satisfied with it. I think that FreeBSD might only be available to students, though, so you might not be able to get it.

There is a port of linux that supports the 68000 chip series (like the MacIIcx and Mac SE) but linux/68k doesn’t appear to be based on BSD. I coulda sworn I saw a BSD port for pre-PowerPC Macs, but I couldn’t find anything on the net, and it’s not listed on the FreeBSD page.

Just about anything since the MacII is supported, although I don’t see any reason why you’d want to set up anything like a 16mhz 68000 CPU with linux. I have a IIcx sitting in my closet, I considered setting it up with Linux/68k, but it just wasn’t worth the effort.

FYI, FreeBSD is free to all.