Mac Mini: You Yellow Dog, You


The Mac Mini's no coward - anonymous or otherwise - but it's not officially supported by Yellow Dog Linux, IBM says, as noted by OSDir.

Self-confessed Mac Mini lover Peter Seebach has written a long (but not too long), informative piece on running NetBSD and Yellow Dog Linux on the Mini.

True, not all the hardware works under these systems, but, to quote Peter, "if all you need is a stable kernel, a C compiler, and network support, the code is high-quality and the price is unbeatable."

There's some limited support for audio under NetBSD, but there's no Open Source support for Airport Extreme - yet.

But here's an interesting fact: someone got NetBSD booting on a Mac Mini - 2 days before the machine shipped. Which tells us that it's not only Apple's trade secrets that end up in someone's hands before Steve actually announces them.

Yellow Dog on the Mini might be even better. Actual support for HFS+ file systems, meaning you can use all your external disks, including your iPod, if required. Of course, you can even install Yellow Dog on your iPod and boot from that, if you want to leave OS X on your Mini's internal hard drive.

Detailed instructions from Peter abound, but here's probably the best piece of advice:

"The point is, Linux support isn't perfect yet, but it's actively being worked on. It can be fun being a part of an evolving platform; it can also get in the way of work. You will want to base your decision on whether to go with Linux now or wait for later, based on your needs."

Go to it.