Slackintosh reborn – An Interview with Adrian Ulrich
Slackintosh was a little-known PPC port of Slackware Linux which after some years of development was put on indefinite hiatus.
Adrian Ulrich has recently restarted the project and is again providing (together with Marco Bonetti) a Slackware distribution for Apple (and non-Apple) RISC-powered hardware. We contacted him for a short interview to ask him what happened, what is his role and what is the distribution’s status.
Storie di Apple: A couple of years ago Slackintosh seemed to have been shelved. What happened? How and when did you picked up the project? And is there any contact or relationship with the previous maintainer?
Adrian Ulrich: I’ve been using Slackintosh 8.1 (after ditching Yellow Dog Linux and Debian) and soon upgraded it to the unfinished 9.1 and started to build my own Packages for 9.1. Later i’ve realized that Russel had stopped working on the project so i contacted him via e-mail and offered my help. While waiting for a response i’ve started to rebuild everything from scratch using Slackware 10.1. After a few weeks, i still didn’t hear anything from Russel so i uploaded my stuff to a server i own and announced my 10.1 version in a newsgroup and a few slackware-related forums. (Well: I did get a response from Russel after 10.1 has been released ;-) )
SdA: What kind of user is Slackintosh for and how many are using it? And what are its perspectives and chances after Apple has switched from PPC to Intel CPUs?
AU: Slackintosh is made for experienced Linux-users and Slackware users who own PowerPC hardware.
It is still useful even after the switch to x86 CPUs: Apples PowerPC support for OSX is not infinite, but with a free Operating System (such as Slackintosh) support will be thereas long as people use the hardware.
SdA: What’s the best (i.e. most easy/supported) Apple hardware to try and use Slackintosh?
AU: Even without Apple there is still a lot of interesting PowerPC based
hardware. I’ve been using Slackware 10.2 on the Nintendo Gamecube a few months ago. A Wii port would be interesting…
SdA: How would you sum up these years as maintainer of the Slackintosh project?
AU: I’ve learned a lot about the ‘inner workings’ of a Linux/Unix system.
Building stuff like glibc, compilers and X.org is not much fun but educating :-)