AOSC for old and new Power

Another choice in OpenPOWER distros, but with another choice for old-school 32-bit PowerPC, too. AOSC/OS (short for "Anthon Open Source Community") is an Debian (formerly OpenSUSE) derivative claiming to have a wide variety of packages and good port parity at the cost of larger space and a generally manual installation process. The desktop experience is KDE, though a server version is also available. Support for POWER8 and up is listed as "experimental" but is available for download, and most packages appear available to ppc64le.

However, another notable feature of AOSC/OS is its planned "retro" spin, including specific support for Power Macintosh, from the G3 through the G5 (the G5 using a 64-bit build). Unfortunately there isn't support yet for other PowerPC or bigendian systems, and the process is even clunkier since it requires another Linux installation as a trampoline, though the trampoline can be an old version. The retro spin also supports Loongson MIPS, Intel i486 and ARM going back to ARMv4; on desktop you have your choice of Trinity, a "spiritual successor" of KDE, or a "retro" X11 experience with IceWM. Currently these downloads are in the Alternative Downloads area.


  1. wouldn't Trinity be considered a spiritual predecessor, rather than a spiritual successor? Also KDE3 / Trinity predate Plasma, as that was introduced with KDE4, but I'll stop my grumbling :D

  2. AOSC uses apt-get so I’m unsure how it is a derivative of OpenSUSE

  3. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed could already be installed on a 64bit PowerPC big-endian machine. The only problem is the bootloader.

  4. According to their About page, AOSC OS started out as an OpenSUSE derivative, then rebuilt atop Debian before striking out on its own in 2014. It still uses apt and dpkg, but (from my investigation) the rest of their build stack is completely homegrown, with the package tree following its own format.

    I am moderately interested in their update model, and the way they prefer monolithic packages to reduce admin overhead. It's also wild to me that anyone is building a distro to run on god damn HP Handheld PCs, jeez. I'm definitely gonna keep an eye on this one.

  5. I will say that I tried out Trinity yesterday and it made me so giddy I've fully converted from the MATE life, but I feel like having Trinity instead of, say, the KDE 1/2 modernizations or [Ns]CDE kinda seems like a waste. Though in fairness, I haven't gotten either KDE bringup to compile, just CDE.

  6. Greetings all, AOSC OS/Retro maintainer here. Thank you for your interest!

    I just wanted to quickly note that our PowerPC port is very much a test in progress at the moment, but this summer, I intend to make it feature complete and usable - and hopefully putting it in maintenance mode by the end of it.

    I'm open to the idea of supporting other PowerPC platforms, and technically they could be (especially for ppc64be as it currently stands, less so for ppc32be, as the latter has G3 as its -march= target). I just needed testing platforms (if you could help with install/user tests, thank you in advance).

    That said, if anyone has a spare iMac G5/PowerMac G5, that would be really helpful for testing - I no longer own my PowerMac G5 Quad after I moved, since it's simply too heavy.

  7. I should also clarify, however, that even though we were at some point (up till 2013) openSUSE and Debian derivatives, our current association with Debian ends with the usage of apt/dpkg as our package management suite. We are currently an independently maintained distro - with our package tree at


Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation. Be nice.