PowerMac G5

Welcome to G5 Center!

The Power Mac G5 was one of the last PowerPC machines Apple produced and sold. It remains a capable computer today. This website is dedicated to the venerable machine, providing users with information on available hardware and software choices for their G5.

Enjoy! -- Nathan

Welcome & Where to Start

Did you just pick up a Power Mac G5 via eBay, CraigsList, or locally? Are you interested in souping up that old G5 sitting in your garage? Do you need to squeeze more life out of your office or home G5?

The apps linked under our nifty categories above are sort of curated by me and, in some cases, from other great blogs. These apps do not represent an objective "best of" but should be taken as a starting point to find what works best for you.

If you need a place to begin, check out the Hardware page and then proceed to the System page to get your machine up and running quickly.


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About My Power Mac G5

Power Mac G5 About Screen

My Power Mac G5 has been modified from its stock state with a 120GB OWC Mercury 3G solid state drive, a 1.5 TB Western Digital drive, 10 GB of RAM, and a GeForce 7800GT video card.


About This Website

This website was built on my Power Mac G5, using the following software:

  • Espresso 1.1.2
  • CSS Edit 2.6.1
  • Pixelmator 1.5.1
  • Snapz Pro 2.3.3

The CSS code and layout are from Bootstrap (3.3.7), an elegant and responsive framework for creating awesome websites. Find out more at the Get Bootstrap website.

Bootstrap is released under the MIT license and is copyright 2014 Twitter.

Contact

Drop me an email here - nathan @ g5center.net.


G5 Center Blog Notes, updates, and thoughts about our G5s

XAMPP for PowerPC

Published on February 01, 2019


If you are at all interested in hosting a simple (or complex) website or doing some experimentation from your older Mac, I do recommend grabbing the incredibly useful XAMPP to make the process a little easier.

XAMPP is kind of a self-contained install of the Apache httpd server with PHP and CGI turned on, a MYSQL server, an FTP server, and some other tools and documentation. It's cool, because it comes with a little tiny app that lets you turn off the services as you see fit. You can run it when you want to try out different configurations or different websites.

For Leopard, the basic Apache httpd server isn't that older than the last available XAMPP package for G5 machines. My base Leopard httpd server is 2.2.7 while the one included in the XAMPP package is 2.2.14. Still, that includes some bug fixes as well as newer versions of PHP and MySQL. If you are going to run old software, might as well run the last version of it you can find.

Note: I do believe, using MacPorts or TigerBrew or something, you can get a more recent compiled version of httpd (2.4 series) - maybe even doing it on your own. You are likely better in that scenario of turning to Linux if you really care about security and want things fully patched (and maintained).

For now though, having access to an older version of XAMPP is still kind of fun to mess around with. Grab it here.

Another note: It is generally not recommended to copy over the httpd server in Leopard with a newer one. Now, it should technically work - we are talking about bug and security fixes from 2.2.7 to 2.2.14, for instance. However, it is probably best to be safe, keep backups, and just use an alternative like XAMPP which messes with system internals as little as possible.

-- Nathan

Happy New Year - Broken Links

Published on January 31, 2019


Happy New Year, fellow G5 fans!

Sadly, as I look over this site, I admit that many links are now non-functional. The information here is generally still fine, but you will have to search around for working links to the apps I recommend. Some developers have likely removed older apps, even though it is handy for users of old PowerPC machines. There are some app alternative websites too, including at websites like PowerPC Software Archive. Open source apps are just a great resource in times like these, as they tend to have ready archives available for users trying to maintain ancient machines.

So, hang tight. I'll be fixing links, removing some outdated software, and seeing what the future is for this website.

-- Nathan

The G5's Hidden Fan

Published on September 03, 2018


Dan Knight has taken Low End Mac to Facebook with some groups there that both over-populate my feed with random old school Mac stuff but also bring great joy to readers and enthusiasts like myself. Definitely subscribe if you are interested.

A nugget that crossed my feed this week was this excellent article on how to access the hidden fan on your PowerMac G5. Granted, it's not actually hidden per se, but if you clean your G5, you may miss this one. It's a clever little engineering nugget and a good idea to at least take a look if you are having cooling issues.

Read more: http://thehouseofmoth.com/a-little-known-fact-about-the-power-mac-g5-and-what-to-do-with-this-information/

-- Nathan

Quadra 610 Update: Death Chimes

Published on May 31, 2018


This is a short sad post. After the work on the Quadra 610, getting the SCSI2SD card working, and doing a little cleanup, I made a mistake. I left the 610 running by accident over night, sitting at the "It Is Now Safe to Turn Off Your Mac" screen. In the morning, when I went to reboot it, death chimes.

I put the Quadra away for now, but it's not looking good. I'll see if some time off revives it, but I am a sad Mac restorer. It's probably motherboard related since I have taken everything off of the motherboard just to see. I'll loop you in if the status changes.

-- Nathan

The Quadra 610 Lives

Published on May 15, 2018


Good news - the Quadra 610 lives. And boots. There are still some issues to work through, which I will get to eventually, but my blood, sweat, and broken pieces of plastic might be worth it.

Here are a few of my learnings:

  • The case plastic is brittle.
  • I thought I had both a dead cdrom and floppy drive, but after some stubborn attempts, I got the machine to boot off of a Disk Tools floppy. Turns out I needed a working floppy disk that wasn't older than my kids.
  • Apparently, the cdrom drive is dead.
  • After a successful boot, I was happy to see the Quadra has 40MB of RAM.
  • I invested in a SCSI2SD (version 5b) during a sale on eBay. While it was a little tricky to get setup, don't overthink it. Make sure you set the SCSI ID correct, a maximum of 2GB partitions, and don't try to DD an image onto a partition unless you know exactly what you are doing. The Quadra was not booting at all for a while when I plugged in the SCSI interface in, because I had tried to put a Mac OS 7.6.1 cdrom on the first partition in a clumsy, ill-advised manner.
  • Your Power Mac G5 is a friend. After formatting the first partition using a handy Disk Tools floppy, the partition mounts on my G5. I was able to copy over the install files for System 7.6.1 at that point. And then I was able to install from that partition on to another partition. It was a juggling trick but it worked.
  • The think boots pretty quickly off of the SCSI2SD interface. I updated a few pieces via the System7Today guides. Netscape Navigator 3.0.8 runs quickly. Turn off java and javascript.
  • Future updates: Cleaning memory slots, figuring out if I can revive the CDROM drive, and installing A/UX on to another partition.

Progress is good.

-- Nathan