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 PostPost subject: spicing up an ancient compy by trading win 98 to linux...        Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:34 pm 
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alright, i have whittled down my choices to either Knoppix or kubuntu, so far these are the only distros that have a chance of working (my compys only got 128 meg of RAM). would either of these be worth trading out windows 98? i like 98, it was a good year, but after a few mishaps, it isn't as good as it used to be...any ideas?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:36 pm 
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Both Knoppix and Kubuntu won't work well by default with the amount of RAM you have. Go for something which has a more light-weight desktop such as Xfce, i.e. Xubuntu or something like that. KDE would be quite slow on only 128MB of RAM.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:31 pm 
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A lot of people have the "old" "misconception" that linux is useful for older hardware. This was true in the days of the 2.2.* and some of the 2.4.* kernel, with respective glibc/X, but it isn't anymore.

Recently, my fathers hard drive died, so I replaced it... and decided to try a linux of some sort on it. It has 256mb of ram and a celeron 466. I first tried Ubuntu... booting took 5 minutes. Responsiveness was horrible (20 seconds for menus to pop up). I though, "meh, maybe Ubuntu is bulky... lets try Xubuntu... it is supposed to be lighter". Sure the boot time was better, but the system was just as slow. Ok... move on to fedora. Same thing. Suse, ditto. Even slackware was bad. So I pulled up an old disk of Slackware 3.3... very good performance. I decided to try other distros from the era of this hardware... Mandrake 7.1, Redhat 6.0... all of these worked well.

So something has happened to linux in the past years that isn't necessarily beneficial to older hardware.

And before the flames start, I cross compiled a whole system/kernel of Gentoo for this system, and there were hardly noticeable improvements.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:32 pm 
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don't get me wrong, i knew that i might have needed an older distro for this monster, but when i saw xubuntu and knoppix, i kinda jumped the gun a bit... thanks for all the suggestions, and i figure ive got more research to do...., if any other distros come to mind, fell free to tell me

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:42 pm 
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You could give DSL (Damn Small Linux) a try. It is very small, lightweight and uses a 2.4 kernel and thus should be snappier on that system than newer "lightweight" distros.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:59 pm 
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I would recomend doing a stage-1 Gentoo compile and remembering to select the most exact kernel settings as possible.

I doubt that you will get a palpable performance boost from Windows 98...

In all honesty I would just stick to Windows because it was made for that specific year. Furthermore, WINE will not run very well with so little ram...

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:28 am 
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RentedMule wrote:
A lot of people have the "old" "misconception" that linux is useful for older hardware. This was true in the days of the 2.2.* and some of the 2.4.* kernel, with respective glibc/X, but it isn't anymore.

That depends what you do with them. I ran Gentoo on a 200 MHz Pentium Pro with 128 MB of RAM (I compiled it on a more modern machine, of course), and it ran perfectly well - it booted in less than a minute, X was more responsive than it was on Darwin on my main machine (an Athlon 64). Modern distros (other than Gentoo) are, simply, optimized for newer computers with more memory (and, possibly, more modern instruction sets, which make them fall back to 386-only mode on older hardware).

Frozenport wrote:
I would recomend doing a stage-1 Gentoo compile and remembering to select the most exact kernel settings as possible.

If you do, use distcc and ccache. Compiling an entire system on an old comptuer is painfully slow.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:36 pm 
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Frozenport wrote:
I would recomend doing a stage-1 Gentoo compile and remembering to select the most exact kernel settings as possible.

I doubt that you will get a palpable performance boost from Windows 98...

In all honesty I would just stick to Windows because it was made for that specific year. Furthermore, WINE will not run very well with so little ram...


Stage 1 hasn't been possible for almost 2 years now.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:24 am 
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Try out DSL or Slax.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:47 am 
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Xubuntu might be good...

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:15 am 
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RentedMule wrote:
Stage 1 hasn't been possible for almost 2 years now.

Actually, it's still possible, just not supported, mainly because it's extremely complicated and you could achieve the same result using emerge -e system && emerge -e world on a stage 3 install.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:54 pm 
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ppc_digger wrote:
Actually, it's still possible, just not supported, mainly because it's extremely complicated and you could achieve the same result using emerge -e system && emerge -e world on a stage 3 install.


Id love to be proven wrong, but now, doing a stage 1 is MORE than not supported. Try it. You start hitting walls where there are libraries/binaries/config files that are missing for stage 1 to move on at numerous points. The last time I tried, this required building python on another machine, and moving the binaries over. Then there were config files missing for it that you would only discover through trial and error and a lot of googling. It simply doesnt work. No one has built anything with stage 1 in mind for a long time.

But you and I are in agreement. emerge -e world would give you the same result in the end.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:36 am 
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I've an old laptop (bought from a car boot sale) that had Windows 95 on it. I've redone it and put DOS 6.2 on it, but I'd like to put Linux on it. Which version should I go for, considering that there is no way of getting a CD into it?

I've tried Slackware 1.1.2 and SLS 1.03 so far, but I think they're a bit too early; they won't recognise the hard disk, I'm thinking it's too big.

Is there a version around, that just comes as VFD or IMA files (floppy)?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Can you connect it to your LAN somehow? If yes, you could install via network. As for the distro, it depends on the specs. I'd give Debian Etch a try first I suppose. For productivity, I'd stay away from really old distros.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Hooking it up to a LAN might be fun :? .

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:21 pm 
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marktuson wrote:
Hooking it up to a LAN might be fun :? .

Can you, or can't you? There's always the possibility of using a PCMCIA Ethernet card.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:08 pm 
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I can't hook up to a LAN. I've got a PCMCIA Ethernet card, but ONLY the card, so it's useless to me.

What I have is a Pentium laptop with 16MB of RAM and a 1.4GB hard disk. What I want is an old version of linux, that installs from floppies (no matter how many). SLS is just too old, though. Even though I'd love to have a machine running it, it's not compatible with my hardware.

I'm thinking Slackware 2 or something like that, but the images for the disks, not just the files.

I'm thinking, if I can learn with something that's a little harder then it is today, then I'll find it a lot easier to learn a newer system. Plus, I can't be bothered putting Windows 95 back onto it :P .

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:40 pm 
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If you only have 16 meg of ram i would say you should use Damn Small linux. It is one of the few distributions that can run on that small amount of ram.
here is a guide to install it all from floppy
http://damnsmalllinux.org/install_from_floppy.html

Also teriaki 511
i have had ubuntu installed and running slow on a Pentium 2 with 128 ram. You will probably have to use the alternate install cd since I doubt you will get the live cd to boot with such little ram. Knoppix or DSL work a lot better with slower pc's but if you really want ubuntu i would recommend xubuntu


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