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creaker
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Outdated hardware - need advice Reply with quote

Hello!
Recently I assembled desktop from old rubbish (Athlon 64 3200, 1.2Gb DDR400 RAM, 80Gb 5400rpm Hard Drive, NVidia GeForce 8500GTX).
And installed in dual boot Debian Wheezy and Arch. Wheezy is evidently slow on this hardware, Arch is noticeable faster.
So I want to ask about Gentoo installation. Is it a good idea to install Gentoo on this outdated hardware?
Would be 1.2 Gb RAM enough to install Gentoo? Not sure...
As far as I remember my current Gentoo (at Core i3-2120 with 4Gb DDR3 RAM) took about 5 or 6 hours for installation process.
May be Arch is a better choice for this hardware?
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perspective: until recently I had a laptop with 60 mb of ram. I installed Gentoo on that. If you are measuring your ram in Gib, your good. The "can" is not a problem. Gentoo can do anything (except install itself). The problem is if it fits your needs.

The second point, the answer really is that it depends. If you are just messing around for fun the yes. If you want the computer to do something, maybe not. You can't build Libreoffice or Firefox on that box, although you can use the *-bin packages. KDE or gnome will take days to compile (this is NOT an exaggeration) and they also will not run properly. If you are planing to use fluxbox or openbox, then you should be ok. Updates will take a long time to compile, so you might need to leave it on overnight once a week to update.
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to try antiX. It is Debian based but it's designed for older hardware. It is very fast and lightweight. You probably have enough room to do a frugal install with the "toram" option in which case it loads the entire compressed filesystem into RAM. I'd suggest using their "base" version unless you don't want X in which case "core" would be the way to go. It should be very fast even with a normal install. It can be installed on systems with as little as 64MB of RAM although 128MB or more is recommended.

It has traditionally been only 32-bit but a 64-bit version is now in beta.
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yoshi314
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Outdated hardware - need advice Reply with quote

creaker wrote:
Hello!
Recently I assembled desktop from old rubbish (Athlon 64 3200, 1.2Gb DDR400 RAM, 80Gb 5400rpm Hard Drive, NVidia GeForce 8500GTX).
And installed in dual boot Debian Wheezy and Arch. Wheezy is evidently slow on this hardware, Arch is noticeable faster.
So I want to ask about Gentoo installation. Is it a good idea to install Gentoo on this outdated hardware?
Would be 1.2 Gb RAM enough to install Gentoo? Not sure...
As far as I remember my current Gentoo (at Core i3-2120 with 4Gb DDR3 RAM) took about 5 or 6 hours for installation process.
May be Arch is a better choice for this hardware?


'outdated', he said -_-'

i still use that configuration (had to replace mainboard and hdd due to failing hardware). after a couple of years i upgraded 3200 cpu for x2 3800. gentoo runs acceptably on both of those cpus, although it might have some trouble building more complex code ( especially boost, gcc, ppl, webkit, chromium, qt-webkit )

Quote:
Would be 1.2 Gb RAM enough to install Gentoo? Not sure...
in cases of aforementioned packages - yes, but you will have to stick to MAKEOPTS="-j1", as in some cases single build thread can go over 800-900mb of ram.
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wcg
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was running Gentoo on a pIII, i815 chipset, 256 mb of ram until my
10-year old scsi ultrastars decided to seek new life as part of
a boat anchor. Since no one is making new scsi drives anymore,
and I had little interest in getting into bidding wars on ebay for
people's unused spares, I decommissioned it.

Anyway, it ran fine, using a server profile, all compiled 32-bit.
I mostly used it as a local webserver, without X running,
but the i810 device driver worked with dri and kms, the xf86-video-*
driver for the embedded gpu worked, and I did have X installed
and working in case my usual workstation was not working
for some reason (like when the Bestec 250W power supply failed
and took the mb with it). I had xfce4 installed for a window manager.

You do need a lot of swap and a roomy partition for /var/tmp/portage.
I mounted /var/tmp/portage on about a 10Gb partition and swap on
a few different swap partitions that added up to around 2.5 gb.
The only thing that used that much swap was linking Firefox
(libxulrunner, to be specific; ld loads all of these libraries that it links
to into memory when linking it). I never installed libre office
or qt on it, so I did not run into problems emerging those packages
(although I could see how one could need comparable amounts
of swap to emerge those).

Emerging big packages take a long time, because swap is not really
ram, it has enormous latency. But if you can find something else to
do for however long it takes, the system will run when it is done.
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sitquietly
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Outdated hardware - need advice Reply with quote

creaker wrote:
Hello!
Recently I assembled desktop from old rubbish (Athlon 64 3200, 1.2Gb DDR400 RAM, 80Gb 5400rpm Hard Drive, NVidia GeForce 8500GTX)...... Is it a good idea to install Gentoo on this outdated hardware?.....
May be Arch is a better choice for this hardware?


I would install Calculate Linux on such a box. I run Calculate alongside Gentoo(Funtoo) on a Sandy Bridge i5 system, with copious memory, and also on an Intel Atom system, with limited memory, and am very pleased with it. I would say it combines the best of Arch Linux (fast to install and update using binary packages) with the good of Gentoo (100% ability to install from source code when needed, to reduce bloat via USE flags, to downgrade from any problematic packages). (I have a lot of experience working on the internals of Arch, building a stablized Arch derivative, and can not recommend it as a safe choice :cry: )
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creaker,

I was considering installing gentoo on an old Dell Dimension 4100 that croaked with XP. It's a PIII processor with 512M ram and two 80gig IDE drives. I ended up installing Arch Linux and it actually performs quite well.

The reason I installed Arch was it would take a very long time to install gentoo and subsequent updates would also take a God-awful long time too.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do :wink:
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Good luck :wink:

Since installing gentoo, my life has become one long emerge :)
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creaker
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, thank you all for replies!

The main concern is a compilation time, not size of RAM/swap as such. Because of I am a kde user and I don't like lightweight DE such as gnome, xfce and so on, I decided to leave this desktop for Arch Linux. Also multi-partition installation with different /var, /boot and so on is to complex for me.

I've just repaired Gygabyte GA-P55-UD3L mobo from the remnants of rubbish and assembled another one desktop with Core i5-650 and 4Gb RAM.
It should be more suitable for Gentoo, so I'm going to install it.

Thanks you all again!
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