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sl70
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:03 pm    Post subject: Laptop Distribution options (for OLD laptops)? Reply with quote

For newer laptops, see Laptop Distribution options (NOT for old laptops)? --pjp

I wish I could install Gentoo, but I'm afraid it would be an exercise in frustration. It's a 75MHz 486 with 16 MB RAM and a 360 MB HD. It's got RedHat 6.2 on it now with the 2.2.14 kernel. It can't be upgraded to a later RedHat, but I need something newer -- I want a modern kernel and I want support for my SMC PCMCIA WiFi card but I don't necessarily need X. Has anyone had any experience with any of the ``tiny'' Linux distros? Can you recommend one?

TIA.

EDIT: Title was "What distribution should I install on my laptop?" --pjp
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cchapman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at Damn Small Linux
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pYrania
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uhm. wait. i know there is a distribution that is really tiny and should fit perfectly on this thing.
let me recover the name of it.. aehm
i think it was .. gentoo?

seriously, you can distribute the compiling process with distcc, so this wouldn't be much of a matter.
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paranode
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you could stick Debian on there. Or perhaps even Red Hat 9 if you can opt out of X and other stuff.
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sl70
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried installing one of the RedHat 7 series, but it wouldn't even start the install even in text mode with less than 32 MB RAM.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn Small Linux is the only way.... it installs in less than 70 mb
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sl70
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at damn small linux, but it seems to require a CD drive. My old laptop doesn't have one. I would have to boot from a floppy and then download the iso image. Can't figure out how to do that with DSL.
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Minos
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second the recommendation for Debian. I used it on a desktop machine with similar specs which acted as a print server for some time. If you're having trouble finding a boot floppy that does PPPoE (I assume you need that for your DSL), do you have another machine that could do NAT during the install?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about *BSD?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would 3rd a netinstall of Debian

Perhaps even Slack? (you have to be careful which version, it seems since 7.1 things have gotten more bloated and slightly less stable per each release)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little confused as to why Gentoo isn't your top choice. It's not that hard to use distcc and you could theoretically use the gcc flag to make things small (-Os) so that they don't take up much space. Of course, I'm a little biased.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well even after the install, for upgrades and such he would always have to distribute the job. It seems like too much of a pain if he just wants to get it up and running...idk that's just me.

Don't get me wrong though, Gentoo is still the best thing since sliced bread ;)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the final stage of installing Gentoo on a bit superior desktop, pentium 100/48mb RAM/1.2gb drive... If you can build Gentoo chroot'ed in a superior machine, it goes easy. You can then start trimming down stuff you don't need - /usr/portage, /usr/src... I'm a little dizzy now starring at scp transferring files over to that machine, but I got it down to 300mb without much effort. If you start cutting it down, like stripping it off gcc, I guess it could even get close to Damn Small... isn't it???
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sl70
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice. The ideal situation would be to be able to install damn small linux on the hard drive (but I can't figure out how to do that -- I'm still looking into it). If that fails, I guess I'll try debian.

I appreciate the feelings of the supporters of Gentoo (hey, I run it on 4 of my machines), but it would be too painful on my little laptop.
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JensZ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

or you can try to build against UClibc, but i think this will be a lot of work
cause you will have to patch the bootstrap code, I think :D
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buy an adapter to put a laptop hdd in a desktop. Put hdd form lappy in desktop. Install gentoo. put hdd back in laptop. Enjoy.
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masseya
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsfgf wrote:
buy an adapter to put a laptop hdd in a desktop. Put hdd form lappy in desktop. Install gentoo. put hdd back in laptop. Enjoy.
I have a feeling there would be some hardware issues that you would have to work out if you were to do this. It wouldn't be quite as simple as you're implying. Also, those adapters are somewhat expensive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

masseya wrote:
gsfgf wrote:
buy an adapter to put a laptop hdd in a desktop. Put hdd form lappy in desktop. Install gentoo. put hdd back in laptop. Enjoy.
I have a feeling there would be some hardware issues that you would have to work out if you were to do this. It wouldn't be quite as simple as you're implying. Also, those adapters are somewhat expensive.


Expensive 8O ? What are you talking about!? I'v got mine for about 10$.
Looks like this.
[img:c3d4255794]http://store6.yimg.com/I/nomadjukebox_1746_400661[/img:c3d4255794]
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masseya
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

antik wrote:
Expensive 8O ? What are you talking about!? I'v got mine for about 10$.
Looks like this.
LOL!! :D
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I recommend against using gentoo. It's a great desktop distro, but with machines this small it's not a good choice. Portage alone takes over 100mb of harddrive space, and once you take that out you've pretty much removed all of gentoo's benefits.
I recommend going with Slackware, although I've heard the latest versions have been going down hill, but even if that's true it's still a damn good distro, especially for fitting on small machines.
Or you could try something like LFS (linux from scratch) or some other method of building your system from the ground up yourself. At the moment I'm using busybox/tinylogin and hopefully find something like tinyx or similar to fit as much of a linux system as I can only my ancient laptop (40mb hard drive ;) hehe)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working with a slightly worse piece of equipment; 486 dx66 with 8MB ram and 520(or so)MB HD. I have installed Vector linux (another good choice for old boxes) but have run into the problem of kernel compilation.

I have that laptop ide adapter mentioned above, and did the install on my Athlon desktop. The problem is that at boot time on the laptop, the kernel complains that it is compiled for pentium+ and will not boot. :(

Can't use tomsrbt (not enough memory)...is there an argument that can be passed to make to avoid compiling for pentium+?
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drakonite
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

undrwater wrote:
I'm working with a slightly worse piece of equipment; 486 dx66 with 8MB ram and 520(or so)MB HD. I have installed Vector linux (another good choice for old boxes) but have run into the problem of kernel compilation.

I have that laptop ide adapter mentioned above, and did the install on my Athlon desktop. The problem is that at boot time on the laptop, the kernel complains that it is compiled for pentium+ and will not boot. :(

Can't use tomsrbt (not enough memory)...is there an argument that can be passed to make to avoid compiling for pentium+?


If you are talking about not compiling for pentium+ on the kernel, then all you have to do is go to the "Processor type and features --->" sub menu of make menuconfig and set "Processor family" to 486.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had done this, but still got the complaint...the answer (which i found in another forum) was to compile for 386. I don't understand why, but at least now i have linux working on this laptop!! :D

The next step is to remember what hardware the damn thing uses. :roll:
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:59 am    Post subject: Recommended Linux version for Laptop with 16mb ram 500MB HD? Reply with quote

Hi,

I have an old laptop that has the following specs:

-486DX4/75 processor
- 16MB
- 500MB HD
- 9.5" SVGA TFT Active Matrix Display
- 16-bit Sound

It has no cdrom drive however I have a docking station for it that has a network card attached so I can link it to another PC with a CDROM drive in.

I want to be able to run Linux on it mainly in command line mode for programming in perl etc however if possible install a Window manager like Fluxbox for viewing PDF files etc. What version of Linux would you recommend? I would like to use Gentoo however I do not think I have enough HD space or enough processor power to compile everything from source.

Look forward to your views

Cheerz

Rig

EDIT: Merged thread. --pjp
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, yes, I agree that Gentoo is going to be difficult on that box. Note: I'm not saying it is impossible, but personally I's try a different distro, maybe Slackware.
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