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delta407
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:08 am    Post subject: Worst hardware? Reply with quote

I was wondering: what's the lowest configuration of hardware anyone has been successful in loading Gentoo on? I have an old laptop -- a P133 with a whopping 24 MB of RAM -- that I will shortly be attempting to install Gentoo.

No, I'm not crazy; I'm not going to bootstrap on 24 MB of RAM. (Heck, it won't even boot up the kernel; initrd is 22 MB uncompressed.) Instead, I'm running VMware to build a 586 system which I will tar/bzip and uncompress onto the laptop from some boot floppy. (No, it won't boot CDs, either <G>.)

Hints, suggestions, or war stories are welcome :)
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filter69
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 6:18 am    Post subject: Whewwww Reply with quote

all i have to say is good plan but GOOD luck
i wish i had some words of wisdom but the best i ever did was put slack ware in a 386/20/4 and ran seti on it :) really screwed my buddys stats up hehe
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rukhoven
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have gentoo running on a p133 with 24 mb ram, but I compiled it on a duron@900. Otherwise it would have taken many days to compile it. I built packages too, in case I need to install again some time, but with the rate of updates in gentoo, I can soon delete those packages again...;). Anyway, it runs fine on that system, but I do not run xfree on it, beause memory is just too limited for that. The only ting that is too slow on that system is the squirrelmail webmail application, that probably needs more ram.
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pr0vidence
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How would one go about compiling it on one machine, and then running it on another?
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delta407
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I own VMware Workstation, so I made a computer with a virtual hard disk partitioned with boot, swap, root, and another "work" partition. I then ran through the setup process, choosing all the proper settings to work on my target computer. Once everything is complete, I'm going to tar/bzip the entire root FS onto the fourth partition, FTP it across the "virtual network" to my host computer, and I can then effectively destroy the virtual computer. (I'm going to keep it around, though...)

Anyway, then I'll load up the Linux kernel off a boot floppy or something on the target computer, reformat it, suck down and unpack my root FS image. All done! :)
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delta407
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I couldn't get PCMCIA support in any small boot media, so I ended up loop-mounting the Gentoo setup initrd and copying it to my /boot partition :)

I booted up off of that and am currently 170/196 MB done copying over my LAN. On the plus side, under VMware at least, Gentoo idles at 9/24 MB RAM used, whereas RedHat 7.2 was at 23. Plus, again under VMware, X came up, using a total of 21 MB of RAM. I guess I'm being dangerous :)

Okay, done copying, unpacking... this will be a while. I'll let all y'all know what happens.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huzzah! Gentoo is running on my old laptop (Dell Latitude LM) using 9052 KB of RAM. Good stuff :)

This is really cool. Now all I have to do is to get it to recognize my PCMCIA devices (a 3c589 and a 3c562/3c563 combo NIC/modem) and I'll be good :)
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rukhoven
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pr0vidence wrote:
How would one go about compiling it on one machine, and then running it on another?


-Put the HD of the slow computer in the fast one and
-untar the "stage1" install :follow the guide (partitioning,everything)
-set up /etc/make.conf to use the settings that apply to the slow/old computer. (cflags etc)
-build the system
-build an appropriate kernel for the slow/old system.
-emerge packages you need for the oldie.
-put the hd back in the old system.

You have now worked on the fast system and treated it as if it was the old one. Everything is set up to match the old system. I put in the HD and it booted ad worked straight awaiy. (the HD had to be on the same place in ide rnaking of course but in both systems it was the primary master.)
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lain iwakura
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delta407 wrote:
Huzzah! Gentoo is running on my old laptop (Dell Latitude LM) using 9052 KB of RAM. Good stuff :)
<snip>


are you serious? 8O

is that like 9 megs after the kernel has loaded? i'm guessing you have like 12 or 16 megs on there, right?

at any rate, 8O
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klieber
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linux itself is designed to run on a wide variety of hardware, including older or less-powerful hardware. So, it's not surprising that Gentoo can run on the same kind of hardware -- the only tricky part is the install process, which can be somewhat memory and disk hungry. Working around that, like Delta407 did, affords you a lot of flexibility on the hardware that you can use with Gentoo.

Delta407 -- think you could write something a bit more formal up for our Documentation forum?

--kurt
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lain iwakura
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i know. :P

just thought it might be a typo. (plus , i should be in bed [things seem
smaller than they appear]) 8O

maybe i'm just suprised he actually took the time to do that. of coarse, i'm "mr. dial up!" :P

(damn you guys with fast connections! have i tried open office yet? yeah right!)
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arkane
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lain iwakura wrote:
yeah, i know. :P

just thought it might be a typo. (plus , i should be in bed [things seem
smaller than they appear]) 8O

maybe i'm just suprised he actually took the time to do that. of coarse, i'm "mr. dial up!" :P

(damn you guys with fast connections! have i tried open office yet? yeah right!)


Should slip to the local library or Internet Cafe and put it to disk ;)

At our local internet cafe/coffee shop/Book Store (nice combo eh?) you can bring in blank CDs and download til your hearts content. (On a KDE desktop at that running Redhat, woohoo)
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xbradx
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rukhoven wrote:
I do not run xfree on it, beause memory is just too limited for that.


i've got a p133 with 16MB of RAM that is sitting right next to me. it's running X, icewm, and XMMS playing MP3s with the "Simple SPectrum Analyzer" plugin running and it does it perfectly. a p133 with 24mb of RAM would be fine to use with X as long as you run icewm, fluxbox, or something like that.
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Sivar
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Whewwww Reply with quote

filter69 wrote:
all i have to say is good plan but GOOD luck
i wish i had some words of wisdom but the best i ever did was put slack ware in a 386/20/4 and ran seti on it :) really screwed my buddys stats up hehe

OT:
Whoa, you mean it actually completed a unit?
I rememer a friend's 486/66 taking about 5 hours to compile a Linux kernel. My system takes about 4 minutes. If the same ratios apply for completing a SETI unit, my system takes about 5-7 hours to do so. A 486/66 would be damn slow but I cannot even imagine a 386/20. Ouch.
I believe that is the absolute slowest x86 that you can run Linux on (Or did they make a 386/16? I can't recall)
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mglauche
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:33 am    Post subject: 386 SX Reply with quote

yes :P

I did once run linux on a 386 sx with 4 mb ram, it did swap like hell, but it did work :) (console login did take 3-4 seconds :P)

(SX = 386 without FPU, means FPU emulation in kernel .. ;)

only problem was compliling a kernel, i think it did take a whole day or so.
(and it was kernel 1.2.x, so quite a bit smaller than today's 2.4 ;)

but it won't be easy with today's kernel, the kernel itself got too big for such a small system :P
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metalhedd
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my approach to a similar situation is to use a laptop HD/IDE Adapter (lets me plug my laptop HDD into my Desktop System) then I'm going to boot the gentoo CD From that compile everything for 586 (p133/144MB RAM) and just pop the HD Back into the laptop. hopefully all will go well.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's the easy approach. If you have a means to get the laptop hard drive into a bigger computer, then by all means, use it -- you won't have nearly as much hassles.

Though VMware + tar was a good route for me...
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metalhedd
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2002 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the little HDD Adapter was about $10. definitely worth it. (admittedly difficult to find though, I had to try 5 computer stores in town)
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arkane
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

metalhedd wrote:
the little HDD Adapter was about $10. definitely worth it. (admittedly difficult to find though, I had to try 5 computer stores in town)


Fry's computer store carries them.. I was there the other day and I saw them..
at least the one here in Phoenix on Thunderbird Road by I-17 does... I can't speak for the rest.
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billatq
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2002 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe, I've done a similar thing with FreeBSD, because I had an old PI box that needed it. Unfortunately, it required recompiling the kernel to get some of the things that I wanted and if any of you have compiled a FreeBSD kernel before..it takes a nice loooong time. I might just do the same with gentoo soon, but I am slightly hesitant to do so because of the lack of binary packages through portage, whereas FreeBSD has packages for such a situation. I guess I shall see :).
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Bart B
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 12:59 pm    Post subject: on a P-100! Reply with quote

I've got GenToo Linux running on a P-100 with 40MB Ram
tot. 50GB Harddisk capacity

got the 2.4.19 kernel
Apache 1.3.26 (mod_ssl mod_php4 and a whole lot more)
Postfix (Mysql authentication :) )
Courier IMAP (allso MySQL)
SAMBA (roaming profiles working :) )

furthermore it is our firewall, router (masquerading)
As you can see... it's an old computer, but it peforms very nice. I can't live without it ;)

I used a DUAL PIII@787 for the compiling and installing of the major packages (with ADSL it is a bit difficult to connect to the internet with te bootCD)

When I have another faster computer left over somewhere, This Same P-100 will be equipped with a RAID or ATA-100 card, so I can use it as a deticated fileserver :)
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metalhedd
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to start writing a script for people with weak laptops and nice desktop systems. i want to be able to run my script instead of emerge on the laptop so that it builds the packages and all dependencies on the desktop and sends them over the network to the laptop, I've got a little bit of work done on it... so far it looks like it might be a pain in the butt for anything with more than a couple of dependencies, because ssh will just keep asking for a password every timey ou want to send something... another problem is how the laptop can find out when the desktop machine has finished building and is ready to transfer it, so that the laptop knows when to merge it... if anyone wants to help out i'd be grateful, i'm getting my laptop in a few days and I wanna have that script ready :)
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rac
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

metalhedd wrote:
so far it looks like it might be a pain in the butt for anything with more than a couple of dependencies, because ssh will just keep asking for a password every timey ou want to send something

Quick-and-dirty "how to make ssh shut up about passwords": run "ssh-keygen" on the client, save to ~/id_dsa. Add the contents of ~/id_dsa.pub to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the server. Now you can log in without typing a password and you can even turn off PasswordAuthentication in sshd_config once you have this working, if you so desire.
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phong
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got gentoo running on a P133 with 64 megs of ram. Not TOO hard, but it did take some time considering it was the machine doing all the compilation (from stage 1). Only about 2 days for the base system. (-:
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 5:47 pm    Post subject: It's not gentoo, but... Reply with quote

Granted, it's a debian box (woohoo! They released woody!) but I've got a p-100 with 32 megs of ram running apache, posftix, samba, mysql, phpBB, nfs, proftpd, squid, and webmin. It idles at 700k of free ram, and works beautifully.

Best uptime was 84 days - then there was a power outage. :-(

The server I am happily building myself will be running gentoo, but it will be quite a bit more powerful. (It clearly does not need to be)

~Mac~
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