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Master of Reality
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Post by Master of Reality » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:39 pm

So ive got an ol' thinkpad360Cs which a traded a floppy drive for (this shows the quality of it).

Its got 320M hardrive, 20M RAM, and i dunno the CPU speed (its a 486).

I'm definately thinking Gentoo is the way to go so i can install only what needs to be installed. Now, will the gentoo necessaties, Xorg, and a lightweight WM (Windowmaker or blackbox?) fit onto this fine, or should i find a smaller distro like Damn Small Linux or something? Any opinions?

Oh, and any ideas as to how to boot up into a linux? Floppy distro perhaps?

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Post by Void Main » Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:32 pm

I would think that for this type of system that Gentoo would *not* be the way to go. Unless of course Gentoo has changed or is different than what I think I know of it (entirely possible). With Gentoo the packages are compiled at install time right? That would mean you have to have a compiler and source installed. The hard drive wouldn't be large enought to even compile the kernel and with the 486 it would take a looong time to do it.

Now, most other modern distros are optimized for Pentium or higher so they will not even run on a 486. Debian might still have something for the 486. Otherwise you would have to go with an older distro to at least get you started. Of course you could always recompile what you need on a bigger system and target it for the 486. What sort of peripherals does it have? Floppy? CD? Network? If you had a supported network card you could do a network install if you don't have a CD.

EDIT: Now that you mention it I think I have one or two of those laptops in my desk drawer at work. I remember trying to get Linux booted on it at one time but don't remember the problem I had. I might have been trying to boot KNOPPIX which now that I think about it probably wouldn't run on a 486. Here's a link to someone else thinking Debian on that exact model:

http://ieee.uow.edu.au/~mjp16/misc/thinkpad.html

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Post by Master of Reality » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:01 pm

the peripherals are floppy and network... and i had forgot about the kernel compiling, other than that gentoo has a tarball with the necessities.

I think i may just try that debian solution... and succesfully have no computers with the same linux distro on them (out of 6)

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Post by Master of Reality » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:05 pm

http://www.us.debian.org/releases/stabl ... 05.html.en
You must have at least 32MB of memory and 110MB of hard disk space. For a minimal console-based system (all standard packages), 250MB is required
pffffffttt... rules
# cat http://www.us.debian.org/releases/stabl ... 05.html.en > /dev/null

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Post by Void Main » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:23 pm

That is for Debian 3.1. The article was referring to Debian 2.0 and 2.1. 20 MEG should actually be enough though, especially if you run a 2.4.x kernel. I run Linux on my Linksys routers and two of them have less than 16MB of usable RAM. I don't think you'll want to run Xorg on it though. :) Maybe there is some sort of tiny X server out there.

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Post by Master of Reality » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:33 pm

I tried the Latest debian 3.1 (sarge) floppy boot disk and root disk, but the root disk would always fail.

So i went with 3.0 (woody) and booted of the floppy and then installed over the internet. Debian is now installed taking up only 129M. I put in a 20M swap and i might put in a flash RAM pc card to add another 16M!
The base-config tool is installing security updates right now :)

Apparently the bogomips for the cpu are at a whopping 16.53!!!!! At least its more than the floppy drive i traded for it :p

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Post by Void Main » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:41 pm

Holy crap. My Linksys router has that smoked at 82.94 bogomips! :)

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