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Old 02-10-2007, 01:50 AM   #1
pteri498
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Question Distro for VERY old computer


I'm trying to breathe new life into an old 1992 Packard Bell system.
75mhz, 16MB ram, 1MB video memory. Rocked out Windows 3.11, did great on Windows 95, and it's sputtering BADLY with Windows 98.

No USB, no network connectivity, and the BIOS doesn't support booting off the cd drive. (If anyone knows a way to get the cd booted through the floppy drive, that'd be awesome)

Anyway, does anyone know of a good linux distro for this setup?

Thanks.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 03:14 AM   #2
WZX
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You can try Puppy or Damn Small Linux.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 09:43 AM   #3
KeithE
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Distro for VERY old computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by WZX
You can try Puppy or Damn Small Linux.
I've used DSL and Slackware on a machine only slightly more powerful than that (100 MHz AMD-K5 w/32 Mb RAM). Bare-bones Debian might work as well. I haven't tried Puppy Linux so I can't vouch for it.

Get more RAM if you can (mine maxes out at 32 Mb, so I'm SOL). Use lots of swap; you'll need it. I use 256 Mb of HD space for mine and it works fine.

If you want to run X, I suggest Fluxbox, IceWM, or FVWM as the window manager - nothing more bloated than that. You'll still have plenty of power and flexibility. Forget KDE, Gnome, and even XFCE with that small amount of memory.

For a web browser, use Dillo (IIRC, DSL comes with it standard) since Firefox will be way too slow. Opera is another possibility, although I haven't tried it on that machine. NEdit is a good lightweight (but with a butt-ugly Motif-based GUI) editor that has syntax-highlighting. Most multimedia apps are too bloated for a machine this small, XMMS being an exception. XFE and ememfm2 are good file managers that should work. Sylpheed should be OK as an email client.

Good luck making it work. I had some success with my antique, but don't expect a lot from something that old.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
pteri498
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Hmm nice. Thanks.

I've got the CD's for Slackware and DSL, but the machine won't boot off of the CD drive. My only options are the HD and the floppy drive. Do I have any good options here?
 
Old 02-10-2007, 07:42 PM   #5
KeithE
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Distros bootable from floppies

Quote:
Originally Posted by pteri498
Hmm nice. Thanks.

I've got the CD's for Slackware and DSL, but the machine won't boot off of the CD drive. My only options are the HD and the floppy drive. Do I have any good options here?
Probably Debian or Slackware. I'm not sure any of the others provide boot and root floppy images anymore since floppy disks are pretty much dead now.

Your machine must be really old. My K5 boots from a CD-ROM and it was made in 1997.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 11:44 PM   #6
jacook
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check out this link for floppy based Linux distros

http://www.linuxlinks.com/Distributions/Floppy/

hope this Helps,

Jake
 
Old 02-11-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
KeithE
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Floppy-based distros

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacook
check out this link for floppy based Linux distros

http://www.linuxlinks.com/Distributions/Floppy/

hope this Helps,

Jake
Those are standalone special-purpose distros, mostly for rescue-disk purposes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they'll allow a mainstream CD-based distro (or even themselves) to be installed on a hard drive.
 
  


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