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Old 08-04-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
david68
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Question Find Low RAM Requirement Linux Distribution For No Bios, Drivers Download Mainboard


I have some motherboards, I need to test one and install Linux.
I have some RAM:
32 MB, 8 pieces;
64 MB, 5 pieces;
128 MB, 3 pieces.
I need to test all, I don't which can work.
Two spare video cards
I need to test all, I don't which can work. And I need to download drivers, but I don't know if there have drivers for Linux.
10 PIII 500 CPU
10 hard disks, 2G - 10G
I have read Slackware
http://www.slackware.com/install/sysreq.php
Please help me to choose Linux version.
I only can download Linux versions from Cyber Cafe, and ask the Cyber Cafe burn it on CD.
I also can buy Linux Distributions in local shop, but their requirements are too high, request 128 MB RAM, recommend 256 MB, I don't want to buy a 256 MB RAM.
I use old motherboards, which Linux can install on these old motherboards; most of these old motherboards can not find bios update and drivers?
 
Old 08-04-2008, 01:25 PM   #2
salasi
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Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 3,919

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Quote:
I have some RAM:
32 MB, 8 pieces;
64 MB, 5 pieces;
128 MB, 3 pieces.
Some distros usually come with (depends on how you get them) Memtest packaged as a boot option, and that could be useful for you.

Quote:
I only can download Linux versions from Cyber Cafe, and ask the Cyber Cafe burn it on CD.
If you just leave them to do it, they'll probably do it wrong (put the information on the CD, but not in a bootable form). The common Windows CD burner programs can do this, but you have to chose a special 'burn iso' option to get it right. And you may have to uncompress the download first. So, unless you can tell them exactly what to do, you'll probably get something useless.

Alternatively, if you say where you are, there may be a better option (a cheap distributor of Linux disks; magazines).

Quote:
Please help me to choose Linux version.
Every few days there is a 'help me find a distro for this low end/old hardware' thread here; the advice in those threads would apply here. Please search for it.
 
Old 08-05-2008, 09:37 AM   #3
david68
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Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 4

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Question Test RAM, Monitor, Main Board, Video Card, Find Bios Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Some distros usually come with (depends on how you get them) Memtest packaged as a boot option, and that could be useful for you.
I have 20 used main boards, every main board have a long beep, or even no beep.

Then nothing in monitor.

Who knows what's in their bios, may be all bios are attacked.

I have only computer that checked by the manufacturer, bios fine, and has bios protection jumper, but this computer has integrated video card.

I can test all RAM in this computer, if the computer boot, the RAM is ok.

I can not test video on this computer, this computer has integrated video card. Can I test to plug the video card in this computer? It has 2 PCI card connector. And I also will test monitors on this computer too.

If I can test all RAM, video cards, monitors on this computer. I will mark this RAM, video cards, monitors are fine.

I will use a computer case, this computer case power fan is running, the power is fine.

At last, I will install each main board on this computer case, if the CPU fan running, the main board not work, bios is attacked.

I don't believe CPU running, I only see if there is bios test screen or not.

If no, that means bios attacked, try to plug the bios out and burn the bios.

This can save a lot of time.

I have 20 used main boards.

If bios are attacked, or control by virus, all things to do are waste of time.

If I only use the good computer to test, no download from internet, internet risks, Cyber Cafe risks, no virus can threat the test.

I only use the only one tested computer, mainboard with integrated video card, no hard disk. And I will backup the CMOS settings, after the work I can restore the CMOS settings to use the hard disk, monitor again.

Last edited by david68; 08-05-2008 at 09:38 AM.
 
Old 08-06-2008, 01:39 AM   #4
david68
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Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 4

Original Poster
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I have many old main boards, take all these main boards to an area, test all?

I should contact main boards manufacturers, ask the board support Linux or not.

Or I must get the manual of the main boards, or get reliable advise it support Linux or not.

Because all drivers on from the manufacturers can not install on non supported operating systems.

I need to find low RAM requirement Linux distributions for these few boards, and test each version to see they can install the drivers or not.

Test all, see the test results, and evaluate.

Finally, decide use which distribution of Linux.

Is these right?
 
Old 08-07-2008, 03:04 AM   #5
salasi
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Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david68 View Post
I have 20 used main boards, every main board have a long beep, or even no beep.

Then nothing in monitor.
I don't know what error that is. Have you got working RAM fitted at that point?

Quote:
Who knows what's in their bios, may be all bios are attacked.
Bios attacks are uncommon, to say the least, so that is unlikely. But maybe they are corrupt. It might be possible to say something more if you could comment on the history of these boards, but the most likely thing seems to be that the battery is now flat.

Quote:
I have only computer that checked by the manufacturer, bios fine, and has bios protection jumper, but this computer has integrated video card.
Unclear what point you are making; why is an integrated video card an issue?

Quote:
I can test all RAM in this computer, if the computer boot, the RAM is ok.
Not necessarily so, particularly in the case of marginal timing.

Quote:
I can not test video on this computer, this computer has integrated video card. Can I test to plug the video card in this computer? It has 2 PCI card connector. And I also will test monitors on this computer too.
Don't understand why you think integrated video is a problem.

Quote:
This can save a lot of time.
?????
Quote:
I should contact main boards manufacturers, ask the board support Linux or not.
Not.
The manufacturers will largely claim that they don't support Linux. Or, judging by the implication of your post, that the boards are too old for any support.

Of course, "support for linux" is not the same as "works with Linux". "Support" means that in some way they will help you to get Linux working, whether this be by answering direct questions or having a useful faq; I'm guessing that neither of these are likely with the boards that you have.

Quote:
Because all drivers on from the manufacturers can not install on non supported operating systems.
I have no idea what you mean by these words; Put the Linux disk in and see if everything works. If it works, it works, irrespective of what the manufacturer says about Linux support. If it doesn't, there is still a chance that by changing boot options you might have some success.

"Drivers" are, at this stage, an irrelevance; put the Linux disk in and see if it works; it has drivers for most of the things that are common and if you have, say, an uncommon ethernet chip you can decide after seeing whether you have anything that works whether you want/need to follow that up.

You should make that decision knowing whether you have aby boards that work fully without further effort.

Quote:
If bios are attacked, or control by virus, all things to do are waste of time.
In a previous stage, you have re-burnt the bios (if necessary). Not only are attacked bios chips very unlikely (unless you have the pile of boards that were specifically rendered bad by some very specific process), you have re-flashed the bios. After that, how can it now be attacked, unless you have done the re-flashing wrong?

Quote:
Finally, decide use which distribution of Linux.
Probably, start with knoppix. That is, knoppix has particularly good hardware detection and it is the most likely thing to work with random hardware. This gives you a good idea of whether the board works.

Knoppix may or may not be what you finally choose to install.

Quote:
I also can buy Linux Distributions in local shop, but their requirements are too high, request 128 MB RAM, recommend 256 MB, I don't want to buy a 256 MB RAM...
32 MB, 8 pieces;
64 MB, 5 pieces;
128 MB, 3 pieces...
I need to find low RAM requirement Linux distributions for these few boards, and test each version to see they can install the drivers or not.
If at least 2 out of the three 128 sticks work, you already have 256 M; if even one of the 128s and two of the 64s work, you can make 256 if you have enough slots in your motherboard.

Anyway, this is probably based on a mistake; you'll probably find that most distros will work in 128. You may have to use the non-graphical installer (if present), it may be unnacceptably slow for general use (which is why more is probably 'recommended') and practically you may not find that you have the full range of GUI choices available and so want to choose a low resource gui (which may initially mean booting to the command line and installing, say, Xfce from there).

Last time I looked, SuSE was saying that they recomended 500 M for installation and I had made an installation work quite happily on a laptop with 196 M. Wasn't quick though - this was probably inevitable with an old slow laptop - and maybe DSL/Puppy/Nimblex would have been a better choice.

Certainly kde or gnome in less than 128 M is ambitious, but that doesn't mean that the distro is unusable, particularly if you choose a different GUI.
 
  


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