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Old 05-20-2004, 05:12 AM   #1
wthomas
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Whats the fastest loading Linux distro?


Hi folks
I have an old laptop that I want to turn into an In-Car mp3 player and currently have created the project in <spit> MSDOS but want to switch to Linux

The reason I use DOS at the moment is that it doesn't need a shutdown and is very quick to boot up

What I want is a very fast bootable Linux install (perhaps X too - project extension planned)

I don't mind pointers to kernel compilation URL's that you recommend, so that maybe I could make my own kernel with just the bits that I need (Old Compaq bits support, serial i/o, sound, VFAT for the /mnt/mp3s HDD)

I currently control it with an old Compaq 2010c handheld (Nice 640x200 screen - pity about the slow MIPS cpu) And a web interface - off-topic slightly I wouldn't mind swapping this to Linux too but have scoured the 'net for months to no avail trying to find docs on a Linux port to this handheld - any suggestions to this too?

Thanks in advance
 
Old 05-20-2004, 05:45 AM   #2
b0uncer
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there are a bunch of "fast" small linux distros...Arch Linux, which I use, is quite fast. I'm not saying it's the fastest, but it is faster than many others...but of course, it depends mainly on how the kernel is built. if you add a lot of stuff into the kernel, the system bootup becomes longer, and if you instead only put few things in your kernel (the ones you really need), it becomes fast. stock kernels usually have way too much stuff, a lot of what you don't need at all...so what you are going to need to do, is compile your own kernel and decide what you need and what you don't.
 
Old 05-20-2004, 05:55 AM   #3
wthomas
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Sounds promising - just looking at it...

Here's a thought - can i just power-off linux safely? I can't think of anything I want to write to my / - all my music would be on a separate HDD - and if i compile my own mini kernel - maybe even use a ramdisk actually - there shouldn't be any reason the fs would go curly by powering off without a 'shutdown' command used would there? Otherwise maybe I'd have to wait for an fsck before boot - but then again on a (hopefully) <4meg install that shouldnt take many seconds...
 
Old 05-20-2004, 04:31 PM   #4
jong357
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Just don't use an ext3 fs... I don't think I've seen reiser or xfs do an fsck... Not to say that they wont but it never has done it for me in the past year or so. Not that I remember anyway..... Sounds like a neat project. Arch IS super fast to boot but I think it's going to be too large of an install for what you want. It's also optimized for an i686 arch. Not too sure how old this computer is that your talking about..... LFS is really fast as well. Actually, I think it is faster than Arch as long as you don't bloat it.... Good luck tho... LFS would probably be your best bet.
 
Old 05-20-2004, 10:12 PM   #5
trickykid
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Moved: Questions or threads that don't ask technical questions regarding LFS don't go in our LFS forum, common sense should tell us this. Try placing your questions/threads more appropiately in the future, we'd greatly appreciate this as I'm lazy now and hate moving threads to their more suitable forum.
 
Old 05-21-2004, 12:09 AM   #6
MS3FGX
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I would suggest running the system from a RAMDISK. You could kill the power to this without any fear. You should also mount the MP3 drive as read-only (changing it to read/write when you want to add MP3s, of course).

I would also suggest installing the OS on a Compact Flash card with an IDE adapter. No moving parts, and very low power consumption. And they do have CF to IDE adapters for laptops, so no worries there.
 
Old 05-21-2004, 06:50 AM   #7
wthomas
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Thanks guys
The laptop is an old Compaq Armada 150MHz thingy with 64meg ram in it
The power it draws isnt a problem - thats all sorted, the main problem was the fast loading up (dont want to wait 2 minutes when I start the car up just to be able to select a tune) and instant power off - And if Arch or LFS - maybe even debian.... and Reiser fix this then thats me done 8^)
Btw tricky - I posted in the Distro section as I was asking a question that directly involved comparison of distro's - I'd never even heard of LFS before today, but I will try n keep in the right areas if I have other questions - btw the LFS project might be my answer for my old Compaq 2010c handheld too as I can't seem to find any porting sites for it - might hafta just roll my own
 
Old 05-21-2004, 10:34 AM   #8
MS3FGX
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Just having your root FS as Reiser isn't going to insure you can shutdown the machine without powering it off. There is still the chance of corruption. I have lost power to Linux servers running ReiserFS, and on a few occasions I have had to repair the FS due to corruption or errors. If you are talking about doing this daily, there is no doubt you are going to have problems.

The only way you can safely cut the power to a Linux machine is if all of the file systems are mounted read-only, or the entire file system is a initrd image.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 05-21-2004 at 10:37 AM.
 
  


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