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Old 06-26-2009, 09:47 AM   #1
kev717
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Which linux distro will work on a 20 year old computer?


In case the subject is not clear enough, I require some Linux distro which can be loaded off of a floppy disk. Here are the gritty details:

1. It must be loaded off of the floppy drive, or have something loaded so that I can install from an internet address (there is a network connection)
2. It must be able to fit on the 16Mb hard disk.
3. It must be able to run off of 600Kb of RAM.
4. It must be able to run off of an Intel 80*(I don't know the rest of the numbers off the top of my head) processor
5. Yes, this computer is more than 20 years old.

So, does anybody know a distribution that would work on such a computer? It would really help me out.

-kev.

P.S. Sorry if this is posted in the wrong place...

Last edited by kev717; 06-26-2009 at 09:48 AM. Reason: tags are screwed up...
 
Old 06-26-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
brianL
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Have a look at tinycore linux:
http://www.tinycorelinux.com/
 
Old 06-26-2009, 09:56 AM   #3
kev717
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From the Tiny Core Linux website:
Quote:
What are the minimum requirements?

An absolute minimum of RAM is 32mb. TC won't boot with anything less, no matter how many terabytes of swap you have.
unfortunately, the computer I need it for is an old IBM with only 600Kb of RAM... But thank-you for your suggestion.

-kev
 
Old 06-26-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Have a look at tinycore linux:
http://www.tinycorelinux.com/
The minimum requirements for tinycore include 32MB of RAM. This machine has only got 16MB of hard disk, and 600KB of RAM!

This is seriously minimal - I'd be surprised if anything would run on that.

Do you need a specific kernel version? Some of the floppy based distros on this list are old (2.0.x kernels) but they'd probably work.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
brianL
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Ah, I didn't notice the minimum RAM for Tinycore.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:02 AM   #6
kev717
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Really, I'd be happy with any kernel and if any Linux distro would work on it...
Right now I'm looking to just replace the version of Micros**t Windows 1.0 that is loaded on there...
even just a CLI type distro would be good, but I don't know where to find any...
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #7
linus72
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Ahh... TTYLinux-8.1 might work, although NOT floppy 4mb Current too
( http://minimalinux.org/ttylinux/ )

Probably a way to get on floppy though
oh, maybe not enough ram...
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:12 AM   #8
kev717
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Ya, there's the RAM, and there's also the fact that the processor in this old computer's processor isn't better than 486SX, so that probably wouldn't work...
Is there maybe some Distro available (maybe one a few years old) that runs off of an old Linux kernel version 1.*? One of those might work (if there are any available)
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:14 AM   #9
pwc101
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OK, I had a read of lininst.txt on the copy of Slackware 1.01 (released 4th August, 1993) that I have kicking about. This is what it has to say about memory requirements:
Quote:
o At least four megabytes of RAM. Technically, Linux is capa-
ble of running on a system with only two megabytes, however,
some distributions of Linux require four megabytes for instal-
lation. Memory is speed, so if you have more physical RAM
you'll thank yourself for it later. If you're a "power user,"
8 megabytes should be more than enough for most applications.
Bear in mind, this version of Slackware comes with a kernel version of 0.99.12, and it already needs more than 3 times the amount of RAM you have in you machine. It looks like you machine might pre-date Linux, I think, which might make it difficult to find a version that works. Perhaps if you dug around the GNU project looking for old versions of GNU/Hurd, you might find something there? Or try and get hold of an earlier verison of SLS linux (which Slackware is based on).

Last edited by pwc101; 06-26-2009 at 10:18 AM.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
kev717
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is there perhaps some place still carrying JUST the kernel? If I could get just the kernel I'd be happy because that would more than likely offer the utilities I would need to use this computer for it's intended purpose. I wouldn't think that the kernel itself would require much to be able to run...
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev717 View Post
is there perhaps some place still carrying JUST the kernel? If I could get just the kernel I'd be happy because that would more than likely offer the utilities I would need to use this computer for it's intended purpose. I wouldn't think that the kernel itself would require much to be able to run...
Do you mean the kernel source, or a precompiled version of some pre-1.0 version?

What is this computer's intended purpose, if you don't mind my asking?
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #12
pwc101
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Also, see: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kern.../old-versions/
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
kev717
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This computer is intended to simply send some commands from the parallel port as well as perhaps sending some commands over the network to wake up my more powerful computers... nothing too big for such a weak computer.

As for the kernel, if I could get one that was pre-compiled that would be good, if not, I can compile it myself (probably). Also, while looking around a little, I noticed that older versions of SunOS (particularly before version 4.1) were made around the same era of this computer, so perhaps there is somebody who has those posted somewhere or who knows how I could get a free copy of it...
I am basing this information on the wiki I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SunOS which seems to show that version 3.x of the SunOS was 68020 capable...
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
pwc101
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Perhaps this site will help? A cursory inspection suggests it might have SunOS 3 available for download, though it seems to require a tape for installation...

http://www.sun3arc.org/index.phtml

Last edited by pwc101; 06-26-2009 at 10:40 AM.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 10:41 AM   #15
kev717
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With regards to your previous message
,
I believe that Linux version 0.96 work to serve the purpose of this machine. Thank-you for your assistance.
 
  


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