LinuxQuestions.org
LinuxAnswers - the LQ Linux tutorial section.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Password
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 08-31-2006, 02:02 PM   #1
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Rep: Reputation: 30
Exclamation I Need a Distro for A Very Old, Weird Box


No, I don't want to start another religious "What Distro is best" thread. I'm looking for ANY distro that will work on this setup. Please read the entire post before posting a reply, as I may have already tried your suggestion.

First, here's the specs on some old boxes we have at work:

Pentium Pro 200 MHz
96 MB RAM
Onboard VGA Video Card
2 GB SCSI Hard Drive
12x SCSI CD-ROM

The SCSI Controller resides in a PCI slot. It has its own BIOS-space utility that can be disabled.

Even when disabled, it appears that it "tricks" systems into thinking the SCSI drives are IDE. So no problem, right? Just install any streamlined distro as if it were IDE. Wrong. :[

EVERY distro I have tried fails in one way or another. ISOLINUX based boot CDs fail because after reading the boot information from the CD, they can't find the CD-ROM drive afterwards. SYSLINUX fails in a different way depending on the distro. Boot floppies fail at some stage or another, even floppies geared towards SCSI devices.

Before the list of distros I've tried, please note the following:
1) I always check the md5sum to see if the iso is correct.
2) Assume there is nothing wrong with the installation media (I verify and don't use CD-RWs).
3) I try to be very thorough when I try these things. If I say something didn't work, I tried it more than once, sometimes even re-creating the media necessary, just for voodoo charm.
4) If you need more information than what I give, ask and I will probably have a quick answer for you. If I don't, I'll try whatever you suggest and get back to you.

Here is a list of distros I have tried and what went wrong...
1) DamnSmallLinux: Cannot boot from CD, and also see http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=478201 (fyi: this happens even when I don't try the poorman's install)
2) DSL-N 0.1RC4: Cannot boot from CD, Boot Floppy fails to boot, gives no really good reason why ("Boot failed.")
3) Vector Linux 5.1 Standard: SCSI boot floppy fails to find drives, cannot boot from CD
4) Puppy Linux: Cannot boot using any method prescribed on the Puppy Linux site

These are the four I have tried so far. I'm willing to try ANY distribution that is streamlined and full-featured enough to be used for a run-of-the-mill workstation. The ability to use smbfs or a similar utility is a must, as is the ability to read NFS'. (Is there a distro that can't?)

I'll try anything. Lead me!
 
Old 08-31-2006, 02:07 PM   #2
Agrouf
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: France
Distribution: LFS
Posts: 1,591

Rep: Reputation: 79
You have another computer right? (your sig says AMD 64-bit 2.2 Ghz)
Why don't you try a pxe install?
 
Old 08-31-2006, 02:30 PM   #3
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 11,801

Rep: Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721
Post the make / model of SCSI controller.
 
Old 08-31-2006, 03:44 PM   #4
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agrouf
You have another computer right? (your sig says AMD 64-bit 2.2 Ghz)
Why don't you try a pxe install?
Interesting... I googled pxe install and read about the premise... it seems doable, because the boxes do have ethernet cards... but I've never tried this kind of installation before. Can you point me to some good walkthroughs? I found this resource (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/talk/node/248) for DSL, but it doesn't really help someone who isn't at all familiar with pxe installs...
 
Old 08-31-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk
Post the make / model of SCSI controller.
Adaptec AHA-2940 Ultra/Ultra W using the Adaptec SCSISelect Utility v1.23
 
Old 08-31-2006, 03:53 PM   #6
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agrouf
You have another computer right? (your sig says AMD 64-bit 2.2 Ghz)
Why don't you try a pxe install?
UPDATE: The BIOS doesn't support LAN booting... unless I can find an updated Phoenix BIOS patch, pxe might be a no-go. :[
 
Old 08-31-2006, 04:02 PM   #7
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 11,801

Rep: Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721Reputation: 721
Try slackware with the adaptec.s bootdisk. It supports the AHA-2940 card.
 
Old 08-31-2006, 04:03 PM   #8
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk
Try slackware with the adaptec.s bootdisk. It supports the AHA-2940 card.
Ok, I'll give that a shot...
 
Old 09-05-2006, 02:17 PM   #9
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Hey, Slackware got itself on there! That adaptect disk did the trick. Now it's on to the Slackware forums to figure out why XFCE won't start and resolve a few other issues. Then, hopefully, this whole problem can be solved and posted to the success stories...

EDIT:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi....php?p=2410542

Last edited by RAdams; 09-05-2006 at 02:25 PM.
 
Old 09-05-2006, 02:42 PM   #10
Sugarat
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 71

Rep: Reputation: 15
I have recently persevered a little with slackware.. invested some time into it.. and I absolutely love it! I'm never going back to the bloated distros like SuSE, Fedora etc.. They're all just so slow compared to Slack.
 
Old 09-28-2006, 10:29 AM   #11
RAdams
Member
 
Registered: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarat
I have recently persevered a little with slackware.. invested some time into it.. and I absolutely love it! I'm never going back to the bloated distros like SuSE, Fedora etc.. They're all just so slow compared to Slack.
It's working for me so far...
 
  


Reply

Tags
damnsmalllinux, distribution, dsln, puppylinux, vectorlinux


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best distro for an old box crh112 Linux - Newbie 3 03-23-2006 05:29 AM
new box and distro UGT001 Linux - Newbie 1 11-23-2004 10:44 PM
weird keyboard looking dialogue box itsjustme General 11 08-19-2003 03:02 PM
Tivo/Linux/Win box 160GB 8mb cache..weird question..2nd HD m2bored Linux - Hardware 2 07-23-2003 11:22 AM
Mandrake 8 weird mouse box chill182 Linux - Newbie 8 09-09-2001 10:25 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:28 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration