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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?
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I'm not sure whether to post this under Newbie, here, or somewhere different, but here goes...
First of all, I'm new to Linux, but fairly veteran in computing at large.
Second, I would like to run some sort of combined firewall and DHCP (and perhaps even print) server for my home LAN, and I'd like to know how far low-end I can reasonably go if I'm to run a Linux server with reasonable performance.
My currently available hardware (and I do plan to buy as little extra as possible) includes an old IBM PC300 6562-200 (200MHz Pentium) and an even older 486SL (an original SNI PCD-4L prototype, actually), both with 32megs of RAM.
Is this completely hopeless, or actually workable to some degree? If at all possible I would prefer to be able to use the 4L because it's fanless, but there are considerable drawbacks: it's got no cdrom, and it can't see hard disks over 540megs. So I've tried valiantly to make sense of Fli4L and a few other Linux-on-a-diskette distros, but haven't got enough skill to make anything work.
I've got broadband, and I plan to connect 2-3 computers on my LAN that should be able to play online games or listening to online radio, but I never do massive up/downloads (as in: media files). So, I would like to have a system that's responsive but not necessarily optimized for massive throughput.
Hopeless? Challenging? What are your Linux-on-a-diskette recommendations? I'm really looking forward to have you all laugh at me!
I don't know the specifics of all the HW you mention, but I think what you're proposing is more than enough. We run a Pentium I 90 Mhz w/32 megs RAM at WORK, handling a full T1 connection, about 30 nodes, hosting several websites, 2 of them very interactive. We run RH 9.0. So I think the power you've got is more than enough.
One note: I see you run Drake: Drake only runs on Pentiums and up, so double-check your 486.
The last post has it dead on but I have experiance with almost the same hardware you have. My 1st linux box was a 486DX2 66Mhz with 32M RAM, 2 nics and about 400 megs of drive space. I used a minimal install of debian(which is great for low-end systems but for faster machines I prefer Gentoo.). This machine ran as a router/firewall, dhcp, and mail server with exim and qpopper.
This machine was able to handle a 1Mbit cable connection with ease and couldve done much more if id had more drive space for it. Good luck with your project, it shouldnt be much trouble.
Thanks for all your responses. Wow!
I'm quite impressed about what you guys do with such hardware, and am really looking forward to trying this.
I have this copy of Debian lying here so I'll give that a try since I (apparently) want to avoid Mandrake. My biggest problem with Debian is, on my other systems it never could find my keyboard (slight obstacle there ). And my Debian boot floppy asks for an FTP path, no idea what to give it (complete path to subdir, not just ftp site - argh I'm out of my league).
(Still, anyone with some input about single-floppy distros are welcome to post, though I can see already that there's a fair chance I'll end up using a hd).
My home firewall is a Pentium 100 (or so) with 32 MB RAM (500 MB hard drive), my web server (check my www button below) is a Pentium (also around 100) with 64 MB RAM.
The firewall is running Smoothwall, currently.
The webserver is running a minimal Debian install.
I did a net install from the install floppies, but as it was a while ago I do not remember everything.
The Debian.org website has useful documentation.