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Old 12-25-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
kayedj
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Location: Loughborough, Leics
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Can I run linux on my antiquated system?


Hi. I'm new to Linux. I've tried knoppix on a different computer and I want to run linux as a dual boot on my other computer.
I have the following hardware specs

HDD: 1.2GB - this will be the linux drive (also have 2GB windows drive and 600MB 'common' drive (both FAT32 atm))

CPU: 150Mhz

RAM: 32MB

BIOS can't boot from CD.

what version & distro of linux should I use?
 
Old 12-26-2005, 10:39 AM   #2
anti.corp
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Well I would say (offcourse) Vectorlinux.

It very suitable for old hardware

Check it out here: http://www.vectorlinux.com/index.php

Or you could try Damn Small Linux.

Check it out here:

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

Im personally using both of them on several computers from 166Mhz to 333Mhz using as little ram as 32MB

Both of them are great

Good luck finding the right one.
 
Old 12-26-2005, 01:26 PM   #3
J.W.
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Welcome to LQ. Yes, you can run Linux on that machine, but realistically a "typical" PC today would probably boasting tech specs that are at least ~10X or more (ie, 12G drive, 1.5Gz CPU, 320M RAM, etc) and therefore your expectations about the performance you'll see on this box should be adjusted accordingly. If you're planning on using the machine as a desktop, you will need to avoid things like KDE and Gnome, and go with a very lightweight window manager. On the other hand, if you are planning to use it to act as a firewall, or local web server, etc, you'll be fine. Good luck with it
 
Old 12-26-2005, 03:41 PM   #4
amosf
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I recently installed mandrake 10 on a similar system. In the past I made boot floppies but this time I just stuck the hdd in a P4, installed linux, then put the hdd back in the p166. it found the new hardware and booted okay.

Slow box, but will run kde with everything turned down a bit. Runs other wm's better. Good for an email browsing box, too slow for OOo1, tho it will run.

Mind you, I have 64meg ram. With 32 you will need to run a light wm for sure. Kde is very slow with 32meg.

But any distro will install generally.

I use this size PC mostly for stuff like firewalls and print and mp3 servers these days...
 
Old 12-27-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
kayedj
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Thanks for your help.
I'm now downloading vector-linux. I hope this should run, as I spent about 3hrs setting up the partitions (Win98 started grumbling because it didn't like being on drive D.

I'll let you know how I get on.
 
Old 12-27-2005, 04:35 PM   #6
kayedj
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I've tried installing vector linux. I have all the files on the hard drive. I boot in DOS

C:\>D:

D:\>CD LOADLIN

D:\LOADLIN\>LOADLIN IDE ROOT=/DEV/RAM RW INITRD.IMG

then loads of text on the screen and the last line reads

Kernel Panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 01:00

What do I do!
 
Old 12-27-2005, 07:58 PM   #7
gunnix
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I don't know what you should do. But is it maybe possible that the new vector linux version needs more then 32MB ram to install?

Or no, I think you should boot from the cd. Not copy files on the hd and try to start from dos or whatever you tried.
You're pc can boot from a cd if you just make a dos boot floppy and put smart boot manager on it: http://btmgr.webframe.org/

Get these files from the download page and put them on the dos boot floppy:
3.6 release 4 sbminst.exe (DOS executable)
cwsdpmi.exe (support file)


Then you can choose to boot the cd from the floppy.


I would use freebsd. But try out vector linux, damn small linux, debian, etc. And see what you like.

The most important thing will be that you disable unnecesary services after installing an operating system and then install a lightweight window manager like icewm. And use other lightweight software as well.

Maybe some of these pages could help you:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=395426 : lightweight linux desktop

http://users.skynet.be/six/gpure/tech/linux/apps.html : lightweight linux applications
 
Old 12-28-2005, 03:26 AM   #8
anti.corp
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Vectorlinux installs fine on systems with 32MB of ram, so thats not the problem. I think it's your lilo.conf that pointing to the wrong 'root' partition.

Try posting your partitiontable and lilo.conf inhere.

You have windows on your D drive, and Linux on C right? I would dump the 600MB drive if I was you, it's probably gonna die pretty soon anyways.
 
Old 12-28-2005, 07:43 AM   #9
nitinatindore
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Lightbulb

Probably you would like to give a hand to


1. Live Linux Floppy : Toms tiny linux @ http://www.toms.net/rb/
2. Trinux Live Linux : http://www.trinux.org/

They specialize in dealing with system like the one you have
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:08 AM   #10
kayedj
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My current set up is
HD1

Primary partition: ~1250MB (dos C: ), will become linux root

HD2

Primary Partition: ~3500MB (dos D: ), Windows drive
Extended partition
Logical partition 1: ~130MB (dos E: ), will become linux swap
Logical partition 2: ~520MB (dos F: ), will become linux home
Logical partition 3: ~520MB (dos G: ), shared drive (music etc)

I've just got the SBM software, so I just put that on floppy and boot from floppy, also burn the vector-linux iso to cd, put that in the drive, and the SBM will allow me to boot from cd?

Edit: all of the above partitions are FAT32. is that ok?

Last edited by kayedj; 12-29-2005 at 11:09 AM.
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:12 AM   #11
Nylex
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You'll need to reformat the partitions that you want to use for your swap, / and /home partitions, as they won't be able to use FAT32.
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:46 AM   #12
kayedj
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how do i do that? i just used fdisk to partion them and then just 'format x:' (x is drive letter)
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:54 AM   #13
Nylex
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You should have the option to do it when you install Vector. I've never used it myself, so I don't know how the installation works. Note that Linux doesn't refer to partitions as C:, D:, etc. It will use something like /dev/hda1 (for the first partition on your primary drive, if you're using IDE drives).
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:56 AM   #14
kayedj
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so i will be able to run the installation ok with them as FAT32?
 
Old 12-29-2005, 11:56 AM   #15
anti.corp
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You can use CFDISK to partition/format your drives. It has a GUI so it's very userfriendly.

The program is on the vectorlinux cd. Just boot using the cd, then write cfdisk. That will start the program.
 
  


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