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I have a computer with a Pentium 75 and 57 MB of RAM. I want to install some type of linux distro on it, but the main problem I'm facing, is that it only really has a 400 MB HD. (Technically I could make it bigger, but the first bit has bad sectors, so I partitioned it into two and only one works well)
What are some distros that I could install on that little of space with apps that will work on my computer. I have tried DamnSmallLinux and FeatherLinux, but, by far, they do not give me the functionality I want and need. What are my options? I want some type of distro that is actually going to give me functionality. I don't mind if it is complicated to install.
(are there any non-live cd distros aimed at this type of computer?)
for a hard drive install. It recommends 250-300 MB of space to do this. Should work for your situation.
If you really need to specialize it, you might want to consider Linux From Scratch or even Gentoo , as both of those systems you can build from the ground up and add or subtract as much as you want. But it's probably not a good idea on an olde machine like yours. Try DSL from the bootCD first and see if you like it.
Just terribly. With 57 megs of RAM RH and other X-default distros would be terrible.
I'm sorry to whack your dreams but you didn't expect to run any GUI on that machine right? Because GUI is very much past your RAM. The only thing here is the console, and gentoo might help greatly here. You only install about 80 megs and that's it, that's the bootstrap. Other stuff you just emerge when you need it. With 400 megs you would probably be able to get this machine to be a router / server / domain manager and a few other, non disc and memory intensive functions (if the server would not handle much traffic of course.) You can also turn it int a quite decend programming workstation, as long as your editor is emacs or my favorite, vim. gcc this thing can handle easily, as long as you are prepared to wait. But expect no miracles.
Seriously, I've gotten flux box to work 100% speed on this. Do you think I'm going to run the latest version of KDE or Gnome? DamnSmall has worked just fine up until now, and I was able to run a very speedy server, run firefox(although it took a good 10 seconds to load) and do most of the things I usually need to do. The problem with DSL is that it doesn't have enough flexibility, and I'd like to get more bang for my buck (har har).
I'll tell you guys how debian ends up working. As that is what I am currently installing
Ok, I admit, I have no previous experience with such low-end machines. At least not with linux and GUI.
My first machine (i still have it) was a Goldstar laptop with 640+384kb of RAM, 20MB of HD and a 386sx processor. It has a black and white screen. It runs DOS and it's startup time (with a heavily tweaked autoex.bat) is about 7 seconds. It has Word Perfect 5 installed and it works like a charm. I used to have fun with the 3 games (Volleyball, Ski or Die and Elfland) untill i've gone to highschool. We had a pretty bit of laughs back then.
My second computer had 448MB of RAM, 10GB of HD and a PIII 600 Mhz processor. I have been running winXP and redhat 9 on it for about 7 years on it. Redhat 9 was so slow on it that it took a good 2 minutes to set up, and windows was even slower. I ran KDE on it, and everything else was stripped. My editor was SciTE and Vim. Other stuff went too slow on it. I still think it was a well-kept computer. It was faster then most of the machines with the same OS's installed because I stripped all the unneeded services.
Now I run a state-of-the-art P IV 3.2GHz with HT on a 775LGA socket, 2GB of ram and half a terrabyte of HD. everything runs like a charm and with 50 things like apache and mysql the thing still takes less than 30 seconds to boot.
I had no idea any X server would be able to able to run on 57 MB of RAM. a 1200x1024 image uses quite a bit of that, and if you want to render programs it takes even a bit more. Still more with a double buffer required for PNG images with transparency (web browsing).
I would really like to see what you make of it, i'm intrigued. Good luck!
PS: and my appologies for the discouraging post. I sure am in a weird mood today...
I have mandrrake 9.2, with KDE (with some eye-candy turned off) that ran well on a P150 with 64meg ram... The big killer is disk space in that it has a 2 gig drive which was a good size. 400 meg is limitting, as it the P75 to some extent. I wouldn't bother with a P75 myself, but then I have boxes full of CPUs of various types, and tend to use P120's and up in the socket 7 boards. Mind you, the socket 7 is getting to the end of life parts wise...
I still have three main pentium machines running 24/7. Stargate (the old gateway box) is a P200mmx (was a P120) with 64meg edo that is a printer server and also serves about 8 gig of MP3's and stuff. I also have a smoothwall box on a P166mmx with 64meg EDO. And I also have the mdk 9.2 desktop on a P200mmx running at 188mhz (best it could clock - was a p150 originally) with 64meg edo.
This last machine came mostly from the dump, including a working monitor and a working 2 gig drive.
The main desktops were P2's here, but most were upgraded to slot 1 P3's - and a couple are now modern Athlons... Are well, have to upgrade sometimes
The netinst Debian installer CD (http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/) will install a text-only base system. I'm not sure what hard drive space it takes up at that point, but it should be small. The first time you reboot, it will run the task select program to install additional packages. You can just exit without installing anything extra, then manually install only the things you need using apt-get:
I haven't tried this myself, so I don't know exactly how much disk space it will take, but you have a shot. The advantage over DSL is that you would have standard Debian and be able to install a wide variety of (small) packages.
I was able to bump my harddrive to 600 MBs, and a 130 MB swap drive. Is it possible to install debian (over the net) with a few floppies? That would be really nice. Or is there a floppy I could use that would let me use the netinst cd?
Thanks for that great info almosf and m_yates!
Last edited by totalshredder; 01-28-2005 at 09:02 AM.