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Old 07-16-2003, 08:57 AM   #1
Trying to Learn
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Will Linux run on an old 486??


Is there any version of Linux that will run on my old Gateway 486 4DX2-66 with 8 MB memory and 540 MB disk (134MB free)? I'd just like to experiment with Linux, not having used it before. The disk currently has Win 3.1 and works fine. Would KNoppix or something similar run off of the CD-ROM or even diskettes??? I know this is ancient, but I hate to just throw away my old computer since it works OK.

Thanks for any response.
 
Old 07-16-2003, 09:03 AM   #2
tcaptain
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Knoppix wouldn't, but there are tons of small distros that would.

I don't have any links off-hand, but this question has been asked before quite a bit so searching this site or using google.com will give you TONS of ideas.
 
Old 07-16-2003, 09:34 AM   #3
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Thanks, I didn't check Google, and there is more there than I thought. But, as a new user, I'm having trouble sorting it all out. I would appreciate a specific recommendation from experienced users on what distribution is most likely to work on this machine (as I said 486 DX2-66, 8 MB RAM, 540 MB disk) and where I can obtain it. I know that sounds elementary, but, without much experience, it's hard to know what to try first.

Thanks again for any further comments.
 
Old 07-16-2003, 09:38 AM   #4
tcaptain
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Well I haven't tried linux on a 486 with so little ram yet (my oldest PC I've tried is a P90 with 128 Megs of ram)...

My advice to you is to read the docs and give it a try. Seriously.
Hand holding shouldn't be necessary until you run into a specific problem really. At which point I'm sure tons of people here can help.

Its the best way to learn, just dive in...experience isn't necessary to get experience

Expect to run into some problems and frustration, have patience, be willing to try things and read up docs and files and you should do just fine.
 
Old 07-16-2003, 09:43 AM   #5
ksgill
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Theres this one distro called basic linux, it can be run on 4MB RAM, heres the webpage
http://hetteh.iq.pl/bl/
I recemmend you check out slackware at http://www.slackware.com/ This would be my first choice.
Good Luck
 
Old 07-16-2003, 10:03 AM   #6
oubipaws
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just install Zipslack from slackware onto it and install a minimal ui like fluxbox or any other *box
 
Old 07-16-2003, 02:02 PM   #7
softgun
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Try
Damn Small Linux a live CD which will work well but wont look nice
Morphix Light-GUI which is a LIVE-CD and will work on your machine from www.morphix.org

I hope your CD-ROM is a bootable one

Last edited by softgun; 07-16-2003 at 02:03 PM.
 
Old 07-18-2003, 01:14 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone who replied. Here's what I did:
1. I looked at Morphix but there were comments to the effect that even if it boot on a 486, they didn't want to support the 486.
2. Next I looked at Slackware, but their minimum hardward config says 16 MB and I only have 8MB. There might be a workaround but it wasn't obvious to me what to do.
3. Finally, I ran across BasicLinux at

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/dis...ions/baslinux/

and this looked what I wanted. It's only a 2 MB download, including a batch file to create a bootable floppy. It runs in a 4 MB RAMdisk. I tried it and it worked like a charm (more or less). So that's my recommendation for anybody else who wants to try out Linux on an old machine. My next project is to try to figure out how to make my Deskjet 722c work with Linux, but I think I can do that myself. I know there is a driver for it; I just don't know how to add it to BasicLinux.

So, thanks again, your encouragement was a great help.
 
Old 07-18-2003, 06:01 PM   #9
slakmagik
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Basic is pretty cool - that will make *anything* run - I don't have the hard drive space for much else. But if you want Slack, check the 'fourmeg.txt' or whatever it's called, in any Slackware mirror.
 
Old 07-18-2003, 06:10 PM   #10
grym
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glad you found something you can use for future reference if you want to use slackware one a 486 try one of the older versions like say in the 3.x they are supposed to run quite well on old hardware.
 
Old 07-18-2003, 07:02 PM   #11
Skyline
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Hi Trying To Learn

Some info -

Tiny Linux is a small Linux distribution designed especially for old computers.

Technical requirements:

processor : i386 or better
hard disk : 50 Mo is enough for installation itself, but you will do better with at least 80 Mo
ram: 8 MB minimum, 12 MB or 16 MB is better
floppy drive :3"1/4
keyboard, mouse
 
Old 07-19-2003, 03:10 AM   #12
softgun
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www.damnsmalllinux.org
This is a live distribution that is 50MB and has a GUI and works on a 486 with 8MB RAM!
http://freshmeat.net/redir/damnsmall...rror/damnsmall

Last edited by softgun; 07-19-2003 at 03:17 AM.
 
Old 07-19-2003, 06:01 AM   #13
cicici
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgun
www.damnsmalllinux.org
This is a live distribution that is 50MB and has a GUI and works on a 486 with 8MB RAM!
http://freshmeat.net/redir/damnsmall...rror/damnsmall
Try muLinux

http://mulinux.sunsite.dk/

Cicici
 
Old 07-19-2003, 08:38 AM   #14
Mega Man X
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Hi!!!

I do, use a quite small Linux distro in a quite old computer:

386 processor, 75 MHZ (I think...gheh) with 8 RAM. It's a laptop compaq with no CD-Rom. The best distribution I've found is grey cat linux 3.0.
It's a full distribution, comes with NetScape, some tools for connecting to Internet, IceWM, Midnight Commander and other stuff. Plus, you don't have to create a partition for it, it install under a folder with DOS format. To finish, it's an old Slackware distro based, so you can download pre-compiled programs for Slackware and use on it.
I also keep Win 3.1 in this "powerful" machine and I'm very happy with it for printing and writing my manga stories ghehe.
Get it here:

http://home.wanadoo.nl/peterdekoning/main.htm

I use a 3.x myself. Good luck...
 
Old 07-19-2003, 09:12 PM   #15
darin3200
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If you burn the gentoo iso it is a live cd. I actually sometimes prefer to use gentoo as a live cd over knoppix. Its faster without a gui and would run on an older machine and it does a good job on hardware recognition.
 
  


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