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Old 03-11-2011, 03:58 PM   #1
rkfb
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Virtualbox and historical Slackware


I've decided I would like to install old versions of Slackware in Virtualbox.....just for something to do really.

So far I have installed 3.5 (from a mis: press slackware series book), 8.1 (from an iso) and 9.1 (from two iso's).

If I look somewhere lie http://ftp.heanet.ie/mirrors/ftp.sla...pub/slackware/ there are iso's only so far back. What I am wondering is how I go about installing say, 7.0 that has no iso. Can I create one from the directory listed or can I somehow create an install disc from the files? Will this be the same process all the way back to the 2.01 folder or is there a different process required as you work back?

I have seen Niels Horn's page here, http://www.nielshorn.net/slackware/slack_old.php, detailing various installs under Qemu but I am more interested in how far back I can go with Virtualbox.

I'm really just looking to get the installs underway initially, I shall try and address setting up x-servers, networking etc later on.
 
Old 03-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
bgeddy
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I too have played around with historic slackware. I have tried installing slackware-1.01 by downloading all the directories a1 - a13 + x10 then creating a floppy image for the bootable a1 disk by just simply running cp a1/a1disk a1.img then running this script to create the additional floppy images, a2 - a13 + x10:
Script I named mkfloppy.sh:
Code:
Script:

#!/bin/bash
IMGFILE=$1.img
dd if=/dev/zero ibs=1024 count=1440 of=$IMGFILE
mkfs.msdos $IMGFILE
mount -o loop -t msdos $IMGFILE /mnt
cp $1/* /mnt
umount /dev/loop0

In bash run as :

for name in a* ; do mkfloppy.sh $name ; done
mkfloppy x10
cp a1/a1disk a1.img
The last line is neccesary as the script will overwrite a1.img, which is a special image, and I'm too lazy to tailor the script to suite! This creates the floppy images a1.img-a13.img and x10.img. Under Virtualbox - setting a1.img floppy image as the bootable disk and adding the floppy images for a2 - a13 + x10 meant I could boot the virtual machine but the slackware install wouldn't recognize my virtual hard disk to let me fdisk it and create a partition. I gave up then - maybe I'm trying to go to far back in time! The same little script should work for more recent floppy disk based installs of historic Slackware.

Last edited by bgeddy; 03-11-2011 at 07:40 PM.
 
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:53 PM   #3
chrisretusn
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I haven't had much success. I have several older versions, still have the floppies. I recently tried Slackware 3.0, I have the old Walnut Creek CDROM disk set. I could get it to boot from the boot floppy image but it failed on loading the second. I fiddled around for a few days off and on and then just gave up. I have other priorities.

I think the best option would be QEMU vice VirtualBox. I plan on giving this a shot soon, I hope any way. In fact I am considering dropping VirtualBox anyway in favorote QEMU, KVM, XEN
 
Old 03-11-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
bgeddy
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Whey hey - party time here - I have managed to get Slackware 1.01 to install! The trouble was, rather obvious really, I was selecting a virtual hard disk of 1GB, thinking back they didn't exist so I made my virtual hard disk 300MB in size and fdisk on the install recognized it. It's just finished and I have booted into a Slackware 1.01 virtual machine! Incidentally Slackware 1.01 install was a bit of a nightmare requiring confirmation for every package installed - (loads of pressing "y"). I'm very pleased with this. Now to explore ancient versions of software - so far no midnight commander or python - probably to be expected as python came about in 1991 I think and Slackware was 1993 but python must have took a while to be popular with distributions. This is almost like an IT history lesson!

uname -a

Linux darkstar 0.99.12 #6

Last edited by bgeddy; 03-11-2011 at 08:50 PM.
 
Old 03-12-2011, 04:13 AM   #5
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkfb View Post
Can I create one from the directory listed or can I somehow create an install disc from the files?
Absolutely. It uses a very different method than current versions.

Just look at the README in the .eltorito directory.

Last edited by rkelsen; 03-12-2011 at 04:27 AM.
 
Old 03-12-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
rkfb
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Thanks for the script bgeddy, I'll give it a whirl...and I'll also look into the the README's of course. I did spend a little time googling typical computer specs for the year concerned before setting up the vm so hopefully that will help also.
 
Old 03-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #7
niels.horn
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So I'm not the only one playing with older Slackware versions
 
Old 03-12-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
bgeddy
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Quote:
So I'm not the only one playing with older Slackware versions
Aha - no your not! Judging by the input in this thread there maybe several folks interested this. I'm just now looking at your blog pages, mentioned by the OP, about early Slackware versions under Qemu, (although I've studied other areas of your blog before - just not these bits). That's my current project, (maybe fetish is a better word), as I'm finding it fascinating looking at these old versions of Slackware. Indeed, you have a most informative history there of previous versions of Slackware. Qemu is is my new VM environment to test with - I've previously got Armedslack running with it and Slack390 under the Hercules emulator. Thanks for the most useful blog. Think maybe I'm becoming a little Slackware obsessed - I've even considered trying to get ArmedSlack running on my Nokia N70 mobile phone as linux on the N70 is mentioned here but worry about bricking it. Thanks again - a most excellent blog.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #9
rkfb
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Well I can now report that I have also successfully managed to install 1.01 (in Virtualbox) using the script supplied by bgeddy to create floppy images of the slackware discs as well as of the sls-1.03 X discs that I downloaded from Niels Horn, http://www.nielshorn.net/_lib/downlo...series.tar.gz*.

A lot of switching of disks and confirming installation was required but it all went smoothly. A 300mb hda and 8mb RAM sufficed. I'll be trying out the same method on other versions, I'd like to end up with the full set!
 
Old 03-13-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
niels.horn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkfb View Post
... I'd like to end up with the full set!
It becomes addictive...
 
Old 03-14-2011, 02:24 PM   #11
rkfb
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Slackware 7.0 now....

I can get it to boot after doing
# dd if=bare.i of=bare.i.img
in bootdsks.144/

but the rootdisk is a problem.
Using network.dsk produced the error
RAMDISK: Couldn't find valid ram disk image starting at 0
VFS: Insert root floppy and press enter


# dd if=color.gz of=color.gz.img
produced a virtualbox error that failed to load the image so I unpacked color.gz and
# dd if=color of=color.img was the same.

I moved on to the el torito directory readme but that produced errors about invalid options and the file is terse and not very clear.
Is this all one command on one line?

mkisofs -o /tmp/slack.iso -R -V "Slackware Install" -v -a \
-T -d -D -N \
-b .eltorito/eltorito.img \
-c .eltorito/eltorito.boot \
-A "Slackware Linux" .

I'm not sure what it's supposed to produce?
 
Old 03-14-2011, 07:30 PM   #12
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkfb View Post
Is this all one command on one line?

mkisofs -o /tmp/slack.iso -R -V "Slackware Install" -v -a \
-T -d -D -N \
-b .eltorito/eltorito.img \
-c .eltorito/eltorito.boot \
-A "Slackware Linux" .

I'm not sure what it's supposed to produce?
Yes, that's one command. The backslashes "\" give you a new line so that the command doesn't look confusing and is easier to check before you run it. Don't forget the full stop.

As it is, it produces an iso file for a bootable CD under /tmp called slack.iso.

Hardware has changed significantly since the days of Linux-2.2. You might want to do some research on the hardware of the day, and perhaps change some of your virtual box settings to better replicate it.
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:27 PM   #13
rkfb
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Ah, thank you, I have it now.

I missed three things.... -a didn't seem to be a valid option (so I skipped it), the command is all on one line, the resulting file is deposited in /tmp.
Slackware 7.0 installed fine from the resulting iso, I think I am now in a position where I can install any version in Virtualbox using either the bgeddy's mkfloppy script or el torito (suggested by rkelsen).

Onwards and upwards :-)
 
Old 03-16-2011, 03:02 AM   #14
harryhaller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Hardware has changed significantly since the days of Linux-2.2. You might want to do some research on the hardware of the day, and perhaps change some of your virtual box settings to better replicate it.
I have an IBM ps/1 with an early slackware installed on it. It was installed by a friend before he gave it to me. Unfortunately, he doesns't remember which version it was as he does this a lot with old pc's - and he lots of old pcs

The "slackware" I have, he told me, may even be one of the first Vectorlinux's - he doesn't remember.

The problem is that there is no Slackware-version file and the packages in /var/log/packages have no version numbers.

But he has done a beautiful job, really trimming down the kernel to the minimum etc.

The machine has only 8Mb memory - that is 8 banks of 1 Mb memory. I have no ordered 8 x 4mb memory to bring the memory up to 32Mb.

Similarly, the disk is just a few hundred Mb, so I am going to (try to) install a 100Gb disk and divide that up into small partitions - there should be plenty of them !

I will then do my own installations of old Slackware - each having it's own partition.

I don't have my ps/1 switched on so I can't give more hardware details, but there are some excellent sites, including this one which has the IBM engineer's manual.
http://ps-2.kev009.com:8081/eprmhtml/

My PS/1 is this one (there were various models):
http://ps-2.kev009.com:8081/eprmhtml/eprm/f292.htm

There are a few discrepancies between my MB and the one shown, so I may be mistaken...

Andt there are others here with old machines.

If anyone has any questions about the hardware or would like me try out something to see if it is poosible with the this model, please ask. I've only had the machine for a week, so I am still learning about it - and I am really enjoying it

It is so beatiful reading Pat's readme's. In one he says that 8Mb is quite suffiicient, but 16Mb would make running X more comfortable. Ah, yes, we had frugality in the bones then!
 
Old 03-16-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
BroX
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evolution of Slackware

It would be great if you could provide some screenshots, to illustrate the evolution of Slackware over time
 
  


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