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Old 09-18-2005, 11:11 PM   #1
PeteRossi
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What is a good version of Slackware for older hardware?


Looking for recommendations for a good version of Slackware to use on
older hardware .. like a Pentium 133 (non-MMX), 32 MB RAM, 1 GB disk.

I have an application which is currently [still] running on an old
Pentium 100 using a 2.0.30 Kernel. I want to essentially duplicate
this box on similar hardware but thinking that maybe I should use a
newer version of Slackware.. but I am not really sure I want to be
running the latest 10.1 with a 2.6 Kernel .. on a Pentium 100.

This second box will need to run X-Windows. The first one does not.

I was thinking of aiming more for the Slackware 8.1 era. Something that
is a little newer than the 2.0 Kernel.. but without all of the extra size
and overhead of the very latest stuff.

Any suggestions?

I have been a Slackware user since way back in the 1.2.8 Kernel days.

This new box will be running a small C program which will be collecting
some data and a Web browser (or some other X program) to display the data.
The box will run completely stand-alone (not on any network -- after setup).
The hardware I have to work with is a Pentium 133 CPU with 32 MB RAM.

I may just try doing all of this - plus the X-Windows - with the same 2.0.30
version on the first system and see how it runs.. but was thinking should I
be aiming for something a little bit newer? .. But how new?
 
Old 09-18-2005, 11:36 PM   #2
hitest
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Re: What is a good version of Slackware for older hardware?

Quote:
Originally posted by PeteRossi
Looking for recommendations for a good version of Slackware to use on
older hardware .. like a Pentium 133 (non-MMX), 32 MB RAM, 1 GB disk.

I have an application which is currently [still] running on an old
Pentium 100 using a 2.0.30 Kernel. I want to essentially duplicate
this box on similar hardware but thinking that maybe I should use a
newer version of Slackware.. but I am not really sure I want to be
running the latest 10.1 with a 2.6 Kernel .. on a Pentium 100.

This second box will need to run X-Windows. The first one does not.

I was thinking of aiming more for the Slackware 8.1 era. Something that
is a little newer than the 2.0 Kernel.. but without all of the extra size
and overhead of the very latest stuff.

Any suggestions?

I have been a Slackware user since way back in the 1.2.8 Kernel days.

This new box will be running a small C program which will be collecting
some data and a Web browser (or some other X program) to display the data.
The box will run completely stand-alone (not on any network -- after setup).
The hardware I have to work with is a Pentium 133 CPU with 32 MB RAM.

I may just try doing all of this - plus the X-Windows - with the same 2.0.30
version on the first system and see how it runs.. but was thinking should I
be aiming for something a little bit newer? .. But how new?
I'm running Slack 10.2 on a Pll 266 with 128 MB RAM, it runs X windows okay with Flux, Black box, or XFce, but, it isn't really snappy. On really older hardware you're right an earlier version of Slack would work better.
Perhaps you should consider a custom version of Slackware like Vector?

http://www.vectorlinux.com/
 
Old 09-19-2005, 12:35 AM   #3
MS3FGX
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I can't see any reason to use an older Slackware release. I run Slackware 10.1 on a 133 MHz Pentium with 32 MB of RAM myself with no problems.

As long as you keep a close watch on what you install, and make sure you aren't running any services you don't need, there will be no problem. Doing a custom kernel compile would also be a good idea, but on a machine that old, I would advise compiling it on a different (I.E. faster) computer, and then copying it over.

And there are plenty of tricks out there to make the memory footprint smaller, like disabling unneeded TTYs (Slackware has 6 by default).
 
Old 09-19-2005, 01:29 AM   #4
PaganHippie
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If you can get the current version to run well on your hardware, so much the better. But... I'd suggest finding a version that was current around the time that your hardware was current. This scheme works well for me, at least. YMMV.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 02:27 AM   #5
davidsrsb
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I don't agree about using a very old version. You will end running packages with critical security bugs and a lot of missing features. eg sendmail back then relayed by default.
Use 10.2 and stick to the 2.4.31 kernel, discard KDE and Gnome.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 08:25 PM   #6
hitest
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsrsb
I don't agree about using a very old version. You will end running packages with critical security bugs and a lot of missing features. eg sendmail back then relayed by default.
Use 10.2 and stick to the 2.4.31 kernel, discard KDE and Gnome.
I'm not sure if even flux or black box would work with 10.2 on a p 133 and 32 MB RAM. I'm sure it would run a terminal prompt okay, but, x windows? Anyone tried this? I thought I read that Slack 10.2 needs 64 MB RAM to run x windows.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 11:05 PM   #7
mdarby
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I run ~current on 266mhz at my office on three seperate boxes (router, media server, test web development server). Never had a problem.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 11:52 PM   #8
hitest
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Quote:
Originally posted by mdarby
I run ~current on 266mhz at my office on three seperate boxes (router, media server, test web development server). Never had a problem.
Yep, I'm running 10.2 on a Pll 266 with 128 MB of RAM and it runs fine, never goes into swap, using XFce4. But, it uses a lot of my RAM to run x windows and other programs. A Pentium 133 with 32 MB of RAM is going to have a hard time running x windows with Slackware 10.2.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 12:04 AM   #9
davidsrsb
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Test results with 10.2 on 32MB ram, 256MB swap, PII 266

Text mode top shows 27MB in use, no swap in use
xfce top shows 17 MB swap in use
xfce + mozilla browser 40MB swap in use - mozilla takes a LONG time to open

so X does work with 32 MB ram
 
Old 09-20-2005, 12:10 AM   #10
hitest
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsrsb
Test results with 10.2 on 32MB ram, 256MB swap, PII 266

Text mode top shows 27MB in use, no swap in use
xfce top shows 17 MB swap in use
xfce + mozilla browser 40MB swap in use - mozilla takes a LONG time to open

so X does work with 32 MB ram
Okay, that's cool! That's why Slack is my favourite distro!
However, the original poster was asking about using a P 133 with 32 MB RAM not a P 266. IMHO I think a P 133 would go very much into swap and take so long to load programs that it would be pointless to use.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 12:32 AM   #11
davidsrsb
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Quote:
Originally posted by hitest
Okay, that's cool! That's why Slack is my favourite distro!
However, the original poster was asking about using a P 133 with 32 MB RAM not a P 266. IMHO I think a P 133 would go very much into swap and take so long to load programs that it would be pointless to use.
No reason for a P133 to use swap more than a PII 266, just the slower disk peformance of that generation of disk controller and disks. - more like 2 MB/s than the 30 MB/s my 266s manage with modern drives.

The problem is that many modern applications like Moz are so big, so not exacly fun on such an old machine

Last edited by davidsrsb; 09-20-2005 at 12:33 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 12:42 AM   #12
hitest
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsrsb
No reason for a P133 to use swap more than a PII 266, just the slower disk peformance of that generation of disk controller and disks. - more like 2 MB/s than the 30 MB/s my 266s manage with modern drives.

The problem is that many modern applications like Moz are so big, so not exacly fun on such an old machine
Thanks for the reply, I'll concede your point about swap use:-)
However, a system like that would not function very well as a desktop, as you said moz would be painful:-). It might do as some type of server. I ran a P 166 with 32 MB of RAM once as an apache server and it was okay, it served up web pages, albeit slowly:-)
 
Old 09-20-2005, 03:16 PM   #13
maginotjr
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well, maybe you can helpme too...

I have a pentium 233mhz box with 32mb, 6gb HD that Im using now RedHat 7.3 and Gnome (if im not wrong), its realy slow, but still works, Im thinking about installing Slackware 10.1 there and them use xfce or blackbox (I dont know yet). I was thinking about first recompiling a 2.4 kernel in my pentium4 box and them use it on the 233mhz box.

So, what you think? Or there are much difference between 10.1 to 9 or 8 versions ?

I will give a look at VectorLinux now to know more...

[ ]īs
 
Old 09-20-2005, 08:36 PM   #14
KnightHawk
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Always use the newest distro's available. Unlike windows.... linux is not artificially bloated to ensure that it seems to fully utilize the resources of a modern PC. As far as driver support and such goes... the newest version of linux in nearly ALL cases tends to have better support than the last version of linux. (except in the case of my HPT370 RAID card, but thats another issue )
 
Old 09-20-2005, 11:32 PM   #15
PeteRossi
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All of the replies are very interesting..

I have run Slackware all the way from 2.3 up to running 10.1 on three
systems now.. along was others still running 8.1, 7.1 and even 3.3

I think the only way I will really answer my question is by trying it.

I will give 10.1 a go on this P-133 box and see how it goes. It will
not be a complete install. Only what I really need.. and I will create
a custom Kernel.. and just see how it runs. If it is too slow.. or
there are other problems, then I can go from there.


All the system will need to run is a custom data collection program
that will collect data via a serial port and X-windows to display the
data. It will be a local system. Not connected to any network.. but I
guess it will have to run Apache in order to support the HTML display
code ... or maybe I could re-write the display program with something
like Tcl/TK and forget about Apache and Netscape. That's an idea.
Now that I think about it, Tcl/Tk would be perfect what what I want to
do. Running a full Netscape Mozilla is *way* overkill for what I need.

Also I have run Slackware 10.1 with Mozilla on a P-233 MMX and it is
painfully slow.. so I hate to think of what it would be like on a P-133.
That is what prompted my question. Funny, how my first P-100 running
a 1.2.8 Kernel seemed *so fast* 10 years ago :-)

Anyway.. you all have given me something to think about -- Thanks!
 
  


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