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TheOuterLinux Mμse - i486 Distro List

Posted 06-22-2020 at 06:11 PM by TheOuterLinux

Cross-posted from: https://theouterlinux.gitlab.io/Publ...icles/i486.txt
RSS of website version: https://theouterlinux.gitlab.io/Publ...ticleFeed.atom

I have been working on an i486 version of PsychOS (https://psychoslinux.gitlab.io) called "PsychOS486" that I will hopefully have a release between sometime now and by the end of the year. It's honestly been sort of rough figuring it out and has only reinforced my belief that the window of opportunity to do this is getting smaller and smaller. So in trying to figure this out, I have tried SEVERAL i486 operating systems, most of them GNU/Linux, and while doing so I made a list. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know, preferably by E-Mail (see PsychOS website for link).

Please remember that this is a list and may not be as up-to-date as the website version.

Code:
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 (_) || |  ( _ ) / /_   |  _ \(_)___| |_ _ __ ___   | |   (_)___| |_
 | | || |_ / _ \| '_ \  | | | | / __| __| '__/ _ \  | |   | / __| __|
 | |__   _| (_) | (_) | | |_| | \__ \ |_| | | (_) | | |___| \__ \ |_
 |_|  |_|  \___/ \___/  |____/|_|___/\__|_|  \___/  |_____|_|___/\__|

                        by TheOuterLinux
                 https://theouterlinux.gitlab.io

                     Last updated: 2020/06/02

Discussion URL: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheOuterLinux/comments/esgxnv/i486_gnulinux_distro_list/.compact
                        
  This is not a complete list and more will be added as time goes on.
                        
                         .--------------.
#########################| Introduction |###############################
                         `--------------'

I got curious one day and wondered what were the last/latest GNU/Linux 
distributions and other operating systems that could support an i486 
computer but under the assumption that RAM wasn't really an issue. 
And instead of breaking an i486 or finding an alternative to watching 
grass grow, I used QEMU (https://www.qemu.org/) like so:

    qemu-system-i386 -cpu 486 -cdrom '/path/to/distro.iso' -boot d -m 256
    
If the Internet does not appear to be working, then the following was used:

    qemu-system-i386 -cpu 486 -cdrom '/path/to/distro.iso' -boot d -m 256 -net nic,model=pcnet -net user
    
And if that did not work, then it was assumed that there was an architectural
mix-up of some kind with the software as some of these supposed "i486"
distributions also include i586 and/or i686 software.
    
    Criteria
    --------
        A. 32-bit system
        B. CPU is set to i486 DX/4 (according to Knoppix in failsafe mode)
        C. Treat as though booting from CD-ROM
        D. Start with 256MB of RAM and go lower or higher as needed
        E. If GNU/Linux, XFCE takes priority with CD versions or floppies (no DVD)
        
The listed distributions are ranked alphabetically in descending order.
It may make since to rank based on RAM usage but just because a distro
works with low RAM, it doesn't mean that it's better.
                            .----------.
############################| Assembly |################################
                            `----------'
[D, Assembly]===========================================================

Distro: DexOS 6
Assembly Language: FASM, 32-bit x86
Personal Rating: ?
Download: http://dex-os.github.io/DexOS.zip
Size: Compressed: 9.9MB | Uncompressed: 33.3MB
MD5SUM: 63b09924c4dd005945bdaa5999edf256
Recommended RAM minimum: 1MB (technically 64KB)
Notes:
       I did not give it a rating because I could only figure out how
       to get the ISO inside of the ISO_2012 directory running and then
       there is the issue of not being able to run everything else outside
       of itself. Why do people do this?
                            
[K, Assembly]===========================================================

Distro: KolibriOS
Assembly Language: FASM, 32-bit x86
Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Download: https://builds.kolibrios.org/eng/latest-iso.7z
Size: Compressed: 29MB | Uncompressed: 68MB
MD5SUM (2020/02/07): c22207f87b423adf8b5ca56168a90d07
Recommended RAM minimum: 64MB
Notes: This system is frequently updated and is one of the best OS's
       for a i486 that you will probably find as it also includes
       DOSBox if you feel compelled to defend the use of FreeDOS.
       
       However, not every application included will run on an i486.
       
       I do suggest a minimum or 64MB of RAM, but you will need at
       least a 128MB RAM chip for most things and 256MB if wanting
       to browse the web. This is because KolibriOS sets aside some
       of the RAM for temporary storage. You may get better results
       installing the IMG version (https://builds.kolibrios.org/eng/latest-distr.7z)
       instead of running it Live like I do.
       
[M, Assembly]===========================================================

Distro: MikeOS 4.6.1
Assembly Language: NASM, 16-bit x86 real mode
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://mikeos.sourceforge.net/mikeos-4.6.1.zip
Size: Compressed: 561KB | Uncompressed: 7.3MB
MD5SUM: 1ae75e781a917d7847a4b5d7c56627d3
Recommended RAM minimum: 1MB
Notes: 
       MikeOS was last updated on 17 Mar 2019 and will run on 16-bit 
       machines. It also includes a script so you can easily run it with
       QEMU.
                               .-----.
###############################| DOS |##################################
                               `-----'
[F, DOS]================================================================

Distro: FreeDOS
Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Download: https://www.freedos.org/download/download/FD12CD.iso
Size: 418MB
MD5SUM: d5584871b0e35bc1d6656dce9eb4af51
Recommended RAM minimum: 640KB
Notes: 
       I recommend 640KB but let's be honest, you're going to try to use
       it to play games and a number of other limit-pushing applications,
       so you probably want about 16-32MB to be safe. If you are wondering
       why the ISO is so large, it is because it includes a lot of
       software. However, you have to install them from the CD-ROM you
       burned as a repository on a disc kind of thing. With the CD
       inserted, run the command 'FDIMPLES'.

                            .-----------.
############################| GNU/Linux |###############################
                            `-----------'

XFCE builds were chosen whenever possible as I believe this desktop 
environment is the most "well-rounded" for this purpose.

If the option to run as Live was given, that was the only option tested;
hence, the recommended minimum amount of RAM listed may be slightly higher 
than necessary.

RAM usage in most cases were checked using 'top' and by running:

    more /proc/meminfo
    
[A, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Alpine Linux Extended 3.11.4
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.11/releases/x86/alpine-extended-3.11.3-x86.iso
Size: 439MB
SHA256SUM: 0a9676359dc69443612f2d8177d89715eb4292755e4f5395a1dee0b5f9260de2
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes:
       After booting it up to "Live," there isn't much besides a console.
       You login as 'root' and then can install it from there. After
       installing, it will use about 30MB of RAM. However, after adding
       things such as a desktop environment, that RAM goes up and you
       will probably wish you had 256MB or 512MB of RAM to really do
       anything. If you want to run it on an older i486 machine and are
       comfortable using a command-line, it's not so bad.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Anitaos (Puppy Linux) 4.31v3
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://liquidtelecom.dl.sourceforge.net/project/anitaos/Anitaos/LATEST%20LTS%20ANITAOS%20ISO/AnitaOS4.31v3.iso
Size: 174MB
MD5SUM: 03cf48c733d4f60dbc32cc104f97884d
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       Takes forever to boot. You may be able to get away with 128MB of
       RAM, but barely.
       
[B, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: BeatrIX (Ubuntu Warty; 2005)
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/b/beatrix/BeatrIX_2005.1F.iso/download
Size: 191MB
MD5SUM: a05fb172f8149c55e41d42556807a747
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes:
       When you see "boot:" use "failsafe."
       
       This is basically a "gutted-out" version of Ubuntu Warty with 
       just a few programs installed. Includes OpenOffice. Internet does 
       not seem to work.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: blueflops 2.0.15
Personal Rating: ?
Download: https://liquidtelecom.dl.sourceforge.net/project/blueflops/blueflops/blueflops-2.0.15/blueflops-2.0.15.zip
Size: 2.8MB
MD5SUM: 519a0c5bf3969ee3877d1ef2f5af5344
Recommended RAM minimum: ?
Notes:
       This is one of those install using DOS sort of distros. I have not
       got it working in DOSBox yet to actually try it.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Browserlinux (based on Lucid Puppy)
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: https://www.browserlinux.com/iso/browserlinux501.iso
Size: 98MB
MD5SUM: 7791b08b31495f174b3b27baf50a625d
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes: 
       You could technically get away with 128MB of RAM but you aren't
       going to do much since this distro is meant for browsing the web,
       which unfortunately, most of the sites use SSL and this distro
       has trouble with. If you are going to attempt using the Puppy
       Package Manager (.desktop file in /usr/share/applications), you
       might want 512MB of RAM and I would use the ftp.nluug.nl or ibiblio 
       repos when prompted. Go to https://www.browserlinux.com/ for Mplayer 
       and  Java jre-1.6.0_21.
       
[C, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Clonezilla 1.2.3-27
Personal Rating: ???, but probably ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/clonezilla/files/clonezilla_live_stable/OldFiles/1.2.3-27/clonezilla-live-1.2.3-27.iso/download
Size: 121MB
MD5SUM: 3f79172dd7828fb74742d2128f25a79b
Recommended RAM minimum: 128 minimum, but you'll probably need 256MB
Notes:
       Technically, this is an i486 GNU/Linux distro but it is made for
       creating backups. It booted just fine in QEMU, though I couldn't
       actually test the distro's tools.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: CrunchBang Linux 9.04.1
Personal Rating: ★★★+0.5
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/c/crunchbang/crunchbang-9.04.01-i386.iso/download
Size: 635MB
MD5SUM: 8ca9553235a18a691dcddf1f6f1dadae
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       I like this version of CrunchBang more than 11. It uses less CPU
       and seems to much more feature-full and well-rounded than version
       11. It even has things like Skpe, which will open but I have no
       idea if it still works (or if ever did). I do think it is strange
       that they labled it as i386 when there is also i486, i686, and 
       x86_64 versions of CrunchBang 11, but it would be silly to assume
       that this one would run on an actual i386. Maybe the archiver
       changed the original names of the ISO's for some reason.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: CrunchBang Linux 11-20130506
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/c/crunchbang/crunchbang-11-20130506-i486.iso/download
Size: 789MB
MD5SUM: 92675c5068f3f8d02a9294288bb4c52e
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       It's Debian Wheezy using Openbox and Conky. SSL-related errors
       keep you from going to most websites and none of the included
       repositories work anymore. It also uses a lot of CPU.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Crux 2.1
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://ftp.fukt.bsnet.se/pub/os/linux/crux/crux-2.1/contrib/ucrux-i486/ucrux-2.1.iso
Size: 191MB
MD5SUM: f02a02ed5615651921fd03b0dd3a5179
Recommended RAM Minimum: Somewhere between 16MB and 64MB, probably
Notes:
       You can run it live but it is console only if you do and at that
       time only uses about 13MB of RAM. I did not install it, so I can
       only assume how much RAM you'll need after the install. I did take
       a look inside of /crux/* directories for what will/can be installed
       and it seems as though it has Window Maker (opt) and Blackbox 
       (contrib) as optional desktop environments.
       
       README:
       http://ftp.fukt.bsnet.se/pub/os/linux/crux/crux-2.1/contrib/ucrux-i486/ucrux-2.1.README
       
[D, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Debian 5.0.0
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://cdimage.debian.org/mirror/cdimage/archive/5.0.0-live/i386/iso-cd/debian-live-500-i386-xfce-desktop.iso
Size: 515MB
MD5SUM: d5fa1418cfbe7cd8425e2382066e2be2
Recommended RAM minimum: 512MB
Notes:
       It's Debian?... But seriously, it's okay. Most of the Internet-
       related stuff doesn't work so you can give up on the idea of
       using the package manager or going to most websites because of
       SSL-related issues.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Deli Linux 0.8
Personal Rating: ??
Download Full: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/d/deli/deli_0.8.0-full.iso/download
Size: 251MB
MD5SUM: 3e45d38b7730dc3cdbec836ead43cb1c
Download Core: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/d/deli/deli_0.8.0-core.iso/download
Size: 60MB
MD5SUM: bc2977751543ff57c5823ad3497ef569 
Recommended RAM minimum: To install, probably 32MB but to run, probably 128MB would be great
Notes:
       This is an installer only sort of situation, so I did not. However,
       supposedly it will also run on actual i386 machines and includes
       software such as AbiWord, GOffice, Lynx, ffmpeg and some codecs, 
       VLC, Transmission, XChat, and more, or at least according to the
       "/pkg" directory of the ISO (use ISO Master to look inside). 
       However, it may boot on an i386, but I doubt most of the software
       will run and I have no idea how to test for it as there is no
       i386 -cpu option for QEMU and using 'qemu-system-i386' seems to
       more or less be i686.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre
Personal Rating:
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/d/dragora/dragora-2.2-i486.iso/download
Size: 639MB
MD5SUM: e66dd77cd68178a6c82358aa7bebd159
Recommended RAM minimum: ??
Notes:
       I don't really have anything to say about this distribution
       because I do not have the room to install it but after doing a
       bit of research it uses the libre kernel and it reminds me of 
       Slackware for some reason. I tried the live i586 version (3.0 beta)
       and the username is 'root' and the password is 'dragora'; however,
       startx failed.

[F, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Feather Linux 0.7.5
Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Download: https://liquidtelecom.dl.sourceforge.net/project/archiveos/f/feather/feather-0.7.5.iso
Size: 125MB
MD5SUM: e36104401cb47fb5bc0c1cf3994e067d
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes:
       If after trying to boot you get errors, reboot and when you see
       "boot:", enter "failsafe". I would also like to note that though
       I recommend a minimum of 128MB of RAM, if you would like to use
       applications such as Firefox, you may want 256MB of RAM.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Floppyfw 3.0.15
Personal Rating: ?
Download (IMG): https://www.zelow.no/floppyfw/download/floppyfw-3.0/floppyfw-3.0.15/floppyfw-3.0.15.img
Size: 1.4MB
MD5SUM (IMG): 9559257e739eac0ae415c83bde7a3f4b
Download (ISO): https://www.zelow.no/floppyfw/download/floppyfw-3.0/floppyfw-3.0.15/floppyfw-3.0.15.iso
Size: 10MB
MD5SUM: (ISO): 77f740aa089db9c0843dade8c6860346
Recommended RAM minimum: 16MB
Notes:
       This distro is for old 386 machines with FPU that has 16MB of RAM
       and the IMG version will fit on a single 3.5" floppy disk.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Freeduc 1.7+b10 FR
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ofset/files/freeduc-cd/freeduc-science-fr-1.7/freeduc-physchim-fr-1.7%2Bb10.iso/download
Size: 699MB
MD5SUM: e19c95f06bd56ea2bf0f732f046e9fe0
Recommended RAM minimum: ??
Notes:
       It got me to an XFCE desktop environment, but I couldn't get any
       of the panel items to work. I hope it's just a QEMU issue, but I
       don't know.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: FREESCO 0.4.2
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/freesco/freesco-045.tar.gz
Size: Compressed: 20.5MB | Expanded: 26.2MB
MD5SUM: 2961e13a8b824bafa00c6180dbe85e84
Recommended RAM minimum: 16MB
Notes:
       Made for much older machines, but it's last release as of this
       posting is 2014/03/30 and the developer was looking for a successor
       to continue the project: https://www.freesco.info/support-forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17703.
       I really like the ASCII animations at boot.

[G, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Gentoo
Personal Rating: ★
Size: ?
Instructions: https://github.com/yeokm1/gentoo-on-486/
Recommended RAM minimum: 64MB
Notes:
       I did not even try. I found this guide for if someone else is brave
       enough to attempt. Hate me. Don't care. Not gonna anytime soon.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: GloblinX 2.5 Mini
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/g/goblinx/GoblinX.Mini-2.5.iso/download
Size: 167MB
MD5SUM: a4a95481cb9f1fc8dc1d83fc052c9b81
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes: 
       Use Globlinx Text Mode, log in, then use 'goxuse' when prompted
       and change the resolution to 800x600 and then pick XFCE.
       
[K, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: KateOS 3.6 Live
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/k/kateos/KateOS_3.6-LIVE.iso/download
Size: 698MB
MD5SUM: 57050d518cf133417a2d9e3b2e712562
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB, but 512MB would be better
Notes:

       Make sure to run 'failsafe' at the boot menu if using QEMU.
       Username: kate
       Password: kate (same for root)

       If this distribution was just a bit faster in opening programs,
       had modern SSL (https) support, and working repositories, it would
       have gotten four stars, easily. I really like the simplistic
       GTK2-based package manager, but search would have been nice. It
       sort of reminds me of GSlapt and uses .tgz packages except you can 
       enable/disable, add, and remove multiple repositories much more
       easily. You can tell it is based off of Slackware and therefore 
       could be to one's advantage if ever planning to update things 
       because i486 Slackware packages are much easier to find than for 
       any other GNU/Linux system. Honestly, the deciding factor for it 
       not being four stars was that RAM usage didn't go down much after 
       opening a few programs like Firefox, hence the "512MB would be 
       better."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Kinneret
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/kinneret.berlios/files/Kinneret-0.7.4.iso/download
Size: 733MB
MD5SUM: d9f96d51105551e4f054aed92526a230
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes: 
       Don't bother unless you read Hebrew and even then, the KDE
       environment makes everything incredibly slow. And because it
       is in Hebrew, everything is written and displayed backwards
       compared to English setups. For instance, the applications
       launcher is in the right corner of the panel. And based on
       what little I could decipher from what was in the applications 
       menu, the amount of programs are not diverse enough to justify 
       the ISO size.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Knoppix 7.2.0
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Download: http://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V7.2.0CD-2013-06-16-EN.iso
Size: 701MB
MD5SUM: 43e1bf11bd52d88d61379fdd38fe869c
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes: 
       When seeing a boot prompt, type "failsafe" to avoid a kernel panic.
       After login, Knoppix uses about 64MB of RAM.
       This are no passwords, so if you need root, you will have to use:
           
           su
           passwd
           
           ...and setup a root password from there.

[L, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Legacy OS 2.1 LTS (Puppy Linux)
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/legacyoslinux/files/Legacy%20OS%202.1%20LTS.iso/download
Size: 730MB
MD5SUM: ba37c23ae62bbe7927befe65ae639528
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes: 
       You still have to use the Xvesa driver like in the newer 2017
       version, but make sure to switch it to 800x600x24 because the
       16-bit color version looks aweful. Also, it does not have an
       actual package manager and clicking on the corresponding menu item
       for it only shows you a Kdialog box to tell you to go to a URL
       instead. Ohterwise, I would have given it five stars.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Legacy OS 2017 (Puppy Linux)
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/legacyoslinux/files/LegacyOS2017.iso/download
Size: 732MB
MD5SUM: 885e9859a432721c60f6f0345d6f3b59
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes: 
       I like the idea behind this; however, I have to use the Xvesa video
       option and 90% of the software it comes with, which it has quite
       a selection, does not actually run. It is as if the system uses
       an i486 kernel but the software requires i585 or i686 to run.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Local Area Security 0.5 (Knoppix)
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/l/las/las-0.5.iso/download
Size: 189MB
MD5SUM: 543fe2f42472f73cdba8378d9cb58579
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes: 
       When seeing a boot prompt, type "failsafe" to avoid a kernel panic.
       After login, L.A.S uses a little less than 60MB of RAM. This distro
       appears to be for "information security professionals."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Lucid Retro 525-2.6.30.5-v4 (Puppy Linux)
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://www.smokey01.com/JamesC/uploads/lucid-retro-525-2.6.30.5-v4/lupu-525-2.6.30.5-v4.iso
Size: 136MB
MD5SUM: 760e0e61fa24eb5f80d9c31a05d6b611
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes: 
       I would give this a much higher personal rating, but the winodws
       and menus respond in a slow enough way that it is aggravating;
       however, that could be QEMU's fault, but I don't know. This version
       of Puppy Linux is essentially 5.x but with the kernel and drivers
       from 4.3.1. Also, you may be able to get away with only 64MB of
       RAM, but doing so on QEMU makes it incredibly slow even though
       after loading the desktop, htop only reports ~38MB of RAM being 
       used. Not all applications will run do to "Illegal instruction"
       errors (they aren't actually built for i486).
       
[M, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Mutagenix 2.6.18.6-2
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/m/mutagenix/mutagenix_kde-2.6.18.6-i486-2.iso/download
Size: 722MB
MD5SUM: 096ffbaeb86c7a31decf6e6d8b4519dd
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       Out of all of the i486 distributions that I have tried, this is
       the only one with the KDE desktop environment (3.5.4) that is 
       responsive and actually worth using. I also like how it has a 
       package manager 'Gslapt'. It has lots of software too and even
       sets up a firewall for you at boot. My only complaint is 
       applications related to the Internet, such as web browsers have a
       hard time because of SSL.
       
[N, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: NimbleX 2008 RC
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/n/nimblex/NimbleX-2008RC.iso/download
Size: 210MB
MD5SUM: d04263f11bf8b9e68935b3264b5939ab
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes: 
       When you are presented with a login screen, login as 'root' with
       no password. I would give it a higher rating, but it's KDE and
       is much more graphics-hungry than I care for and slows things down
       quite a bit. The web browsers supplied are also a bit behind when
       it comes to connecting to SSL sites (https).
       
[O, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Operator 3.3
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/o/operator/Operator.iso/download
Size: 617MB
MD5SUM: 74b08dab680b00ddec19070d2f8e9d00
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       Operator 3.3 is based off of Debian 3.2 and uses KDE. It's ok.
       It has the same SSL (https) issues as the rest of these distros.
       This distribution is mainly for network administrators and
       penetration testing.
           
[P, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Plop Linux Live version
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: https://download.plop.at/ploplinux/19.4/live/small/ploplinux-19.4-S-i486.iso
Size: 312MB
MD5SUM: 1b15655b262877a02846d396412ce877
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       This is a console/framebuffer version. If you would like to have
       one with a desktop environment, you will need to either be able
       to boot off of a USB or have a DVD drive. You can grab it here:
       https://download.plop.at/ploplinux/19.4/live/ploplinux-19.4-i486.iso

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Porteus-XFCE-v3.1-i486
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://ftp.riken.jp/Linux/porteus/i486/current/Porteus-XFCE-v3.1-i486.iso
Size: 169MB
MD5SUM: c613ea3e16a149b7ceecb74399ecfc93
Recommended RAM minimum: 512MB
Notes: This is essentially a Live version of Slackware using XFCE and
       reminds me a lot of TinyCore but a bit more "heavy." I tried 
       editing and remastering and the packages I installed weren't
       included, though I'm pretty sure that is just user error. I might
       have given it 3.5 or 4 stars if the starting of the desktop
       environment didn't behave like it was having trouble. It takes
       a minute or so and when it does load, the mouse is invisible until
       you click a category in the applications menu.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Puppy Linux 3.0.1 "Fat Free" version
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Download: https://master.dl.sourceforge.net/project/puppylinux301updates/fat-free-3.01-xorg.iso
Size: 66MB
MD5SUM: abc5dd0b50d247fc08b9ae9946d07de6
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes:
       I recommended a minimum of 128MB or RAM, but 256MB would be better
       if you are planning to run "beafy" web browsers and things. And
       yes, the PET Package Manager still works. If trying to use 128MB
       of RAM, you'll have about 55MB of "wiggle-room" when running Live.

       If you need to go even older, try version 2.17 (technically "BonsaiOS"):
       https://liquidtelecom.dl.sourceforge.net/project/bonsaios/puppy-fat-free-pup-2.17.iso

[S, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Slackware 14.1
Personal Ration: ★★★★★
Download: https://slackware.uk/slackware/slackware-iso/slackware64-14.1-iso/slackware64-14.1-install-dvd.iso
Size: 2.3GB
MD5SUM: 805ebe2f2f748ab992ff10a843503d92
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB but 512MB would be much better
Notes:
       At the the boot prompt, use "huge.s"
       
       This is my favorite i486 compatible GNU/Linux distribution so far,
       especially because of how they haven't "gentrified" package naming
       to having all of 32-bit just being "i386" like Debian did, making
       it much MUCH easier to know if a package is actually i486 or not
       when browsing through a repository, which there are still plenty
       of. And where that falls short, there is slackbuilds.org, to 
       which I really like the sbopkg program (https://sbopkg.org/) that
       is a TUI front-end for the site. I just really wish they had made
       a Live version as well. 
       
       The one thing about it I really don't like about it, though many 
       may considerate a "feature," is that you only have root after 
       installing and if you want most things like Network Manager, for 
       example, to work properly, you have to create a normal user and 
       place it in the correct groups and maybe add it to sudoers:
       
       Replace "theouterlinux" with your username...
       
       #Create the user with the proper groups:
       useradd -m -g users -G wheel,floppy,audio,video,cdrom,plugdev,power,netdev,lp,scanner -s /bin/bash theouterlinux
       
       #Give the user a password:
       su
       passwd theouterlinux
       
       I had issues mounting USB storage devices but adding the user "psychos"
       to the "disks" group and adding "psychos ALL(ALL) ALL" to "/etc/sudoers"
       and a reboot solved the issue.
       
       Then, log out and log back in with the new user and run 'startx'
       to get a graphical desktop environment.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Source Mage GNU/Linux (2009-02-11)
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://mirror.sobukus.de/files/sourcemage/iso/smgl-stable-x86(i486).iso.bz2
Size: Compressed: 291MB | Uncompressed: 533MB
MD5SUM: 34d13dd8c8952699c5564ab88ebef44b
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
        RAM minimum was just an estimate as the only "Live" mode there
        seem to be is a console, aka install only. However, something
        did catch my eye and that is in the root directory there is a
        file called 'system.tar.bz2'. I looked inside of that file using
        'tar -tvf system.tar.bz2' and it listed an entire roots worth
        of files. Meaning, that is probably how it actually installs
        itself and then adds information to the MBR afterwards. I wonder
        if you could just make a system.tar.bz2 of another i486 system
        and then use ISO Master to replace what is in Source Mage's ISO
        to make a "lazy-person's" backup tool? Personal distro installer?
        Hmmm.....
        
[T, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: T2 SDE 8.0 minimal i486
Personal Rating: ★
Download: http://dl.t2-project.org/binary/stable/8.0/minimal-i486/t2-8.0-minimal-i486.iso
Size: 200MB
MD5SUM: fa466db8408d730fa54f75dcef17af1a
Recommended RAM minimum: ?
Notes:
       I'm only making the assumption that this works because QEMU sort
       of freaked-out while trying to boot it.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Tomsrtbt 2.0.103
Personal Rating: ?
Download: https://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/system/recovery/tomsrtbt-2.0.103.dos.zip
Size: Compressed: 2.2MB | Expanded: 2.4MB
MD5SUM: 382af2177c93921931201114f0935710
Recommended RAM minimum: 16MB
Notes:
       I have yet to get it working in DOSBox. This is one of those
       install using DOS type of distros.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Tiny Core Linux (Current)
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Download (Core; ~14MB): http://www.tinycorelinux.net/11.x/x86/release/Core-current.iso
Checksum: 306ef2122ec2f7c212fe8476b5c71984
Download (TinyCore; ~19MB): http://www.tinycorelinux.net/11.x/x86/release/TinyCore-current.iso
Checksum: 968b1e4296e313da15f959988e5677a6
Download (CorePlus; ~206MB): http://www.tinycorelinux.net/11.x/x86/release/CorePlus-current.iso
Checksum: bfb3858bafd28b4f33e65fda871d612e
Recommended RAM minimum: TinyCore: 64MB | CorePlus: 256MB

[V, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: VectorLinux 6.0 Lite
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-6.0/iso-release/VL6.0-Light-LIVE-Final.md5sum
Size: 675MB
MD5SUM: 25de906155b9e8464ca82afa7efe34cb
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB
Notes: 
       I keep getting graphics driver-related issues using QEMU. So for
       now, I can only give it two stars.
       
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Vigyaan 1.0
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/v/vigyaan/VigyaanCD-v1.0.iso/download
Size: 669MB
MD5SUM: 834a4f1af53758dc1a597caf2ad27cb3 
Recommended RAM minimum: 256MB
Notes:
       When you see the "boot:" screen, use "failsafe."
       
       Internet does not work with QEMU if using '-cpu 486'.
       
       This is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Knoppix and is designed
       for biology and chemistry applications. It does use KDE, but the
       response isn't too bad. It also has most of what you would expect
       from a typical distro except no office suite; however, it does 
       include GIMP, some text editors, PDF viewer, xcam, xscanimage, and
       so forth. It's main programs it seems to want you to focus on 
       using is the EMBOSS software (http://emboss.sourceforge.net/what/),
       aka "The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite."
       
       It does include FireFox 1.0, but I noticed something odd. If
       running it under a plain qemu-system-i386 it the About window
       for Firefox says i686 and if running with -cpu 486 flag, that
       window then says Firefox is i486. Does this mean Firefox used
       to include multiple architectures?

[W, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: Wolvix 2.0.0 beta2
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/w/wolvix/wolvix-2.0.0-beta2.iso/download
Size: 681MB
MD5SUM: 7bea8514062835621ce64a14e8f46f58
Download "Cub" version:
Size: 378MB
MD5SUM: 90dc9f6d958a5fe3b68b414c73c4f64e
Recommended RAM minimum:
Notes:
       Username: root
       Password: toor
       
       If trying it with QEMU, use 'wolvix vga=normal' at the boot: prompt.
       
       Takes forever to boot. However, I do like its simplistic and to- 
       the-point boot options help if that's any consolation. It reminds
       me a lot of KateOS 3.6 Live, but maybe a little bit better with
       it's RAM and CPU usage and some of it's included software. It 
       would have gotten a much better score if it wasn't for boot-related issues.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distro: Wormux 0.0.3 (Slax 5.1.8)
Personal Rating: ★
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/archiveos/files/w/wormux/WLCD-0.0.3.iso/download
Size: 72MB
MD5SUM: 0fa72fe428253bd88d33746cf22ac394
Recommended RAM minimum: 32MB
Notes: 
       This is not your typical GNU/Linux operating system as all it
       does is boot into a game called "Wormux." I tried playing it,
       but it failed and shut itself down. However, you may be able
       to switch it to a console and build on it for your own purposes.
       I did recommend 32MB of RAM, but I would go at least 64-128MB
       but even then, it still might crash.

[Z, GNU/Linux]==========================================================

Distro: ZenEdu Christmas Edition
Personal Rating: ★★★
Download: http://slackware.uk/zenwalk/i486/zenedu_specialed_2007.iso
Size: 697MB
MD5SUM: ea336375ebeb1916ce47337c2a300647
Recommended RAM minimum: 512MB
Notes:
       ZenEdu runs Live with what looks like a 2007 version of XFCE.

Distro: Zenwalk Linux 7.0 GNOME version
Personal Rating: ★★
Download: http://slackware.uk/zenwalk/i486/zenwalk-gnome-7.0.iso
Size: 665MB
MD5SUM: bbbd8263bfe2d6afa0926c05bdd4d71b
Recommended RAM minimum: 128MB when Live and probably 256MB when having a DE
Notes:
       If you run this Live, which is all I did, you only get a console
       to mess around in. I guess you will have to install it to get a
       GNOME desktop environment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        .-------------------.
########################| i486 Repositories |###########################
                        `-------------------'

The following is a list of repositories that may or may not be package
manager-friendly. Some may be "mixed" with other architecture types:

[Slackware]-------------------------------------------------------------
http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/sbrepos/14.2/x86/
http://download.nust.na/pub/SYS/
http://slackware.oregonstate.edu/slackware/slackware/
http://slackware.oregonstate.edu/slackware-14.1/slackware/

https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackware-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackware-extra-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackware-patches-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackware-testing-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slacky-i486/

https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/alienbob-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/alienbob-restricted-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/alphageek-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/cinnamon-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/johannes-schopfer-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/johannes-schopfer-noarch/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/mate-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/microlinux-desktop-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/microlinux-extras-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/microlinux-server-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/ponce-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/salix-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackpack-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/slackonly-i486/
https://slackware.pkgs.org/14.1/rworkman/


[Maybe ?; Still needs testing]
https://www.gnu-darwin.org/x86/packages/All/ or...
http://gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net/x86/packages/All/
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