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Old 07-06-2006, 09:16 PM   #1
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Can I run DSL on a 286

Could I run DamnSmall Linux on A
80286 12Mhz~Turbo 8Mhz~Normal
Serial Ports
and a PVGA Graphics Card
Old 07-06-2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Probably not, DSL runs off a 2.4 kernel which might run but is probably still too new although I'm not 100% on that. I'd start looking at Slackware around v5 or 6 or early Redhat versions
Old 07-06-2006, 09:41 PM   #3
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Nope. 286s are a 16 bit CPU.

According to this page:

"Since Linux is based on the 32-bit i386 instruction set, it can't run on 286s."

However, in the true spirit of OSS, we have a solution:

Which goes to prove that there's always an Open Source solution!!
Old 07-06-2006, 11:36 PM   #4
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Heh, neat to know! Minix would run on it though
Old 07-07-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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Ha, I didnt know that a 286 was a 16bit proc. I run DSL on a P2 266MHz with 128mb ram, and it runs somewhat slow. I couldnt even imagine using a 286 for anything...using a 486 is usually even out of the question. You are going to have to go with a really old and really small distro, and DSL is out of the question...I would imagine Vector and Puppy Linux wont work either.
Old 07-07-2006, 10:38 PM   #6
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No Linux distro will work on a 286; they all require memory management that only exists on 386 or higher hardware. Some years back there was a project to try to port Linux to 286es, but afaik it was abandoned due to lack of interest.

Years ago (back in the 80s) there was an OS called Xenix, based on Unix version 7 with some System III, System V, and BSD extensions. iirc, I've seen Xenix run on a 10 MHz 286 with 1 MB of RAM and a 20 MB hard disk. Text-only, of course, and no networking. If you can even find a copy anymore, there were releases from Microsoft (briefly) & (later) SCO.


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