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lefty.crupps 06-15-2005 01:06 PM

Any Debian-based distros that are optimized for 686?
I am newer to Debian but after working with Mepis I love it. It seems so much more stable than my SuSE and its SO easy to apt!! (apt4rpm killed my last SuSE install, not sure if it was me or "guru" but i'm done with that)

But I cannot seem to find a distribution that is optimized for a 686 processor; everyone and their grandma owns a computer newer than 386, so why all the builds that focus on such old architecture? (Don't flame me, I know thats part of Linux's beauty, its ability to run everywhere).

Is there a repository somewhere that I am missing? I guess that I am looking for a DEB-based Yoper. Ideas?

Thnaks all!

r3dhatter 06-15-2005 01:20 PM

I guess you are looking for this:

apt-get install kernel-image-2.6.11-1-686


apt-get install kernel-image-2.6.11-1-k7 (if you are using amd)

then reboot and choose that kernel

that will run linux on 686

but someone correct me if i am wrong.

sls 06-15-2005 01:49 PM


Have a look at the following article on apt-build


BaptismOfFire 06-15-2005 02:45 PM

dunno if it is any help, but when doing an install of Sarge Stable off of DVD. I sawa a 686 fly by and when i do uname -r it shows 2.6.8-2-686

and I never upgrade the kernel myself.

So Debian Sarge (Stale) on DVD may install i686 on compatible hardware, all by itself.

ssfrstlstnm 06-15-2005 05:25 PM

The only thing that might be worth optimizing would be the kernel. You can use apt to install the appropriate kernel image. I have heard tell of those who have tried to use apt-build to optimize everything and with benchmarking found that it resulted in only very small are no improvement in performance. Can't remember where I read this, maybe at or here in LQ.

lefty.crupps 06-15-2005 05:30 PM

I am running AMD, but the Athlon processor is NOT the same as a k7 architechture... so which would I choose?

I was more curious about the BUILD of different programs, i.e. was it build/compiled to be optimized for a 686 vs 586 vs 486,,, you get the idea. I (hopefully) understand that a i686 processor CAN run a compiled-program-optimized-for-i486, for example, but not the otherway around...

I'll have to dig into that apt-build thing a bit, it looks fun!

¡Gracias amigos!

BaptismOfFire 06-15-2005 05:50 PM

well, I don't know how it is set, I am fairly new to Linux. But the old net install disk of Debian I had, I had to apt-get install the new (686) kernel. The DVD release of Sarge (Stable) did it for me, without me even blinking.

jonaskoelker 06-15-2005 09:37 PM


tried to use apt-build to optimize everything
In which case, why not use a source-based distro?

One thing I would like to see more of:
1) measurements of how much time is spent compiling
2) how much faster the programs are than `processor-generic' binaries.
3) how often the system is updated (i.e. how often you compile a program *again*, but in a different version).
... all three investigated *together*.

I imagine that for average desktop home usage (i.e. keeping your programs reasonably up to date), it doesn't pay off. Of course I have no data to back it up.

... just something to think about.


ssfrstlstnm 06-16-2005 08:43 AM

I think the advantage of apt-build is that dependencies are taken care of automatically. Even so it seems like a lot of trouble. Modern CPUs have no trouble running debian lightning fast and any improvement will probably be hardly noticable. You may see some improvement on some heavy packages like open office, but IMO its not worth the trouble unless you really just want to try something new.

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