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Old 06-20-2018, 03:11 PM   #1
Johnson8
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Question Search very light linux for very weak computer


Hi,
I have some very old computers on the stock of my company which was unused and waited for better times.

Computer specification
Processor: Geode LX800 (500 MHz) no PAE Support
Motherboard: WAFER-LX800-R12 Ver. 1.2 (B027)
Disk: ICF1000IPS - 512 MB (company iEi) (compact flash)
Memory: Kingston 256 MB

The idea is to use this computers as web kiosks - after launching, any browser should be opened in full screen mode and display the indicated web page. After the system has been shut down improperly and restarted, it should also display the indicated page. Except to displaying a simple HTML page, they are not supposed to do anything more. Site to display is one of the company's internal pages - simple HTML (there are no flash content or anything like that).

The problem I have is that I have very poor experience with linux and I can not find a distribution that could be installed on this hardware. Even AntiX net or ReactOS requires more disk space (AntiX 700 MB, ReactOS 650 MB disk space).
In case of suggestions for improvement this equipment - I can not use pendrives, because:
1. there is no space in the casing,
2. we do not have enough pendrives,
3. no one will give us money to buy new ones (maybe SanDisk Ultra Fit would be fine).
That's why I have to use what I have.

In searching for proper distribution I mainly used this site https://distrowatch.com/ I have already spent a while looking for the right distribution, but I wanted it to be relatively up to date and unfortunately I can not find anything suitable that would run on this equipment.
I think it will be necessary to look for something older and probably not being developed anymore. Please, give me a hint which distribution would be the best for me.
Except of displaying this simple page, computers will not have any other tasks, there is not touchscreen or none of these things, no mouse or keyboard will not be attached to the computers. Showing the page will be its only task and it will not be required to do anything more.

Thank you in advance for your help and all the answers, every tip will be valuable to me.
Regards
 
Old 06-21-2018, 07:39 PM   #2
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson8 View Post
Processor: Geode LX800 (500 MHz) – no PAE Support
Motherboard: WAFER-LX800-R12 Ver. 1.2 (B027)
Disk: ICF1000IPS - 512 MB (company iEi) (compact flash)
Memory: Kingston 256 MB

The idea is to use this computers as web kiosks - after launching, any browser should be opened in full screen mode and display the indicated web page.
very unlikely you can even run any sort of gui at all, let alone a web browser capable of dealing with the www of 2018.

so, maybe a CLI browser. links, w3m etc.

additionally, it's getting increasingly difficult to find non-pae 32 bit distros.
 
Old 06-21-2018, 09:13 PM   #3
high-n-low
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At https://sourceforge.net/projects/ant...al/antiX-17.1/ there's a antix core sid 386 that might suit you. It's debian sid so it's up-to-date.
I imagine that as long as its kernel works for you, you would install it to a flash drive and, using another computer, remaster it adding just a very light window manager and web browser (maybe links2) and make it boot directly to the open page. Then you would install it in frugal mode with no save feature so it would never corrupt because of hard poweroffs.
The antix community certainly can help you with that.
Other small distro is puppy, which also would have something small, for old hardware and run in frugal mode. You would have to research their forum. Slitaz is very small too.
I think there's a linux kiosk distro too that you may find if you search more in distrowatch.

Back to the start, if antix works, it's a good bet as it's very simple to make it just the way you need.
 
Old 06-21-2018, 10:03 PM   #4
Mill J
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Three distros come to mind.

*Slitaz
*Tiny Core
*Nano Linux

These are the smallest Linux has to offer.

It should be easier if you could just download that website and run it offline.

Let us know if these work.
 
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:22 AM   #5
Johnson8
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Hi - thank you for reply,

Tiny Core works surprisingly goood
- Opera - very fine, smooth and without any problem with the site
- Firefox-ESR - hangs sometimes (definitely too often) and starts very long
- Chromium - work but it is not smooth work, but without hangs


I even managed to make opera autostart in fullscreen but I have problem. After the incorrect shutdown of the computer Opera at the startup show "Welcome to Opera" dialog box (printscreen is on this site http://www.freeemailtutorials.com/op...tting-down.php in section "Restart Opera and recover crashed websites") and I can not deal to disable this.

I try some command from this list https://www.opera.com/docs/switches/ but without success.
Best regards

Last edited by Johnson8; 06-22-2018 at 06:09 AM.
 
Old 06-22-2018, 04:02 AM   #6
anticapitalista
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If you want to try with antiX, download the net or core version and run it frugally with persistence. Install xorg, browser of choice, lightweight window manager eg jwm/openbox.
Debian instructions here should apply to antiX as well.

https://willhaley.com/blog/debian-fullscreen-gui-kiosk/
 
Old 06-22-2018, 05:45 AM   #7
high-n-low
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Note: I posted this last night but it was held for moderation due to a web link. So, although others have answered already, I'll strip the link and post as it can still be helpful.

At (sourceforge.net) projects/antix-linux/files/Final/antiX-17.1/ there's a antix core sid 386 that might suit you. It's debian sid so it's up-to-date.
I imagine that as long as its kernel works for you, you would install it to a flash drive and, using another computer, remaster it adding just a very light window manager and web browser (maybe links2) and make it boot directly to the open page. Then you would install it in frugal mode with no save feature so it would never corrupt because of hard poweroffs.
The antix community certainly can help you with that. (P.S.: like anticapitalista above)

Other small distro is puppy, which also would have something small, for old hardware and run in frugal mode. You would have to research their forum. Slitaz is very small too.
I think there's a linux kiosk distro too that you may find if you search more in distrowatch.

Back to the start, if antix works, it's a good bet as it's very simple to make it just the way you need.

Last edited by high-n-low; 06-22-2018 at 05:47 AM.
 
Old 06-22-2018, 05:50 AM   #8
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
very unlikely you can even run any sort of gui at all, let alone a web browser capable of dealing with the www of 2018.
(...)
additionally, it's getting increasingly difficult to find non-pae 32 bit distros.
because i don't want to look like an idot, i had a closer look at the specs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson8 View Post
Processor: Geode LX800 (500 MHz) no PAE Support
Motherboard: WAFER-LX800-R12 Ver. 1.2 (B027)
Disk: ICF1000IPS - 512 MB (company iEi) (compact flash)
Memory: Kingston 256 MB
it's some sort of SBC.
i mistook "weak" for "old", but this one is still being sold.
is it ARM architecture or did you install a normal 32bit-non-pae OS on it?
the relatively fast flash memory certainly helps with things.
 
Old 06-22-2018, 05:59 AM   #9
high-n-low
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If it fits, I still think antix might be a good choice but look at this one too:

(distrowatch.com) table.php?distribution=porteuskiosk
 
Old 06-22-2018, 06:56 AM   #10
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson8 View Post
Hi - thank you for reply,

Tiny Core works surprisingly goood
- Opera - very fine, smooth and without any problem with the site
- Firefox-ESR - hangs sometimes (definitely too often) and starts very long
- Chromium - work but it is not smooth work, but without hangs


I even managed to make opera autostart in fullscreen but I have problem. After the incorrect shutdown of the computer Opera at the startup show "Welcome to Opera" dialog box (printscreen is on this site http://www.freeemailtutorials.com/op...tting-down.php in section "Restart Opera and recover crashed websites") and I can not deal to disable this.

I try some command from this list https://www.opera.com/docs/switches/ but without success.
Best regards
So what commands did you try? I'm thinking something like opera nosession http:yoururl

There are also some other browsers you might want to check into: qupzilla recently renamed to Falkon, midori, otter, and a lot more.

Keep us updated.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-22-2018, 07:37 AM   #11
jlinkels
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You Linux distro choice contributes for a negligible amount to resources consumption. The GUI or DE contributes much more so it is wise to choose something very light on underpowered hardware.

But even the choice of the DE contributes an order of magnitude less to resource consumption as compared to web browsers.

If you want to use these computers to offer ordinary users access to a browser, only the mainstream browsers like Chrome and Firefox give a satisfying rendering. Maybe Opera, I have not used Opera since the move to the new rendering engine.

Heck, Chrome is the standard nowadays and often enough I encounter web pages which do not even render in Firefox.

With the current (insane!) web page design where almost a complete OS is scripted in a web page Chrome/Firefox brings any hardware below Intel i3 to its limits.

Which doesn't make any sense of course. I run everything on a Raspberry Pi, LXDE, Office, Gimp. Until it comes to web browsing. And forget about the light-weight browsers if you need a general purpose web access. There is always something wrong with some web pages. Maybe if your need are specialized: for example, LQ renders fine in almost everything.

jlinkels
 
Old 06-22-2018, 10:28 AM   #12
rokytnji
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I shoehorned a gnu/linux puppy install on a 128mb sd card

https://forums.solydxk.com/viewtopic.php?t=1858

It uses light enough apps for a kiosk install. Maybe roll with Dillo or lynx as a browser.

Here is what I used

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=72576
 
Old 06-22-2018, 12:37 PM   #13
Johnson8
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Thank you everyone very much for all hints.

I am thinking about focusing on tiny core configuration at the moment so do not blame me for that. I think I am very close to achieve the expected effect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
So what commands did you try? I'm thinking something like opera nosession http:yoururl

There are also some other browsers you might want to check into: qupzilla recently renamed to Falkon, midori, otter, and a lot more.

Keep us updated.
Your suggestion work as charm - thank you!
My mistake consisted in trying to use the option of setting the start page in the browser.

The last thing I need to do is to rotate the screen 90 degrees to the right but so far I can't.

Last edited by Johnson8; 06-22-2018 at 12:42 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2018, 12:50 PM   #14
Mill J
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Usually that is handled via xrandr

a quick search reveals this:
https://askubuntu.com/questions/5638...-from-terminal

I don't know if it works on tiny core but it might put you on the right track.
 
Old 07-01-2018, 06:12 AM   #15
Johnson8
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It's not gonna happen.

People from Tiny Core forum compile for me driver "xf86-video-geode" and the result is black screen - they tell me that I probably do everything right, the right driver loaded, but it's not working (buggy). Geode is very old, and not many people work on the driver.

So I only wasted time for fight with this.
 
  


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