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Old 12-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2013
Distribution: Fedora 20 Jam-KDE Spin (32bit-PAE) and Debian/KDE Testing (64bit)
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What is the Oldest Computer/Hardware You Installed Gnu/Linux on?

I was taking a trip down memory lane. I started looking at the old 8086's and 8088's. That got me thinking about some posts here and my experience with an old computer, not nearly as old as the 8086 or 8088, I had to install Linux on and use for a couple of weeks.

What is the oldest Computer/Hardware you have installed Gnu/Linux on, recently that is? What did you install? Where there any problems? How did it run? Did you do it out of necessity or just to do it?
Old 12-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2008
Location: Waaaaay out West Texas
Distribution: AntiX 15 , Linux-Lite 2.4, SaliX 14.1, ChromeOS
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P66hz, 12MB edo ram, Kapok 1991 Netbook.


Problems: No Ethernet jack. The yellow cable in the photo is not hooked up. No usb. 8 bit PCMCIA slot. Have a dial up pcmcia modem for it but no dial up internet account to use it or test it. I have also a wireless B Netgear MA401 8 bit pcmcia card but it is not capable of wpa wireless. The LED would come on the Netgear card at least so it was getting power. ifconfig -a showed a wireless connection also.

Makes a good door stop. I am hoping eventually it will become a museum piece but I doubt it.
I am not a IT guy. Just a biker who runs Linux with some old gear. I just did it to teach myself
a few things.
Old 12-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
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I currently use an IBM Thinkpad with a Pentium M (2002?). I don't think that's old, but I know a lot of people around here seem to think that only a 64-bit processor and 2GB RAM are worth having! It came 2nd hand with Ubuntu and installing Salix gave it a new lease of life.

AntiX recommends a Pentium II, although it comes with a non-pae kernel that would do on a Pentium I.

I used to have a Q60 (1999), with a Motorola 68060, running an M68K port of Red Hat. It should have been OK, as the Mac was then using the 68040, but the port of X was poor: "startx" put you into wounded-snail mode.

Last edited by DavidMcCann; 12-07-2013 at 11:03 AM.
Old 12-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
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My first Linux system was a Red Hat retail boxed version, I think it was 6.0, installed on a Zeos 386DX-20 tower system in the mid-late '90s. As best I can recall, my system had 4MB RAM and a 80MB hard drive. Later I upgraded it to a 512MB SCSI drive. All incredibly expensive stuff back in the day. I think that 4MB of RAM cost me $3500 and the 512MB SCSI drive was $1000.

Last edited by Z038; 12-07-2013 at 03:26 PM.
Old 12-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2009
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The oldest machine I ever installed Linux on was a Pentium 120MHz (with FPU-bug) with 32MB RAM. The oldest machine currently in use here with Linux uses an Athlon 1.1GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM, running Salix with LXDE.
Old 12-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #6
Registered: May 2008
Distribution: Slackware
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I first started using Linux on a 386sx, but the OP wanted recently. I have three old Athlon Slot A boxes with processors ranging from 700 to 950 megahertz, running Slackware 12.1. My internet gateway is an Athlon 950 with an old ISA bus USR Courier V.Everything modem, still the best modem I have ever found.
Old 12-07-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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I have a stack of Sharp PentiumNULL 120mhz/32mbRAM/~2.2gbHD that have run Linux since about 1995, starting with Suse 6 and an early Slackware as I recall.

I maintain my own repo of Mandrake 7.2 specifically to keep them going. The most recently I actually re-installed one of them was about 2007 when I replaced a hard drive.

With a pcmcia ethernet card they make terrific little remote data acquisition devices and one of them is still in use by a daughter as her diary notebook.

I have a Greenleaf 386 monochrome notebook, 40mgHD, probably 256K RAM that I sometimes think of installing, but it has no network and the floppy drive is dead... maybe some day...

Last edited by astrogeek; 12-07-2013 at 04:43 PM.
Old 12-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #8
Registered: Dec 2013
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
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[mod edit] oldass Pentium II machine sitting behind me functioning as a doorstop had Crunchbang 10 installed on it at last boot.

Last edited by onebuck; 12-08-2013 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Mod edit to remove obscene language,LQR violations
Old 12-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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I also have this running Slackware 12.1 which was installed Feb 4 2012.

# uname -a
Linux pluto #2 SMP Wed Apr 30 13:41:38 CDT 2008 i686 Pentium II (Deschutes) GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 5
model name      : Pentium II (Deschutes)
stepping        : 2
cpu MHz         : 399.329
It is built around a few old SCSI drives and I use it only once in a while as a kind of on-demand nfs overflow storage for other boxes - a great asset for me!

Last edited by astrogeek; 12-07-2013 at 05:34 PM.
Old 12-07-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Mageia, Mint
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Slackware 10 on IBM PC 300 that was surplussed by the Princeton University IT Department in 2005 and given to me by a buddy of mine.

About a year later I made the Big Leap and put Slackware on my personal laptop, which served as my primary computer.

Haven't looked back.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-07-2013 at 09:09 PM.
Old 12-08-2013, 07:32 AM   #11
Registered: Apr 2003
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"4. What is the oldest PC you have now ?

1992 DECpc 333sx LP - Debian Slink

The link shows one similar except mine had Win 3.11 for Work Groups, network card and 12 megs of ram.

1998 Panasonic CF -01 DOS/Win95 Pen Computer with dock."

The CF-01 still runs Win95 but I intend to try to put linux on it sometime in the future if I can ever get around to imaging the h/d so I can return it to spec.

I'm currently "working" ;-) on this:

(1998) Jornada 820 Running Debian-arm 3.1rc8

I should clarify that the 820 has no h/d. It runs WinCE from rom, linux runs from a CF card.

Last edited by mjolnir; 12-08-2014 at 06:35 AM.
Old 12-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: USA
Distribution: Mageia Cauldron & Salix 14
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I have an IBM Thinkpad 380XD with Debian Testing installed. I did a netinstall and added only what I needed. I still have the machine but don't use it anymore.


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