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Old 10-16-2003, 03:15 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Distribution: Debian unstable
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Question really really old laptop - is linux possible?

well.. i have this really old laptop. really really old. 8 mb's of ram. small hard drive. is it possible to install linux on this thing? i don't care if all i can do is use vi and g++, i'd like to have linux on this laptop. which distro would be the best, and how old of a version will i need (if i need an older version) of that distro? thanks for any help.
Old 10-16-2003, 03:30 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Leuven, Belgium
Distribution: Gentoo Linux
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Don't know if this is what you're looking for, hope it helps
Old 10-16-2003, 04:40 AM   #3
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If it's old enough to be 286 based, then it's going to be extremely hard.

I believe there are a few projects that ported linux back to 286, but I really don't think it would be practical.

Your milage may vary, but the processor is going to determine what's possible/practical/practicable and what's not

Old 10-16-2003, 09:43 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
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Well we kinda of need specs , but if its a 386 with 8 then your cool cause i know of an old slackware and redhat distro. that would support just console mode. But im sure there are other distros out there. Check out or and look for an old distro it shouldnt be to hard.
Old 10-16-2003, 01:46 PM   #5
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One other approach is that rather than to spend time theorizing about what might and/or should work, is to just try to install Linux and see what happens. Whether it works or not, you'll have your answer. Sometimes the "just try it" approach is the best of all.

One other comment though is that if your machine has only 8Mg RAM, then I'll assume the disk drive is equally small, maybe only a couple hundred megs. I don't know how much space the different distros require, but clearly lack of space on the drive could be a significant limiting factor. -- J.W.
Old 10-16-2003, 02:01 PM   #6
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Moved: More suitable in our Laptop forum. Regards.
Old 10-16-2003, 02:28 PM   #7
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Sure, as long as it is a 386+. I used to run on a 486 with 8MB 120MB HD. Was an awsome dial up terminal for a long time.

X runing on it was never very satisfying. I wouldn't recomend it.
Old 10-16-2003, 02:42 PM   #8
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Distribution: Debian unstable
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alrighty... and what do i do..well.. and all this is doable from a floppy? i'm not sure i want to rely on the "credit card" network card that i have ( can't remember what brand... but i know it's not a common one....i think...)
Old 10-16-2003, 04:08 PM   #9
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It is not pleasant, but it can be done. I did it with Slackware, you have to copy all the files over to floppies and just keep stuffing them in.


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