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Old 01-12-2011, 09:20 PM   #1
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Installment of Linux on Extremely Archaic Computer

I have a computer... here are the specs that I could obtain:

Model : AST-IBM 486SX
Memory: 640K Memory w/ 7168K Extension, 7104K XMS. Basically a 4 MB memory.

I guess it is about 20 years-or-so old. It runs MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1.

I was wondering if I could install any form of Linux/Unix onto this.
If so, what versions would you recommend?

Thank you

P.S. -- The only way the computer can communicate with the outside world is through floppy disks... I really doubt Tiny Core would work, after I researched it, of course. If my assumption is false, of course, I'll give it a try.
I was looking into more like the archaic versions of Apple operating systems that nobody uses anymore; all I need to do is edit text files and basically nothing else.

Last edited by sungchoiok; 01-12-2011 at 09:47 PM.
Old 01-12-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Take a look at Tiny Core. Since DSM(Damn Small Linux) is pretty much dead(still usable just not being updated) it is probably the best choice. The main guy behind Tiny Core was the last major developer over at DSM. After he and the boss had a falling out, he started Tiny Core(and DSM just died).
Old 01-13-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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You could try an old release of Slackware, available here:
Old 01-13-2011, 03:48 PM   #4
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Zipslack may work but I doubt anything but a floppy based install would work. Look at any command line distro with a very old kernel.

Tom's boot disk should work.

Many of the distro's and bsd's offer a floppy based installer but you don't have enough ram to run anything but command line. One gets the distro usually and on it there is a netinstall option or some other floppy based way to get it going.

Last edited by jefro; 01-13-2011 at 03:50 PM.
Old 01-14-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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There are posts all over the forum about low mem installs. :-)

This might still be available. Caveat: use at own risk.

If you haven't already I suggest that you not do as I did and nuke 3.11. It was the first thing I did and I wish I hadn't.

If it has a network card (NEC 2000) I think? You might try QNX-on-a-floppy.

Last edited by mjolnir; 01-14-2011 at 06:40 AM.
Old 01-14-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mjolnir View Post
[url]u might try QNX-on-a-floppy.
Oh.... I remember that from 99. That was *lovely*! I don't even have a floppy DRIVE on this computer!


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