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Old 06-24-2004, 04:29 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: EST
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
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Linux on OLD Computers

I am fortunate enough to have just aquired 8 free computers (although very old computers), and I am interested in getting them all up and running by installing linux on them. They all have about 2 gig hard drives, 32 megs of ram, and P1 200mhz processors. I am having a few problems though with even trying to install linux.

First, there is no option to boot from CD. These computers are very old, and I cannot even get them to switch to boot from anything but the HD or floppy. I guess I will have to get a boot disk to boot from a floppy then install from a CD. However, whenever I use my slackware bootdisk, it works for a little bit, and gives me the boot: prompt, but once I hit enter I just get a whole lot of errors.

Second, are there any distros of linux that are especially small? 2 gigs isnt alot of room - the current distro Im trying to install has nearly that much just in the OS software (slackware 9.1).

Im sure Im going to have to give more info if I want someone to help me, but being new to linux Im not sure what else I should share. If anyone thinks they can lend me a hand, let me know. Thanks.
Old 06-24-2004, 04:34 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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You'll need two disks, a boot and a root disk, read the
instructions again.

As for the 2GB, just give tetex, kde and gnome a miss,
that'll save you > 400MB. Use a newbie install, don't
select stuff you know you won't use.

Old 06-24-2004, 05:00 PM   #3
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Registered: May 2004
Location: california
Distribution: mdklinux8.1
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Corallis; if possible why not upgrade one with a better motherboard and lgr hdd.? ok ok cost may preempt this suggestion that is ok. but from advice read from other guru`s that may satisfy while learning but later it wll restrict expansion with other apps. but its u r chioce. had an at tower with pII 486 uninstalled and installed a7v600 . TT$400.
Old 06-24-2004, 05:14 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Arch Slackware Ubuntu
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Why not get the Debian Sarge installer on floppies and install over a LAN? I've packed loads into less than 800mb -- fluxbox, xchat, mozilla-firebird, abiword (and Ted) plus Vim --- more than I'll need on that old laptop. I've only gor 48mb RAM but I'm sure I'd get by with 32. Sometimes more is just *more* - decide what you need and only install that.
Good luck.
Old 06-24-2004, 05:46 PM   #5
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: EST
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 150

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Buying new hardware is currently out of the question. Ive already got a new Desktop and Ive got a new laptop coming in the mail. The old PCs Im installing this on are simply for messing around and learning how to use/manage linux computers and also how to manage a network eventually once I get these set up.
Old 06-24-2004, 06:36 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Kalifornia
Distribution: YOPER+KDE
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try damn small linux. its only 50mb and has a gui. i installed mandrake on a 700mb partition with KDE and gcc compilers. all you need really.
Old 06-24-2004, 07:51 PM   #7
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Debian (I know) and Slack (I think) both offer network install options. If you know what you want to run and make wise package selections, that would work.
The easiest default choice is going to be something like Vector Linux. It will run (with GUI) on a system like yours by default. The install file can be copied to the hard disk and booted from floppy for install.
You could copy the install file to one hard disk and then temporarily connect to each computer in turn as a slave long enough to do the install
I usually run the Belarc Advisor (if there is a running Windows system) to quickly find what hardware the computer has.
I do a quick hardware check with TuffTEST, maybe a further memory check with Memtest, check the hard drive with the manufactuerer's hard disk utility, and wipe the drive with Autoclave.
Then I start from scratch and partition, format, install.
Watch out for boot sector virus' on the old PCs.


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