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Old 03-12-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2009
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Problems installing certain Distros

Hi all,

I'm new around here. I've got a strong Windows background but I do have quite alot of Linux experience, and recently I have been taking an active interest in Desktop versions of Linux.

I have been using Ubuntu for a while now, and think it's a great OS. I have an old IBM R40e (P3 i think, 512mb RAM), and I was curious about how well Linux would run on it. Initially I installed Xubuntu, and this worked fine. This machine is somewhat of a test machine, so I don't care about losing stuff.

Anyway, over the past few days I have tried the following distros (on this machine):

- Slackware
- Backtrack
- Debian

And, they all failed to install and/or boot (Slackware seemed to install, but didn't boot)

I see I/O errors on boot, and then usually something like "PCI Interript Link enabled at IRQ11", or "ppdev: user-space parallel port driver" - all of them do this.

At which point the cursor stops blinking and the process freezes.

Yet, I've not had any issues with Xubuntu. I was wondering if it was about what the distos are based on...but then Xubuntu is based on Debian, and that works while Debian didn't.

What are Slackware and Mepis based on? (sorry if that is a poor question, we are in the Newbies forum after all

Do these distros have anything in common? (being Linux isn't what I mean )

Would appreciate any pointers

Last edited by chrisgti; 03-12-2009 at 09:26 AM.
Old 03-12-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2007
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Slackware, i beleive, is based on...well, slackware not to sound condescending, i beleive it is its own "core" distro (like Debian is the "core" to ubuntu)
Old 03-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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The problem seems about the "aging" hardware vis-a-vis the Linux kernel of a given distro. Did you install Xubuntu without using "noapic" at the installation? Good if didn't.

What seems ironical is that Slackware rather didn't install? Possible point here are:

a) P3 with 512mb ram, is good enough, but the kernel to use should be the precompiled huge.s; how to: at boot in the installer enter: "huge.s" hit Enter. Default kernel is "hugesmp.s" but this is intented for multi-processor which in our case P3 is not. Just try this to avoid conflicts later.
b) Also try add: "acpi=off vga=normal" after huge.s, this should eliminate possible issues with respect to irq and videograph.
c) Dual booting? Slackware uses LILO bootloader while Xubuntu uses Grub, conflict is expected if you installed LILO at MBR while Xubuntu is on another partition. Try to read more about Grub to be prepared about this. However if you only single booted to Slackware with those issues, chances are its the kernel and vga.

hope it helps.
Old 03-12-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 58

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Originally Posted by akuthia View Post
Slackware, i beleive, is based on...well, slackware not to sound condescending, i beleive it is its own "core" distro (like Debian is the "core" to ubuntu)
Ah OK, I thought that was the case, but worth asking.

Perhaps it's a hardware fault; but as I type I am installing Xubuntu again with no problems!

Currently downloading the CentOS live CD...the Backtrack CD didn't work though.

At least I'm getting experience in several distros eh!
Old 03-12-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
Registered: Mar 2009
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Hmm, well, CentOS selection screen pops up, then before I can select anything:

"Memory for crash kernel (0x0 to 0x0) notwithin permissible range"

The laptop is a Luddite, it just wants to stick with Xubuntu!!


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