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Old 06-25-2011, 01:34 AM   #1
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Talking Setting up new(old) linux server

A friend recently introduced me to linux and I've experimented with a few different distros and now have 2 working puppies; 1 system i slapped together from misc. parts lying around and the other is my netbook which boots to puppy via USB. I have had to play around with formatting using gparted.

I very recently acquired a server unit with a pentium II 200Mhz and I would like to LEARN linux. Thru careful research I have figured out that Slack is the best OS for those who want to learn the in's and out's.

I guess my question would be which slackware distro would be best for this somewhat older system? ...And where can I find a mirror to download the iso?

I would appreciate any advice you can offer as well. I am anxious to learn. ...and the last experience i had with programming was in the dark ages of BASIC on an Apple II
Old 06-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Slackware is a good choice to learn Linux as it keeps all software packages and the kernel as close to their original versions as possible. Other distributions modify and patch the software after it comes from the developers, which can lead to incompatibilities between systems.

As for which version to run, there is no advantage to running anything but the latest. There will be no performance increase by using an older version simply because the hardware is older. The idea that newer releases of software require ever more powerful hardware is largely the result of Microsoft's development process; and does not necessarily hold true in the *nix environment.

That said, you will need to have reasonable expectations for such a machine. Running a GUI on 200 MHz is possible, but can be unpleasant (especially if you don't have much RAM). Of course, since you are trying to setup a server here and learn about the core OS, a GUI won't be necessary for awhile, and in some cases might even hinder the learning process.
Old 06-25-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hello Robbinhood70, welcome to LQ,

I agree with MS3FGX, Slackware is a good choice.

On the mirrors you will find Slackware down to (at least) 9.0 with recent securitypatches. And I think Slackware-9.0 should work for you on the old machine.

Another point: A server doesn't need a gui, so you may install it without the packageseries gnome (which back then was part of Slackware), kde, kdei, x, xap and y.
The securitypatches reside on a directory "patches" on the mirror, after the installation you should upgrade with these packages.

The mirrorlist is here: and if you don't find a mirror with 9.0-isofiles, you can create the iso following the guide in the "Readme" file of the isolinux-directory: ftp://sunsite.informatik.rwth-aachen...nux/README.TXT

Downloading the packages works well with wget (from an ftp-mirror). I've once written a little script for downloading Slackware, you'll find it here: don't forget to adapt the configuration to the old Version. If you want to use it, post if it doesn't work.

Good luck


Last edited by markush; 06-25-2011 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added another explanation
Old 06-25-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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Wattos, Tinycore?, Openbsd, antix?, Arch or Debian?. Some older machines will not boot the newer cd's. Need at least 128 meg ram. Debian use to have a network floppy boot install, but it is no longer supported. Might be able to use an etherboot gpxe floppy to load the os from a web share to get around that.

Last edited by peonuser; 06-25-2011 at 06:16 PM.
Old 06-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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That PII should run the current Slackware release, although you would do well to choose a less intensive GUI than KDE, perhaps XFCE or Fluxbox.

Me, I love the simple elegance and versatility of Fluxbox, but it takes a little study to get the hang of configuring it, because the configuration is mostly via text files.

I ran Slack v. 12.1 on one an IBM PC300 (one of the first generation Pentiums from 1995) quite happily; I first used it as a self-host webserver with v. 10.x, then got a different server and used it as a file server. It would not play video because the chip couldn't handle it, and it was a little slow, but everything else worked.
Old 06-26-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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Distro's have a use because of what they offer. You pick one for any number of reasons. Those mainly fall on your opinion and some small amount on hardware. And we almost need to know how much ram.

Why did you select slackware?


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