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Old 06-29-2009, 06:43 PM   #1
Fred Caro
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simple linux os


Dear Sirs/Madams,
perhaps I over blow it but a conundrum, I want to put a linux system on many old computers and make it useful- this is on behalf of a charity. It needs to be up to all the things that you expect of these new netbook jobies but also cheap (competition) and 'user friendly'. Honing down mint would cause the problem of how do I reproduce this?
Any answers?

Fred.
 
Old 06-29-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
linus72
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I always though of/wanted to do that too.

Many many recommendations...

However, i would use "light-weight", easy to install frugal linux's like Puppy, Tinycore
etc

Best choice maybe Puppy, it's just so easy.
I'm actually making a multi-puppy frugal install iso now

But, whatever you wanna do
are all the computers same model etc or various models?

lowram or good ram?
and you want same linux across all systems?
 
Old 06-30-2009, 03:45 AM   #3
Fred Caro
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mm?

Thanks, looks like work in progress though. What I thought was a custom install of a mainstream linux version but how to transform that to a disk that could be used to install on multiple computers?

Fred.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 03:55 AM   #4
repo
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Quote:
What I thought was a custom install of a mainstream linux version but how to transform that to a disk that could be used to install on multiple computers?
First you need to know the specs of the computers, especially RAM and processor.
If you are low of ram, you can use puppy, dsl...
You can try with a live CD, and see if it works on that computer.
Just download the ISO burn it to disk and install.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 04:54 AM   #5
linuxlover.chaitanya
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You havent put what your old computers mean? What resources do they have? Are they capable of running full blown X? What purpose do you want them to solve?
I would say if your computers are low on resources then Xubuntu is something that you can look into. Another Distribution that you can look for is Dream Linux. That is also a small yet good looking and based on ever stable Debian.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
onebuck
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Hi,

'The LiveCD List' would be a place to start. You need to provide specifics for your hardware. If it's general recycled PC machines then the task will be harder. A minimal GNU/Linux OS should work but if the hardware is older then you may run into legacy problems with newer versions.

You really need to provide some specifics.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 12:34 AM   #7
Fred Caro
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lean linux o/s

Dear Sirs,
I cannot give specific specs as I cannot control what people donate. If general specs would help then: 400mhz processor, 10G hard drive, 246ram (if your lucky) but you cannot tell what is going to turn up. My main point was how do you translate a slimed down version of a mainstream of Linux to a cd and use that to install on a number of machines. I have tried Puppy, but it may have been an atrophied copy, to no avail.
How to make a cd of a custom install?

Fred.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:43 AM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,

Since you are looking at a general system specification of that era then why not just roll back to earlier versions of some distributions. You could try some early Livecd or even try some earlier 'KNOPPIX' to see what is actually recognized. I would make certain to max out the memory on the machines and use a light desktop. Your not going to use effectively the newer distributions.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 07-01-2009, 08:09 AM   #9
linus72
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Hey Fred
It's actually pretty easy to make custom iso's etc, that's what I do
so, what kinda iso do you wanna make?

I have a iso where I have like 6 or 7 puppies on 700mb cd-r
I extracted each puppy iso image, archived the folder that appeared as a zip, or tar.bz2 and put it all
in a folder, added a small puppy as the sysytem to boot the iso, and you can simply
de-compress any of the puppies onto a hd/usb, setup grub and boot frugal.

we can make anything you want; so shoot for the stars
 
Old 07-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #10
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
Hey Fred
It's actually pretty easy to make custom iso's etc, that's what I do
so, what kinda iso do you wanna make?

I have a iso where I have like 6 or 7 puppies on 700mb cd-r
I extracted each puppy iso image, archived the folder that appeared as a zip, or tar.bz2 and put it all
in a folder, added a small puppy as the sysytem to boot the iso, and you can simply
de-compress any of the puppies onto a hd/usb, setup grub and boot frugal.

we can make anything you want; so shoot for the stars
How do you expect to handle the 'legacy' hardware? It's not going to be as easy as you think. Roll the kernels? Then what about the libs? If you are specific about a certain hardware configuration then come upon a legacy need then how to handle? The hardware that the OP has suggested is circa the '2.4' and even earlier kernels. What about a 4K vs 8K block issue for that era of hardware? Be sure to handle that. Not all BIOS will allow or even recognize.

linus72; not to discourage you but the task at hand would be cumbersome. Sure it's doable but at what cost? Time. That's one of the reasons I suggest to use earlier versions of a LiveCD. That's not really going to roll back that far in time. If the machines that the OP is suggesting to use then the OS era would be for 'Intel® Celeron® Processor 400 MHz, 128K Cache, 66 MHz FSB' typical. That's not that old but still limiting with today's kernels used with current distributions. Sure, if you max out the memory, have all the drivers for the hardware and utilize a light environment. Then you could get something going. But again time.

I've used current versions of Slackware on older equipment but I had to do a lot of tweaking. Not a average user task. That's why I would look at utilizing a '2.4' kernel based distribution from the era of the hardware specified by the OP.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 09:04 AM   #11
linus72
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Of course your probably right on Onebuck, as I am still new to Linux

Well, I don't believe in giving up either.

DSL-4.4.10 and earlier is 2.4 kernel
Other small, older mini distro's also utilize even older kernels
especially older versions like slax, bonzai, byzantine, luit, etc, older puppies too

however, Current distro's like Tinycore/Puppy/slax/ and even debian and slackware all run great on my
OLD toshiba 7000ct 160mb ram, 4gb hd, no cdrom.

I think the solution is to have ALOT of both older and newer distro's and try running 'em all until one works.

Just REMEMBER that most lappy's, especially older, need to use Framebuffer!
like vga=785, vga=788(800x600x16)
 
Old 07-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #12
onebuck
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Hi,

I'm not discouraging you at all. Go for it. The use of legacy hardware is there. Not everyone can afford the newest and greatest hardware. The auto recognition is going to be the problem. Of course you could pack the kernel.

You could look at the way that 'Accelerated Knoppix' recognized hardware to indeed accelerate the boot. This technique could be used to pass information to the kernel of choice.

But a fast boot is not the issue here.

You can't use your current hardware as a benchmark. The OP is speaking of a different class of hardware. Shot gunning is not always the best means to develop something. The design cycle should setup a scope that covers the criteria. Then you can break down areas that are indeed possible problems or issues that need addressed.

I don't think the OP is concerned with the laptop limitations. If indeed the hardware is isa/pci then your video drivers should be there for the kernel. If not then the vesa or fbdev could be used for your 'xorg'. Again your not going to be using heavy load 'X' on this type of hardware. Minimal desktop is the way, possibly 'xfce' or the like.

Please don't take my presentation as an argument but as a indicator to the issue(s) that should be addressed.
 
Old 07-06-2009, 03:09 AM   #13
Fred Caro
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small linux on small machine

Dear all,
thanks for replies. I am no linux expert, as you may have gathered, but am persistant. Ihave tried Puppy but connection to the web is less than automatic. When people take said machine away to another Ip address they do not need loads of hassle. Winge,winge we have problems with the microsoft lisencing syetem, and I would like to promote linux anyway, but it needs to be somewhat user friendly -does puppy have DHCP or was I doing something wrong? Damn small linux looks good but came off a live cd and this tends to take up a lot of the cpu/ram. Live seems to be a regretable trend, sorry to hark on but could anyone suggest a source of non-live small linux downloads?

Thanks,fred.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 03:57 AM   #14
Fred Caro
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old hardware small linux

Thanks again for all your suggestions. Xubuntu with xfce desktop seems to be the answer, not least because it is easily repeatable and the result trots along at a fair pace.

Fred.
 
  


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