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Old 09-03-2003, 08:46 PM   #1
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Optimal linux configuration for a 386

Hey there, you'll probably find this topic rediculous but I'm being quite serious What is the optimal linux configuration for Linux running on a 386? I'm mainly concerned with Linux kernel and library versions and anything else that can speed up my 386.

My 386 has pretty high specs (compared to most 386s) so I'm not *that* limited by the hardware.

Processor: AMD 386DX/DXL @ 40MHz
Cache: L1 1kb, L2 64kb
Coprocessor: IIT 387DX @ 40MHz
RAM: 32mb SIMM
SCSI Controller: Adaptec 152x
Hard drives: 2x IBM DGHS04Z 4.5gig (SCSI)

I'm currently using the Slackware Linux distro with kernel version 2.2.19.

I'd appreciate any help, thanks
Old 09-03-2003, 09:06 PM   #2
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I think you are going to be limited to the 2.2 series kernels. I don't the 2.4 series supports the 386 (although many distros don't compile for anything more elaborate than the i386 instruction set).

I recall SuSE 6.1 supporting 386s. I could be wrong though. You are going to be hard-pressed to do anything seriously useful with a system that is so old. It could maybe serve as a firewall or a honeypot. That's about it.
Old 09-03-2003, 09:48 PM   #3
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2.4.x supports 386s

And as for the whole uselessness comment... 386s are still very useful (even as a tiny server and software development machine a certain extent) if the system has been upgraded. Otherwise, yeah, it should just be a router/firewall.

Old 09-03-2003, 10:02 PM   #4
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I'm currently using the Slackware Linux distro with kernel version 2.2.19.
Although you are the one asking the question, I would guess that if you already have Slack running on that 386 you know more that half the followups will be able to offer.
I would be interested to know which version of Slack and what GUI (if any) you are running.
I have an old 486 with 64MB RAM that someone gave away as "an old DOS box". I was quite shocked to find it to be as powerful as it is. Having installed an ISA NE2000 clone network card I had around, a Y2K BIOS update card with large drive support, and a 4GB hard drive, I still need to install the dual boot Vector/Debian software.
The term "old DOS box" lead me to believe it might be more like the 486 with 4MB RAM that I once installed a version of Zipslack to.
Old 09-03-2003, 10:03 PM   #5
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even 2.6 should support 386s, since you can just tell the compiler to compile only for 386...
Old 09-03-2003, 11:50 PM   #6
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Slackware verision 8.0 with no GUI (although I've thought about getting BlackBox on it)

I guess what I'm asking for is the most minimal configuration / version for the kernel or libraries that will not hinder 386's ability run any program while having the lowest load on the processor.



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