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Thread: is my box too old for linux?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Question is my box too old for linux?

    so i dug up the old-school machine that i want to put linux on, and everyone says that its great for older slower machines. BUT, is there a limit to that? the machine i want to use is a pentium, a blazing fast 75mhz!! with like 16mg RAM...and a huge 500 mg hard drive. now know that its too old for any new linux (ie redhat 7.3 which i just finished downloading) but it was running win95 just fine and was good when it was on dial-up modem for email etc...
    i would like to practice some networking and have linux on the old machine networked to my 1.8ghz 512RAM 80gig hD and cable modem...what can i do/should i do...any advice? should i just trash the old box and find something a little bit newer or can i make this work with a different linux OS?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Well you are somewhat off there. The problem is tha redhat will want to give you all kinds of extras, like KDE etc. If you truly want linux, you can get a small compact linux distrobution, like from slackware, you can get zipslack, it is only 25 megs or something like that, and once you unzip it you can run it along with windows. And if you want to, you can download x-windows for it as well. If you can do without all the extras most linux distros will try to give you, then you can easily run linux on your machine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    well i am certainly no guru on the subject..as i have yet to get my copy of redhat to install on my comp, but from reading my book i can say a full install with everything in redhat 7.2 is like 2 1/2 gigs (or around that) so i am guessing 7.3 wouldnt be that far off..
    good luck man.
    p.s. i am envious of your newer comp..mine is just a little p2 350 mhz

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    I'm running my Caldera OpenLinux on a 75mhz processor, 16 mb RAM, and a 750 meg HDD. Only trouble I came across was some of the bulk that is installed, but that can easily be fixed by doing a "custom" install and deciding not to install certain things that you don't necessarilly need. It worked for me, and if you can't get it down to 500 megs, I'd be happy to sell you another 500 meg HDD for really cheap that you can put to it to help you install it. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    It is not too small for a *nix like environment. You should be able to run PicoBSD with some ease. You can check it out here
    It's not really a distro of Linux, but one of the BSD's. If I am not mistaken, it can be run from 1 floppy disk, and your additional packages can be insalled and run from the main HDD, even if it is only 500MB. From what I understand, this OS was packaged for BSD fans that were running laptops that didn't have much for HDD's, so it shoudl work out for you.

    \"I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing.\"

  6. #6
    The Iceman Cometh
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    You could always just go with an older distro of a large-name company (such as Red Hat). I had some older versions of Red Hat running on some 486s and 90 MHz and less Pentiums before I decided to scrap them.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    A few months ago I installed Redhat 7.2 on a 66mHz 486 with 16MB RAM and a 300MB HD. It took a few goes tinkering around with all the partitions but I managed to get it working and it ran ok. Of course this was a very basic install with pretty much just the core packages. No pretty GUI's or anything but it would work fine as a baby server or just for messing around with.
    OpenBSD - The proactively secure operating system.

  8. #8
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    I have a 486-66 with 32 megs ram and 450 meg hard drive
    running red hat 6.0. There isn't enough hard drive space
    for the X window system though. I have a 486-80 32 megs ram 1.2 gig HD
    and it runs redhat 6.0 with X window system.
    and i have a 486-66 with 24 megs ram and 8 gig hard drive, and
    it dual boots win98 and redhat 5.2

    You may not be happy with the video on older machines.
    They sometimes can't give you high enough screen resolution
    for a good experience with the GUI (X window system)
    If you are satisfied with text mode, your box is more than
    adequate, although I'd try to scrounge some more ram
    and a bigger (or second) hard drive if I could get it cheap.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  9. #9
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Flint, MI
    You CAN install RH 7.3 on that machine. You just limit what you install. You don't want/need an X server or client (no KDE/Gnome/etc or any gui environment). Also, when you install, only install the packages you want. You don't need to install desktop publishing, photo editing, etc type software. Only install the network and development packages, and you will be doing good.
    Thats 1 nice thing about linux. You only have to install what you want to, not what the company wants you to.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    I've got RH 6 on my Tosh2150CD laptop (486, 20mb RAM). HDD is 2.0gigs, partitioned 50/50 to let me dual-boot to Windoze95 osr2.
    How sad am i? (rhetorical question -- I already *know* how sad I am, thanks!)

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