i486 revisited

i486 revisited

Post by zost » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 19:28:46



Hi all,
I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
small RAM?
Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
Thanx in advance,
Zoster
 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by James Knot » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:00:05



> Hi all,
> I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> small RAM?
> Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> Thanx in advance,
> Zoster

Certainly you can get a command line only running in it, but yes, X
would be too much for it.

--


james.knott.

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Bryon Lap » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:20:41


Slackware has a good tiny-kernel.  I'd start there.

> Hi all,
> I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> small RAM?
> Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> Thanx in advance,
> Zoster

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Mark Ke » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:55:34



>Hi all,
>I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
>a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
>the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At

At 2G of hard disk space, any modern distro should be fine.  At 8M of
ram, you'll need a good size swap partition, though.

Personally, I use debian.

Quote:>present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
>servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
>small RAM?

Yes to the soundcard (although you're likely to want an ISA card, I would
expect), mpg123 is likely to be a bit processor intensive for an older
486, but try it and see.

Quote:>Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!

You should have no problem at all with X.  Use a lightweight window
manager rather than one of the very modern 'desktop' things, which will
be too resource intensive for such a machine.  twm would be a good start.

If you've another machine running X, this machine would make an excellent
xterminal.

--
Mark Kent
                                               Take out the ham to mail me.

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Edward Roste » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 23:27:13



> Hi all,
> I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> small RAM?
> Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> Thanx in advance,
> Zoster

Sure, X can run on one of those. The sound card may or may not run, I
couldn't say.

I could reccomend RedHat 5.2, which was a very solid distribution, and is
still suited to low end hardware. I wouldn't bother with Gnome or
anything like that.

You might want to upgrade the kernel to 2.2 or 2.4 if you find some of
the hardware is not supported in 2.0.37 (but I doubt that'll be the case).

You may also want to get hold of netscape 2.X or 3.X.

Another distro is Monkey Linux which is much smaller. It comes with X,
netscape and gcc.

-Ed

--

/d{def}def/f{/Times findfont s scalefont setfont}d/s{10}d/r{roll}d f 5/m
{moveto}d -1 r 230 350 m 0 1 179{1 index show 88 rotate 4 mul 0 rmoveto}
for /s 15 d f pop 240 420 m 0 1 3 { 4 2 1 r sub -1 r show } for showpage

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Alexander Korve » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:38:54



> Hi all,
> I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> small RAM?
> Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> Thanx in advance,
> Zoster

Hi, I've a old ibm 486/dx33 with 8mb ram. It runs good till you want to
compile a new kernel ;-)
forget it to run x on it. then you will need at least 32mb ram (buy it
at ebay!).
A tip: the type of distribution is not so important. i use suse 7.2 on
it. But, install the hdd in a faster pc and copy the linux on it. then
reinstall the hdd into the 486 and have fun. If you try to install
directly on the 486 you will have a beard afterwards.

Greetings; Alex

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by charles lyttl » Mon, 15 Oct 2001 23:55:34



> Hi all,
> I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> small RAM?
> Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> Thanx in advance,
> Zoster

Look at one of the embedded linux distributions, Lineo or Blue Cat, for
example. They target such small systems. If your BIOS chips aren't
soldered in, you might be able to flash new bios chips and boot linux
from there. The 486 is still a common chip used in industry.
--
Russ Lyttle
<http://home.earthlink.net/~lyttlec>

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by ken_yap_72373427_.. » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 00:23:57


|Hi, I've a old ibm 486/dx33 with 8mb ram. It runs good till you want to
|compile a new kernel ;-)
|
|forget it to run x on it. then you will need at least 32mb ram (buy it
|at ebay!).
|A tip: the type of distribution is not so important. i use suse 7.2 on
|it. But, install the hdd in a faster pc and copy the linux on it. then
|reinstall the hdd into the 486 and have fun. If you try to install
|directly on the 486 you will have a beard afterwards.

Good idea, but watch out for one thing. Some distro installers install
kernels and/or packages (e.g. libraries) based on what processor was
autodetected and then when you take your disk over to the 486, it won't
run. I think SuSE only does this for the kernel and gives you a choice.
So choose the i486 or i386 kernel. And of course, remember that Mandrake
requires a Pentium.

PS: 8MB is ok for command line, but if you want to run X, get 16 or 32
MB. Otherwise you'll thrash the swap to death. And then with a 33 MHz
processor, perhaps it's better to run it as an X-terminal and run the
apps on a heftier machine.

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by jvbra » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 00:54:03




> >Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!

> You should have no problem at all with X.  Use a lightweight window
> manager rather than one of the very modern 'desktop' things, which will
> be too resource intensive for such a machine.  twm would be a good start.

> If you've another machine running X, this machine would make an excellent
> xterminal.

I agree. X was around _long_ before the 486. If you can get hold of some
more RAM that would be good, but not essential. As Mark said, keep the
window manager nice and simple (if you're going to be running it on the
486) - no Enlightenment for you!

james.

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by goug.. » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 01:44:00




> > Hi all,
> > I've recently got hold of a dilapidated 486 m/c which has 8MB RAM and
> > a 2GB harddisk; and want to put it to good use. Can anyone suggest me
> > the best version of linux which will be suited for this thingy? At
> > present, I'm running pocket linux and am' only able to telnet to
> > servers. Is it possible to add a sound card and run mpg123 with such a
> > small RAM?
> > Any possibility of running X - or am i asking for too much??!!
> > Thanx in advance,
> > Zoster

> Certainly you can get a command line only running in it, but yes, X
> would be too much for it.

> --


> james.knott.

Shove a load more RAM in it and you should be able to get away with X
though
--
http://www.guild.bham.ac.uk/chess-club
 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Nigel Feltha » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 07:41:47


Quote:> PS: 8MB is ok for command line, but if you want to run X, get 16 or 32
> MB. Otherwise you'll thrash the swap to death. And then with a 33 MHz
> processor, perhaps it's better to run it as an X-terminal and run the
> apps on a heftier machine.

Back in the days of slackware 2.0 I used to run X on a 486 DX2 66mhz with
4mb of Ram and 100mb hard-drive using fvwm window manager. Having a low
amount of RAM is not a problem if you can handle using an early distro.

One of the download mirror sites listed at www.slackware.org should have
something something old enough to suit your machine ( I just looked at the
sunsite UK mirror and this goes back as far as version 3.9).

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by Grant Edwar » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 02:54:40



>Hi, I've a old ibm 486/dx33 with 8mb ram. It runs good till you want to
>compile a new kernel ;-) forget it to run x on it. then you will need at
>least 32mb ram (buy it at ebay!).

Has the X server really grown that much?  I ran X on 4M and 8M machines for
years.  It swapped if you compiled stuff under X, but it was quite usable.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Where's the Coke
                                  at               machine? Tell me a joke!!
                               visi.com            

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by William Par » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 03:32:26



Quote:>> PS: 8MB is ok for command line, but if you want to run X, get 16 or 32
>> MB. Otherwise you'll thrash the swap to death. And then with a 33 MHz
>> processor, perhaps it's better to run it as an X-terminal and run the
>> apps on a heftier machine.

> Back in the days of slackware 2.0 I used to run X on a 486 DX2 66mhz with
> 4mb of Ram and 100mb hard-drive using fvwm window manager. Having a low
> amount of RAM is not a problem if you can handle using an early distro.

> One of the download mirror sites listed at www.slackware.org should have
> something something old enough to suit your machine ( I just looked at the
> sunsite UK mirror and this goes back as far as version 3.9).

For libc5 Slackware, I think you can install with 8Mb.  For glibc
Slackware, you would need 16Mb.

--

8 CPU cluster, Linux (Slackware), Python, LaTeX, Vim, Mutt, Tin

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by zost » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 04:58:20


. If your BIOS chips aren't

Quote:> soldered in, you might be able to flash new bios chips and boot linux
> from there.

Hey, that sounds interesting ... where can i get more info on that??

thanx,
zoster

 
 
 

i486 revisited

Post by zost » Tue, 16 Oct 2001 05:04:47




> Hi, I've a old ibm 486/dx33 with 8mb ram. It runs good till you want to
> compile a new kernel ;-)
> forget it to run x on it. then you will need at least 32mb ram (buy it
> at ebay!).

Yeah, i do have extra RAM with me. But somehow the BIOS fails to
detect it. In fact, when i add an additional 8MB SIMM, the memory
check shows the total mem as 2MB!! ... will a BIOS upgrade help in
this case?

thanx,
zoster

 
 
 

1. i486 revisited

    Alexander> Hi, I've a old ibm 486/dx33 with 8mb ram. It runs good
    Alexander> till you want to compile a new kernel ;-) forget it to
    Alexander> run x on it. then you will need at least 32mb ram (buy
    Alexander> it at ebay!).

A  386/DX33 used  to be  my X-terminal  on my  desk for  1.5  years in
1995-1996 (when  Pentium 75's were common).   It has 8MB  RAM and 40MB
harddisk.  But it has a 387, which helps a lot when I ran xfig with on
diagrams with curves.  The trick is to avoid running both the X server
and  X clients  on the  same machine.   And it  is important  to avoid
running netscape on this X display, as netscape is an X-resource-hog.

My machine  was installed with Slackware (can't  remember the version;
maybe 2.x),  running kernel  1.0.34.  I installed  only the  disk sets
"a",  "n".  Then, I  added the  suitable X  server package.   I didn't
install X  clients, as  this was just  an X-terminal.  I  fiddled with
inittab to  start X upon  booting, and to remove  unnecessary daemons.
The only daemons running were:  klogd, syslogd, inetd (only telnet and
ftp, just in case I need to  maintain it from across the network -- it
is usually  swapped out) and  the X server.   Owing to the  small disk
space,  I edited  /etc/syslog.config  to forward  messages to  another
machine with a large disk.

Nowadays, the inetd should be replaced with sshd.

Of course,  if you can set up  NFS, the disk space  limitation is less
serious than the small RAM size.

--

.----------------------------------------------------------------------------.

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