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Old hardware needs OS [SOLVED]





pluto
I have some old hardware I dug out of the basement and would like to try to resurrect it before sending it to the computer graveyard. The hardware is a 150 mhz Pentium with 32 MB of ram and a 2 gig hard drive. I tried installing Damn Small Linux (both the iso and syslinux), but continue to receive an error message during boot.

My experience with Linux is limited, but I do want to learn Linux. Can someone recommend a Linux distro that is not extremely complicated and will run on the hardware I described above?

Thanks in advance for your help
{name here}
pluto wrote:
I have some old hardware I dug out of the basement and would like to try to resurrect it before sending it to the computer graveyard. The hardware is a 150 mhz Pentium with 32 MB of ram and a 2 gig hard drive. I tried installing Damn Small Linux (both the iso and syslinux), but continue to receive an error message during boot.

My experience with Linux is limited, but I do want to learn Linux. Can someone recommend a Linux distro that is not extremely complicated and will run on the hardware I described above?

Thanks in advance for your help

The only way you're going to learn to use a *Nix OS is to shove it down your throat. Try Plan 9. You're not going to get the most diverse level of software with it(although you can compile things from *nix OSes to it with minor modifications) but it should work fine on your computer and you should be able to do most things perfectly fine if you can use it. Other than that you could try dated versions of distros for older hardware.

Your other options are Win9x, Win386, DOS, CP/M, BeOS(unkown if you're going to get a decent experience with this one), OS/2 Warp 4(not ecomstation), and SCO OpenServer.
sergio_ykz
Try old linux distros, I recomend SuSE 6.4. Is easy to mantain and install. If you are a advanced user the best is Slackware 7.0. Both use linux kernel ver 2.2 and old versions of graphic desktops with run easy and most old computers.

The Slackware 7 run fine on a 486 machine with no more than 16mb of memory and some swap space.
pluto
Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll try finding some older versions of some Linux software and experiment with it. Is there any danger in running an older version (i.e. more susceptible to security attacks)?
sergio_ykz
pluto wrote:
Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll try finding some older versions of some Linux software and experiment with it. Is there any danger in running an older version (i.e. more susceptible to security attacks)?


If you plan to make a server for some thing, you have a high risk, much more if you install a good know old distro.

Big distro have many problems published as:

Quote:
"Apache buffer overflow on Red Hat 7"


Programs like nmap show the version of your OS.
Programs like satan and nessus show know vulnerabilities.


Use at your own risk. Twisted Evil
xyberz
Honestly you would be better off running Win 3.11 or Win98 on that computer.

If you try to run an old version of Linux, don't expect much support from it. At least with Windows you know that you can still find help for it.

The only real thing I can see you using that computer for is word processing and playing very very old games. There are still some around if you search the net.

At least you'll get the nostalgic feeling of using a computer that old, and maybe that irritating feeling of it running too slow. Laughing
ahmrahtcheer
what message are you receiving from DSL?

A 150MHz Pentium & 32mb RAM is going to be a bit more challenging than many systems, but you CAN still use a modern, up-to-date and actively maintained Linux. Try LPLinux (http://www.lplinux.org/). I've run it on a 166MHz P1 w/48mb RAM...and know of it being run on a 32mb 486DX2 system.

On the P1, it runs slowly, but it's no more painful than Win98. You just need to accept the fact that your hardware has limitations...
pluto
Following is the error message I receive when using DSL (Damn Small Linux) 3.2 .iso and booting from a floppy disk. This error message is derived from using the dmesg command at the command line, and sending the output to a floppy. I tried cleaning the CD ROM last night with a compact disc laser lens cleaner. The media (CD) I believe is good because it boots fine in my newer computer. Any help on interpreting what the error message is saying, and how to fix it, is much appreciated.

One final thing I should add, I tried using a newer CD ROM I have, but could not get the computer to boot from the CD ROM. I tried booting directly from the CD ROM, and also tried booting from a floppy first, then reading the CD ROM, both ways failed. I think the newer CD ROM I used may be faulty.


Quote:

-5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1916928 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 3571 bytes lost.
cloop: error -5 uncompressing block 99 65536/65394/30902/0 1889597-1920499
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
cloop: Read error at pos 1981864 in file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX, 25827 bytes lost.
cloop: error -3 uncompressing block 102 65536/0/25827/0 1981864-2007691
{name here}
The probable reason why that is happening is the speed at which you burned the CD. Try burning at a lower speed - 4x or 8x rather than the maximum. Another option you have is to just use Virtual PC or something else to emulate it. You can probably get equal or better performance out of the VM than the machine.
ahmrahtcheer
{name here} wrote:
The probable reason why that is happening is the speed at which you burned the CD. Try burning at a lower speed - 4x or 8x...


It's either that or your iso image was corrupted. If you did not already, run an md5sum check on it and compare that to the md5sum on the mirror for the 3.2 iso.

I used to help out on the DSL IRC help channel, and found that it was usually pretty good about recognizing hardware, etc. It's probably the best of the mini-distros in that regard, partly because it's based off of Knoppix.

Your hardware certainly should be adequate for the task, but I would recommend that you set up a swap partition on the hard drive (like virtual memory in Windows/Mac). The recommendation from the era your hardware comes from is that you use 2x the RAM to determine swap size.

Again, you shouldn't expect an awful lot from that hardware, but it's certainly still entirely useful for modest activities.
pluto
Would there be any reason why I have more progress with the .iso vs the syslinux? From my understanding, the syslinux is suppose to work better with older hardware, but this does not seem to be the case. I think at this point I'm going to re-burn the CD at 4x and see what happens.

Just a side note, I did run MD5sum on both the .iso and syslinux downloads, and both turned out fine. I also used the verify option when burning the disc, and the verification was successful.
Arnie
You could try starting with BasicLinux which is just 2 floppies.

Or check out the EdoRAM configuration. There usually are 4 RAM slots and you can fill 2 or 4 (but not 1 or 3). If there are 2 open slots, try buying some cheap EdoRAM (2x16 or 2x32) and upgrade your memory. This is really a matter of getting a bargain - EdoRAM should be really cheap, like under $10, otherwise don't buy it.

With 64MB RAM or more your computer can run the latest stable Debian Linux (sarge). Use IceWM as windowing manager, it's light.
theevildonkey
Damn Small Linux worked ok for me on a 100MHz 486DX with 20MB of ram.
Upgrading your memory though would give you a lot more options. I've seen Redhat 9 run on a dual 133MHz Pentium 2 system with 128MB of ram. It was actually pretty fast, even with KDE running. 32MB might be enough for xfce, but I'd recommend about 64. If you want some cheap memory, try http://newegg.com. They have some cheap stuff.

Here's a list of mini distributions that may run on your computer:
http://www.linuxlinks.com/Distributions/Mini_Distributions/

You could also use it as a webserver and just not use X.

You might also try giving xubuntu a shot.
Studio Madcrow
Screw linux on that sucker. Find a copy of NEXTSTEP 3.3. It's not easy to do (and if you have any "weird" hardware, it won't work), but it's worth it if you can get it running. If you were to upgrade the RAM a little, you could also use OPENSTEP 4.2. It's basically a newer version of the same thing and has somewhat better hardware support.

Seriously, though *STEP is the best, easiest to use Unix-like you can get for the kind of hardware you describe. The Mac's OS X is actually based on this OS (they just added a few Mac compatability libraries and a shiny new GUI look...)
Arnie
That's not a good idea.
http://www.computing.net/beos/wwwboard/forum/429.html
Studio Madcrow
Arnie wrote:
That's not a good idea.
http://www.computing.net/beos/wwwboard/forum/429.html

That's a load of cr*p. I HAVE working ISO images of all the various stuff. It works fine with modern CD-ROM drives. I even have it up and running in VMware. Is it 100% legal? Probably not, but I frankly doubt that Apple cares if someone advocates the use of an obsolete property of theirs. It's not like I'm providing links or anything.
Arnie
Well, if you feel it's the solution over Linux then it's about time somebody started a website on how to get and install it, isn't it?
Studio Madcrow
Arnie wrote:
Well, if you feel it's the solution over Linux then it's about time somebody started a website on how to get and install it, isn't it?


Installing it is easy as heck... Just follow the on-screen prompts and you'll have it up and running in no time, assuming you have supported hardware. Getting it, on the other hand, is a pain in the rear, as Apple no longer sells it, but doesn't allow you to download it freely either. Any guide that reveals how to get it would violate the TOS of just about any webserver in the English-speaking world...

An advocacy site, however that demonstrates it's awesomeness might prompt those already "in the know" to make it available by BT or something though due to the annoyance of increased demand.
internetjobs
which harddisk your are using.... and give full configuration of your system, then only we can help u.. give full hardware details...
pluto
Hello all,

Thanks to everyone who helped. At this time I threw an old copy of '98 on this machine and it works fine.

Have a great day! Very Happy
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