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i have a machine built for windows 95 it has about 500mb or so hard drive space I have a better computer but it is used by my entire family and i've already screwed it up enough and dont need someone yelling at me. So i was wondering if this really old machine with a pentium 2 could run a live cd on it. Right now there is no OS on it and the hardware is probably so ancient that it was developed before i could read. But if i could get the specifications for the hardware then maybe you could tell me wether or not i could run a linux live cd along the lines of SuSe or Slax.

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Last Post by jbennet
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Hello,

If you can find another hard drive, such as a 2GB unit, put that in there and make a dual-boot system. Assuming the machine is entirely from the era, be aware:

* Big hard drives over 2GB may not be recognized. If it is old enough, something over 512 might not be recognized either. They may work, but only the first X of data.

* Your machine probably has at most 16 MB RAM unless you did a lot of expensive upgrading in the day. Today's linux wiill be hard pressed to fit into that. RedHat 7 would have a hard time with it. I believe RH 7 wants 24 MB, or 32MB.

* CPU is 286? 386? 386 SX? 486? If the CD's that are made with kernals built for the pentium chips are made, they may have micro code inside them that the older chops cannot handle.

I would find a copy of Redhat 6.2 around, and start there. You can still find places to download it.

Christian

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it really doesnt matter about disk space though. the linux distros i am talking about are just run off the cd. I am sure if you calculations about my ram are right than it will not be able to run it. I will just have to test it out and see.

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If you can run Windows 95, you can run Linux. Note the statement says "can run Linux" not "can run Linux well"

You may want to acquire a hard drive for the machine, and possibly play with it. I think Slackware may be the best "modern" linux to put on there, as it's all user-configured.

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yeah slackware was another choose but i had started to download slax live cd and the size(120 megs or so) is really small so i thought that would be a good choose i also thought of using this really old linux that i found called basic linux that looks sort of like the pre windows days.

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yeah it doesnt matter the cd drive is borken and so old that it would not be able to run the cd-r i burnt of the SuSE live eval cd. All it can run is basic linux which runs off of two floppy disks.

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Hello,

Save yourself some grief and go get a different CD-ROM drive for the computer. Finding Linux on floppy will be difficult... those things are usually "made". There may be a used computer place around where you live that may have slower CD-ROMS used for sale -- something like $10 - $20. Heck, a lot of places that I have worked have given the 1x 2x 4x units away!

Christian

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Oh thanks for the advice kc0arf but i really dont think that i am going to put it on that machine i have a better computer that i am running now the only reason i dont want to put linux on it is because it is the family computer and my little sister b!tc#es at me every time I do something to it and istalling another os on the pc (even with dual boot) is just the sort of thing that would get her pissed at me.

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Your solution now? Get your own PC.

Having your own PC's a good thing. That way, if you mess it up, no one but you knows or cares.

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yeah its kinda hard to get the money when no one will hire anybody under 16, but soon my older brother is getting a better computer and giving his old one (which he got this year) to my sister. So then the main pc is all mine

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That's why you still have to get allowance. $5 a week adds up if you let it. (I know, 2 months to get $40...)

I've found my parents are always receptive to "I want /item/ that costs $100. I've saved up $70, can you provide the rest?" (The figures are relative, of course.)

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If you get your nose into enough places, you'll pick up free hardware. Heck, you can even pick up 200mhz-300mhz boxes for cheap at thrift stores. I wouldn't pay more than $40 for it, though.

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Try Damn Small Linux, you can boot it from cd and try it out, if you really like it there is a hard drive install that is pretty well automated. I had this SCREAMING on a PI 200mmx with 64 RAM and a 1Gig HD in graphical mode with Open Office and Firefox!

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Although one thing that I would like to mention is that even though linux *can* run on a 486 with 8 meg of ram, like windows you will be limited to the functionality of the software based on the hardware, ie. chances are you won't get a GUI, and if you do, it will be the old style X system, it won't be as advanced KDE or Gnome. chances are the video card is less than 1MB, if it is of the same era as the rest of the machine, it has a 256k or 512k video card. again, I picked up a 500Mhz Dell at a thrift store for $20, I would look around.

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sorry i should have responded early the machine's cd drive is busted and too old to read burnt cds so all i could run on it was basic linux (a distro that runs off of 2 floppy diskettes)

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sorry i should have responded early the machine's cd drive is busted and too old to read burnt cds so all i could run on it was basic linux (a distro that runs off of 2 floppy diskettes)

You could use a boot floppy and do an ftp install with a distro too.

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how would you do that. it sounds like and interesting solution

Actually, there should be two ways to do this depending on your distro:

1. I've installed clarkconnect Linux (recently) via ftp. When I boot up off the CD, it asks if I'm going to do a CD install or an ftp. If it is ftp, it enables eth0 (outside line) to download the packages and install. I'm not sure how many distros out there offer this but I know that it was a standard option in redhat 7.2 and previous with the anaconda installer. You just have to shop around. I can tell you of the distro's I've installed in the last few weeks only one of them had the ftp option. Perhaps its becoming antiquated? Not sure on that one; other users might be able to provide feedback.

2. For computers that don't boot off the CD: I had an old machine that I was able to use a sbootmgr.dsk image from slackware to 'force boot' off of a non-bootable CDROM. So, I had the slackware CDROM "boot" even though my BIOS and CDROM didn't support it. That makes for a tidy way of doing things as well.

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thanks.
I think the option of installing via ftp is becoming obselete probably because it could take a long time depending on the user's connection, and the users computer must be able to connect to the internet so they would probably need to be on a network that is set up on another computer.

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MikeandIke22,

Installation via FTP is actually alive in my house! One thing that I look for in a distro is the ability to download the files locally, and then install via ftp internally. This allows me to setup all sorts of computers (Redhat/fedora in particular) that do not have CD-ROM, such as older laptops, and very quickly and efficiently. With the FTP selection, you also have the ability to use the options to configure on the fly.

I also like the idea of starting an installation via FTP, and walking away from it. I do not need to return to insert the next CD, either. Just start and walk away.

I did 7 laptops at once on an internal ethernet network, and well, it just looked great and felt good.

Christian

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The lowest spec machine I ever installed Linux on was a 486 DX100 with 16MB RAM and a 250MB harddisk scrounged from a Pentium.
2MB VGA card, black and white 14" screen.

Installation took 48 hours, kernel compile crashed after 96.

Booting took about 10 minutes, as took starting X.

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MikeandIke22,

Installation via FTP is actually alive in my house! One thing that I look for in a distro is the ability to download the files locally, and then install via ftp internally. This allows me to setup all sorts of computers (Redhat/fedora in particular) that do not have CD-ROM, such as older laptops, and very quickly and efficiently. With the FTP selection, you also have the ability to use the options to configure on the fly.

I also like the idea of starting an installation via FTP, and walking away from it. I do not need to return to insert the next CD, either. Just start and walk away.

I did 7 laptops at once on an internal ethernet network, and well, it just looked great and felt good.

Christian

Kc0arf,

Are you talking about setting up a NFS for installs? That would be a valid option also. If you set up a NFS, you'd always have access to the installation media.

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You can install Debian, Slackware, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD across the Net using 2 floppies. Don't know about any other distros - I've only done it using those I mentioned, and it keeps the CD stack from getting too large when you do a lot of installs on a variety of platforms.

..just my $0.02 ..

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I ran red hat fedora on a 250mhz p2 64 mb ram 2gb hdd compaq proliant server - it installed easialy and had not much problems.

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