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Yeah, that's right. I plan on having one last project with this old system of mine before I heave it out to the curb. It's been sitting in my basement ...
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  1. #1
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    linux on a 486 [which distrib?]


    Yeah, that's right. I plan on having one last project with this old system of mine before I heave it out to the curb. It's been sitting in my basement for years now. I forgot all about it until the other day when I was moving some things around. So I decided to fire it up and little behold it works. It even has windows 98 on it, which is a dog on that system.

    I have spent some time googling it up with no avail. I have found a few helpful sites, but most have dead links that dont work anymore or dont pertain to my motives. My main concern is that I'm not too sure which distrib 'might' work the best. Shes kicking in with a screaming 486DX2 66mhz with 32Megs of ram.. roughly 500MB of space, give or take a few megabytes. I just plan on nursing this thing along and using it as a word processor or even a REALLY cheap file server or maybe even web server for some projects I may have in the future. Hopefully I can get a few more decent years out of this thing before it finally blows up in a puff of smoke.

    I'm looking for something lean and mean with some kind of GUI interface if at all possible. Id like to run an older version of apache on it if I can and maybe if I feel like pushing my luck, try adding php to it. But I have a feeling running a GUI on this thing may bring it to its knees, so I may need to stick with a console setup.

    So to sum it up this is what I plan on using this thing for..

    Word processing
    Cheap Web server using apache + php if at all possible OR File server
    Some kind of GUI, graphical user interface.

    I know I may not be able to do all of these things, but if I can squeeze something out of this I consider this project a success.

  2. #2
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    http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

    I'm not even sure Apache+PHP would fit on that harddrive

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing
    http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

    I'm not even sure Apache+PHP would fit on that harddrive
    I was looking into dsl as well. That was the first suggestion my buddy gave me, along with an earlier release of slackware. I just got done downloading slackware 4.0. The system specs seem pretty reasonable for what Iím looking at. If the install notes are correct, I could get away with 200 - 250mb installation of slackware 4.0. Which is pretty hefty compared to dsl. As for apache+php Iím not sure either since I canít really find any minimum system requirements for them.

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  5. #4
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    I think any distro will run on a 486, but I'll relate my experience....

    I've run Slackware 10.0 with Apache 1.3.31 and Perl on a 486/SX 25mHz machine with 16MB of RAM. I think I had about 500MB disk space initially, and was new to Linux and reluctant to remove Win95 (yeah, no joking!) from it, so I installed Zipslack, which provides a complete command-line interface version of Slackware in about 100MB without repartitioning. Then I added only the packages I needed (apache, perl, etc). It ran fine. I also ran a mail server, FTP and a few other things on it, but not X-windows.

    I've since added some memory (now 40MB), tossed in a couple old hard drives, and installed a coprocessor. I recently installed mySQL and PHP on it. The box is still running, and all of that works fine for a personal server (friends and family access it, so light usage).

    I haven't tried X-windows on it still, as from what I can glean from forums, it won't work very well. I think the RAM requirement for KDE/X is >40MB, but perhaps someone else can chime in on it.

    Like you, I was ready to cart the 486 to the curb. Now it runs 24x7 as my web server. Hope this helped!

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    Certainly does michael thanks for the info. Thats quite impressive that you were able to run all of that under only 25mhz. That kinda makes me feel better that I have got 66mhz to work with. :P I suppose my biggest issue at the moment is hard disk space. And yet i'm still undecided on what distro I would like to try. You basically hit it on the head on what i'd really like to run this machine, as a web server but the only difference in my case is that it would be only used for in house use on my local network for testing purposes only. No outside access at all. All I really need is the base linux system, apache, php and maybe perl, oh and ftp would be nice too. x would be a plus but like you mentioned it doesnt look like it will run too well at all. I'll keep poking around and see what I can come up with.

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    you could use X, but anything good like kde is out of the question, maybe fluxbox would be good for it?

  8. #7
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    DEFINITELY damnsmalllinux. They got it running on a similair machine, and while it isnt as fast as lightning, it does have a GUI, internet, and some server stuff.

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    Honestly im thinking about using Damn Small Linux. Unless theres another distro thats lightweight and doesnt require too much resources.

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    Damnsmalllinux is the best for that sort of stuff, quick, try it! it is only 50mb :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by onlinebacon
    Damnsmalllinux is the best for that sort of stuff, quick, try it! it is only 50mb :P
    I may need some kind of boot disk in order to install from a cd on this machine. I remember that I had a hard time trying to get a boot disk to allow access to my cd rom drive when I installed windows 98 on it. I got fed up with it and once I was able to boot with my cd rom, I copied the whole windows cd to my second hard drive on the machine. I have been trying to see if dsl has any floppy installations or boot disks but I have yet to find any information on it.

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