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Hello everyone This is my first post in these forums. I have installed my first Linux back in 2000, but never actually "played around" with it. Never had anyone to ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Linux on a really old laptop. Challenge hunters please read...


    Hello everyone

    This is my first post in these forums. I have installed my first Linux back in 2000, but never actually "played around" with it. Never had anyone to show me and never made the time.

    Right now my interest has increased since one of my friends is helping me on my first steps. I have installed already Suse 10.2, Fedora 6, Kubuntu 6.10 and the list goes on...

    Yesterday I was playing with the game Frozen Bubble included in a Live CD Knoppix 5.1. My Son (6) saw it and fell in love with it. My wife said that we should try to fix a computer for them. She found somewher in the Attic, a really old (1995) Laptop of hers and she brought it to me. She said : "Since you told me that this Linux can play on ANY computer, make it play on this one!!"

    So the challenge was set! I have a Laptop with a Pentium II, MMX, 266MHz with the incredible amount of memory of : 640K base and 32MB extended!. A hard disk of 2 GB with a bad sector towards the end of it. (This is important).
    It has a CD ROM, 1.44 Disk Drive, 1 USB port, no networking and a broken battery... lol

    I first tried Knoppix 5.1. The F2 and F3 buttons don't work at the beginning of the installation, nor does it accept any parameters at the boot prompt. After I press ENTER it really tries but I get the error that it has very low memory and that I need to create a swap file. Unfortunately when it gives me the option and I press enter it does nothing. So I press cancel, it goes on with a runlevel 5 and after a while it gets stuck

    So my issue was that I had to create a swap file. After numerous attempts with a lot of different distributions including Gparted, Suse, Mepis, Ubuntu, Xubuntu I couldn't do it.. they all get stuck due to the memory issue.
    *** All the Ubunt's get stuck due to the HD bad cluster. They don't recognize it, and they try to write on it. I get bad cluster error and after the third time they all get stuck....

    The only one that made it was DSL!! It didn't recognise my graphics card correctly, but with a really crappy resolution and colors that remind you of a fluorescent Luna Park, I managed to create a primary of 1.5GB and a Swap of around 600M.

    After that Knoppix managed to load and recongnized my graphics card correctly. It loaded the background image and then it said : cannot load init Xwindows check your installation. (or something like that). Then it froze.
    Same thing happened to Mepis 3.3.1. this morning: It started loading part of the GUI and after about 20 mins of transferring between CD and disk swap it froze.

    What I am thinking is that I need a really old Linux distribution of Knoppix that run with 32MB. I also need to install it on the HD since the Live CD version gets stuck on the memory issue. Does anyone else have any ideas, suggestions, proposals? Does anyone know of any other installation I could use. Anyone knows where I can d/l a really old Linux?

    Another thing that I am afraid is that the swap file, because it is at the end of the HD it has this bad sector. Maybe the reason that Knoppix gets stuck there is because it has not identified the bad sector correctly with unwanted results.

    I refuse to accept defeat! Especially when I know that this Laptop was running windows 98!!!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer valemon's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum

    This is indeed a really old laptop. Check vector linux. Try an old version like 3.2. I use vector 5.8 in an old laptop and runs pretty good. (not as old as yours).
    Linux is like a Teepee, No Windows, No Gates, Only Apache Inside!
    Arch Linux
    Linux user #442041

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
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    Thank you ..

    I am already downloading the older versions of vector and the newest of course.

    Does anyone know where I can find an old knoppix distribution. One that can run on a 32MB ram laptop?

    What I am actually looking for is a Linux distriution than can run on the laptop AND be able to support the Frozen Bubble 2 game.
    This old laptop is intended to serve the purpose of a game machine for simple children's games...

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