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Thread: What to Use?

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  1. #1

    What to Use?

    Hello...I wish to convert an old laptop in a small intranet server for my home network. Just a few servers running. However, I wish to know which linux distro to use. I would like something easy to set-up, but there are big limits... My laptop has 8meg of RAM...75Mhz processor...1.3GB HDD...Floppy Drive and external PCMCIA CD-ROM. Right now, I am trying to install Mandrake 9.1 - maybe without most GUI, and very selective about which programs get installed (stripped sys except to config/admin tools and the servers). IS this a good idea? or is there better? PLease, any advice or comments...I am using a boot floppy to install from PCMCIA CD-Rom and everything seems to be going fine with Mandrake...should I keep my course? or is there a better suited Linux flavor???

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    8 MBs of RAM? Maybe you should try uClinux? =)
    Jokes aside, 8 MBs of RAM is quite a showstopper. Especially apache needs a whole lot of memory.
    I'm sure it's possible, because things probably looked even worse 10 years ago. It's just that you'll need to do a whole of configuring to get the system back to what it was back then, such as stripping the kernel of unneccesary crap, removing some apache modules and stuff. I would strongly recommend against using PHP, if I may put it that way.

  3. #3

    Thanks for Advice

    BTW Mandrake locked up and failed install process... ...will look into the Linux distro you told me about. Thanks for the quick reply. Also, the laptop can be upgraded to 40meg of RAM...and I has 16meg of RAM in it right now, 8 came with it...I upgraded it awhile ago. Thanks!

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4


    UcLinux isnt exactly what im looking for...

  6. #5


    Checking the Debian website I see they have a small server packeage, anyone have any experience with this? Would Debian run on my system? On a 75Mhz? Obviously without anything extra...

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    uClinux was a joke, in case that wasn't clear enough.
    16 MBs is clearly better than 8, but you'll still need to tweak a little. 75 MHz isn't a problem with the OS itself, but some applications might be a bit too much. (Such as PHP, like I mentioned)

    I would never recommend running an older version of a distro, in case you were considering that. That just adds security tools.

    Like I said, take a current distro, don't install any X stuff or other bloatware, recompile the kernel without some unnecessary stuff like the PCI name database and so, and then finally remove unnecessary modules from the servers you want. There are like a thousand apache modules that you'll probably never use.

  8. #7

    Aight, Thanks for clearing things up...

    Yeah, I was wondering if uClinux was a joke... :P How about Linux from Scratch? I always wanted to build my own distro.....actually that would probably be too much trouble for me right now...but kinda kewl if i did do it (however it would probably be a major pain in the ass to get it goin right!). Right now im thinking about (advice) using the network install of Debian to build a VERY small system...yeah, like you said i would pick and choose a few modules i need for the webserving.

    To answer your thought, I was considering running an older distro, but they usually don't have a large enough hardware base (especially for my OLD laptop)...and like you said all the patches...especially security wise...

    Any idea why Mandrake stalled during install? I used a floppy boot disk with PCMCIA support to get to was working fine then told me it quit...?....maybe the CD was too slow (4x)?...and yes, I saw it loading some stuff (taking FOREVER)off of CD...this is why im considering the network thinking that might be faster then a CD install! :P...

    BTW thank you for your very prompt and informative replies!

  9. #8

    Sleeptime... :P

    Gotta get some ealier stated...i checked up on slakware and now believe it perfect for what i need. I think i'll create a set of disks with what i need from slack...then install on laptop...floppies will be MUCH faster then CD's on this thing ne ways....unless i got it a better cd drive...but im too cheap right now...

    Sound like a good plan? I hope so...

  10. #9
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    The reason that the Mandrake installation could be anything, considering your hardware. Laptops, especially older ones, often have very custom solutions for some things, and that means that except for Windows, you can't really expect any OS to work on them all. The reason Windows works on every one is of course that the computer designers make sure that the computer is able to run Windows (to the extent that Windows can run...).

    Go ahead with your slack installation, and tell me how it goes.

  11. #10


    I will try slackware...BTW My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite 100cs ... and I read somewhere that someone else had had success in getting linux to work on this laptop...

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