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  1. #1

    A 166 MHZ and DSL

    Nice to find this forum, but I don't see an introduction area so I'll start here.

    About three months or so ago I came across some Linux information and posted a thread in a forum I populate quite often. It caused somewhat of a stir and alot of people apparently caught the bug, including the forum admin. Fast forward three months and I am now catching up with investigating the Linux OS and after reading about various incarnations, ran across using DSL for legacy machines. Of course I am well stocked in old equipment as I never throw anything out.

    I was thinking that maybe I could use DSL on an old 486sx notebook with a blazing 25mhz processor (remember those days?), but it appears as tho a processor step up would be a little better, so I may just install it on an old 166mhz PC with 64 meg of ram that I laying around and given as a take this away gift after someone else upgraded. Does anyone else here use DSL on an older machine?

    Question is, what are you using your DSL equipped machine for? Is it your primary computer?

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Hi, wacrider! Welcome to LinuxForums!

    According to the DSL wiki, you should be able to run on those specs. Just remember that it won't exactly zip right along. If you run into any issues with it, there are other light-weight distros that can run quite well on older boxes.


    I don't happen to have DSL on a machine right now, but it's quite a popular choice for older hardware. Good luck with it!

    Have fun with it, see you around the boards!

    New users, read this first.
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    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help. Please keep it on the public boards.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Netherlands
    Hi and welcome!

    DSL is a good choice for a machine of those specs. You can do a lot with it and in fact build a reasonable desktop out of it. But truth be told, it wont be fast.

    And yes, I do remember the days of the 25mhz notebooks. Nobody cared about lightweight devices back then, as long as their $$$$$ machine could survive a train crash. They where build to last in those days, and weighed a ton.
    But running such a device in these days... I dunno. It's possible, but only in the sense that it's possible to fit an entire rugby team in a 2CV. It wont be a comfortable ride. But as a curiosum you might want to try it anyway
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Jay thanks for those links.

    I'm thinking that the notebook is at best just a word processor if that. The incorporated driver would not run any late model printers so I would have to floppy it over to a newer machine. I was thinking maybe I could use it to learn programming, but I'm uneducated as to what a compiler would need spec wise. Years ago (80's) I use to write the odd program for a Radio Shack Color Computer 3. Wish I had learned more and taken up a career in programming.

    Speaking of servers, what's the word in Linux on that? My iMac is pretty sweet as far as ease of use in getting it up and running. The only real problem I've run into is the updater for a dynamic address. Lot's of programs for a MS based PC but what about for a Linux based machine? (I'll probably re-post this in another thread.)

  6. #5
    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum too!!

    I also use a number of linux distros on my old toshiba tecra 730xcdt.

    Its a 150mhz processor with 80meg RAM.

    I also have 3 swappable HDDs - two 2gig ones and a 40gig one.

    I'm running DSL on one HDD and puppy linux on another. Winblows XP on the third HDD.

    The main reason for running DSL is the old skool games that I play with the kids - Galaxians is their favourite!!

    I also use it as my main portable machine when I'm away on training courses. It works well with an infra-red linked canon bubble jet portable printer.

    As you'd expect its not lightening fast to boot up, but once the apps are running its quick enough for me.

    Its still a learning process. DSL is up and running fine, and using both ethernet and wireless internet connections, and sound and graphics are working well too!!

    I'm still getting to grips with puppy linux - especially the sound config using alsa. Bu that's another story.

    I find its useful for the kids to get a feel for what other OS's can do, rather than them just using XP at school.

    Hope this helps!!

    Maybe you could give me some help when I try to configure sound on puppy linux.......

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    You could even install the latest Slackware or Debian on a P166.



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