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Does anyone know of a text-based distribution that still runs a 2.4 series kernel? Alternately, any tutorials on compiling a LFS system with 2.4 kernel, the "kernel-2.4.txt" hint doesn't work ...
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    Console distribution running a 2.4 kernel?


    Does anyone know of a text-based distribution that still runs a 2.4 series kernel?
    Alternately, any tutorials on compiling a LFS system with 2.4 kernel, the "kernel-2.4.txt" hint doesn't work with the latest book.

    I am trying to get a tiny 486 system usable as a console IM client, but getting a working kernel is a real pest. I've tried building a Linux-from-scratch system about twice for it, and it would consistently fail to boot the kernel I compiled. I tried a couple of lightweight distros, ie. Slitaz, DSL, and Feather Linux, and of the three, both DSL and Feather worked perfectly. I also tried the latest Knoppix (2.6 kernel), which failed, and an extremely old version (2.4 kernel), which worked.

    I really would like a console-only distribution, as X makes the computer too slow to be usable, for no real advantage. I don't mind building it from scratch, like the LFS builds, but when I've tried before it gets errors compiling glibc (and doesn't build a usable system with uClibc)

    Thanks to everyone in advance!

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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Have you considered just installing DSL and running it from console?
    Should be run level 3.
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    I have, and if nothing else works I will, but I don't like the idea of having all the extra bloat associated with X. There really should be a more elegant solution, :\
    Thanks anyway

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    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    well X won't be running in runlevel 3 so worst case it is taking up disk space

    you can always just uninstall it

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    I wouldn't assume all 2.6 kernels will fail just because Knoppix failed.

    I would give Slackware a go and see if it works. You can just install a base system, without X, from the get go.

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    I doubt it has a 2.4 kernel but it is a console only Desktop LiveCD. Which makes it very easy to try.
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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    On the flip-side, you could look into others besides LFS.
    CRUX, Gentoo, Arch, Debian... all are able to be installed without X.
    And you can rebuild your kernel to be just what you need.
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    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    ttylinux has sort of worked, it booted and ran but completely failed to detect any of the devices, ie. CD drive, ethernet, and hard disk, so I have pretty much ruled it out. However, you do have a point that I can't rule 2.6 out just because of failures with Knoppix.

    The problem with the more "mainstream" distros is the bloat - the computer I'm trying to get running has a 486DX2 100Mhz processor, with 64 MB of RAM. I'm installing on a 1GB Compact Flash card.

    I'm downloading Slax and INX right now, and will try them out soon. CRUX is ruled out because it's not 486 compatible, but I'll also grab Gentoo (Sabayon user!).

    Thanks for the help, I'll post any success stories.

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    For i486 compatible, I think slackware will be about as slim as possible. Debian also would probably work, if you wanted a little more automation than slack.

    The problem with Gentoo is that compiling software will take forever on such a low spec machine.

    Slax I'm not too familiar with, but I believe it uses KDE 3.5, so it can't be that light.

    Another option is Tiny Core Linux. The minimum requirements are 48 MB RAM, and you should be able to get a GUI out of it, since they use TinyX and FLTK, instead of a full X server and GTK/Qt.
    Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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