We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Linux on a 386 SX ?

cri
cri asked
on
I know this question must have been asked before, but lacking the search... Also, I am not one of the ask and abandon types, so bear with me.

Which Linux distribution would you recommend for a 10 year old notebook which I do not manage to discard ?
- 386SX 16 MHz
- 5 MB RAM
- 20 MB HD
- 1.44 Floppy
- NO CD drive, so a floppy installation is preferable.
- Current OS: Win 3.11 on PC-DOS 7
- Using Stacker to double HD, can be discarded

Aim: Learn the basic in Linux, perhaps use it to surf the net as secondary machine.

After a brief search in the net, http://www.toms.net/rb/ looks promising, but the distribution is (or seems to be) bigger than 1.44 MB to fit a floppy.

Is there a better option (short of the trashcan) ?

I will double the points to 400 (total, if several contributed) if I get the box humming (sort of)
Comment
Watch Question

CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
cri

Author

Commented:
ahoffmann, thank you, but what do _you_ consider best for my case ? The loony bin ?
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
AFAIK mulinux, but I never tried all these suggestions on a i386.
http://www.pocketlinux.com

The above distro will fit onto a single floppy and has dial-up support.  You could use it to connect to the net and then get yourself a free shell account connect to that and use their machine to learn linux.

freeshell account available at shellyeah.org.

You could also just use your normal windows machine to get a free shell acount and learn linux that way.  You will need to get yourself a decent telnet client though,(the windows default client is pants) I would suggest putty.

To get a shell account simply telnet to shellyeah.org and login as new user.
cri

Author

Commented:
ahoffmann, the first two links look promising, but I do not quite see how I can pack 1.47 MB / 2 MB image on a 1.44 MB floppy, or is there a (linux) trick except zipping it accross 2 floppies, or worse, trying to establish a Win 3.11 / Win 98 SE null-modem connection and then installing from the harddisk ? Something like the XDF formatting under DOS ? The third link's download are is under construction, will check later.

elniniokev, will check it later, I assume I have to download the 0.7 MB file and not the the 4-5 MB under i386 ? The project seems to have been abandoned, or am I misjudging the change dates ?
sorry mate the distro can be found here

http://pocket-linux.coven.vmh.net/

download the latest *.bin image and rawwrite2.exe files

and run the rawwite prog, the rest is easy!
cri

Author

Commented:
elniniokev, I get a 406 error when trying to access this link, "input not acceptable". Is this a linux only site ?
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
the site describe how to put the images on a floppy.
The 2MB image needs a special floppy.
cri :- I've just accessed the site using my winbox, so there is no problem, try cutting and pasting the link manually instead of clicking on it.

I've used this distro myself - the image is only 1mb and is pretty reliable and intuitive..  

Below is a direct link to an ftp site with all the files you need

ftp://ftp.pocket-lnx.org/pocket-linux/
I've just noticed that pocket linux requires 8MB of ram

but I have found this link that describes 2 distros that will run with only 4MB.

http://website.lineone.net/~brichardson/linux/4mb_laptops/4mb_Laptops-3.html
cri

Author

Commented:
ahoffmann, managed to make a trinux bootdisk only to find out it needs 8 MB. Ran it on my desktop too, it booted, but with lots of error messages. Working on mulinux.

elniniokey, smalllinux seems to be too whimpy to do something, the other link is the afore mentioned mulinux.

I did not yet give (my notebook) up, but I am getting closer...
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
hmm, it's to long ago to remember in details, but I got mulinux running on a i386 with 6MB (pretty close to 5, isn't it?), it even worked with X11 from floppy :-)
Can't give you details, did it just out of the box as the docs described.
cri

Author

Commented:
ahoffmann, sorry the delay, but EE was down. My notebook stalled when installing mulinux, it got to stage where it should install the kernel, apparently it uses a RAM disk to do so. Probably it is best to close this question, discard the notebook, demote desktop (*) to Test/Linux-PC and buy a new one for Wintendo. Do you the award this month or next (assuming EE will run for another month...)

(*) Pentium I 150 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 1.6 GB HD, will look if a "standard" distro like Suse, RedHat or Mandrake supports my hardware (graphic card / sound card / CD-ROM)
cri

Author

Commented:
Do you want the award...
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
they all should do it. Just depends on your knowledge of setting up linux and on what you're interested most.
Mandrake sounds to be easyest setup at the moment,
SuSE with the most complete Software packages, RedHat i duno know, ...

> (assuming EE will run for another month...)
Are you in doubt?
cri

Author

Commented:
You kidding ? See the "Whats (not so) new" link. I thought this outage was the final one.

And see how they "handle" this:
- No notification page / e-mail
- No explanation

I wonder how many users they lost this time.

What shall it be ? Now or next month ? If it does not matter I will settle it now.
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
:-o
read this thread only once in my life, roughly 4 weeks ago (and it didn't change since then), sounds that I should do it more frequently ...
I also read the "EE Agreement" once, long ago, and know what seemd to be the main goal of this site. Anyway I managed to give answers which helped the questioner (I think many times:) but most answers require to read the previous comments too.
If you understand what I mean ...

So lets look forward, I agree with most commentators in the "What's new" links that there is no other site with appropriate functionality and wide spreat acceptance.
cri

Author

Commented:
ahoffmann thank you for the links and advice.
elniniokev, thank you for tackling this one.

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.