Linux for a 386? - Questions

This is a discussion on Linux for a 386? - Questions ; This is what I have: Intel 386DX 25MHz 4MB RAM (I *might* be able to find some more - maybe 8MB) 80MB HDD 3.5" and even a 5.25" floppy drive (no CD-ROM, but I might be able to get one ...

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Thread: Linux for a 386?

  1. Linux for a 386?

    This is what I have:

    Intel 386DX 25MHz
    4MB RAM (I *might* be able to find some more - maybe 8MB)
    80MB HDD
    3.5" and even a 5.25" floppy drive (no CD-ROM, but I might be able to
    get one too)
    1MB Paradise VGA card
    Sound Blaster 16

    I know it really sucks, but what's the best form of Linux I'd be able
    to run on it? I'd preferably like something that's about 10-20MB, but
    I can go up to 40MB if I need to (I want to keep the other Windows
    3.11 partition).

    Is there still anyone doing distro's for older PCs like this, or would
    it be better to get some _old_ Red Hat or similar distro?

    And is there any chance of being able to run some sort of GUI? Surely
    there was some form of X Windows System back around the early 90s?

    If I find a ISA network card, would I be able to share files and/or an
    internet connection with my other PC (celeron 366 with Red Hat
    9/Win98SE)? I know full web browsing is out of the question, but
    surely there's some e-mail/news program I could use?

    Would some sort of mp3 playback be remotely possible with the 386, or
    would that be asking *too* much?

    Also, are there any Pascal compilers for Linux - something along the
    lines of Borland Turbo Pascal 6 for DOS?

    Thanks for any help

    --
    Zilog Jones

  2. Re: Linux for a 386?

    Zilog Jones wrote:

    > This is what I have:
    >
    > Intel 386DX 25MHz
    > 4MB RAM (I *might* be able to find some more - maybe 8MB)
    > 80MB HDD
    > 3.5" and even a 5.25" floppy drive (no CD-ROM, but I might be able to
    > get one too)
    > 1MB Paradise VGA card
    > Sound Blaster 16
    >
    > I know it really sucks, but what's the best form of Linux I'd be able
    > to run on it? I'd preferably like something that's about 10-20MB, but
    > I can go up to 40MB if I need to (I want to keep the other Windows
    > 3.11 partition).
    >
    > Is there still anyone doing distro's for older PCs like this, or would
    > it be better to get some _old_ Red Hat or similar distro?
    >
    > And is there any chance of being able to run some sort of GUI? Surely
    > there was some form of X Windows System back around the early 90s?
    >
    > If I find a ISA network card, would I be able to share files and/or an
    > internet connection with my other PC (celeron 366 with Red Hat
    > 9/Win98SE)? I know full web browsing is out of the question, but
    > surely there's some e-mail/news program I could use?
    >
    > Would some sort of mp3 playback be remotely possible with the 386, or
    > would that be asking *too* much?
    >
    > Also, are there any Pascal compilers for Linux - something along the
    > lines of Borland Turbo Pascal 6 for DOS?
    >
    > Thanks for any help
    >

    I guess my question would be "Why?" Just to see if it can be done or some
    sinmilar reason? Not money right? Surely a more modern system (pentium 60+
    w/64->128 megs ram) can be had for little or nothing. The 386 would be ok
    for a DNS or mail server, the 80 gig drive is way overkill for this system.
    An increase in RAM would really really help but I do think you can do it in
    4 if you hold your mouth just right. Try to get 16 or 32 megs in there and
    then you can probably run ok. The 386 will be capable but when ram gets
    this tight things get difficult. Of course overall it will be slow but I
    assume you expected that. As to distro, well I would say use a modern one
    and try to stay with a fairly recent kernel, (less bugs and better code that
    way)
    Anyway Have fun
    Eric

  3. Re: Linux for a 386?

    It can be done....I reccomend an older version of Slackware. like
    Slackwae 3.3 or even earlier. These early distros include kernels
    configured for low memory systems.

    I have a 386/40 sitting in the corner -- used to be my router and print
    server-- could still be if I so choose.


    As for running X in 4mb of ram: Well It will work but you'll wait a
    around a little while it loads up. And it will swap a lot.

    Imagine Netscape 7 Or Mozilla 1.x in 4mbs of ram....



    Zilog Jones wrote:
    > This is what I have:
    >
    > Intel 386DX 25MHz
    > 4MB RAM (I *might* be able to find some more - maybe 8MB)
    > 80MB HDD
    > 3.5" and even a 5.25" floppy drive (no CD-ROM, but I might be able to
    > get one too)
    > 1MB Paradise VGA card
    > Sound Blaster 16
    >
    > I know it really sucks, but what's the best form of Linux I'd be able
    > to run on it? I'd preferably like something that's about 10-20MB, but
    > I can go up to 40MB if I need to (I want to keep the other Windows
    > 3.11 partition).
    >
    > Is there still anyone doing distro's for older PCs like this, or would
    > it be better to get some _old_ Red Hat or similar distro?
    >
    > And is there any chance of being able to run some sort of GUI? Surely
    > there was some form of X Windows System back around the early 90s?
    >
    > If I find a ISA network card, would I be able to share files and/or an
    > internet connection with my other PC (celeron 366 with Red Hat
    > 9/Win98SE)? I know full web browsing is out of the question, but
    > surely there's some e-mail/news program I could use?
    >
    > Would some sort of mp3 playback be remotely possible with the 386, or
    > would that be asking *too* much?
    >
    > Also, are there any Pascal compilers for Linux - something along the
    > lines of Borland Turbo Pascal 6 for DOS?
    >
    > Thanks for any help
    >



  4. Re: Linux for a 386?

    Eric wrote in message news:...

    > I guess my question would be "Why?" Just to see if it can be done or some
    > sinmilar reason? Not money right? Surely a more modern system (pentium 60+
    > w/64->128 megs ram) can be had for little or nothing. The 386 would be ok
    > for a DNS or mail server, the 80 gig drive is way overkill for this system.


    Umm, I said 80*MB*, not gigs! Geez, I only have about 12GB on my best
    PC, never mind the 386!

    As to "Why?", well I've just started uni this year and I'm doing IT&T
    (IT & Telecommunications), and for the first two semesters we're doing
    Turbo Pascal as a beginner's programming language (yeah, I know it
    doesn't really have any application in modern society, but it's *a
    bit* easier than starting straight off with C or Java!). The thing is
    we're using Turbo Pascal 6.0 - made in 1991 - which my 386 is more
    than capable of doing, so I thought I'd put it to good use (better
    than leaving it in a cupboard anyway ^_^). So I started thinking if I
    could do anything else with it...

    > An increase in RAM would really really help but I do think you can do it in
    > 4 if you hold your mouth just right. Try to get 16 or 32 megs in there and
    > then you can probably run ok.


    32?! Are you mad? It couldn't possibly do that much! Maybe 16, but
    definately not 32MB - it uses THIRTY pin RAM, and I think the biggest
    sticks it can take are 1MB ones. I know someone with loads of old
    junk, so I'll see if he has anything useful...

    > The 386 will be capable but when ram gets
    > this tight things get difficult. Of course overall it will be slow but I
    > assume you expected that. As to distro, well I would say use a modern one
    > and try to stay with a fairly recent kernel, (less bugs and better code that
    > way)
    > Anyway Have fun


    How would I use a recent distro, and which one? I *would* need to fit
    it on floppys, by the way. Aren't recent kernels over 10MB on their
    own anyway? I don't have that much space!

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