Lightweight Linux

This is a discussion on Lightweight Linux within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I have been browsing around for lightweight Linux + apps to run on a pentium 166mhz with 64meg of ram. ...

  1. #1
    pwns nooblars
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    Lightweight Linux

    I have been browsing around for lightweight Linux + apps to run on a pentium 166mhz with 64meg of ram. I realize this is an old system and I should probably hit craigslist with $50 and get something 10x better but all I want is a music server that I can hook up to my stereo and controll via webinterface or TCP/IP connecting to a port with an app.

    I plan on writting the communication software since I want to learn network programming and this is a good time to try. I may even be up for coding an app to play MP3s with a interface that connects to my communication software, but would like some ideas for what to use for the MP3 player.

    I have been looking at a lot of stuff, but I would like to avoid burning several CDs to install different distros if I find they aren't what I am looking for.

    I want basically something that will run on the 64m of ram and 166 mhz without hogging the system. Doesn't need a GUI, but it would need a way to connect to my windows network to get stuff I download for it. If any of you Linux users/gurus have some suggestions that think they would fit my needs, please post away. I am going to go back to googling around to read up more on DSL and Vector Linux since the 2 seem to be something like what I am looking for.

  2. #2
    Dump Truck Internet valis's Avatar
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    Check out netbsd, it's requirements are tiny and I'm sure it's compatible with everything you need.

  3. #3
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Check out the WCLP. Not sure of how much activity they have had lately though..

  4. #4
    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    Slackware's system requirements are less than what you have listed.
    Code:
    Slackware Linux doesn't require an extremely powerful system to run (though having one is quite nice :). It will run on systems as far back as the 486. Below is a list of minimum system requirements needed to install and run Slackware.
    
        * 486 processor
        * 16MB RAM (32MB suggested)
        * 100-500 megabytes of hard disk space for a minimal and around 3.5GB for full install
        * 3.5" floppy drive 
    
    Additional hardware may be needed if you want to run the X Window System at a usable speed or if you want network capabilities.
    dwk

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  5. #5
    pwns nooblars
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    From what I have read slackware doesn't preform as well as some distros that are intended for old hardware. But I have wanted to give slackware a shot for a while, I hear lots of good things. Maybe I wlil try it out for this project.

  6. #6
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    This thread is looking so suspicious to me...
    Not that I know much about Linux. But heck, what I hear is that about any distro can run on a 486! Much more on a Pentium I.

    Wouldn't SuSE or Red Hat or anything else, for that matter, run on an original Pentium without an hiccup?

    Ok... maybe without Gnome or KDE. X11 would suffice if there was indeed the need for a UI for this project.

    As I said... I know very little of Linux. I'm just confused as to the direction this thread is taking.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #7
    pwns nooblars
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    I am taking a old computer that my girlfriends Grandma gave me and turning it into a music server

    This thread is basically for finding a version of Linux that runs decently on old hardware. I don't even think I will need a GUI, but I don't know a lot about the Linux core and if it supports multithreading, or if the distros include the libraries to do it.

    [edit] I just realized I can use a drive enclosure and save myself the CDs... just copy the install CDs to the hard drve . Also learning about pThreads now, since that looks like how I am going to multithread.[/edit]
    Last edited by Wraithan; 07-23-2006 at 02:08 PM.

  8. #8
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Slackware should run fine for you. Just make sure you use a very bare installation of slackware and an extremely bare linux kernel. You may have to rebuild it a few times just to make sure you get rid of everything you don't need.

    Oh, and as others have said... no X. You may even be able to handle one of the weaker Window Managers, like Tab Window Manager.
    Sent from my iPad®

  9. #9
    pwns nooblars
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    Its looking like I may be able to pick up a 900mhz 256ram comp off craigslist for $50 so I may end up using this computer for something else. Any suggestions.. still plan on putting lightweight Linux.

  10. #10
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    If you know what you're doing , try Gentoo minimal CD. Basically, you boot from the CD, it gives you a command line prompt, and then it's up to you to (manually) install everything that you want on the system. That means that you need to have another computer running to display the Gentoo Handbook, or else you won't make it.....

    The nice thing about Gentoo is that it compiles everything on the fly, and in the case of the Gentoo Minimal, you only have to install the things that you really want.

  11. #11
    pwns nooblars
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    I am a partial Linux noob. I have used it, even programmed on there, and set up afriends Laptop using ndiswrapper for his wireless card. I think I am going to go with Slackware for now. If that doesn't work for me though, I will try out Gentoo Min

  12. #12
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Gentoo with KDE ran quite nicely on my old Athlon 700 with 384 Mb of ram. Well, not as nice as my latest machine, but what I am saying is that it was not chugging away or anything. Ram is always the big issue though - as soon as you start swapping stuff to the disk, you are hooped.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeprogrammer
    That means that you need to have another computer running to display the Gentoo Handbook, or else you won't make it.....
    Not necessarily another computer (though that is nice to have) - you can switch between one terminal with the manual and the install terminal by using CTRL + ALT + whatever F key is available between 1 and 6
    Last edited by kermit; 07-23-2006 at 07:07 PM.

  13. #13
    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> I am taking a old computer that my girlfriends Grandma gave me and turning it into a music server

    then ...

    >> Its looking like I may be able to pick up a 900mhz 256ram comp off craigslist for $50

    ... I'm kinda confused ... You're having two computers?

  14. #14
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    He was going to use his grammy-in-law's (or by relation, or whatever) computer, but then realized he can get a cheap one that's better, So yes, in the end he'll have two (*more) computers.
    Sent from my iPad®

  15. #15
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeprogrammer
    The nice thing about Gentoo is that it compiles everything on the fly, and in the case of the Gentoo Minimal, you only have to install the things that you really want.
    The sort of computer we're talking about, that's not a nice thing. The slowest computer I've ever installed Gentoo on was a Athlon 600 MHz. glibc and gcc take ages to compile. Well, calculate 8 hours for them, at least.
    X and KDE together would take about 24 hours, but you won't need those.
    All the buzzt!
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