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 Post subject: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:21 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Canada
AntiX-core-486-19June2010, using a Pentium 200 MMX with 64 or 48 Meg ram installs beautifully, 8 minutes for whole process, no problems.

drg@antiX1:~$ inxi -F
System: Host antiX1 Kernel: 2.6.32-1-mepis i586 (32 bit) Distro antiX-core-486 19 June 2010
CPU: Single core Pentium MMX (UP) cache 0 KB flags (-) bmips 481.62 clocked ar 200.462 MHz
Graphics: Card ATI 264VT [Mach64 VT] tty res: 80x25
Audio: Card Failed to Detect Sound Card!
Disks: HDD Total Size: 2.98GB (11.7% used) 1: /dev/hda Maxtor 90288D2 2.98GB
Partition: ID:/ size 2.3G used: 323M (15%) fs: ext3
Info: Processes 53 Uptime 1 min Memory 7.9/58.1MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.18
drg@antiX1:~$

After changing to 48 Meg, using same HD installed with 64M ram gives :
Info: Processes 53 Uptime 2 min Memory 8.8/42.3MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.18

After installing using 48Meg EDO ram, from scratch, ie clean install gives:
Info: Processes 53 Uptime 2 min Memory 8.2/42.3MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.18

Question:

Now what do we do?

Edit:
Tried a little bit more.

After the 48Meg ram install, changed to 32Meg, gives:
Info: Processes 53 Uptime 1 min Memory 8.0/26.4MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.18

Cannot install from CD with only 32Meg ram, get "Out of memory".

Just to be silly, changed to 16Meg ram:
grub loads, mem test works, otherwise no go.

So much for testing with what I've got.


Last edited by drg on Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:25 pm 
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drg wrote:
Question:

Now what do we do?


You could use antiX-core without any X (to keep RAM down) and only use cli apps eg for music (moc), torrent server (rtorrent), rss (newsbeuter), chat (irssi), email (alpine or mutt), net browsing (links2), video (mplayer), file manager (mc).

As soon as you install X RAM will go up to around 25MB.

You may want X and fluxbox (and feh to managed background)

apt-get update
apt-get install xorg fluxbox feh

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:56 am 
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re: my question "Now what do we do?"

Anti, thanks for your reply, and I note that you go into detail at your antix.mepis.com site.

I'm trying to see how much can be achieved using CLI apps only, using core-486 as a base, on the P200 MX.

Specs:
-64 M ram (48 M will install, 32 will work)
-1.6 G HD with swap about 120M
-a second 1.6 G HD, slave, on the other IDE channel, freshly formated as fat32, to be used as a repository of eg debs I've downloaded to install on the first HD
-USB flash drive, fat32, use same as second HD
-floppy, CD r/w, usb mouse, external 56K modem, EtherFast 100BaseTX 4-Port Hub
-cards: graphics pci, USB pci, sound-card Soundblaster Live pci and speakers, Ethernet D Link 220T ISA, ZyXEL 802.11g wireless PCI adapter, printer parallel or usb of some kind

As you can see from the hardware listed, I'm hoping to try eg networking, printing, music.

Inxi -F info posted previously. NB 323 M used on HD, lots of room left; memory 7.9/58.1MB
at start. The ram "foot-print" remains very low so far.

****************************************

I am already able to do e-mail, basic web searches and file transfers, at no or little cost, after installing one file, completely from the console. OK, no teasing, this is actually an old method, in windows use hyperterminal.

Using another computer, downloaded minicom from packages.debian.org, dpkg -i -G to install, connected phone line to ext. modem set as ttyS0, dialed phone no. to a Freenet account, which is the real trick here. They offer alpine, lynx, Zmodem upload and play Yahtzee on their server. The free part is only 25 minutes/day, text based. Pay something (cheap or reasonable) and you can get full internet services, dial-up, high-speed, even modems.

*****************************************

Web searches have yielded good info. An A-Z index of bash commands.
"cli apps" or "cli applications" brought two sites that suggest dozens of possibilities. Quote: "My effort to show that anything on the Desktop can be done in a console." It may indeed be so.
Have installed: minicom, man, gpm (mouse copy-paste from app to app, serial still doesn't work), calcurse, sc (spreadsheet), joe, a lot more to go. This was done by moving the HD as a second one on another box and copying over the files.

******************************************

Help, please.
I am having trouble mounting the filesystems of the second HD, the floppy and the flash drive. I gather that fstab must be edited before mount will work. I have read some articles about this, but am confused so far. The first (root) HD is /dev/hda1, that's clear, but what are the others called on this box? How do I edit /etc/fstab and/or /etc/mtab with full read/write privileges, and what should be added/changed. To clarify: as root, I typed "nano /etc/fstab", and added two /dev/... lines to the file, saved it, rebooted. Then came problems, errors, wrong words added. Then tried to edit the fstab with same method as root, and no longer had write privileges. Workaround was using the antix-m8.5-486 live cd.


/etc/fstab (copied by hand):
/dev/hda1/ext3 defaults, noatime 1 1
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts mode=0622 0 0
# /etc/fstab: static file information
#
# <file system> <mount point> <type> < options> <dump> < pass>
# Dynamic entries below
/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom udf, iso9660 noauto, users, exec, ro 0 0
/dev/hdd /media/cdrom udf, iso9660 noauto, users, exec, ro 0 0


/etc/mtab:
/dev/hda1 /ext3 rw, noatime 0 0
tmpfs /lib/init/rw tmpfs rw, nosuid, mode=0755 0 0
and more, but no other /dev/
*******************************

Question:
I wonder if this free minicom/freenet text-only connection will allow me to eg apt-get deb files. Anybody got suggestions?
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Posts: 162
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re: help with mount and fstab

In the first attempt, I added the second HD and the usb flash after the install to first HD, then attempting to manually edit the fstab file. Got it wrong.

I've got it working, by reinstalling antix-core-486, this time with these devices already attached. thus providing a template of sorts for manual fstab edits, on this box.


The fresh install added these lines to the Dynamic entries below section:

/dev/hdd1 /mnt/hdd1 vfat noauto,users,gid=users,dmask=002,fmask=113,relatime 0 0
/dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1 vfat noauto,users,gid=users,dmask=002,fmask=113,relatime 0 0
/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom udf,iso9660 noauto,users,ro 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom udf,iso9660 noauto,users,ro 0 0

Also, in the /mnt directory, /hdd1 and /sda1 were added, ie second HD and usb flashdrive.

However, I still can't mount the floppy. Have tried adding eg /dev/fd, /dev/fd0, /dev/fd1, and adding to the /mnt directory as well. The "mount /dev/fd", etc, command gives :"special device ... does not exist". Any help?


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Try adding

/dev/fd0 /media/fd0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

or

make a folder in /mnt called floppy then add to fstab

/dev/fd0 /mnt/fd0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Those extra lines in etc/fstab and /mnt didn't work. Tried both options and still get "fd0..doesn't exist".

I am trying to test what one can do if USB is not possible, and all you've got are floppy, second HD or CD as portable media. If one has USB on the machine, this is all moot. Will try Ethernet network as well.

Tried mounting floppy filesystems using antx-8.5-486 (full) on both this P200MX and on P4/Athlon types, and one can do so, but ro, not rw. Found it a bit complicated, but doable. There is a question there, but for another thread.


It seems ISA cards are not recognized, at least by inxi -F. The box has only 3 pci slots.
antix-8.5-486 might offer use of legacy sound cards if the legacy driver is available, if so maybe with core-486 as well? Got a SoundeBlaster card, very expensive in its time, also Ethernet cards. What am I missing here?


Noticed that the cli-installer did not recognize the second HD as slave on the second IDE cable during the install partitioning.

Have installed mysql5.1. The mysqld daemon starts up on boot-up. I know htop will allow you to kill it, but is there a way to stop mysqld from starting up at all. It takes up an extra 12 MB ram, for Memory 21.5/58.1MB.


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:16 pm 
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There have been some changes since a1 core was uploaded. The cli-installer is improved, has more options ie allows user to create a separate /home on a separate drive.
I have also included the basic firmware-free app. maybe this will help card recognition.

For your last question, run sysv-rc-conf in a root terminal.

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Anti, any chance of having a lilo option instead of grub? I ask that because I came across a really old winbook that I could not get any installer to finish on. They hang at grub install. I grabbed vector and it installed perfectly with lilo though the OS itself doesn't perform that well. AntiX core would probably be a great option for that old laptop.

Thanks,

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:11 pm 
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quote: "For your last question, run sysv-rc-conf in a root terminal."

whereis could not find it. After installing sysv-rc-conf (squeeze/testing for me), works fine.

**************
Have switched to the core updates. Yup, is improved, but takes up a little more RAM; the least I have is 10.0 MB at start.

Tip for eg installing to two HD, with intention of making the second HD /home. Mount the second one with (worked for me): mount /dev/hdd1. Then carry on with partioning, choosing /home on (in this case the second HD/hdd1), and so on.


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Intention: install antiX-core-b1 using 40M ram

From mepislovers.org/antix, thread -> Think AntiX would work on a Toshiba Libretto 110 CT?
-> Quote from anti: "...but antiX will not install with only 32 MB RAM (drg has tried). It *might* with as low as 40MB, definely installs with 64MB RAM (48 MB should also install antiX-core)...".
**********************
So, testing “*might*...":
Using P166, 40 M ram (EDO 16M pair and FP 4M pair); 1.6G HD fat32, no swap.
Hardware checked out (except HD which did work ok as win98). Did memtest on ram, ok. Good cd burn, used before.

Boot from install cd gives: "stage2 stage2", then no more and freeze.
Cold reboot, with SMB floppy (Smart Boot Manager) to boot up, then choosing cd to boot up, got the install cd to boot up and run.

Success with partitioning (dos fdisk floppy confirms). Swap about 200M.

Then the part where antiX starts installing/copying files. Many error messages, but no more.
Eg: hda:status timeout:status=0xd0; hda:possibly failed opcode:0x91; hda:drive not ready for command; hda:irq timeout:0xd0; and more. Also Buffer I/O error on device hda1, logical block (eg 23377, and many other 233xxx #'s), and something starting "JBD".

Maybe HD is defective? Out of memory? Mixture of EDO and FS ram chips ist verboten in linuxland?

So, thinking I might continue the install, did cold reboot, using SMB etc, got "out of memory" again. Tried using another HD, 2.6G, previously installed with antiX-486 full (ext3, root, swap), still "out of memory". Have not been able to reproduce/repeat this so far working install process, so far.

So, for now, keep the *might*.


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:56 pm 
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Thanks drg. What if we already have a 200MB swap partition before running antiX?

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:23 am 
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anti, tried that. cf previous missive, before the keeping and mighting comment. Will try again, of course. Quite old hardwares, ya know, as in might be flacky, but so much fun.


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:36 am 
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You're right I missed that in your previous post.
Could you confirm that 48MB RAM for core and base is ok. If I remember correctly, 48MB RAM with cli-installer will not install antiX-full.

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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:08 am 
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antix-full was installed previously on a different HD (2.6G, a bit younger) with more than 48 M ram, sorry if confusion.
Did a full memtest on those 48 M ram total chips beforehand.

Notion: Try a fromiso type install?

Have tried your suggestions from your "Installation Tips Boot from iso on hard-disk", but find it confusing (no expert, right) and maybe specifically for -full versions(?). If it might be worthwhile to try with -486-core, some handholding please, ie instructions. Thought is, maybe installing from cd is a/the problem here, ie memory?


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 Post subject: Re: antiX-core-486-a1 on really old hardware
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:14 am 
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Confirming good install of antiX-core-486-b1 and of antiX-base-486-update 27July2010 on the P166 with 48M edo ram, using /swap about 300MB

**********************************

Sorry for delay. This P166 has suffered for testing from much hardware swapping and unplugging, and got a few bent wires (literally) because of me, low lighting and insufficient magnification. There is not much room in some Pentium boxes; I figure they thought they would be used for many years (irony: as windows boxes), and built them like tanks, strong steel sheeting but crowded. Couldn't get the floppy to boot for many days (bent MB wires, thought it went kaput, but unbending went ok after many tries).

Why floppy important? Without using a Smart Boot Manager (SBM) floppy disk to boot, the antiX -core (or -base) liveCD would not boot properly on this P133. I got "loading stage 2 loading stage 2", then freeze up. With SBM, the liveCD booted fine. NB: plop ver. 5.0.10 floppy did not work out on this machine, got only a minimal grub on the console. Perhaps earlier versions of plop might work OK on a P1?

Still do not know how to get serial mouse or floppy disk recognized. No USB card installed for this test.

*************************************

Question:
For these installs the HD did have a /swap (about 300MB) already installed, using these -486-core or 486-base versions. Noticed that gparted does not recognize the type 82 (Linux Swap/Solaris), ie sees it as unknown. Does it matter?
What if one uses gparted or any other partitioner to set the /swap on the HD beforehand, then try to go ahead with -486-core/base install? Does that matter? Niggly question, but my attempts with this perhaps unhealthy P133 have been quite wobbly.


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