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Old Computer

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #1
    I have an old machine, that I want to set up as a webserver (just to play around with, so I know what I'm doing before I go and buy a new machine for it). Problem is, it's too old. I was wondering if someone here could suggest an operating system which might run on it. It has a 667 MHz Intel Celeron processor, with 64 MB SDRAM, and 20GB hard drive space. It has Windows ME on it right now, is my best bet to just keep using it with that? I would prefer some distro of linux, so I can log in remotely, and won't actually need a monitor/keyboard/etc. attached. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Feb 15, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    ubuntu server, simple install no graphics easily will easily run in 64Mb ram.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2009 #3
    According to the http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download" it requires 256MB of RAM. I did try installing it, and it seemed to lock up during the install (I suppose it could have just been going really slow, I tried waiting but it didn't seem to be doing anything).

    I just booted from the cd, and selected the "install" option, is there a different way of doing this for older machines?

    Thanks for your response.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Feb 15, 2009 #4
    Doing some reading elsewhere, apparently I would be better off with an Xubuntu alternate install disk. I'll try this, unless someone advises against it before it finishes downloading.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2009 #5

    mgb_phys

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    That's why I said server, the server version only has the text installer and doesn't install X.
    Running X on 64Mb is a bit painful,

    The server also makes installing web server, dns etc a little easier - it offers you a menu of typical server configs. It can of course install all the regular Ubuntu packages and run any Linux software
     
  7. Feb 15, 2009 #6
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. the one that I already tried was the server install. I'm now downloading the alternate installs for both ubuntu and xubuntu, to try.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2009 #7

    mgb_phys

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    Even xubuntu is probably pushing it for 64mb,
    There is 'puppy linux' http://www.puppylinux.org/ a very small footprint linux normally used on USB keys which will run in that little memory.

    I was pretty sure that server had a text mode install (hit f4 for options at startup)
     
  9. Feb 15, 2009 #8
  10. Feb 15, 2009 #9
    It's probably the window manager that is bringing you down. Use something very light, like JWM, Fluxbox, dwm, or XMonad.
     
  11. Feb 16, 2009 #10
    You could use Arch Linux, which is a minimal system after installation but afterwards you can customize it as you want by installing new packages. As already mentioned, instead of using Gnome or KDE, I would suggest using a more lightweight window manager such as Fluxbox or XFCE.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2009 #11
    I don't need a window manager, text based terminal is fine. It will be a webserver with no monitor/keyboard/mouse attached. I tried the most minimal install options on both Ubuntu server and the Ubuntu alternate cd, with no luck. It gets as far as "Detecting disks and all other hardware" then the screen blinks for a while, and then goes black, and startes printing the word "killed" repeatedly. This happens for both server and alternate.
     
  13. Feb 16, 2009 #12

    mgb_phys

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    Sounds like some hw that it can't detect correctly.
    The only similair issues I have had is with the power management on some laptops, is there an f4 option for disable hw detection.
    You could also try removing any unnecessary card before trying.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2009 #13
    The only things I can remove are the network card, and the floppy drive (cd, hard drive, and ram would seem to be important for the install, only one hard drive), I have removed both and am trying again, I'll post back on how it goes.
     
  15. Feb 16, 2009 #14
    Now it got as far as "Starting the partition manager". The status bar kept restarting at 0, and would get to anywhere from 40-95% before restarting. Figuring it could be a problem with the partition table, or something similar, I'm dbanning my hard drive now, and then will try again.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2009 #15
    Now the same status bar ("Starting up the partitioner" is what it actually says) restarted a few times, and then locked up at 50%. I may need to try a different distro.
     
  17. Feb 16, 2009 #16

    mgb_phys

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    Sounds like something is bust
    Might be worth running the memory checker, there is probably a memtest option on the boot menu.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2009 #17
    Debian netinst worked! Now to figure out how to set up the webserver. Thanks for everyone who gave advice!
     
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