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HELP! Can This be done?

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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May 30, 2006 9:56:07 PM

I have a Old Gateway 2000 Machine that i would like to put Mandrake on if it is plausable.
or turn it in to a router. can it be done on this machine. Or what would need to be done to make it happen?

Specs
Gateway2000 286/386SX Platform Board
CD-Rom Reader NEC '94 4y18926s1111
Epson SMD -300 Floppy - B1056406
PC game Controler By Kouwell - KW021198
delta Digital Design Card
Creative Vibrat 16 CT-2501-TBQ
WD Caviar 140 - MDL WDAC140-50m
drive Para-980 Cyl , 42.7 MB

Thanks

More about : question

May 30, 2006 10:42:23 PM

Quote:
I have a Old Gateway 2000 Machine that i would like to put Mandrake on if it is plausable.
or turn it in to a router. can it be done on this machine. Or what would need to be done to make it happen?

Specs
Gateway2000 286/386SX Platform Board
CD-Rom Reader NEC '94 4y18926s1111
Epson SMD -300 Floppy - B1056406
PC game Controler By Kouwell - KW021198
delta Digital Design Card
Creative Vibrat 16 CT-2501-TBQ
WD Caviar 140 - MDL WDAC140-50m
drive Para-980 Cyl , 42.7 MB

Thanks



Mandrake -- no

An ancient Linux or BSD distribution maybe

http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/damns...

http://www.freesco.org/

http://www.smoothwall.org/get/

http://m0n0.ch/


For best results I could recommend a K6 or Pentium with at least 64MB RAM

The more RAM the better
June 9, 2006 10:29:09 PM

It doesn't have to be an ancient Linux distro, as the Linux kernel itself is 386 or greater. The only thing I found was the ELKS project which hasn't been updated in a few years and doesn't support traditional, current networking. Others might be Minix, but it's likewise pretty rough to start on.

Why such lackluster support on the 286? The primamry reason is primitive context switching support including an anemic "mmu", some wouldn't even consider it a MMU.

But that's what you get for using hardware that's older than 80% of the posters on this board :) 

Basically, it's a hard way to go. If you want to go for it, I have had experience playing around with minix before, and I know linux_0 would probably be willing to lend his unix experience.
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June 9, 2006 11:10:57 PM

Quote:
It doesn't have to be an ancient Linux distro, as the Linux kernel itself is 386 or greater. The only thing I found was the ELKS project which hasn't been updated in a few years and doesn't support traditional, current networking. Others might be Minix, but it's likewise pretty rough to start on.

Why such lackluster support on the 286? The primamry reason is primitive context switching support including an anemic "mmu", some wouldn't even consider it a MMU.

But that's what you get for using hardware that's older than 80% of the posters on this board :) 

Basically, it's a hard way to go. If you want to go for it, I have had experience playing around with minix before, and I know linux_0 would probably be willing to lend his unix experience.





You're right :-D

Not a lot of options in the 286 range.

If I am not mistaken Linux, BSD, SCO ( :cry:  ) all require at least a 386.

I think the same is true for Solaris x86.

Minix itself will run on a 386 but I don't think it will run on a 286.

http://www.minix3.org/doc/faq.html



Even though a modern Linux distribution will run on a 386, it will be painfully slow.
June 10, 2006 4:53:45 AM

You are right about Linux, hence the branch of kernel source is 386 in most distros that let you choose.

Also, you are correct about minix 3.x, but minix 2.x can be run on a 286, however I don't think it matters at this point. The ammount of effort required would be great and he'd get better results buying/finding an old pre v5 wr54g and unlocking the goodness :D  or, of course keeping an eye out around father's day (troll around the neighborhood looking for old pc's being tossed out as dad's get new ones... I know I will be :D )
June 10, 2006 11:35:15 AM

Quote:
You are right about Linux, hence the branch of kernel source is 386 in most distros that let you choose.

Also, you are correct about minix 3.x, but minix 2.x can be run on a 286, however I don't think it matters at this point. The ammount of effort required would be great and he'd get better results buying/finding an old pre v5 wr54g and unlocking the goodness :D  or, of course keeping an eye out around father's day (troll around the neighborhood looking for old pc's being tossed out as dad's get new ones... I know I will be :D )




Aye a Linux capable wrt54g will be faster / better than 286 or 386.

You can pickup a K6, Geode or Pentium class machine for $50 - $100 with a decent amount of RAM (256MB) so I would recommend that.
June 13, 2006 1:39:28 AM

Check out Freesco:

http://www.freesco.info/

MUST be a 386, however, if you ditch all of the removable hardware except the floppy drive, and obviously RAM and CPU, this should get ya.

Check out the documentation for supported NICs and such, but that should get ya.

As the other guys have stated, Mandrake = NO.

That's the Windows XP of Linux distros. Requires much ram and decent CPU for all the pretty stuff.

I'm assuming you won't need X, so Freesco should take care of your needs.

Cheers,
June 13, 2006 6:09:54 AM

Quote:
Check out Freesco:

http://www.freesco.info/

MUST be a 386, however, if you ditch all of the removable hardware except the floppy drive, and obviously RAM and CPU, this should get ya.

Check out the documentation for supported NICs and such, but that should get ya.

As the other guys have stated, Mandrake = NO.

That's the Windows XP of Linux distros. Requires much ram and decent CPU for all the pretty stuff.

I'm assuming you won't need X, so Freesco should take care of your needs.

Cheers,



I agree :-D

Apart from http://www.freesco.org/

There's also:

http://www.m0n0.ch/wall/

http://www.smoothwall.org/

http://www.ipcop.org/

and a few others.

However a Linksys router with Linux firmware or an inexpensive semi-modern machine (K6/K7/Geode/Pentium class or better) will work quite a bit better and if it had enough RAM could also run X (GUI).
June 17, 2006 4:24:12 AM

The box must have a 386 in it as Linux is 32- (or 64-bit) code that will not run on a 286 at all. The 386SX is a cripple that has a 16-bit data bus, but will run 32-bit code and thus will run Linux, albeit very slowly.

The 386SX lacks a floating-point math unit- it was called a "math coprocessor" in those days, so you will need to compile the kernel (PLEASE use distcc so another machine can compile or it will take days!) for FPU emulation. You need 8 to 16 MB RAM minimum to run even a very stripped-down Linux. You would only be able to use a terminal on this machine as there is no way that you'll ever get X up and running on your machine with less than about 64-96 MB RAM. Mandrake is a lot bigger yet and needs 128MB or more to run.

My little Linksys WRT54GC router is a little bigger than a deck of cards and has a 200 MHz processor and 16 MB RAM in it. It cost me all of $50 and eats almost no power and is silent. That 386 will run slower than the Linksys and use a lot more power and take up a lot of space to just be a router. I'd say that you should probably retire the old 386- if you wanted to set up a computer as a router, make it a file server too, and that would require a little better chip (Pentium 200 or better and 128MB+ RAM would do the trick.)
June 20, 2006 1:07:36 AM

Quote:
The box must have a 386 in it as Linux is 32- (or 64-bit) code that will not run on a 286 at all. The 386SX is a cripple that has a 16-bit data bus, but will run 32-bit code and thus will run Linux, albeit very slowly.

The 386SX lacks a floating-point math unit- it was called a "math coprocessor" in those days, so you will need to compile the kernel (PLEASE use distcc so another machine can compile or it will take days!) for FPU emulation. You need 8 to 16 MB RAM minimum to run even a very stripped-down Linux. You would only be able to use a terminal on this machine as there is no way that you'll ever get X up and running on your machine with less than about 64-96 MB RAM. Mandrake is a lot bigger yet and needs 128MB or more to run.

My little Linksys WRT54GC router is a little bigger than a deck of cards and has a 200 MHz processor and 16 MB RAM in it. It cost me all of $50 and eats almost no power and is silent. That 386 will run slower than the Linksys and use a lot more power and take up a lot of space to just be a router. I'd say that you should probably retire the old 386- if you wanted to set up a computer as a router, make it a file server too, and that would require a little better chip (Pentium 200 or better and 128MB+ RAM would do the trick.)




Indeed I agree which is why I too suggested a Linksys or low end modern system or SBC.

A K6/K7/Geode or Pentium class machine with as much RAM as possible would not cost very much and would work pretty well.

:-D
!