Well. I had linux on my laptop - 486sx 25, 4mb ram, 120mb hdd.
I ran old version of Debian distribution. It ran quite smoothly (Played ADOM on one virtual screen, compiled programs on other and held notes on class with third...)
Our school's first linux server build by us was 486dx50 with 8 mb's of ram. It served as e-mail platform for 200 students, and playgroud for IRC-bots and such for us, operators :-)
Just don't bother with X - learn the way of console and customize your distribution and remove unwanted services and compile very basic kernel - you'll be fine on that machine.
December 13, 2000 1:07:40 PM
I had slackware 7.1 installed on a 486 DX 33mhz, with 16 megs of ram.. it ran as a firewall, internet connection sharing box.. worked quite well. It had two 400 meg hd's also.
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December 15, 2000 9:57:48 PM
X would be painfull, but it would make a good console machine or server. Just be prepared to do some customization. I'd go for debian or slakware but maybe you'd give somthing like RockLinux or LFS a try. They scream on lower spec machines!