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  1. #1

    Austin's Avatar
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    unix distro to run on a windows 95 computer?
    does anyone know of a distribution of unix that can run on a old computer with 64mb of ram and a 45-50mhz processor? also it needs to fit on floppys to get it on the computer first. and some installation tips would be helpful too . thanks alot!

    Windows fanboy gone Mac. Switching as soon as leopard launches. Can't wait for my macbook pro!

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    DSL (****SmallLinux) is designed to be run on a computer with a 486 cpu (which is what i assume you have) and a 16mb of RAM minimum, so that would work well, but it's a live CD that you can install to your HDD, so a CDROM would be necessary. I would recommend finding a way to get a CDROM in that comp so you can use it since it's a great little OS (unless it's a laptop and you can't add an optical drive). I believe there is a floppy distro out there called "1diskX" and "2diskX" that gives you a GUI off of two floppies. I used on on a Compaq Contura 4/25 w/ a 25mhz cpu and it was just fine for the basics. If that computer is a desktop, it may actually be very inexpensive to double or triple its CPU speed (for example, if it's a 486 cpu currently, you could probably run a Pentium Overdrive setup in it at 100+ mhz). Bear in mind though that systems exponentially more powerful can be had for VERY cheap; I got a 800mhz PIII desktop w/ 64mb of ram and a 20GB drive for $15! If this is a project just for fun though, do what you can with what you have. I run DSL on a 200mhz, 72mb of RAM Compaq desktop from '96 and it does the trick. Have fun!

  3. #3

    Eric559's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    does anyone know of a distribution of unix that can run on a old computer with 64mb of ram and a 45-50mhz processor? also it needs to fit on floppys to get it on the computer first. and some installation tips would be helpful too . thanks alot!
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

  4. #4

    mathogre's Avatar
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    Tom's root boot

    http://www.toms.net/rb/

    Floppy distro that works great! I've depended on it for lots of things, even when I've had a full feature distro available to me.

    As far as running something with 64MB of RAM, don't count on running X with it unless you're running a relatively simple window manager (FVWM2, TWM, or possibly Enlightenment v16). GNOME and KDE are memory hogs.

    That said, I'd guess that the most versatile full feature distro would be Debian. Of the major distros, it tends to be behind on advanced functionality by a year or two, but it's stable.

    I know you have an old machine, but you might try to get extra memory for it. If you could bump it up to 128M or 256M (your machine might not be able to physically handle 256M), Linux would work very nicely.

    Good luck!
    Evil Math Ogre Kgh-Ra
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  5. #5

    Austin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathogre View Post
    Tom's root boot

    http://www.toms.net/rb/

    Floppy distro that works great! I've depended on it for lots of things, even when I've had a full feature distro available to me.

    As far as running something with 64MB of RAM, don't count on running X with it unless you're running a relatively simple window manager (FVWM2, TWM, or possibly Enlightenment v16). GNOME and KDE are memory hogs.

    That said, I'd guess that the most versatile full feature distro would be Debian. Of the major distros, it tends to be behind on advanced functionality by a year or two, but it's stable.

    I know you have an old machine, but you might try to get extra memory for it. If you could bump it up to 128M or 256M (your machine might not be able to physically handle 256M), Linux would work very nicely.

    Good luck!
    i'll try that out! i got this laptop a while ago...and its really not good for anything...so i'm going to put linux on it! yay! i really don't want to upgrade that comp...its not worth the investment. really, its just training wheels for unix for me. i want to get used to the commands and stuff .

    Windows fanboy gone Mac. Switching as soon as leopard launches. Can't wait for my macbook pro!

  6. #6

    mac57's Avatar
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    You might also consider RIPLinux. It is essentially intended as a linux rescue system - if you are really in trouble, you can always boot up RIPLinux and use it to at least recover your data. It is not a floppy based distro, you need a CD, but I was running the non graphical version of it on my older dual core Pentium Pro 200 machine this past week, with 128 MB of RAM, and it works like a champ. I am not sure what the minimum memory requirements are, but it might be worth a try.

    Yes, you read the above right, dual core Pentium Pro 200. Since Windows NT4.0 supported SMP, there were a fair number of dual core (literally two separate CPUs) Pentium Pro motherboards produced. I bought one on eBay earlier this year and built a machine around it. It has 128 MB of RAM and runs a dual boot of Windows NT 4.0 and Arch Linux 2007.05.

    So, we know for sure that if you have a bootable CD-ROM and at least 128 MB of RAM, RIPLinux will run for you. Try it out in 64 MB - you never know.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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