Small machine Linux, with a twist - Jay Maynard

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Tuesday, 14 December 2004


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0829 - Small machine Linux, with a twist

I want to reinstall the OS on my iOpener. It's a Rise (Pentium MMX-class) 200 with an 800x600 display and sound. The gotcha: the Ethernet adapter is a USB DLink. It's currently running Red Hat 7.2, but that's sloooooow to get started.

I'd pondered DeLinux, after vakkotaur's success, but that's a 2.2 kernel, and I don't think it'll handle USB Ethernet. I might try Vector. The key is that this is a desktop system, not a server, and so I need X and a (small, fast) window manager. KDE and GNOME are too big for that machine.

Suggestions?

current mood: [mood icon] geeky

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:shellbellbunny
Date: - 0000
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wow... you have an iopener? According to my experience, they were nothing but problems. Seems to be working okay for you though. :)
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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The iOpener isn't a bad little box once you restore the original BIOS (thus removing a bunch of hacks they put in to try to keep you from running a real OS on it), add a hard disk, and run a real OS. The company had a rotten business plan that completely failed to take into account the fact that the machine was attractive enough as a cheap PC to be the subject of determined attempts to turn it into one, and their ISP service was just plain terrible and overly expensive. I'm not surprised in the least that they sank like the proverbial rock.
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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I personally find Linux a little...messy. As such, I'm investigating FreeBSD.

Does no GNOME and no KDE mean no GUI or does it just mean you'll be using a lightweight one like Windowmaker or Luxbox. I love Windowmaker, but I'm a NeXTSTEP fanboy (curses Steve Jobs for being an IDIOT and turning down that offer to liscence it to IBM)
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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Lightweight GUI. IceWM seems like a nice, small, fast one. Other choices are also possible, altnough I'm not about to compile a window manager suite from scratch on a Pentium 200 - hence, I plan to stick with one that's included with the system.

If you love NeXTSTEP and BSD, you need to get a Mac. For that matter, knowing what I do about OS X's GUI now, I'd like to sit in front of a real NeXT system just to see how close they really are.

My one irritation with *BSD (personally, the most experience I have is with NetBSD, since it runs on a couple of platforms I have sitting around) is that when my brain thinks "ps", my fingers type "ps -ef", and I hit enter before my brain has a chance to say "wait a minute, that won't work"...
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Ah, see, I *would* get a Mac, except for the "Please sign over the deed to your house and your firstborn son into slavery. That should be sufficient for the first installment" thing.
[User Picture]
From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000
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I'd give serious thought to fluxbox--it's very small, and, at least as important on an 800x600 display, doesn't gratuitously eat screen real estate. What corresponds to a taskbar is tiny, and you don't need any icons (though, as I've found out from the Vector Linux default configuration, you can have them if y ou want).
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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One small question - I currently have a P166 with an 800x600 screen I call it my 'thrashbox' (as in, I can thrash it about with my general newbieish incompetence with all things Unix and not screw up anything important). I've got Knoppix installed on it (because I am a *lazy bastard*) and it manages to run KDE decently (although I *hate* KDE) and with Windowmaker it's wicked fast.

So what's the weak point of this thingy? RAM? HDD? I'm guessing RAM by the looks of this thing.

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