Utah_Viper

Old PC? What to put on it?

18 posts in this topic

The PC is a 350 mHz Pentium II with a 4.3 GB HD. The machine has 640 K of RAM. So its a bit of a old beast, what Operating System can I put on it and what can I use this PC for?

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Well, you could go with win9x, any old linux flavor, or if you want to be really, really different, do mirageOS. small ass os that fits on a floppy disk.

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It can't be a PII and have 640k of ram. I think you mean MB instead of kb. Anyways, most distros can run on a machine like that. I'd install slackware.

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I think it has a little more than 640k of ram. Probably 32 megs or higher.

You can run all kinds of things on it. Don't expect to be able to run a desktop os on it comfortably and do all the modern things, but it has plenty of other uses. File server (independent of all other computers in the house), network appliance (router, IDS, etc), or even a box just to try stuff on. Stick Linux on there, why not? Don't go with a modern "desktop" distro like Ubuntu or Fedora, go with a distro that can be installed without a GUI and stuff. Debian would be my choice, but there are about 20 or so big ones you could choose.

Do something with it, anything at all. Hardware sitting idle is hardware you might as well not have.

Edit: BTW, that 640k of RAM is probably 640k of conventional memory, which is an old DOS term.

Edited by Ohm
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I really dislike that Nubie Flaming rule, Nubie's require flaming.. It's how they learn.. <_<

Anyway, Conventional memory was the area of memory normally used by DOS and early Windows software, It's a remnant of "compatibility" that all x86 systems retain.

I myself still use a Pentium II as my personal file server, Running OpenBSD obviously.. (64 + 128) = 192MB RAM.

It's quite disturbing how many people toss out reasonably efficient/well designed hardware for something that they'll never completely utilize or appreciate.. :mumble:

I still remember the good old days... *sigh* Now people drool over games and annoyingly distracting graphical user interfaces.

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This box is made for Gentoo. Screw the official documentation and do a stage 1 install. It'll take over a week probably, even more.

If you have external drives you could use this box for seedboxing/torrenting. You can put a base install of something on it, mirror it at the beginning, then do crazy shit with it - hack it, use it as a honeypot, wipe your boot sector and try forensic tools etc.

If you can plug in two NICs you should be able to use it as a firewall/IDS/NAT/SSH gateway. Even if you have a router, I like to only allow tunneling over SSH into my home network.

If you're bold, you can try out installs of MINIX, Plan9, FreeDOS etc. Grab a few abandonware games [true classics, I call them] and waste some time. I used to play so much on my 486DX @ 80 MHz back in the day that I know you can easily do it.

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no box is made for gentoo. I'd say go with slack or debian.

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If you're bold, you can try out installs of MINIX, Plan9, FreeDOS etc. Grab a few abandonware games [true classics, I call them] and waste some time. I used to play so much on my 486DX @ 80 MHz back in the day that I know you can easily do it.

I believe this to be the best idea yet.

If you don't want to do that, I would go with some sort of BSD or Slackware.

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BSD,slacks,debian. but that box has almost no ram, just forget about using any GUI.

You might get away running fluxbox, but I doubt it. Anyway give it a try and see what happens.

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BSD,slacks,debian. but that box has almost no ram, just forget about using any GUI.

You might get away running fluxbox, but I doubt it. Anyway give it a try and see what happens.

We've already addressed his misstatement about the RAM in the system... He more then likely has a sufficient amount of RAM but lacked the ability to identify it..

Don't encourage the spread of false information NB-robo.. :roll:

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It would be great for a file server if you bought a larger hard drive. I have a similar box running FreeNas. Keep the small drive for the base install and buy a 300gb or larger for files (if the bios supports drives of that size). Have fun.

Edited by BitByteR
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It would be great for a file server if you bought a larger hard drive. I have a similar box running FreeNas. Keep the small drive for the base install and buy a 300gb or larger for files (if the bios supports drives of that size). Have fun.

Actually, the BIOS doesn't need to support drives of that size. I have an old '95 computer running Slackware as a file server, with a 9.5GB HDD for storing files. The BIOS can't properly detect the 9.5GB drive, but if you use Linux/BSD for hosting files they bypass the BIOS and use direct hardware access. I disabled the 9.5GB in the BIOS so the computer will startup properly, and Linux detects and mounts the drive just fine.

But I do agree with you, that computer would make a nice file server.

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I would try DeliLinux. It's a distro on which development ceased around the time of the 2.4 kernel, and the reason is to allow it to run great on old machines like yours. I tried it and it was the only thing that ran on an old p2 i had lying around, so give it a try. You can get it from http://delili.lens.hl-users.com/

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I would put DexOS on it, which would teach you how to really hack.

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BSD,slacks,debian. but that box has almost no ram, just forget about using any GUI.

You might get away running fluxbox, but I doubt it. Anyway give it a try and see what happens.

We've already addressed his misstatement about the RAM in the system... He more then likely has a sufficient amount of RAM but lacked the ability to identify it..

Don't encourage the spread of false information NB-robo.. :roll:

Ok sorry, my bad.

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