[nSLUG] small linux

Rich budman85 at eastlink.ca
Wed Apr 5 20:38:44 ADT 2006

On Wed, 2006-04-05 at 20:07 -0300, Diane Derrick wrote:
> I haven't posted in a while but every time I do I get good help.  So
> here's the project.  I have and old pentium 200 with 256 MB ram.  What
> I want to do is to get a small enough version of linux to boot from a
> cf card.  The goal is to have NAS and if possible play MP3s and movies
> from the hard drive.
> Some of the small distros I have looked at lead me to believe that
> they access the hardware directly and will be able to overcome hdd
> bois limitations.  Is this true for all, or most linux?  I have looked
> a few different distros including freenas and ByzantineOS.  Basically
> I am looking for suggestions.  The MP3 and movie thing may be too much
> for the P200, and I would have to deal with the TVout thing to play
> movies on a big screen, but I thought I'd try to make use of the old
> guy.  Any thoughts?

Try fdlinux runs from a single floppy.
For small kernels and minimal utils.
What size is the compact flash card?

MP3's should work, mpeg movies may play.
The more RAM you can give Linux, the better.
Reducing what the kernel can do also will help, but if you have the RAM,
it won't hurt.  Linux does not read the BIOS when it comes to hard
drives, you can run any amounts of GBs on the old systems. Which is cool
when the BIOS has limits - just means no windows ever. So sad... 

My wife has a K6III-450 (daughter got her P3) which plays real audio
fine. However, movies can play but consume nearly all the CPU if in full
screen.  If you dont mind the smaller sized window, it may be fine.
AVI files really consume cpu power, even fast systems can get
overwhelmed by AVI in Linux.  MPG seems fine.

I'd look into a smaller desktop XFCE/blackbox/icewm/WindowMaker -
although Gnome 2.12 and Gnome GWARE works fine (Dropline only supports
686 and above).

Should look into finding a P233MMX to get the extra processing.
If you have a P200, do you have the extra L2 cache card?  I think I have
one of those laying around.


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