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Linux Instal On Old Hardware.

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Gentoo 0.9 was disgusting, at least with LFS you *expected* it to be a pain in the ass...

I still can't help thinking there is something common with those machines *other* than the mobo that is causing your problems.  Perhaps some kind of funky SCSI CD-ROM?  Old old BIOS?

Serverworks is normally a very stable chipset, even if they have the worst IDE implementation in history...

Michael

I wanted to avoid the EIDE (IDE) so at first I used an ICP-Vortex SATA controller. When that didnt work, I found a SCSI drive, and tried the onboard adaptec SCSI controller, and Ive also tried the onboard IDE controller. All 3 had the same results. Iam not useing the same hard drives each time. I have a few older Seagate & Maxtor Atlas drives kicking around. (they're too small to be used anymore), The SATA drive was seagate, and the IDE drive was a WD400. Memory chips have all been different (mostly crucial, but Ive had different chips for each motherboard)

-Ive now ran memtest on the current victim over night. 0 errors.

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I just tried gentoo... It does almost the same thing... it dies after identifying the Adaptec controller...(well goes to sleep)

I used the SMP boot option with gentoo, thinking this would give it a better chance of success... but alas no.

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Success!!!

It was just a matter of finding the right command line parameters.

I found (or rather was told) with Gentoo, it wanted -smp noapic noraid nohotswap nodetect doscsi for the command line...

So I experemented around, and found that nodetect had no effect, (SuSE would go thru the hardware detection anyhow) but it turns out it was the 'nohotswap' that was the killing me... As long as I had nohotswap in the command line, I could boot past the 'searching for info file' line, and onto YaST like normal.

I was a little too intimidated by Gentoo to continue on with it... it boots up and gives you a "root#" prompt. (from a liveCD rom) ... I was thinking the # prompt, should be a &... as in "& now what?" ...

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Just had a thought... Now that I got it running on one machine... Can I avoid further trauma by useing dd to 'ghost' the OS over to another hard drive, for the other machine? (which is Identicle) Or now that Ive learned to install, just repeat that trick?

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dd-ing linux machines to each other is generally best left to those of us who do this for a living. You will probably save a lot of time by simply using the nohotswap parameter and doingyour normal installs. I'm glad our MSN chat had some success :-)

And yes, Gentoo isn't a pretty install, if you ever *do* feel up to it, the handbook at the official site (www.gentoo.org) holds your hand fairly well through the install.

Michael

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I was a little too intimidated by Gentoo to continue on with it... it boots up and gives you a "root#" prompt. (from a liveCD rom) ... I was thinking the # prompt, should be a &... as in "& now what?" ...

Well the "now what" part would most likely be reading and following the Gentoo Handbook. It covers pretty much anything you need, unless you're doing something unusual. In that case, however, you probably already know what you need to do.

Just had a thought... Now that I got it running on one machine... Can I avoid further trauma by useing dd to 'ghost' the OS over to another hard drive, for the other machine? (which is Identicle) Or now that Ive learned to install, just repeat that trick?

If the machines are identical, it will definitely work. Even if they were not identical, odds are good it would work (unless you had compiled a custom kernel).

HOWEVER, there are two things to keep in mind. First, make sure you give the actual harddrives and not partitions as arguments. That is, "dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb" instead of "dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1". You might also consider providing the block size parameter to dd such as "bs=64k" which tells dd to read and write in 64KB chunks.

Second, and most important, it is a bad idea to copy a live filesystem in this manner. You have two options. The safest is to boot from the install cd to do the copy. The other method is to remount the filesystems you are using as read-only. That is, you can do "mount -o remount,ro /dev/hda1" for each partition you have mounted. Note that you'll have to reboot (or do the above with "rw" instead of "ro") to make your system workable again. I'd go with the first option.

-JoeTD

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Doh, beat me to it... :)

Anyway, I had another thought. If you have two identical machines and you just put them together to play with, perhaps you could try SuSE on the one and give Gentoo a shot on the other. SuSE gets you up and running quickly and you could use it for reference if you have troubles with Gentoo... Just a thought.

-JoeTD

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I have a knoppix cd I can boot from. To give it a spin... Hey its worth a try... its just that downloading the updates took a few hours... So, it would save considerble time...If it doesnt work - oh well, I'll just go back to being a 1 trick pony... if it does work, Iam now a 1 1/4 trick pony....

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Not to mention the fact that if you get a Gentoo machine up and running, all the apps can be optimized for your exact architecture. It can often result in a free speed boost, even on a lowly P3 system.

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Well I gave the DD if=/dev/sha of=/dev/sdb a shot. It almost worked... /var wasnt mountable for some reason. So I just started a reinstall of linux on the other machine... I would need to figure out how to find /var and fix it from the root # prompt.... I figured as a great a learning oprotunity that would be, it would probably be quicker to reinstall from the dvd...

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i wanted to note that I recently did install linux on some OLD hardware.

i486DX2 66Mhz

SiS AT style motherboard with Vesa slots

22 of 24MB Fastpage RAM usable

Conner Peripherals 420MB - CFS420A, 406MB w/64kB Cache, CHS=826/16/63

eth0: 3c509 at 0x300 tag 1, 10baseT port

14" CRT and AT keyboard are only peripherals.

BogoMIPS between 20-30

I settled on Redhat7.0 with kernel 2.2.16-22. After alot of tweaking I have 6MB free RAM on boot (from the stock 500k) and 139MB hard drive space free.

Runs pretty well for our needs.

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