I’ve been quiet for the past day or so because I’ve been trying to commandeer the aforementioned quirky Inspiron 600m, and use it as a compiling machine for the other Crux systems in my house.
After an uptime of 17 days I decided I wasn’t really proving anything by running the beast as a server trapped in the closet, aside from proving that you can abandon a Gnome Ubuntu machine in the closet with a few extraneous console-based packages on it — like openssh, rtorrent, mc, htop and elinks — and not see any real slowdown.
And a day or two ago I got to wondering about the Crux installation CD, because for some reason — it might have been a random thought that sprang into my head, or perhaps a bit of indigestion, to borrow from Dickens — but I got to wondering if ssh was available by default in that “live-ish” environment.
It is. The tricky parts are the network interfaces on that machine, since one doesn’t seem to really work, and the other requires a bit of work to get going. But so long as I’m just piggybacking to tinker with an installation, I see no harm in borrowing the network for that as well. And running a decade-old network card under those circumstances is nothing new.
And once the network is up, I only need to give the root account a password, start the daemon, and jump in remotely. No more difficult than the Ubuntu system, if I don’t count the need to work through the GUI to get all that done.
And everything seems to working from a remote machine. I can chroot into the mounted system, compile a kernel, install grub, and update all the software on the system. The only thing really left to test is to boot the actual system, which is to say, the old Pentium. It might have worked, it might not, but that’s no better than it ever is.