Tale of two Ubuntus

Two of the systems I planned on trying out with the Mebius were Ubuntu versions, one four years older than the other. Results were what I anticipated, although there was a small surprise attached.

The console version of Ubuntu 10.04, as I expected, wouldn’t even start. My experiences earlier this year foretold that a machine with a meager 32Mb of memory wouldn’t get past the grub menu.

And that was the case this time too. Ten-point-oh-four left me with a few nifty error messages (“error: cannot allocate real mode pages,” and “error: you need to load the kernel first” were common) and a feeling of inferiority.

Dropping back four years, just out of curiosity, worked fine. The installed system booted to a console prompt and needed something less than 11Mb to run. The wireless network was up with a little prodding, and all was well with the world.

Adding a graphical environment was a fruitless exercise though: The Trident driver that far back gave nothing but scrambled eggs for video output. TinyFlux had its artifacts, but a minimal X in Ubuntu Dapper was pointless.

Oddly enough though, a full-blown Ubuntu 6.06.1 desktop could handle a graphical environment neatly, with no obvious defects or artifacts, showing the deep brown background from ages gone by.

Unfortunately that’s all it showed. Anybody can tell you that a full Gnome desktop on 32Mb is nothing but a pipe dream. The machine was swapping before it ever snapped out of the console.

Eventually it just spun to a crawl, freezing with the drive light fully on. As expected.

Not much was gained here in this little experiment, and I acknowledge that. It does however reinforce a few experiments from a long time ago, when I started out with minimal systems and built them up.

Next up, a few systems that might actually have a chance of working. :roll:

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7 Responses to “Tale of two Ubuntus”

  1. 1 Calvin 2010/09/24 at 11:32 PM

    “Perhaps one day it shall become a toaster, and make small children happy by giving them warm toast to eat”

    I lol’d hard.

    You need to get a 376 PC though. Run early Slackware for an exercise in pain!

  2. 2 Ridgeland 2010/09/25 at 8:26 PM

    Try Slitaz. I have it on a G5-200, a Gateway 2000 PC with a Pentium 5 running at 200 MHz. It does have 256 of RAM though.

  1. 1 Links 25/9/2010: The 5 Dollar KDE Challenge, Etc. | Techrights Trackback on 2010/09/26 at 1:06 AM
  2. 2 The also-rans « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/09/26 at 8:10 AM

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Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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