Crux and Awesome at 120Mhz, 16Mb

Finally, after several false starts and a couple of botched attempts, a fully 800×600 graphical desktop in 16-bit color depth, with Awesome 2.3.4 as the window manager using Crux 2.4 with Xorg 7.3 on a 120Mhz Pentium with only 16Mb of memory.

No tricks, no smoke or mirrors, no fancy footwork, unless you call building the entire thing from scratch “fancy.” The biggest stumbling blocks were getting X to run at all, and getting a network card to play nice with the hardware. For some reason, all the network cards I have — with the exception of my trusty WPC11 and maybe the ASIX-based wired card — trigger messages from the kernel claiming “cardbus cards are not supported.”

Right now the plan is to use the WPC11 until I can get the system into a condition I like. Performance is about the same level as the 100Mhz machine was … in other words, a 20Mhz difference does not offer a magical improvement in usability.

But hey, usability is all a matter of perspective. 😈

8 thoughts on “Crux and Awesome at 120Mhz, 16Mb

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      With the proper terminal-based applications installed, it’s quite usable. The problem right now is that any X-based system is going to spill over that 12Mb limit quite easily, which means frequent swapping, slow application starts, pauses while Awesome realigns the windows …

      But it’s quite possible to use it regularly.

      The problem is that I have three machines doing much the same thing now. … πŸ™„

  1. road

    this is unrelated to this post, but I just read on slashdot about MenuetOS which is an entire OS built from scratch in Assembly that is not UNIX based and the whole thing is 700Kb to download (yup, that’s Kb). sounds way smaller than even the teensiest linux distros, and apparently it’s quite fast. have you seen or tried this? it sounds like the sort of thing you’d be into and I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    1. ArmorNick

      Is it, by any chance, compatible with linux programs? If not, I and probably most others, have no use for it. Very cool though πŸ˜‰ .

    2. K.Mandla Post author

      I have looked into it in the past; the problem that I had was that, after installation, there was little to be done about hardware compatibility.

      If I had a standalone machine that didn’t need, for example, Internet access I might be able to use it with one or two of the machines I have. But as it is I would have to put together a machine with specific components to use that (or Kolibri, if I remember right) to its fullest.

      I’ll take another look at it though. Things like that are always fun. πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Musca and e3, with space left over « Motho ke motho ka botho

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