Back to Debian, at 133Mhz and 32Mb

By most accounts I am a fairly patient person. I do, however, occasionally get tired of repeating the same tasks, troubleshooting the same problems and performing the same acrobatics.

So after a second and third try at putting Crux 2.7 on the Pentium, and getting a perfect system … except this time for a lack of any network — I decided to go the short route.

I’ll admit that my first stop after Crux was to try the same stunt with Slitaz, console-only. And it worked well except for some reason, it too was having network problems.

I am willing to blame my router at this point, but just for a final troubleshooting effort, I used the Debian netboot CD and got a fully working system this morning.

I even went one step further and got my mysterious RT61-based PCMCIA card to link up nicely, with the firmware-ralink package out of Lenny-non-free installed.

The only other issue I have with using Debian on a Pentium, as a torrent slave and file host, is that rtorrent in Lenny is stuck at version 0.7.9 or something.

That’s pretty far back. I don’t think that even supports DHT. No matter, a quick surf and I came across this page which described a fairly simple way to bump rtorrent up to 0.8.6.

And with that and mc and htop and screen, along with the required nfs-kernel-server and dropbear packages (openssh-server seems to imply X11 stuff, which I would prefer avoid), the machine is more or less complete.

It’s not a picture-perfect replica of the machine I usually configure, and it takes a little longer to boot, but it sure took a lot less time to wrangle. Sometimes that’s a bonus. :)

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8 Responses to “Back to Debian, at 133Mhz and 32Mb”

  1. 1 Reacocard 2010/10/23 at 8:50 AM

    openssh-server only has X stuff in its recommends as far as i can see, so if you tell apt to skip the recommends when installing you should be able to avoid them. :-)

  2. 3 alec 2010/10/23 at 7:25 PM

    Why dont you just download rtorrent from the develeopers site ( and compile it yourself!?

    • 4 K.Mandla 2010/10/24 at 7:36 PM

      Well, to be honest, downloading three small packages out of squeeze, and installing them with dpkg -i is quicker and cleaner than dragging in all the source packages, toolchain and patches, then building everything at 133Mhz. … :???:

  3. 5 Calvin 2010/10/23 at 7:38 PM

    The PC that ran Debian for me got upgraded :D – it now has 320 MB, won’t run out of memory again, ever. Plus I can test fatter distros. Plus it plays Red Alert smoothly. :) (I use the native Windows build, blasphemous, but still fun)

    Processor is still a bottleneck. Trying to find a Slot 1 Coppermine….

  4. 6 vespas 2010/10/23 at 11:44 PM

    i have been following your blog for a while and i have a challenge for you: can you run a (console based) desktop similar to the ones you are using now, but on a router running *-wrt? (think usb-vga adapter)

    • 7 K.Mandla 2010/10/24 at 7:32 PM

      The first trick would be getting my hands on one. :) The funny thing is, in the days before I started using Linux, I had a Linksys WRT54G, and didn’t know how the potential in it. :| Such is life.

      • 8 vespas 2010/10/24 at 10:25 PM

        well, ebay is your friend. people sell asus routers with ddwrt already installed (open source is a feature now!)

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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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