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RH77 04-21-2008 02:58 AM

Looking for a "Lite Linux"
 
I take in old computers, take the Windows OS, replace with a Linux-based program and run the Stanford University Gene Folding Project (Distributed Computing). The PCs don't have to be fast, just willing to grind away at 100% processor capacity until they wear out. So far, I'm up to 9 computers...

#9 is a challenge. AMD K6 @ 300 MHZ with 64 MB RAM and a ~640 MB HDD (desktop).

Request: No live CD. I've tried a few without success -- they don't meld with something in the system

Ideas?

RH77

roflwaffle 04-21-2008 03:08 AM

FWIW, I had a 350mhz K6-2 that would only boot with an older Gentoo livecd. I also read that specific distro install cds from Ubuntu/etc... Could work, but I never tried 'em to see if they worked. Naturally, after installing/compiling everything, which took quite a bit of time, it ran fine.

RH77 04-21-2008 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roflwaffle (Post 20837)
FWIW, I had a 350mhz K6-2 that would only boot with an older Gentoo livecd. I also read that specific distro install cds from Ubuntu/etc... Could work, but I never tried 'em to see if they worked. Naturally, after installing/compiling everything, which took quite a bit of time, it ran fine.

I'm still a noob to Linux-based systems. I'll give those a try and see what happens. Thanks!

bhazard 04-21-2008 11:12 PM

Try "Damn Small Linux"

Coyote X 04-22-2008 12:17 AM

openbsd? :D

actually I used to use trustix for all my servers I think it was around 300mb for a full install.

For a setup dedicated to running a single program like that, how about setting up a pxe boot environment that uses something like dsl or puppylinux as the boot image and is tuned for only running that single task? That way you don't need any drives at all in the computers, just cpu ram and a network card. Less power wasted that way spinning an otherwise useless drive.

I pretty much have went the low power route at home now so I haven't used an actual x86 based server for a year or two so my knowledge of current distros might be out of date.

roflwaffle 04-22-2008 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH77 (Post 20916)
I'm still a noob to Linux-based systems. I'll give those a try and see what happens. Thanks!

IIRC it was a Jackass minimal CD. Same install for a stage three as Gentoo, although it'll probably take a day or more to compile everything depending on what you need. Also, if this has windows on it already, you can try UNetBootin to install from within windows. :thumbup:

RH77 04-22-2008 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roflwaffle (Post 20941)
IIRC it was a Jackass minimal CD. Same install for a stage three as Gentoo, although it'll probably take a day or more to compile everything depending on what you need. Also, if this has windows on it already, you can try UNetBootin to install from within windows. :thumbup:

Thanks all...

The HDD had a corrupt Win98 OS on it before I started formatting and partitioning for whichever Linux variant was tried.

Puppy was too much for it and it barely budged after about an hour after making a request (not enough memory). Vector Linux -- can't download a decent version (bad checksums).

I may try DSL or trustix. Honestly, my noobness currently requires a GUI, which likely steals from the total power available. On my newer machines, I've used OpenSuse, and a variety of Fedora releases with ease.

One is a backup server for 2 laptops (primary household workstations). So far, old, doorstop PCs have been saved from the recylcler.

RH77

Coyote X 04-22-2008 02:22 AM

how about this? http://reilly.homeip.net/folding/diskless.html

Coyote X 04-22-2008 02:29 AM

on closer look that is actually a pretty clean linux install. If you have a linksys wrt54g router you can also put the openwrt firmware on it and configure the dhcp settings so you really won't need a windows machine running tftpd32 or any other client.

Could just slap a computer together without any drives set the bios to pxe network boot and it is up and running in like 30 seconds :)

and crawling the directory of that howto gives you this url:
http://reilly.homeip.net/folding/
and there are some interesting clients there if you want to keep the hd in each system even

tasdrouille 04-22-2008 09:08 AM

Back when I was a student and had really nothing productive to do I did a stage I Gentoo install on exactly this same processor. It took 2 days to compile everything, but the distro ran quite fast for a k6-2 300.

zjrog 04-22-2008 09:51 AM

I like Xubuntu. Runs great on a p3 700, Ubuntu with a lighter video load. DSL would be a good one to try also. A good resource for al things Linux... Distrowatch

RH77 04-22-2008 12:55 PM

I have to say that DSL is a miracle! I've been messing with this machine for a couple of weeks with no sucess (and considerable frustration), then DSL had me up and running in 30 minutes. Thanks for the suggestions!

EDIT: Coyote -- That diskless workstation folding program looks slick! Back when I started this a few years ago, I looked up how-to's on "Dumb Terminals" and can up with nothing.

This is definitely a goal: to get rid of the hard drives on each machine and have one XP machine run the whole works. I'm sure it would save on power.

RH77


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