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Re: Live 5.0.0 i386 is maybe not i386

[CCd to -release - is the release manual up to date?]

Hi Gary,

On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:29:46PM -0400, Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:
> I just downloaded
> http://debian.yorku.ca/debian-cd/5.0.0-live/i386/iso-cd/ and tried an
> install on a 1998-vintage Compaq Presario 1210; the Live boot fails on
> loading the Linux kernel, citing an invalid instruction error

That is some really ancient hardware! :-o

> -- if I'm not mistaken, invalid instruction could only happen if the 
> kernel or some module of the kernel is NOT i386

My guess is that the error happens because of changes to the i386 
instruction set that were added since the non-MMX Pentium in your machine 
came out.

In Debian 3.1, we enabled the generation of optimized code which made newer 
machines faster, but at the same time caused really old machines to stop 
working with Debian. This page claims that things should still work with 
your CPU, but maybe it is out of date:    :-/

Even if this had not been done, installation might still have failed on 
that machine because the Debian installer needs quite a bit of RAM.
<http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch02s05.html.en> claims 44 MB, 
but again I think the figure is actually higher today.

So unfortunately the standard Debian installer is not the right choice for 
you. Try a distribution specialized for low-spec machines, e.g. 
<http://damnsmalllinux.org/>! Once installed, you may be able to convert it 
into a normal Debian installation.



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