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Re: Debian on a 386? Unlikely. (was: ramblings about old hardware, gzip, bz2, and pentium opts)

On Tue, 7 Dec 1999, Brian White wrote:
> I'm not so sure of that any more...  We use a 486-25 at work with 8MB
> of RAM and 80MB of disk.  It runs a fine firewall/dial-up server.  In
> fact, the only thing it _can't_ do is _upgrade_!  Debian has gotten
> sooo big, that I have to make a 4 to 8MB swapfile (8MB swap partition)
> just to run dpkg, which is difficult on the limited disk space.  Dselect
> takes about 20 mins just to bring up the selection screen.

Yes, upgrades on my DECpc 386sx-20 (8M RAM, 100M disk) are a bit painful.

> Of course, I have a 486dx2-66 with 64MB of ram and 2GB disk that
> runs Debian just fine.  I doubt there are many 386s out there with more
> than the first system, though. 

Ours is a glorified terminal.  It is suitable for the kids to write
stories on in text, though.  As for the pain of upgrading, I just don't
(not unless I have to ;)  That being said, I did upgrade it to potato and
2.2.x of the kernel recently, just to see what would happen.  It seems to
run pretty solid.

But of all the distros out there, I think Debian is *most* suited
for this installation.  I'd hate to make it so that it is no longer
possible to install Debian on such a minimal system.  If Debian ever
goes with Pentium as the minimum supported ix86 architecture for the main
distro, I think there needs to be a i386 tree split off for these old

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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