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8 MB RAM still enough?

I try to install Debian 2.2r2 on a SPARC 1+ with 8 MB RAM.
I use the rescue, root, and drivers disks from kernel 2.2.18pre21-sun4cdm_3.

Boot fails during reading the root.bin disk.
The following messages might be relevant:
Memory 5788k available
16 RAM disks of 4096k size (I also tried 'linux ramdisk_size=5120')
WARNING disk change called early
...(root.bin disk inserted)
VFS root filesystem mounted (ext2)
VM: do_try_to_free_pages failed for init

The machine keeps on printing the last line, sometimes with 'kswapd' instead
of 'init'.

What can I change to avoid this lack of memory problem?
(The installation manual claims that 5 MB RAM are sufficient ...)


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