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Re: Installing newer kernels

On Thu 17 Mar 2016 at 19:27:31 (-0700), David Christensen wrote:
> On 03/17/2016 04:18 PM, William Lee Valentine wrote:
> >I have installed Debian 2.6.32-5-686 on two machines. One, a custom
> >machine, has a Pentium III processor running at 800 megahertz, and
> >has 500 megabytes of memory; the other is an IBM Mpro Intellistation
> > 6229 with a Pentium IIII processor running at 2.2 gigahertz, and has
> > 2 gigabytes of memory.
> >
> >Debian notified me of updates for some time after I had had put it
> >on those machines. Then it ceased to have anything to say about
> >updates. I have four questions to ask about maintaining Debian.
> >
> >(1) Am I to update the kernel periodically? Is there advantage to
> >doing so?
> >
> >(2) If I do, will I again receive notices of updates, and will these
> >reference only the new kernel or the new kernel and also other
> >programs that I have installed?

You mention custom machine, and I assume hardware. If the kernel
is custom, try to move to a vanilla Debian one before upgrading.
After that, Debian will look after updating.

One other thing to check before upgrading is that your Pentium III
has pae. It might not, as you don't seem to be running a 686-pae
at the moment.

 $ grep -q '^flags.*\bpae\b' /proc/cpuinfo && echo yes || echo no

If it says "no", it would be safer to downgrade to a 486 kernel
in squeeze before upgrading. Either that, or make sure it doesn't
try to dist-upgrade to 3.2 kernels. Wheezy only has 3.2 686-pae
kernels, though there is a 2.6 686 without pae (I think).

If you try to stick with your current kernel, you may find wheezy's
udev won't work with it.

> >(3) If I update the kernel, do I simply download it and install it
> >over the old one, or is there some process of uninstalling the old
> >kernel that is needed before a later kernel is put in?

If you try upgrading a subset of packages to wheezy, make sure the
kernel and udev upgrade together. However, I don't recall how much
in the way of support packages are needed.

> >(4) How much disc space, at the minimum, should I allot to Debian, if
> >I leave it essentially in a single block on the primary disc drive? I
> >assume that OpenOffice will be installed automatically (since it was
> >earlier); and I will try to install XAMPP, WordPress, and Drupal.
> On 03/17/2016 03:52 PM, Lisi Reisz wrote:
> >2.6.32-5-686 is a kernel number.  Since you call it Debian
> >2.6.32-5-686 it is presumably a Debian compiled kernel.  Which
> >versionof Debian? This
> >
> >https://packages.debian.org/squeeze/linux-image-2.6.32-5-686
> >
> >would suggest that it is Squeeze (Debian 6).
> >
> >Squeeze has very recently stopped being supported, on 29th of
> >February 2016, which may be why reminders stopped.  What form did the
> >upgrade reminders take?
> Debian 6 is obsolete. You're going to want to do a
> backup-wipe-install-restore cycle on both machines and move to
> Debian 7 (or 8).
> The Intellistation should make for an acceptable low-end desktop
> machine.  I'd recommend:
> http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/7.9.0/i386/iso-cd/debian-7.9.0-i386-xfce-CD-1.iso
> One of my favorite tricks is to use 16 GB USB 3.0 flash drives as
> system drives (in machines that can run from a USB drive),
> partitioned (manually) as follows:
>      0.5 GB ext4 /boot
>      0.5 GB random key encrypted swap
>     13.4 GB passphrase encrypted btrfs / (root)
> Install these software sets:
>     Debian desktop environment
>     print server
>     SSH server
>     Standard system utilities
> You should have ~8 GB free HDD and ~1 GB free RAM when you're done.
> XAMPP, WordPress, and Drupal should fit on the system drive, but you
> might want to set up a HDD (or RAID) for Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc.,
> data.  As always, you will want enough RAM to avoid swapping.
> Getting Debian 7+ on the Pentium III could be tough -- the BIOS
> probably won't boot the Debian installer on USB, and might not boot
> the Debian installer on CD.

If that's the case, why recommend wipe-install instead of dist-upgrade?

But I've had no difficulty booting Debian from CD on any of my machines.
Obviously USBs are unsuitable for the ancient ones, though I await
a response to
with bated breath.

> If the easy approaches fail, there are
> other approaches that require more work.  If/ when you get the
> Debian installer going, install to a HDD, don't use encryption, and
> only install:
>     SSH server
>     Standard system utilities
> You can add things carefully after that, but 512 MB of RAM, USB 1.1,
> IDE HDD's, etc., will be limiting.  That said, if you have some
> spare network card(s) and the machine supports them, it would make a
> decent firewall.

That's a very pessimistic view of a Pentium III clocking 800MHz.
My Pentium III runs jessie with 3.16.0-4-686-pae #1 SMP Debian
3.16.7-ckt20-1+deb8u4 (2016-02-29) i686 GNU/Linux kernel.
I run the fvwm window manager as on all my machines, and it has
512MB memory and 500GB PATA disk, running at 650MHz.

It takes 25 secs to boot jessie (though the POST takes almost as long)
which is much faster than my 2-core 1.2GHz laptop with 2GB memory.
Anything disk-bound is quicker. I don't try to play videos on it, but
that's the only normal usage thing I avoid. Should I want to offload
some CPU-intensive task to it, I just let it churn.


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