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Linux distro advice and some questions

Discussion in 'Software' started by JCG, 13 Apr 2007.

  1. JCG

    JCG What's a Dremel?

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    the sitaution:
    I've bought a thinclient, she adorable. Nice and quite (no fans). A geode processor at 233 MHz, and a 96 MB ram and a 40 GB harddisk. So it won't be a heavy distro.

    What I want to do is make a torrent PC of it, and I must be able to controle it over LAN (over internet would be nice but not necessary) because I don't have the room for a extra monitor key board and mouse. And I must be able to get the file from it to a windows XP computer. So what distro should I use? I've found DSL and Puppy Linux. But I'm a linux noob so please help me.

    And now for getting Linux to run on it. The trouble is that it doesn't have a cd-rom or diskette drive. I have spare cd-rom to plug into it, but it only has one molex plug. I could use a molex plug from another computer but that seems a bit risky to me.

    So I thought, would it be possible to instal Linux on the harddisk while it's in another computer and then plug in the the thinclient. I know Windows throws a hissy fit if you try something like that, but i'm hoping Linux is able to stand waking up in a completly different computer.
     
  2. Spaceraver

    Spaceraver Ultralurker

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    Getting linux on your harddrive should be easy. You need to make a partition it can install from or remove it from the machine and put in a regular desktop. Unplug all other harddrives just in case. install and drop back in. Linux is adaptive beyond your imagination. As for distro, DSL is a good choice, I have it on a USB key or just run it directly off CD. That isn't a viable option in your case tho. Other option is to install a Debian based distro, the APT package manager is excellent. sudo apt-get update&&apt-get update using PuTTY keeps your system maintained..

    Oh yeah. Do you need a X server(GUI)? No? Good. Install LAMP on it and then Torrentflux . PHP based and you lose the X server overhead.

    As for getting your files, mount NFS How-to shares or use SSH in PuTTY to get them.

    Have fun.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2007
  3. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    With 96MB of RAM you're pretty limited to those two. You could also check out Feather Linux. Your best bet is to go with one of those distros and tailor the application suite to your needs, ie. remove apps you don't need (eg. do you need a GUI?) and add any you do. Once you're done, see if you can still 'copy2ram' at boot. That will certainly speed things up for you.

    Things will be a lot easier if you can hook up a CDRW drive. Using a molex connector powered from another PC shouldn't be a problem. I've done it myself.

    Other than making sure you've got the right drivers, I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work. There's no harm in trying.
     
  4. Confused Fishcake

    Confused Fishcake Minimodder

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    Gentoo would do what you want, if you feel up to the install. For torrenting, I suggest rtorrent running in a screen session over ssh. rtorrent uses almost no resources, and is simple to setup.

    For your simple needs, gentoo is actually very easy to setup, especially if you have two monitors. Simply connect the cd drive to the thin client, and run commands like lspci and lshw. Put your HD in another pc, and follow the gentoo handbook. Gentoo is very light, and should be as fast as DSL and puppy linux.
     
  5. JCG

    JCG What's a Dremel?

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    You guy aren't helping 3 posts with 3 different distros :p

    But is there something like a bootfloppy from linux? My bios is possesed, it changes back everytime I restart.
    I changed the boot sequens to 3.5 inch diskette -> cd-rom -> harddisk and saved the changes. The computer reboots, I check the bios the boot sequens stays the same so I pop in a live-cd (DSL). Result I get the Windows XP start up screen. I restart the computer and the boot sequens is 3.5 inch diskette -> harddisk -> cd-rom. Should I call an priest to preform a exorism?

    SO I tried hooking the empty harddisk a a single drive (so my main drive discontected) and live cd in the cd-rom drive. I get and error (ntd-some more letters, press ctrl-alt-del to restart)

    Want am I doing wrong?
     
  6. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    I vote for Gentoo.
     
  7. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    If you want to boot from floppy disk, then I'd recommend using syslinux (www.syslinux.org). Syslinux must be installed on a FAT filesystem so you can download, install and configure everything while in windoze.

    I'd still recommend just taking the HDD out, puting it in another machine (one that boots a CD) and repartitioning and installing from there using the LiveCD of your chosen distro.

    Compiling Gentoo on a 233MHz Geode with 96MB of RAM? Man, you guys are sadists. What possible performance gains are there that outweigh the MASSIVE compile times he's going to experience? He is, after all, only going to be using it for torrents.
     
  8. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Yeah, but the real time suckers (X, OpenOffice, Firefox,...) aren't going to be compiled... And the performance gain will be noticable.

    And tbh, why all the fuss about compile times? Just start emerging at the end of the day, and by the next moring you can start configuring...

    So Gentoo gets my vote too
     
  9. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    I'm still not convinced about that. The Geode only has MMX and 3dNOW! as CPU features. You get those benefits with any i686 binary distro, like Arch Linux. I still can't see how any dubious performance gain is going to be noticable when running on a non-GUI system with a paltry 96MB of RAM.
     
  10. Confused Fishcake

    Confused Fishcake Minimodder

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    There is a real performance gain, gentoo's speed is as much due to the fact that it installs barely nothing than the fact it compiles with better flags. Admittedly I use a P3 with 128mb of ram, but that only took an hour or two to compile, with a stage3 install not much is compiled, apart from the kernel.
     
  11. JCG

    JCG What's a Dremel?

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    That's the problem i was talking about my desktop pc, for some reason it won't boot from cd-rom :wallbash:

    So gentoo a no no? Remember I'm a linux noob.
     
  12. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    You really should get this fixed as a matter of priority, ie. before you start worrying about installing linux.

    Well, as you can see there's a difference of opinion on Gentoo. I don't believe it will give you any noticable performance benefit over and above that you can get from Arch Linux. Even if you only spend 1-2 hours compiling Gentoo that's 1-2 hours wasted IMO as you could have had Arch up and running within that time. Others disagree with me. I'm not saying they're wrong and I'm right (and vice versa). Only you can determine, definitively, if the compile time was really worth it. Gentoo is good and all, but if just want to get things up and running on your tiny hardware, then I'd stick with DSL or Puppy.

    Btw, if your really wanted to, you can compile any Arch Linux package using ABS - the Arch Build System and pick up a 'performance gain' if you want.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2007
  13. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    QFT
    Gentoo compile times aren't that long, and the fact that nothing extra is installed (which hogs memory, increases boot time,... [like extra hardware modules a binary distro loads]) you will notice the performance gain. Also, due to optimal GCC flags, every application is custom built for your hardware.
     
  14. JCG

    JCG What's a Dremel?

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    phase one completed: I'm now running DSL :D , using a live cd and a boot floppy.
    Phase two: installing DSL on my harddisk
    Phase 2 completed: now running dsl from my hard disk :D

    edit: updated my post
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2007
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