[plug] Difficulty trying to load Slackware 3.1 system onto 4mb RAM 386SX

David Buddrige dbuddrige at ozemail.com.au
Sat Sep 26 18:50:06 WST 1998

Hi all,

I have a mate of mine - a 14 year-old doing computing who wants to learn
how to program... Subsequently, I'm introducing him to Linux as a very
good programming environment.

He has a _REALLY OLD_ 386SX with 4 megs of RAM... I'm trying to load it
up with a bare-bones Slakware 3.1 system (just the basic system +
compilers + documentation)... it doesn't have a CD-ROM so I've copied
all the packages onto 3.5" floppy disk, and attempted a floppy based

This kept crashing, so I then created a 50mb DOS partition on his 160mb
hard-drive and copied all the packages onto there... I then attempted to
install from the hard-drive partition... unfortunately, this crashed too
(although it got further than the floppy based install)....

I think that the basic problem is that the install program loads the
entire (root) file system into a RAM disk, which has the effect of using
up all (or most) of the available RAM.... then when it tries to access
the lib.so library, it bomb's out... I have tried to install it without
using RAM disks, by typing mount root=/dev/fd0 at the boot: prompt on
the boot floppy, however this immediately crashes before even getting to
the login prompt....

Has anyone got any ideas on how to load Linux onto a REALLY low-end
machine like this one (maybe even something I can download of the net?)

I've spent 6 hours on this so far without much luck....


David Buddrige

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