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#1 2021-08-03 08:46:04

fumogaming
Member
Registered: 2021-08-03
Posts: 1

Will it run on a P3?

Hi, I was wondering if I could run archlinux32 on a PC with these specs:

CPU: Intel Pentium iii 550MHz (overclocked to 660MHz)
GPU: ASUS NVIDIA Riva TNT2 Pro 32MB
RAM: 256MB

I hope that I can.

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#2 2021-08-03 13:29:20

abaumann
Administrator
From: Zurich
Registered: 2019-11-14
Posts: 810
Website

Re: Will it run on a P3?

256MB RAM is not enough to boot the normal Archlinux32 ISO, use the 486 version for this.
For packages, see if your Pentium III supports SSE2 (in /proc/cpuinfo), in this case use the
pentium4 packages (Architecture flag in /etc/pacman.conf when installing from ISO), otherwise
use i686.
The graphic card, well, try a VESA mode first, this might also be the only option to run graphics.

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#3 2021-08-03 20:33:43

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 1,179

Re: Will it run on a P3?

I think the old coppermine pentium 3's should run 686 instructions just fine.  I used to run archlinux before the big split on a p3 with 64MB of RAM, although I soon upgraded that to the system maximum with I think was 128MB which allowed the kernel to buffer a lot more data and stopping the whole experience from freezing when it needed to write data to disc.

Perhaps these days even archlinux32 needs more RAM for the initcpio to boot, I wouldn't know about that.  Perhaps you don't need all that RAM if you burn a CD and boot from that, versus having the iso on a USB stick which I guess needs to be unpacked into RAM, but these old pentium3's predate USB2 iirc so at best you'll be talking USB1.1 and that'll be an even slower boot than from a burned CD on a 2x or faster drive.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#4 2021-08-04 06:37:16

abaumann
Administrator
From: Zurich
Registered: 2019-11-14
Posts: 810
Website

Re: Will it run on a P3?

http://mirror.archlinux32.org/archisos/ … 6-i486.iso has no ramdisk and has all drivers to access
the cdrom drive as fixed modules in the kernel (at least, that's the idea). This way you can boot with 64MB.

There are problems during installation, which can be worked around, see:
- https://git.archlinux32.org/archi486/tree/TODOS and
- https://git.archlinux32.org/archi486/tree/motd

Booting might require a real CDROM or a dual USB-trick with plopp as described here:
https://bbs.archlinux32.org/viewtopic.php?id=3093
Most PCs should be able to boot a USB, but it might have to be in floppy format (i.e.
it can only hold plopp which then dual-loads the Archlinux32, plopp has a full
implementation for booting from USB).

The other approach is to install on another machine with the Architectur correctly
set in /etc/pacman.conf, then just stick the CF or harddisk into the machine with little memory. The normal
kernel has no problem to run on 128MB with Xorg and VESA (see
https://bbs.archlinux32.org/viewtopic.php?id=2876)

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#5 2021-08-04 14:46:52

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 1,179

Re: Will it run on a P3?

Clearly my memory of system upgrades is failing.  I say there I upgraded by p3 to 512MB, and the odds are that being so much closer to the time when I actually did that is likely to be right.

I never found a suitable solution for using X on that machine with internal graphics. I guess if I were actually using a AGP graphic card on it that would help, but instead I used it to learn first GNU screen then finally tmux.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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