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What is your oldest machine you ever installed Linux on and currently still run? What are the specs, kernel version or distro, and for what purpose?

  • 7
    This should probably be a community wiki – Marco Ceppi Aug 23 '10 at 16:39
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    This should probably be on a discussion forum. – postfuturist Aug 23 '10 at 19:36
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    Agree with @postfuturist. This is neither a problem nor an advice request. – Hugo Aug 24 '10 at 20:17
  • @Hugo, could be useful as a reference to which old device is still usable today. (Say, I'm wondering if I can do something with my old 486). – Elazar Leibovich Aug 26 '10 at 20:38
  • I found topic fascinating. Too bad I cannot share my answer. – Daniil Oct 9 '15 at 3:07
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I installed redhat 5 on my 486 $many years ago.

Oldest machine I have running currently (openbsd at the moment) is an old grey dell optiplex I found in a plie of scrap at the University I went to. It's been running as my network router/firewall/wireless bridge/DNS server for three years now.

OpenBSD 4.7 (GENERIC) #558: Wed Mar 17 20:46:15 MDT 2010
    deraadt@i386.openbsd.org:/usr/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/GENERIC
cpu0: Intel Celeron ("GenuineIntel" 686-class, 128KB L2 cache) 399 MHz
real mem  = 265568256 (253MB)
  • +1 for $many; nice – strugee Jul 10 '14 at 18:51
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SLS distribution, Linux kernel v0.9 1992 era on a 386sx 16Mhz w/16MB RAM

  • me too. 16 MHz turbo, 8 MHz normal – Quandary Aug 28 '10 at 19:53
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    what does it do? – uray Sep 8 '10 at 17:04
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this isn't exactly old but it's interesting, and slow like it was old hardware

# cat /proc/cpuinfo 
  system type       : TI AR7 (TNETD7200)
  processor     : 0
  cpu model     : MIPS 4KEc V4.8
  BogoMIPS      : 211.35
  wait instruction  : yes
  microsecond timers    : yes
  tlb_entries       : 16
  extra interrupt vector: yes
  hardware watchpoint   : yes
  ASEs implemented  :
  shadow register sets  : 1
  core          : 0
  VCED exceptions   : not available
  VCEI exceptions   : not available
  • that's about 211MHz CPU
  • kernel version 2.6.32.10
  • 16MB of RAM
  • 4MB of flash
  • no:
    • hard drive
    • screen
    • video card
  • it has a built in ADSL Modem that powers my Internet
  • Distro is OpenWRT
  • I have tomato on an old Linksys wireless router. Also not terribly old (from around 2005), but it's interesting to use vi, ash, etc in such a limited environment.. – Benjamin Oakes Aug 23 '10 at 13:07
  • I have it routing native IPv6 as well, yeah the power is amazing for such a small machine, but the 4MB of flash is a little small to do anything else – Daniel Hill Aug 23 '10 at 13:14
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I have a HP Visualize C3000 from around 1999/2000, it was given to me last week. I have no reason to run it other than to tinker.

  • PA8500 400mhz processor
  • 2Gb Ram
  • SCSI HDD
  • Linux Debian 2.6.26-2-parisc

    # cat /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 cpu family : PA-RISC 2.0 cpu : PA8500 (PCX-W) cpu MHz : 400.000000 model : 9000/785/C3000 model name : AllegroHigh W hversion : 0x00005bb0 sversion : 0x00000481 I-cache : 512 KB D-cache : 1024 KB (WB, direct mapped) ITLB entries : 160 DTLB entries : 160 - shared with ITLB BTLB : not supported bogomips : 798.72 software id : 2014670675

  • That's a lot of RAM. – tshepang May 18 '11 at 8:55
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I have a 400MHz Dell box (K6 CPU, I think) from circa 1999. I've run Slackwares up to about 12.0 on it, but last summer, I put Slackware 3.2 on it, just to see what it felt like with a contemporary Linux.

Very interesting. I had to recompile the kernel (2.0.xx) to get support for a 3c905 ethernet card, and I recompiled XFree86 to get ATI card support. I was able to complie the latests OpenSSH with only a few glitches for remote access.

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I ran CRUX on a Compaq Armada with a Pentium MMX 166 MHz, 64 MiB of RAM and an around 2-3 GiB hard disk. Booted into an XFce desktop in less than 1 minute!

Just for kicks, I also installed Ubuntu 5.04 on that machine once (the whole thing, running a full GNOME install, Firefox, etc.). That was somewhat slow though... ;-)

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The oldest machine that I currently have installed is an old HP Pavilion desktop that I picked up from a repossession for $20. It's my main web, DNS, DHCP, NFS, CUPS and SSH server as well as firewall and gateway.

<<< 21:43.02 Mon Aug 23 2010|~
<<< aaron@achilles (Linux 2.6.26-2-686)|8171 screen:2
>>> cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 8
model name      : Celeron (Coppermine)
stepping        : 6
cpu MHz         : 697.894
cache size      : 128 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f0f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse up
bogomips        : 1397.85
clflush size    : 32
power management:

It has 512MB of RAM with 100GB hard drive space. It's running Debian GNU/Linux stable. Kernel version is in the prompt.

0

The one I'm currently running on is reasonably old.

processor    : 0
vendor_id    : GenuineIntel
cpu family   : 6
model        : 8
model name   : Pentium III (Coppermine)
stepping     : 10
cpu MHz      : 1004.123
cache size   : 256 KB
fdiv_bug     : no
hlt_bug      : no
f00f_bug     : no
coma_bug     : no
fpu          : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level  : 2
wp           : yes
flags        : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pse36 mmx fxsr sse up
bogomips     : 2009.92
clflush size : 32
cache_alignment : 32
address sizes: 36 bits physical, 32 bits virtual
power management:

384 MB RAM, less than 80 GB hard drive. Currently running Debian Testing. I once installed AntiX (based on Debian) on it, and it felt far newer than it is, but then I began to miss my GNOME environment.

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