Printable Version of Topic

Click here to view this topic in its original format

Linuxhelp _ Technical Support _ This Is Going To Be Hard To Believe.

Posted by: Forlarren Oct 12 2002, 10:17 AM

Well just like the description. I reciently bought 4 identical 90mhz pentium workstations. I am a complete Linux noob, but I dont even want to fool with windows on these machines. The fist task is to get Linux installed on one of them them. Then I want to try to network and run them as servers. I know this sounds crazy but I want my $20 worth.

Here is the known hardware specs.

Processor: socket 4 - thats all I know.
Hard drive: tiny
CD ROM: yes
Floppy: 1.44
Video: ??? old
Sound: ??? old
mobo: ??? old

Would it be possable to run Linux off the CD ROM, I wouldn't be suprised if a cd would hold more than the HD? Any ideas on what I could use these computers for anyway. Thanks smile.gif

Posted by: joey Oct 17 2002, 03:53 PM


Sorry for the late reply, I've been really busy lately.

I don't think it would be possible to run the distribution off the cd however there are a number of linux distributions out there that are designed to have small footprints and install on old machines/routers/firewalls/appliances.

I hate pointing people to our "competition" however until our distributions page is up to par, have a look at and select "Minimalist" as the "Category"

Any number of those should install on a small machine.

Those computers make good firewall machines.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: styker Oct 24 2002, 06:30 AM

It is actually possible to run linux off a cdrom, however, if your providing any services (http, smtp, ssh, etc...) it's not wise, or have a harddrive installed, and chroot them. The reason is it's not possible to update/patch the cdrom containing the linux distribution.

You can install Debian on a 200MB harddrive less for just the base system, also check out distributions on floppies, they require no harddrive at all, Trinux comes to mind...

Those boxes are good for alot of stuff, I have a remote logging machine here that is a P75Mhz with 16MB RAM, it provides ssh, apache to the management machine, and remote logging facilty to the other servers on my network. It also functions as a firewall, blocking everything from everywhere, except dport 514 from the servers it provides logging facilities, and dport 22 and 80 from the management machine, everything else is blocked. It also has file integrity scripts running, that check system files bi hourly, and mail anaomalies to me.

In essence, if you're a authorized log client, you're allowed to connect to syslogd, not ssh or http. If you're a authorized management machine, you're allowed to connect via ssh and http, not syslog. There is only 3 open ports on the box, and every angle is filtered.

If the perimeter is breached, you can be almost certain the logging server has copies.

As you can see, this poor old P75 can do quite alot for it's processing power, try running the equivalent with Microsoft products on a p75, Win2k wouldn't even install on it.

Other possible uses (I've already mentioned shells servers, web servers, remote logging) are dhcp server, sandboxes to test vulnerabilities/exploits on without jeopardizing your production machines, mail servers, time servers for your organization, etc... Anyone throwing out a box >50Mhz, contact me, what is no good for you, I can give a nice home to smile.gif

Powered by Invision Power Board (
© Invision Power Services (