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Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 02:54:18 +0300
From: Michael Tokarev <>
Subject: Re: Installing on old machine

Stephan Lagerholm wrote:
> Hi there,
> Im trying to install OWL on an old x86-P90 with 16 meg memory that are
> unable to boot via CD-rom.
> Questions:
> 1. I have bootable redhat on the hd, can that be used in some way to
>    force the machine to boot from cdrom?

If the kernel that is on your machine has CD-rom drivers compiled in
(default for RedHat), you should be able to do so -- maybe.  Telling
lilo to pass appropriate `root=/dev/hdX' argument to the kernel so
it will try to mount your cdrom as root filesystem.  Better yet is
to copy kernel from installation CD to your harddrive and tell lilo
to use it as well as your RedHat's kernel, and use it to boot off the
CD.  Just add

  image=/boot/owl-boot-kernel append="root=/dev/your-cd-rom"

to /etc/lilo.conf and call lilo to write new table.

But I can't say what other parameters should be passed to boot kernel,
and where it can be found (I never installed Owl or any other linux
distro this way, all my installations was done manually copying appropriate
files to new HD and making it bootable).

> 2. Is it possible at all to install on that machine? Performance is not
>    an issue here. As far as I remeber RedHat told me that it needed to
>    turn on swap right away during installation in order to succed.

Speaking of installation process -- I don't know.  But for runtime --
well, our main communication server that runs mail, web, ftp, dns,
squid cache, virusscanning, routing, handles 60+ uucp nodes and 200+
regular users and others, is a i486DX4/100 machine with 128Mb memory
and old SCSI disks.  128 Mb is needed for squid that has relatively
large cache (about 3Gb), rest should run on 32Mb.  This machine handles
it's tasks pretty well, and runs fast enouth.  It is running a distro
based on RedHat (with numerous my mods) -- Owl should run faster here,
especially initscripts (RedHat's initscripts sucks ;).


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