Hi i want to ask a question

Thomas Mueller mueller23 at insightbb.com
Fri Jul 6 03:07:02 UTC 2012

from Ivan Ivanov <hellco at abv.bg>:

> Hi i want to ask a question about the new release of FreeBSD (9) is it posible to run this release /whit GUI/ in IBM Thinkpad 1161 217 whit this specs 500 mhz Intel Celeron processor 64mb Ram and 5gb HDD

I think it would be possible, but there would not be enough RAM or disk space to rebuild the system (make buildworld) or build the bigger applications from the ports collection.  You might not have enough RAM to run (Mozilla) Firefox. 

There are some things you could do not involving the fancy stuff: server, maybe?

You could try to find something for older computers on distrowatch.com, such as Puppy Linux.

Julian Stacey responded:

> Sorry, duff advice, don't need to send enquirer off to Linux IMO ;-)

> I guess Linux probably can't shrink smaller than BSD,
> (though that could be an endless thread, custom kernels & 
> striping binaries, & older gcc being a Lot smaller etc)

> but Firefox & Gcc will be approx same size on both if same version.

> maybe the enquirer doesnt need firefox anyway,
> eg the router passing this mail runs 6.4, with 40M ram
> doesn't need firefox, does run proxy http & sendmail etc.

> Dont forget why Swap was invented. One doesnt Have to have tons of ram.
> Things might or not thrash depending on load etc.

> However ... 64M with X GUI sounds a stretch, 
> but then equally for modern BSD & Linux,

> Easier with older smaller versions of OS.
> (gcc thrashes building itself now on low memory machines)

Building big ports, including gcc, really can bog down on an old under-resourced computer, even with 256 MB RAM and 12 GB FreeBSD slice.

I speak from experience with both Linux and FreeBSD, through 8.2 on old computer.  NetBSD too (5.1_STABLE).

On this old computer, GNOME 3 live CDs and USB failed to boot and get to GUI: didn't work at all.

When I first responded on this thread, I didn't think of FreeDOS (www.freedos.org), but then you can't run anything close to Firefox on FreeDOS or any other DOS.  But FreeDOS would run with a 5 GB hard drive all in one FAT32 partition.

Work has been and is being done on FreeBSD to make it feasible to install application software via binary patches, that would come in useful on low-resource computers.  With 64 MB RAM, I'd look to a window manager like IceWM, or maybe JWM or Ratpoison, but certainly not KDE.

An old computer with insufficient RAM for fancy browsers and multimedia can still be useful for a server or router.


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