Hi i want to ask a question

Thomas Mueller mueller23 at insightbb.com
Fri Jul 6 08:05:38 UTC 2012

On Thu, 5 Jul 2012 22:00:11 +0300 (EEST), Ivan Ivanov wrote:
> 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

Polytropon <freebsd at edvax.de> responded:

> It is very well possible, but you need to pay attention to
> a few things:

> 1. You won't be able to build things from source on that
> machine. Consider using packages for installation, or a
> second system to build and export (via NFS) the data required.

> 2. You will have to choose wisely what you install. You
> can install the OS plus X, and then be very selective
> regarding the applications. Firefox for example may be
> a bit heavy as a web browser, but there are alternatives,
> such as dillo or lynx (in graphics mode). Also choose your
> work and multimedia applications wisely. There _are_ still
> programs in the ports collection that are very low on bloat,
> but you need to do some research to find them.

> 3. For using your applications within the GUI, choose a
> good window manager, e. g. FVWM or XFCE 3 (not 4!), or
> IceWM or Blackbox or olvwm or something comparable. You
> need to try which one fits your needs. Maybe a tiling
> window manager would be even better -- but I can't recommend
> one, because their magic didn't open up to my ignorant
> mind yet. :-)

> 4. Refering to no. 1, you should also aim to build a custom
> kernel on another machine that exactly fits the hardware that
> you have present in the Thinkpad. Streamline your kernel.
> Make it reflect the present hardware configuration. Maybe
> there are even some options and tunables to make it run
> better than the GENERIC kernel.

> The main limiting factor I see is the 64 MB RAM. If you have
> the chance, try to upgrade it. I know that's not easily
> possible.

> Note: I've been using FreeBSD 4 and 5 on a 150 MHz Pentium (1)
> with 64 MB (later on: 128 MB) RAM and 8 GB disk. This machine
> could compile the world (even though it needed 24 h to do that),
> fetch an ISO via FTP, play MP3 music via xmms, and still offer
> a well responding web browsing experience using Opera. NO JOKE.
> "Mister Coffee" was my first FreeBSD workstation. :-)

On part 1, it might be possible to build things on the old machine, but only little things.

Ports tree and source tree would really pinch the hard disk space (5 GB).

Would you actually boot the IBM Thinkpad by network, keep source and ports trees on a newer computer's hard drive, do the building on the newer computer, and install by NFS?  I've thought of doing that, have no intention to upgrade FreeBSD 8.2 to 9.0 on old computer, where FreeBSD slice is 12 GB and I'd have to rebuild all ports , and in all likelihood bog down.

On part 2, do you mean lynx or links?  

Lynx is text-mode but can show images on a separate screen: I did that with DR-DOS 7.03 long ago and more recently FreeDOS.

Links can be built with graphics, there is even a DOS port, but a far cry from Firefox (try Midori?) which have no DOS ports.

I think there is also w3m?

Building the kernel is nowhere near as time-consuming as buildworld.

On my older computer, building a custom kernel took about 25 minutes for NetBSD, 75 minutes for FreeBSD 8.2, and 130 minutes for Gentoo Linux, and the Gentoo Linux kernel proved nonbootable.

On the last part, time required to download an ISO would depend on type of connection more than CPU speed.


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