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#1 2007-01-26 07:52:12

From: Portland, Oregon
Registered: 2007-01-26
Posts: 5

Need install help: old i586 subnotebook, CF IDE

I'm trying to get a usable minimal linux onto a Panasonic CF-M31 subnotebook (it's similar to an older Libretto: Pentium 1, PCMCIA but no usb, optical, or floppy drive). I've never used Arch before, but I have a little familiarity with linux, and if I can get this machine working I think I'd gain a lot more, which is sort of my goal. My current desktop machine is a Pentium 3 running Ubuntu 6.10, and my girlfriend uses it too so I don't want to mess with it too much. Also, the desktop doesn't have a write-capable CD drive, although I suppose I could go buy one if I really need it for this project.

One further important consideration is that the target machine has no HD, but instead I'm using a 2GB CF card with a laptop IDE adapter, which I prefer because it's silent. (I want to be able to use this machine for audio recording, among other things.) So, I have 48 Mb RAM to work with, and I don't expect to use swap or anything else (e.g. standard syslog) that writes to disc constantly (it burns out the flash). This seems doable to me: I don't have any use for GNOME or the like. I want a relatively simple, "fat-free" OS that I can customise and comprehend the workings of.

I chose Arch over ready-made solutions like Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux because it seems more like a hacker's distro. I just need a little help getting started...

Specifically, I want to format the CF card in my Ubuntu box, using another IDE adapter, and install enough i586 Arch to then be able to boot in the target machine and use the PCMCIA ethernet or wireless card to get the rest of the packages I'd want. I assume that there's an i586 pacman repository around somewhere, in addition to the iso at .

How should I go about this, keeping in mind I don't have a CD burner? Thanks very much to anyone who can help me.


#2 2007-01-26 13:35:36

From: Lima, Peru SA
Registered: 2006-03-24
Posts: 188

Re: Need install help: old i586 subnotebook, CF IDE

Here are a couple of things that might get you going in the right direction. … stallation

This uses a script that was part of larch, I read through the larch pages last night and it looks like it might do what you want.  It helps you build a live cd built on ArchLinux, also has an option to set it up for a flash card, and one should be able to run it from another distro, not jus arch.

Within the next week I'm going to be giving larch a try, to use as a tool to help set up a small computer lab.

Hope some of this helps.


#3 2007-01-26 16:16:06

Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,839

Re: Need install help: old i586 subnotebook, CF IDE

That Arch-i586 port is long dead - the site should be taken down, IMO. Even if you did find the corresponding i586 repo, the packages would be way out of date.

Fortunately, you can try Lowarch instead. I have it running on a 486 Toshiba laptop here, and it's going fine so far.


#4 2007-01-27 12:04:30

From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: Need install help: old i586 subnotebook, CF IDE

larch seems to work well on compact flash, but I haven't tried it on a pentium I! The larch scripts should also work with Lowarch, but you need unionfs and squashfs - I don't know if these are available in Lowarch (you might need to compile them yourself).


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