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Difficulty installing on a 128 MB system

#1 User is offline   guru 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hello,

I'm trying to resurrect an old P-III 866-MHz 128-MB RAM CPU I have from the turn of the century and figured I'd give Bodhi a go. However, I haven't had any luck with the installation. When I try and install it from the Live CD (ver 1.3.0), it takes an awfully long time to start up and in going from one screen to the next - it takes me a good 15 minutes to get to the partitioning screen. After that, it gets stuck on "Copying files" (time scale > 1 hour) and basically appears to be going nowhere.

I suspect the problem lies with the Ubiquity installer. The Ubuntu support pages seem to suggest that Ubiquity requires 192 MB of RAM. Is there an alternate installation method I'm missing?

Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   Jeff 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:59 PM

We don't currently have an alternative installer method (on my TODO list for a future release). I have installed to less than 192megs of RAM before - you need to simply create and mount swap space prior to running the installer (and make sure the installer doesn't un-mount it).

~Jeff
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#3 User is offline   Rohit 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

i am using bodhi on p3, 800 Mhz , 256 Ram . it does not take more than 20 min for installing.

You should remove/reinsert RAM before installation on no power.

inbetween you should power on motherboard without RAM.

but don't do any hardware change at power-on.
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#4 User is offline   Charles@Bodhi 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

First of all, welcome to the forums.

Not sure about this, but alternatively, can you create a Swap partition on your HDD before performing the install? That might make a difference.

Enjoy,
Charles.
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#5 User is offline   Rohit 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:16 PM

you should remove any type of dial-up card but you can attach USB card and ethernet card.


it is better to install without any such card.
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#6 User is offline   guru 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:16 PM

First of all, thanks for the speedy responses!

I do have a swap partition (256 MB) on my HD. At first I thought that perhaps the Live CD did not mount it automatically. However, it does seem to do it. According to "free", I have about 66 MB of RAM and 204 MB of swap space available just after startup. And I do tell the installer to let the mounted partitions be; in any case, the "slowness" is evident much before I get to that point.

When I start Ubiquity, there is some rather furious HD activity that continues for a few minutes until the first (Language) screen shows up, at which point it settles down. Once I make my choice, the furious activity resumes until the next screen and so on. The free swap space never falls below 80-90 MB. Maybe I'm having problems due to the combination of low memory and a geriatric HD which means that the swap space access is very slow?
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#7 User is offline   Rohit 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

u shd read on how to create partitions ?
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#8 Guest_Meji_D_*

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

If you want to upgrade your hardware, I've got all sorts of ram, hard drives, a few processors & cards fit for an old PIII system laying around.

512MB/1024MB RAM depending on what your MB can handle & 40GB or 80GB HD available for the price of postage ;)
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#9 User is offline   Elw3 

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

may i suggest an alternative way i did on an pc with 64mb ram :
install to usb from a newer pc (real not live ) plug in the usb into the target machine, and boot into any text mode linux (i used damn small linux for that) and than simply use the dd command like:
dd if=/dev/sdb1 of=/dev/sda1
then install grub and youre ready to go

also so far my experience with old hard drives: dont use them for swap !
i either dissable it or set the swappiness to very low. (since ubuntu has order to use the swap indeed very much)
Bad Wolf
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#10 User is offline   gohlip 

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:19 AM

View PostElw3, on 08 February 2012 - 06:41 PM, said:

also so far my experience with old hard drives: dont use them for swap !


Any particular reason? With small RAM memory, swap seems to me to be essential.

BTW, neat trick on dd'ing over installation from different computer. But need to recheck fstab and grub.cfg for any UUID change after transfer.
Cheers.
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#11 User is offline   Elw3 

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:14 AM

View Postgohlip, on 09 February 2012 - 01:19 AM, said:

Any particular reason? With small RAM memory, swap seems to me to be essential.

the standart swapiness is set to 60
sysctl vm.swappiness
which means whenever the ram is filled to 40% it will start to swappout when its possible.

Quote

I have about 66 MB
which means on limited ram it will swap the whole time

Quote

When I start Ubiquity, there is some rather furious HD activity that continues for a few minutes
now thats live , imagen the case you start a programm from hd while the system tries to swap. this is a little of a bottleneck then, which lets the system freeze for at least 15 seconds on my laptop. i must admit my drive is somewhat damaged wich make this an extreme case...

another idea: disable the internal swap and use an external.
also the command for changing swappiness so that the ram is used at least full
sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=5
this is a temporal command so gohlip go on and try if the system behaves different then.
Bad Wolf
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#12 User is offline   gohlip 

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

Thanks, Elw3 for detailed explanation. :)
But I really cannot test as my swap, nowadays, is seldom 'invoked' (unless at installation) and with Bodhi being so lean and mean, almost never. Swap is only 'invoked' when system crash (as flash crashes firefox, which also don't happen nowadays too). With computer RAM at 2GB or more, I guess it's just not going to happen.

But I do recall when the system is older and RAM smaller, getting swap to be at least 1.5x RAM is important for the OS to function smoothly, hence my query to you. But it's good to hear an alternative explanation which 'knocks' my old understanding of swap and perhaps why in the past, looking at computer 'bus speed' is also a factor in choosing motherboards.

So thanks again and take care. - Goh Lip
Why do we live? To prove not everything in nature has a purpose.
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