Re: 386 12.5

Thomas Pornin (
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 10:51:17 +0200

In article <> you write:
>Will linux 2.0.x run on a 12.5 mhz 386 machine (just for fun) ? :)

It should, if you have enough ram. Linux won't boot with less than 2 MB
ram, and will not be really usable (in my opinion) with less than 4 MB
and a dozen MB of swap. You should then have a box able to recompile a
kernel in two or three days :-). This would also make a much honorable
router, with a few ethernet cards (for this use, the ISA bus speed seems
to be more important than the cpu). MFM and RLL disks are supported.

By the way: I have set up a router with a 486dx25 with 5 MB ram; it works
well, but I do not understand why it should work: the disk is an IDE,
120 MB, plugged in a MFM controller; the bios supposes it is a 40 MB disk,
and does not know the correct geometry of the disk (incorrect number of
cylinders, heads and sectors). The linux kernel (2.0.30, old IDE driver)
also fails to detect the correct geometry (the C/H/S numbers are incorrect,
and different from the one the bios assumes). Anyway, it boots and
works. Does anybody knows why ?

--Thomas Pornin