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Offline mattosensei

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What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« on: June 19, 2015, 07:28:51 am »
Following a conversation I was having on this thread (I figured it was getting a bit too off-topic so time to start a new one). We were talking about bringing old machines to life with Peppermint Linux.

At parent's house there is an older, tower PC that is at least 10+ years old and still has the printer attached to it I believe. It *could* be 15 years old. It hasn't been used in quite some time.

I would like to try upgrading THAT to Peppermint 6 / 32bit also. It probably has Win XP on it at present (though it may have come with Windows 95, I don't recall).

Which leads me to the question: what is the oldest PC any one has got Peppermint onto?

Is there a moment in time when the chip architecture changed and PM wouldn't work? Just how far backward compatible is PM? What is the absolute minimum CPU/RAM one would need on a machine to still get an 'OK' rendition of PM?

On other forums people like to post stats of how super-charged their machines are. Instead, I'm keen to find out about the lowest-specc'd, most ancient machines that are running Peppermint :)

All comments and anecdotes welcome. What is the oldest and lowest spec'd machine you have running PM?

Curious  :P

Offline emegra

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 09:14:06 am »
HI mattosensei

Without knowing a little more about the PC ie ram & cpu it's difficult to tell if PM 6 will run on that PC, I have PM3 running on an old Compaq Deskpro I'm not sure how old it is but I think it's pre 2000 and it runs fine considering the motherboard can only handle a maximum of 512mb ram

One problem you could well run into is if the PC is not PAE capable which could easily be the case on a PC of that vintage but that would only apply to peppermint versions 4 onwards

still no harm booting up a live disc and seeing how it goes


Good luck


Graeme
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 09:30:18 am »
Anything after Peppermint 3 will ONLY run on CPU's that support PAE

There are some Pentium M and Celeron M processors that don't report they support PAE but actually do .. there require the "forcepae" kernel boot parameter.

But any CPU's that don't support PAE are no longer supported.

HTH.
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Offline rjm65

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 10:10:36 am »
As Mark stated above me, it depends on the PAE..
In answer to your question I am not sure my machine is the oldest running peppermint but if you click on the link to the gateway in my signature you can see the inxi for the old laptop, I think it is a 600mhz off the top of my head running 512mb ram, it is non pae and thus requires me to run P3...    :)
 
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Offline mattosensei

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2015, 10:44:49 am »
@Emegra - thanks, looks like I'll need to check out PM3 for that Tower pc.

@Mark - PAE...  :-X :-[ :-\

@rjm65  - Yeh PAE seems to be the buzzword here.

Right I have *no* idea what PAE is but will try and get an understanding by googling it and reading-up:

Quote
Physical Address Extension

Physical Address Extension (PAE) is a processor feature that enables x86 processors to access more than 4 GB of physical memory on capable versions of Windows. Certain 32-bit versions of Windows Server running on x86-based systems can use PAE to access up to 64 GB or 128 GB of physical memory, depending on the physical address size of the processor. For details, see Memory Limits for Windows Releases.

The Intel Itanium and x64 processor architectures can access more than 4 GB of physical memory natively and therefore do not provide the equivalent of PAE. PAE is used only by 32-bit versions of Windows running on x86-based systems.

With PAE, the operating system moves from two-level linear address translation to three-level address translation. Instead of a linear address being split into three separate fields for indexing into memory tables, it is split into four separate fields: a 2-bit bitfield, two 9-bit bitfields, and a 12-bit bitfield that corresponds to the page size implemented by Intel architecture (4 KB). The size of page table entries (PTEs) and page directory entries (PDEs) in PAE mode is increased from 32 to 64 bits. The additional bits allow an operating system PTE or PDE to reference physical memory above 4 GB.

In 32-bit Windows running on x64-based systems, PAE also enables several advanced system and processor features, including hardware-enabled Data Execution Prevention (DEP), non-uniform memory access (NUMA), and the ability to add memory to a system while it is running (hot-add memory).

PAE does not change the amount of virtual address space available to a process. Each process running in 32-bit Windows is still limited to a 4 GB virtual address space.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366796%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Double-Dutch much???  ???

When it say "trying to access physical memory" does that mean RAM?

This is complex territory.   :-\ :P

Offline scifidude79

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 11:44:37 am »
I don't really understand what it is either.  However, it boils down to processors over a certain age definitely won't have it and ones that are X-X years old may or may not have it.  So, to use the example from your first post, no a computer from the Win95 era most likely literally could not run Peppermint.

Though, aside from the PAE thing, Linus Torvalds also eventually drops support for architectures of a certain age.  If I recall correctly, the last one he did away with was 386.  So, anything with 386 architecture won't be supported by modern Linux kernels.  So, modern "i386" Linux is literally a lie.  :P

One of the best ways to find out what kind of processor that old computer in question has is to run CPU-Z on it and find out:

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Then you can Google the processor and find out if it has PAE support.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 11:53:16 am by scifidude79 »

Offline rjm65

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 12:25:55 pm »
I don't really understand what it is either.  However, it boils down to processors over a certain age definitely won't have it and ones that are X-X years old may or may not have it.  So, to use the example from your first post, no a computer from the Win95 era most likely literally could not run Peppermint.

Though, aside from the PAE thing, Linus Torvalds also eventually drops support for architectures of a certain age.  If I recall correctly, the last one he did away with was 386.  So, anything with 386 architecture won't be supported by modern Linux kernels.  So, modern "i386" Linux is literally a lie.  :P

One of the best ways to find out what kind of processor that old computer in question has is to run CPU-Z on it and find out:

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Then you can Google the processor and find out if it has PAE support.
This is true about peppermint 5 and 6 not running on a non pae processor, However not true of all linuxes only your ubuntu based distros because ubuntu dropped support for non pae from what I understand, other OS's like Antix and solydx both support non pae in fact my gateway solo laptop mentioned before is a quad boot with pep 3 solydx and antix mx-14 and also windows 98  <-- used for running my dos games...   :P
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2015, 12:34:32 pm »
Yes, very good point.  There are still Linux distributions with non PAE support.  I believe Puppy Linux is another one, as it aims at ancient tech.

Offline emegra

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Re: What is the oldest PC that has Peppermint running on it?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 01:12:16 pm »
 LXLE & Bodhi also offer a non PAE version




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