DSL on 16 MB RAM lappy

Forum: Laptops
Topic: DSL on 16 MB RAM lappy
started by: sedimin

Posted by sedimin on June 10 2006,10:43
Hi there, I have recently bought Toshiba Libretto 50ct and I want to install some distro there. Because I like DSL, I think it would be the right choice, but

The lappy's specifications are: Pentium 75 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 850 MB HDD. The biggest concert of mine is the RAM, I don't know if it will run in only 16 megs. Console maybe, but the X-windows may not..

I remember that I managed to run DSL on one 32 MB RAM PC..

Has anybody tried DSL on 16 MB RAM?

thanks, Juraj

Posted by kerry on June 10 2006,11:09
I say just give it a shot. Try making a swap partion first(256 or 512 depending on what else you want to add). So just boot with the install cheat code(press F3 at start). create2 partions 1 swap and one for a frugal install.
Posted by sedimin on June 10 2006,11:47
thanks. I'll try to install DSL into virtual machine first and try to simulate the Libretto environment there, but giving it a try never hurts.
Posted by cbagger01 on June 11 2006,04:27
Try booting with the


cheatcode and then create and format a Linux swap partition.

Then do a traditional HD install and you should be able to use DSL for basic web browsing (dillo) and other basic purposes. You might even be able to get Opera to work with it.

Don't expect to run OpenOffice or Firefox though.  Not enough RAM.

Posted by dougz on June 11 2006,21:35
I suggested a Libretto to someone in < this post. >

I don't have one, but did some research before suggesting it to the OP on that thread.  Didn't spot specific DSL info, but google showed lots of info on installing Linux on Librettos.  E.g., < Red Hat 5.0 on Libretto. >

Lots of Libretto parts on Ebay, including RAM...   :;):

The Libretto 50 and 70 are sold with 16 Mb of EDO RAM (you can and should add another 16 Mb)...
< Hardware discussion on Red Hat install doc. >

Links to Libretto hardware info in my first post.

Best of luck with your Libretto.  Let us know how you make out.

Posted by KerowynM on June 12 2006,14:23
On my laptop (Dell P1 16M) I can run a hd-install, and with jwm, and icons turned off, I idle at ~6-7M used if I turn the swap off.  With swap on it's usually roughly half and half.

I've yet to successfully boot a frugal or poormans install, the ramdisk doesn't load properly.  I don't know if its because of how little ram I have or something else but I never did get to the bottom of it.  HD install works fine, grub install script didn't work for me so I had to use lilo.

Posted by dougz on June 26 2006,15:38
Here's some Libretto tricks, using the Puppy distro.  Might be something useful here for the OP.

Puppy on 32 meg RAM Toshiba Libretto I've just finished fine tuning the setup on my Toshiba Libretto 50CT. My 50CT is a thin paperback novel size Pentium 75, 32 meg, 2.1 gig hard drive palmtop computer.
< Libretto article >

Posted by Ajan on June 29 2006,12:29
Can a 16 MB pentium MMX 166 be used to run DSL
and use it as a jukebox/player ?

Posted by CDG on July 01 2006,03:43
Ajan: it is likely that it is possible to play MP3s.  However it is unlikely that you will be able to play them at full quality.  I have an old 486 laptop at 75 mhz with 24 megs of RAM.  Runs windows 98.  I can use WinAmp to play MP3s, but I have to downsample them in order to get any kind of player performance out of it.  Downsample to 11khz (about the quality of AM radio), and you can listen to music while running internet explorer.

How this will work in Damn Small Linux, I don't know.  I believe that XMMS has a way to downsample music.  I recommend you start with XMMS.  If you get any chop, first kill the GUI stuff- like scrolling file info, the mixer, the equalizer screen, any shaddowing, icon animation etc.  This will reduce CPU load.  Then start killing off quality- look for an option like half-fidelity.

Finally look around for your sound chip and double check it is supported under Linux- the ALSA page is a great resource for this.  Sometimes laptops can use funky sound systems that aren't supported as well under Linux.

Last thing: no way to be sure DSL will like having only 16 megs RAM- you will be cutting it close in any event.  I highly recommend you get some swap space on that machine and install DSL as quickly as you can.

Posted by dani.zafra on July 17 2006,16:50
Now, I've DSL running on a Toshiba 230 cx (16M RAM, 133Mhz, 1 GB HD) and it seems to be happy there with the hd-install. If you want to run DSL in your laptop you should use "mem=16M" to avoid seg faults, have a swap partition (mine 40 MB) and before install, pay attention if "mkdir /ramdisk/tmp" fails, because if it did you'll have to remove "tmp" link in "/ " and create a folder named "tmp" -> "mkdir tmp" instead of the link. In this way dsl-hdinstall will work fine. Good luck.:)
Posted by dani.zafra on July 17 2006,16:53
KerowynM, creating a "tmp" folder may you can use grub, and not lilo.
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