View Full Version : 486 compatible OS

26-10-2002, 02:17 PM
Hi anyone got an idea which OS is compatible with a 486 computer. I would like to try on Linux but no idea which one to go.

the 486 is NEC versa laptop I think 4mb ram and hard disk size of 64mb.

Thanks many.

Graham L
26-10-2002, 02:30 PM
Can you add memory? Although the docs say you can load Linux in a 2MB machine, I haven't ever managed to install in 4MB. I've got it running in 6MB on a couple of machines: 386DX33 AND 386SX20. They've got 4MB in SIMMs and 2MB on ISA cards. (1 MB simms and 4 slots).

Mandrake won't load ... it requires a Pentium CPU. 64MB disk is too small for RedHat 7.x . If you can find 4.2 it might go. My SX20 has a 40MB disk, that runs an early (1996 ... release 2.0?) Slackware (using floppies written from a CD on a friend's computer).

I suspect Slackware will be the easiest to load (because it is in floppy-size chunks). You might need to go back a few versions from the current one. Have a look around for the "mini-linux" versions ... I have used one which came on 4 floppies, and installed in about 20MB of a DOS disk. It was distributed as the "browser" for a Portuguese ISP. Works well. I got it off a 6-CD set of Linux archives.

It's amazing what you can do with a small machine. Have fun.

Billy T
26-10-2002, 03:10 PM
98 Lite might work well with just a bit more RAM, it strips down to just about nothing.


Billy 8-{)

26-10-2002, 05:03 PM
yoink, I had a thread for the same thing a whiles ago, read this (http://pressf1.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=24530&message=8114)

26-10-2002, 05:07 PM
DOS 6.22 or Win 3.11 will work on that hardware.

I don't know which version of Linux will run.

26-10-2002, 07:20 PM
You should be able to get slackware 3.3 (2.0 kernel) on it if you follow the instructions on activating the swapfile before you run the installer.

Its not exactly the easiest install in the world, esp. if your new to linux.

If linux won't run Minix will although it lacks a nice installer like slackware.

26-10-2002, 11:24 PM
>>> Mandrake won't load ... it requires a Pentium CPU

I've just seen and will probably order Mandrake 486 - Mandrake 7.something optimised to run on "any" 486...


27-10-2002, 11:54 AM
hey Looks like I'm going for Mandrake 6. the laptop has win 3.11 installed . I just want to try something new instead of one eye windows os.
A bit of mistake from previous post, the laptop's hard disk size is about 300mb, not 64mb.

Cheers everyoone !

Graham L
29-10-2002, 04:30 PM
The 4MB will be the killer for Linux.

29-10-2002, 08:36 PM
Toybox II
Shareware.. But I used it, loved it... Pre Win 3.1 stuff it is.. Its all good
needs 640K of RAM so you're sweet there.
Go with what they've said... An older linux.

I've run Win98 on only 8 MB RAM... 386... you'd need abigger HDD though.