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Author Topic: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.  (Read 9270 times)

Offline CNK

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2021, 05:09:02 PM »
If somebody with an i486 or similar could test from here: http://tinycorelinux.net/12.x/x86/release/src/toolchain/test_i486/

..it would be much appreciated.

Note that you need more than 8MB of ram to load vmlinux + rootfs.gz into - I didn't think of that for my first 486 booting attempt.

Second attempt on a 486 laptop with 16MB RAM is coming, but complicated by a dead floppy drive.

Offline curaga

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2021, 10:47:11 PM »
16mb is very likely not enough either, the faq says an old microcore required 28mb, so probably at least 32mb for current versions.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline nick65go

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2021, 12:17:00 AM »
<sigh> I was wondering if that might happen - (re)confirmation at least that "qemu -cpu i484" cannot be used as a test.
So I should take home that the latest and greatest qemu 6.0 is not OK to properly test a 486 CPU?

@ curaga: could you please tell me, what is the minim resonable RAM and what TC_x86 version to run on a 486 CPU are then?
Maybe a list with fields like (minim RAM, desirable RAM, CPU type, tc version) will be a nice guide for new TC users?

Because if the RAM (16-32 MB) is only to boot a linux kernel, with the purpose to rescue (use some shell comands , posible from busybox), then I think there are already other less demanding linux versions. The small FLTK GUI will not help much for basic commnads (mount, editor etc). What else could be done with tC12_x86 on a 486 CPU with so less memory? maybe mainly for (remote, head less) servers.

PS: Maybe a warning, or a statment should be made, what is the purpose for a 486 CPU compatibility for a TC12 (5.10.3 kernel) if it will be (mostly) not practical on phisical old machines?
Somethink like: "Dear TC users, for 486 CPU with max 16 MB RAM (or whatever), please limit yourself to TC4.x (or whatever)."
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 12:28:49 AM by nick65go »

Offline Juanito

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2021, 01:15:14 AM »
So I should take home that the latest and greatest qemu 6.0 is not OK to properly test a 486 CPU?

I used the extension from the 12.x x86 repo - 3.1.0

Offline Juanito

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2021, 01:32:45 AM »
tested and microcore boots to the commandline successfully on the amd k6-2 166mhz.
will there be another update of TinyCore12.x to facilitate the complete iso w/gui?

Thanks for testing.

Core/TinyCore/CorePlus isos reposted

Offline gadget42

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2021, 01:41:10 AM »
16mb is very likely not enough either, the faq says an old microcore required 28mb, so probably at least 32mb for current versions.

while i had the amd k6-2 166mhz on the bench i figured i would experiment with ram amounts.
using Juanito's latest MicroCore12(from post):
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,25098.msg160124.html#msg160124
the boot fails with 32mb but succeeds with 64mb
after the successful boot the root filesystem shows it is using approximately 42mb

Offline vinnie

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2021, 04:49:35 AM »
This is incredible, a modern distro that run in a pc of 20+ years old  ;D

Offline Rich

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2021, 06:01:49 AM »
Hi nick65go
... what is the purpose for a 486 CPU compatibility for a TC12 (5.10.3 kernel) if it will be (mostly) not practical on phisical old machines? ...
There is still hardware being made that contains Vortex processors. Some of those processors claim to be 686 compatible
but really are not.  Google  vortex86 mini pc  or  vortex86 pc104  for current hardware.

Some people re-purpose thin clients. These can have processors by VIA, SiS, National Semiconductor, etc. that may
either be 486 based or have quirks that make them not fully 686 compatible. A great site about many thin clients is:
https://www.parkytowers.me.uk/thin/hware/hardware.shtml

Tinycore (and this forum) have users from all around the world. For various reasons (availability, financial, etc.) some
users may not have access to more current hardware. As a distro, Tinycore does its best to be inclusive and not push
any users out.

Offline gadget42

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2021, 07:08:55 AM »
more bench testing. TC12 posted today(20210707) by Juanito runs on the amd k6-2 166mhz machine.
with respect to ram, it won't successfully boot with less than 128mb(tried 32mb, then 64mb, then 64+32mb...no joy).

*bonus data: dug out our oldest TC1.3rc3(march, 2009) LiveCD and it booted right up with the 64mb stick installed.
*bonus data: with only the 32mb stick installed the kernel panics(kernel panic not syncing: out of memory and no killable processes).

HUGE KUDOS to Juanito for the extra effort, labor, and time!!!

Offline Juanito

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2021, 07:35:35 AM »
Are you using Core or Tinycore (gui)?

Offline nick65go

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2021, 09:29:11 AM »
Some of those processors claim to be 686 compatible but really are not.  Google  vortex86 mini pc  or  vortex86 pc104  for current hardware.
...
that may either be 486 based or have quirks that make them not fully 686 compatible.
Thanks Rich! this was the info that I missed.
My concern was not about kernel size (near the same for various tc versions) 2-4 MB, but about applications demand for RAM.
For what I see, not all old apps are ported, but new versions of them.
Sorry if I gave you the impresion that I want to push out TC users. They just need to have resonable expectations, to know what they enroll at.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 09:30:45 AM by nick65go »

Offline gadget42

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2021, 09:36:40 AM »
Are you using Core or Tinycore (gui)?
normally i just download and use TCxx.x(TinyCore...and assuming all TC/TinyCore are gui)
however, as per your request to test a Core(microcore/mc) i did try out the cli
(ref: http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,25098.msg160124.html#msg160124)
(requesting test of: http://tinycorelinux.net/12.x/x86/release/src/toolchain/test_i486/Core-12.0.iso)

Offline curaga

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2021, 10:06:28 AM »
@ curaga: could you please tell me, what is the minim resonable RAM and what TC_x86 version to run on a 486 CPU are then?
Maybe a list with fields like (minim RAM, desirable RAM, CPU type, tc version) will be a nice guide for new TC users?

Because if the RAM (16-32 MB) is only to boot a linux kernel, with the purpose to rescue (use some shell comands , posible from busybox), then I think there are already other less demanding linux versions. The small FLTK GUI will not help much for basic commnads (mount, editor etc). What else could be done with tC12_x86 on a 486 CPU with so less memory? maybe mainly for (remote, head less) servers.
I don't have any further info than the faq. I do not run 486s myself.

It's a best effort basis to support as much hw as possible. If the cli or gui version boots for a given RAM, it will run basic apps of that environment. Heavy apps have their own requirements.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline Rich

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2021, 10:16:48 AM »
Hi nick65go
... Sorry if I gave you the impresion that I want to push out TC users. ...
Not at all. It was a fair question, the answer to which may not be obvious to everyone.

Quote
... They just need to have resonable expectations, to know what they enroll at.
True. Some apps now require more advanced instructions (sse2, sse3, etc.) such as some video players.
I think Firefox now requires not only a 686 but  Xorg  as well.
And I think there was something that required  Xorg-3d  because it needed to be built against QT5.
So it's getting harder and harder to run with just a 486.

Offline nick65go

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Re: AMD K6-2 166Mhz, 512MB ram, desktop - TC11.1 runs fine TC12 fails.
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2021, 02:49:34 PM »
Hi Rich
Yes it's getting harder and harder to run with just a 486. So I tried to clarify what advantage will bring lets say a new TC13_x86 for a user with an old 486 CPU?

1. For kernel: no new devices for old 486 machine architecture ISA/PCI. No perceived speed execution. Maybe some security patches (but not needed for TC4 because were introduced only from TC8 forward lets say).

2. For applications: new versions are bigger (ask for more RAM), or requesting new CPU instructions not present in 486 CPU.

IMHO, back-compatibility with old 486 CPU is practical if more old apps versions (like we already have: xmms-gtk1, beaver-gtk1) will be in the new TC13_x86 tcz repository. Of course you can say that users just download them from old TC{3, 4.... 12} but old apps can drag old or incompatible dependencies (ex: see fifth-browser)

Myself I solved this manualy by un-squashing few different tcz and recombined them to have all libraries versions in a new tcz.
ex: libpng.so.1 (from TCx) and libpng.so.2 (from TCy) now are all aside libpng.so.3 (from latest TCz) into libpng.tcz
To do "tce-load -iw libpng.tcz" is now a pain in the back, if not done upstream in repositories.

I saw in forum that re-compiling old tcz with the new gcc compiler will make bigger size appls (how crazy is this gcc progress?). But I think few tricks can be done to bring old appls to live in new TC13 (486 compatible).
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 02:54:22 PM by nick65go »