*nix on "classic" systems

Angel Martin Alganza ama at ugr.es
Wed Apr 11 16:00:17 CDT 2007

On Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 12:35:27PM -0700, Chris M wrote:
>  I really don't think it's realistic to operate a
> modern computer w/a non-windowed environment these
> days. Many will disagree, and that's their

Of course many will disagree.  I for one, use several boxes w/o a gui
even installed on them.  What about servers?  What do you want a gui on
a web server, an FTP server, a file server, a print server?

But even for a workstation.  What do I need a gui for reading mail
(mutt), Unenet news (tin), IRC (irssi) or Jabber (centralicq),
editing (Vim) and composing (LaTeX) documents or programming ?  Even
browsing I many times do with elinks.

> prerogative, someone said something about eye-candy,

I did.  But I could go further, I not only don't need (nor I want) eye
candy, but graphic acceleration, transparencies, or even menus, icons
or applications bars, etc.

> but I think it comes down to cheating yourself of
> functionality. Additional resources are necessary of
> course, and if you're talking about a 486, you're

I was thinking more about a 386.  For slower systems there is ELKS,
which I would like to have in production on my 8086, 8088 and 286
boxes. A 486 is powerful enough as to ran Debian GNU/Linux or any of
the BSD.  In fact, one of mine is running OpenBSD with Apache and
PostgreSQL for a small web server on a 486DX2-66 64MB RAM and 2x4GB HDD.

> going to want to trim as much as possible (you can't
> tell me Debian w/a gui will run on one). What most

I've just told you :-)

> impressed me (and the diehards will call this all
> opinion) with the Unix boxes I had seen in the
> early-mid 90s was their ability to do windows, and do
> them right.

Sure.  They do it, and they do it very well.  But even most impressive
is the server/client nature of X.  Why should i be forbidden to run,
let say Iceweasel, or The Gimp, or whatever program I like to on a more
powerful box, but display it on a Pentium 90 or 60, or even a 486 or a
386 as a lean X terminal if I can do so?

> Not for anything (man I hate that expression) but
> hasn't the version following sarge been out for 6+
> months, and UIM it was based on the 2.6 kernel?

Is is Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, akaa Etch, released three days ago :-)

> Thought I even had it on DVD somewhere.

No wonder, I also had it a few months ago, while it was still the
testing branch. :-)


Angel @ Granada, Spain
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