Sunday, October 12, 2008

Older Slackware versions (III)

After successfully installing Slackware 3.5 and discovering that Slackware 1.1.2 was still available on the internet at I simply had to try it...

At first I had no luck, as this version does not support the standard VMware network card (PCnet32) and also lacks support for IDE CDRom drives. The VMware emulated SCSI cards (BusLogic & LSI) were also not recognized.
So the only way would be to install from floppies, just like the old days.

Since I haven't used my internal 3.5" drive in years and didn't feel like formatting 50+ disks, I first gave up.
But then I remembered that VMware also accepts disk-images for floppies, so I wrote a quick-and-dirty script to create all the needed images from the downloaded directories:


for dsk in *[1-9]/ ; do
   echo -n "$dsk..."
   cp disk_empty.img disk_$dsk.img
   mount -t msdos -o loop disk_$dsk.img /mnt/floppy
   cp $dsk/* /mnt/floppy/
   umount /mnt/floppy
   echo " [ok]"

It gives an error trying to create a disk image from the libc444 folder, but you can ignore that.

Installation was straight-forward and after a lot of virtual disk-swapping, I had my Slackware 1.1.2 installation working.

Here is a first screenshot (look at the kernel version!):

And here you can see how this version is really easy on your memory (less than 4M!) and hard disk:

Configuring X

Now I had to get X working as well...
X looks for a Xconfig file in /etc (for all users) or in your home directory if you need separate configurations per user.
A sample configuration file can be found in /var/X11/lib/X11 so I copied it to /etc and started experimenting.

VMware emulates a standard VGA adapter (no SVGA) so we are limited to 640x480.
I added this line near the end of Xconfig in the "ModeDB" for a standard VGA screen:
"640x480" 25 640 672 768 800 480 490 492 525
In the VGA16 section I changed the Virtual values to 640 480

So now I had a working X, but no mouse...
So, back to reading more man-pages, and I changed my mouse settings in Xconfig to:
ps2 "/dev/bmouseps2"
and X is working!

Here is another screenshot, showing the standard fvwm window manager:

As you can see, we have nine (!) virtual desktops here.

One thing I noticed with this 1.1.2 version, is that it is much slower than the 3.5 version. It also puts a big load on the processor of my host-machine, that goes to 99%. Running 3.5 has almost no effect, it's really easy on the CPU.
This probably has something to do with the 0.99 kernel.

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Blogger Eko said...

what is filesystem for harddisk image ? ext2 or minix ?

June 1, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger holson said...

It has been some time since I installed it, but I'm almost sure I used ext2.
It definitely was not minix (I would have remembered). And for non-critical virtual machines I normally use ext2 (not ext3 with journaling).

June 1, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Eko said...

Can you post your Xconfig file, I use qemu but not success yet

June 3, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger holson said...

I originally set this up in VMware but I copied the disk-image to my Qemu directory to test.
To get X working, I had to fiddle a bit with the modeline. It worked with this:
"640x480" 28.3 640 672 768 800 480 490 492 525

June 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

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