re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux 
Author Message
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux

We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old 386
and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.

Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2 requires
a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.  We hope that we can get around that problem
by putting two of the 80MBs in a single box.  We are more concerned about the
lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port CD?

Before I go out and get one of these, and more importantly, waste time on this,
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried this.

Also, please accept my apologies for posting a non-pick related question.
since these will be used to telnet into a D3 system, I think that this posting
is justified.

Thanks

Robert Herbin



Mon, 27 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux


Quote:
>Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2 requires
>a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.

That sounds like a lot...

I have SuSE 5.2 installed on a machine with 130 meg hard drive. Of
that 5 meg is a dos partition and 16 is a Linux swap partition.

I still managed to install Linux, Sendmail, Apache, MajorDomo, all the
networking functions and several development kits (PERL, Java, C and a
couple of others), plus all the man files and a whole bunch of HTML
read-me.

80mb could be enough for a basic Linux plus networking.

Quote:
>  We are more concerned about the
>lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port CD?

Yep. SuSE and Redhat. Both went on fine. SuSE went on easier but then
in general I find it an easier install than Redhat.

---
the e-mail address in the headers is bogus



Mon, 27 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux
Why load such a large linux version - if you go to
http://mikrotek.linuxberg.com/  you can download a very small linux
(variously known as mini-linux or mklinux or monkey linux - or toms) which
will probably fit inside 2mb and would probably suit your needs for just a
telnet client. I have not done this - just considered the possibility :-)

As another alternative, you be aware that Caldera now own the DR-Dos version
of DOS and are selling a full network version for just the purpose you
describe.

Quote:

>We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old
386
>and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
>suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.



Mon, 27 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux
: Why load such a large linux version - if you go to
: http://mikrotek.linuxberg.com/  you can download a very small linux
: (variously known as mini-linux or mklinux or monkey linux - or toms) which
: will probably fit inside 2mb and would probably suit your needs for just a
: telnet client. I have not done this - just considered the possibility :-)
: As another alternative, you be aware that Caldera now own the DR-Dos version
: of DOS and are selling a full network version for just the purpose you
: >We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old
: 386and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
: >suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.

if all you need is telnet, why not boot into dos, load the appropriate
packet driver for your nic, and use one of the free dos telnet packages?
i haven't done this in years, but it is quite easy to setup, and all
fits on a floppy.  the original thin-client - rip out those hard drives!

ref: http://www.crynwr.com/
http://www.simtel.net/simtel.net/msdos/ncsatlnt.html
http://www-commeng.cso.uiuc.edu/nas/nash/cutcp/cutcp.html

or use one of the micro-linux distributions as mike suggests.

ref: http://www.toms.net/rb/
http://www.trinux.org
http://smalllinux.netpedia.net/

hth,
ian
--

                             commit senseless bursts of acceleration



Mon, 27 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux
Seems like linux is overkill for merely telnetting. Is their something else you
have in mind ?
Quote:

> We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old 386
> and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
> suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.

> Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2 requires
> a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.  We hope that we can get around that problem
> by putting two of the 80MBs in a single box.  We are more concerned about the
> lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port CD?

> Before I go out and get one of these, and more importantly, waste time on this,
> I was wondering if anyone has ever tried this.

> Also, please accept my apologies for posting a non-pick related question.
> since these will be used to telnet into a D3 system, I think that this posting
> is justified.

> Thanks

> Robert Herbin



Tue, 28 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux
Check out Anzio Lite for you telnet requirements. You can download it from
their web page, www.abzio.com, and use it for free. Or you can pay $25 for the
licensed version. Much easier and cheaper. And it works.

Quote:
>We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old 386
>and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
>suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.

>Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2
>requires
>a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.  We hope that we can get around that problem
>by putting two of the 80MBs in a single box.  We are more concerned about the
>lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port
>CD?

>Before I go out and get one of these, and more importantly, waste time on
>this,
>I was wondering if anyone has ever tried this.

>Also, please accept my apologies for posting a non-pick related question.
>since these will be used to telnet into a D3 system, I think that this
>posting
>is justified.

>Thanks

>Robert Herbin

Jeffrey Kaufman
Key Data Systems Group
www.keydat.com


Tue, 28 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux


Quote:
> We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old 386
> and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
> suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.
> Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2 requires
> a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.  We hope that we can get around that problem
> by putting two of the 80MBs in a single box.  We are more concerned about the
> lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port CD?

No, but I have installed many times from remote mounted CDs.  Does your
D3 machine have a CD-ROM?  What particular platform is it?  Making
a vaulting assumption here, you could load the CD on the D3 system, hook
each of your targets up to the network in turn, and install by NFS.  The
specifics of how you achieve this are particular to each platform but,
given the pre-requisite of an NFS server machine with a CD-ROM drive, I
know first hand that it can be done.  Drop me a line if you want more
detailed assistance.

I know that Redhat is the distribution that everyone puts a lot of faith
in, but Slackware seems to load nearer the 100Mb mark.  You need to do a
custom install making sure that you don't install anything you don't
really need (man pages for instance).  With only 4Mb RAM you're sailing
pretty close to the wind anyway, and you'll have to find space for a swap
partition.
--
Gulraj Rijhwani             \\  Courtfields Limited, Chessington, Surrey, UK

http://www.courtfld.demon.co.uk \\  Mobile: 0976 431936
----- Specialist in Pick, Unidata, datacomms and general connectivity -----
All material copyright Gulraj Rijhwani and Courtfields.  ALL RIGHTS RETAINED.



Wed, 29 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux


Quote:
> Check out Anzio Lite for you telnet requirements. You can download it from
> their web page, www.abzio.com, and use it for free. Or you can pay $25 for the
> licensed version. Much easier and cheaper. And it works.

..assuming the PCs in question all have an installed copy on Windoze '95.
--
Gulraj Rijhwani             \\  Courtfields Limited, Chessington, Surrey, UK

http://www.courtfld.demon.co.uk \\  Mobile: 0976 431936
----- Specialist in Pick, Unidata, datacomms and general connectivity -----
All material copyright Gulraj Rijhwani and Courtfields.  ALL RIGHTS RETAINED.


Wed, 29 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux


jmdc>
Quote:
>> Our initial experiments indicate that a minimum install of Redhat 5.2 requires
>> a 125MB hard drive as a minimum.  We hope that we can get around that problem
>> by putting two of the 80MBs in a single box.  We are more concerned about the
>> lack of a CD drive.  Has anyone ever tried installing from a parallel port CD?

jmdc>
jmdc> If you only want to install them as dumb terminals, you don't need to
jmdc> Install Linux.  Just install a Terminal program such as Kermit for dos
jmdc> and that's all you need.  (You can even reuse old 8088 this way).

Why don't you try one of the various small distributions of linux?

MuLinux appears to be extremely easy to install, and should contain
most of the utilities you're after - if not, you can add the ones
you need afterwards.  You'll find it at this link - and it installs
from 2 floppies, which includes X -

http://www4.pisoft.it/~andreoli/mulinux.html

--
Pete


----------------------------------------------------------------
Linux Registered User # 100652 - Uptime 0 hours, and counting...

-- Editing is a rewording activity. --



Wed, 29 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux


Quote:


>> We have almost run out of serial ports at our location.  We have many old 386
>> and 486 systems that are not being used right now.  While they all have
>> suitable NIC's, they have 4MB of RAM, 80-125MB hard drives, and NO CD!.

>I know that Redhat is the distribution that everyone puts a lot of faith
>in, but Slackware seems to load nearer the 100Mb mark.  You need to do a
>custom install making sure that you don't install anything you don't
>really need (man pages for instance).  With only 4Mb RAM you're sailing
>pretty close to the wind anyway, and you'll have to find space for a swap
>partition.

Also Slack was (still is?) optimised to some extent to install from
floppies (a bit slow :-(, or you can download RH 4.2 or an old Slack
from the net.

The other thing you could do, if you can get a working boot disk (again
slack is your best bet) just have one machine with a FAST hard disk and
plenty of RAM, and mount practically everything via NFS.

Best thing is, ask in one of the linux groups how to do a minimum
install, and if you go down the NFS route then do your best to find more
RAM. It'll make a difference.
--
Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
Trousers with a single hole in their waistband are topologically equivalent
to a doughnut. These sugarcoated trousers have yet to catch on at fast-food
outlets! (SuperStrings by F. David Peat)

If replying by e-mail please mail wol. Anything else may get missed amongst
the spam.



Wed, 29 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux
Anzio Lite is also available for DOS and for Windows 3.1.

George Shaunfield
AccounTron

Quote:



> > Check out Anzio Lite for you telnet requirements. You can download it from
> > their web page, www.abzio.com, and use it for free. Or you can pay $25 for the
> > licensed version. Much easier and cheaper. And it works.

> ..assuming the PCs in question all have an installed copy on Windoze '95.
> --
> Gulraj Rijhwani             \\  Courtfields Limited, Chessington, Surrey, UK

> http://www.courtfld.demon.co.uk \\  Mobile: 0976 431936
> ----- Specialist in Pick, Unidata, datacomms and general connectivity -----
> All material copyright Gulraj Rijhwani and Courtfields.  ALL RIGHTS RETAINED.



Fri, 31 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 re-using old PC's as telnet terminals using Linux

Quote:

>No, but I have installed many times from remote mounted CDs.  Does your
>D3 machine have a CD-ROM?  What particular platform is it?  Making
>a vaulting assumption here, you could load the CD on the D3 system, hook
>each of your targets up to the network in turn, and install by NFS.  The
>specifics of how you achieve this are particular to each platform but,
>given the pre-requisite of an NFS server machine with a CD-ROM drive, I
>know first hand that it can be done.  Drop me a line if you want more
>detailed assistance.

  Or:

   Pull all the drives out
   Format for DOS
   Stick them one-by-one on the IDE chain of your office PC
   download Linux to your local hard drive and install from IDE
     or install from local CD-ROM

   I know.. fun huh. I've done it before.. no NFS to use. If the
 drives are identical in heads/sectors then you can use a drive
 cloning program to duplicate your installed Linux drive instead of
 going through the install 50-million times.

Quote:

>I know that Redhat is the distribution that everyone puts a lot of faith
>in, but Slackware seems to load nearer the 100Mb mark.  You need to do a

 Slackware is a good distribution. I've been on it for 3.5 years. Easy
install and package management.

Quote:
>custom install making sure that you don't install anything you don't
>really need (man pages for instance).  With only 4Mb RAM you're sailing
>pretty close to the wind anyway, and you'll have to find space for a swap
>partition.

  With 4megs on a bare Linux kernel you don't need much swap for one
user(theoretically - no swap). Just have the system init into single
user mode when it boots. No need for all those daemons loading if all
you need is a big telnet client. Small Linux would be the choice, but
it doesn't come with network support. Slackware is gonna install alot
of {*filter*}that isn't gonna be needed.

http://www.***.com/
There is a list of the packages for Slackware 3.0. I'm not sure if
some have been added or removed, but it gives you an idea of what the
options are.

Slackware Distribution:
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/slackware/

Small Linux: (two floppies)
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/small-linux-v0.20.tar.gz

    Regards,

    Glen aka Ryengoth

      http://www.***.com/

Quote:
>--
>Gulraj Rijhwani             \\  Courtfields Limited, Chessington, Surrey, UK

> http://www.***.com/ \\  Mobile: 0976 431936
>----- Specialist in Pick, Unidata, datacomms and general connectivity -----
>All material copyright Gulraj Rijhwani and Courtfields.  ALL RIGHTS RETAINED.



Fri, 31 Aug 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 
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