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Installing Linux (again)

Filed in: Linux, lists, tech, Wed, Jun 23 2004 23:48 PT

Here’s how to tell if you’re a geek: you’ve run out of machines to run Linux on.

I’ve gone and catalogued, to the best of my recollection, the number of machines I have installed some flavor of Linux on since my first one, over 11 years ago. (I installed it using my old OS/2 Warp 3.0 beta floppies.) There may be some I’m missing, and I’ve made an educated guess at some of the dates based on which room I remember being in as I cursed the bloody machine in question.

  • 386DX-33 (SLS 1.02, kernel 0.94pl12, February 1993)
  • 486SX-25 (Slackware, late 1993)
  • 486DX2-66 (Slackware, late 1994)
  • Pentium-166 (Red Hat, 1995)
  • K6-2-450 (Red Hat, 1997; Debian, 1998)
  • IBM PS/2 90 (MCA Linux, 1997; also NetBSD)
  • Casio Cassiopeia A-11Plus Windows CE device (Linux/SH3, 1998)
  • IBM WorkPad z50 Windows CE device (Linux VR, 2000)
  • Siemens Scovery 110 (Debian, 2000)
  • Mac SE/30 (Linux-m68k, 2001; also NetBSD)
  • PowerMac G4 (LinuxPPC, 2001)
  • Sun Ultra 10 (Debian-SPARC, 2001)
  • PowerBook G3 (LinuxPPC, 2001; Gentoo-PPC, 2004, active install)
  • New Internet Computer (NIC OS, 2000; Tenhand, 2000; Feather Linux, dyne:bolic and Oralux, 2004, active install)
  • Athlon 950 (Red Hat, 2002; Debian, 2002; Gentoo, 2004, active install)
  • ConnecTV set-top box (Red Hat, 2003, active install)
  • Xbox (GentooX, 2004, active install)

Not included: HP 9000/340 running NetBSD, 1998

Note to Vaio PCG-SR17: Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

9 responses to “Installing Linux (again)”

  1. andy says:

    How did you install linux on a windows CE device?

  2. Matt May says:

    It wasn’t terribly hard. The ThinkPad z50 (which was an H/PC Pro subnotebook-style device) only required some files copied over to a 64MB Compact Flash card, and a CE-based boot manager. It even supported my 802.11b card. All the cool kids were doing it (see the Slashdot article on the z50 from February of 2000). The only downside was that the framebuffer was too slow even to scroll in text mode properly. I ditched Linux after a bit and then ran NetBSD on it. (In fact, if you look around, you might find a NetBSD-on-z50 install howto with my name on it.)

    The A11, as I recall, was a bit trickier, since it involved running Linux from the device’s internal storage. And it had the side effect of being pretty much useless.

    I won’t be doing it in the foreseeable future with my new Pocket PC, since it’ll take forever to support all of the bells and whistles on it, and I’m not excited by the Linux handheld apps I’ve seen. And anyway, these days, if I want to run Linux on my PDA, I can just buy one that’s designed to do it. You don’t even get leet points for doing it anymore.

  3. Marcel says:

    I ran across this site while searching for scovery 110 and linux. I got one two and would like to use it as a X-Client. Since there is no possibility to access the BIOS and there is nothing I can attach (like CD or Floppy) I’d like to ask, if you can just give me a hint how you managed to install Linux on this device. Thanks in advance.

  4. Daniel Monteiro says:

    What did you do to boot the linux on the A11?
    I have a A11 and im VERY curious to see it happening

  5. Johnny says:


    I found this archive while searching for scovery 110 and linux.
    As Marcel wrote in May 2005 I also would like to ask,
    if you can just give me a hint how you managed to install Linux on this device.
    I’m just looking for a simple device (e.g. the scovery 110) with linux
    and a browser (netscape, firefox, mozilla, opera, …)

    thanks in advance if you (anybody?) can remember how to install linux on scovery 110

  6. Hi

    I have an A11 and i want to install linux on it. could you please tell me how you installed linux on it.


  7. Paul says:

    please tell me about cassiopeia a-11a with linux/sh3 (from binaries).


  8. Thuxnder says:


    i search for a way to run linux on the scovery 110.
    some ideas how to do so?


  9. Oscar Hernandez says:

    Hello Matt,
    My name is Oscar Hernández, from Spain,
    I have just read your post “installing Linux (again)”, and I would be very grateful if you could give some indications to put me in the right direcction.
    My case is this:
    I have a handheld pc pro (Samsung Izzi-pro) with windows CE (cuore system version 2.11) running on a MIPS procesor 3000 family.

    Right now this device is almost useless, and I would like to install Linux. But I am not a linux heavy user, actually I’m just a windows regular user without big knowledge of computers.

    So my questions are:
    Is it posible to install Linux in this handheld? Is it easy to install? Which distro do you recommend?
    I have one CF card of 48 mb and one IMB microdrive of CF card of 340 mb but I can’t not use it in my laptop becouse is bigger than the CF to pcmcia adapter (I hope I explain myself well, sorry from my english as I said I am from Spain).

    I found this tutorial on the net:
    But this how-to is still a bit complicated to me. Do you know about any wiki or tutorial witch explains how to install linux in a handheld just for beginners? Even more: Do you think that if I manage to install a linux distro in the CF 48 mb will be enough or I need to install somthing else on the handheld.

    Before ending two points: 1) I just want the linux for small word processor tasks and regular internet access through wireless LAN CF card. I have already the wireless LAN CF card but does not work with windows CE.
    2) I put in google things like “how to install linux on wondows ce” but the results have been discouraging.

    Of course you don’t need to public this.

    Ok, I don’t want to bother you anymore or go too far. I think I expresed my point/problem/desire clear.

    Thank you very much.

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