Guide updated 07/17/2012 : some mistakes corrected!
Netinstall and a lightweight desktop
I recently got an old iMac G3 and felt the need to replace the crappy existing MacOS 9 system with my favorite system : Linux of course!
After a mandatory RAM upgrade (from stock 64M to 512M), I found that the CD drive is extremely picky/worn-out and wouldn’t boot any burned install CDs…
But that’s not enough to stop me, since those iMac models support booting from the network.
I first tried to netboot Debian Squeeze on it, but there were some issues (yaboot started but couldn’t load the kernel).
After some research, it appears that Ubuntu has an updated netinstall iso which just works!
Maybe you’ve got one of these laptops and wonder what to do with it?
I’m proposing here to use it into a basic MP3 music player (a Linux system of course!)
Let’s see what we’ve got here :
IBM ThinkPad 365X, model from 1997
Pentium 133MHz, no MMX!
2.1Gb 2.5″ HDD (initially running Win95)
No cdrom drive!
No network interface!
How to build a tiny Linux MP3 Player System using Buildroot
Do you have an old spare computer that is rotting somewhere in your attic/cellar? Why not recycle it into a MP3 jukebox!
An old rig (Pentium 1/2/3-class) with 64Megs of RAM and USB connector will do!
No Harddisk required, a CDROM drive is optional in case that booting from USB doesn’t work.
We will design our (minimalistic but fully automated) Linux system so that a screen and a network interface aren’t even required.