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!
This is my 3rd Buildroot howto, please read the previous ones in order to get started!
This howto was made using a Debian Squeeze 6.0 build host, with Buildroot 2011.02 (latest snapshot from the git repository)
Download and configure Buildroot :
Get the latest Buildroot and start configuring it (as a regular user)
$ git clone git://git.buildroot.net/buildroot
$ cd buildroot && make menuconfig
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.
Have you ever tried to install a modern Linux distro onto a small capacity (usually 32 megs or even less) usb drive or compact flash card?
Even with a minimal install, such a distribution will not fit! Major Linux distros like Debian/Slackware/Arch/etc need a bare minimum of 300-400 megs of disk space.
The only minimal system I have been able to install so far on a 128Meg disk is NetBSD ( http://www.netbsd.org ).
But there is a way to achieve such a thing : we will be using Buildroot in order to generate a very small (embedded) Linux system (targeted at a standard intel x86 computer)