manual & docs
drivers & updates
What you need to know about the aero
Partitioning the harddisk
Choosing the installation method
Preparing the Aero for a Red Hat 6.1 harddisk install
The Red Hat 6.1 Installation Process
Access to DOS-Partitions
Patching and compiling a new kernel
Solving the RAM problem
Installing PCMCIA and configuring it for Bad RAM
Finished - What comes next?
Advanced Power Management
Getting WebDAV to work with XP
GNU Free Documentation License
the people (& their mails)
the aeros wildest dream...
A small server
GNU/Linux on the Aero
On the following pages I describe the installation of a GNU/Linux system on a
Compaq Contura Aero 486SX Laptop Computer from 1993.
Common problems with this machine
Purpose - What use is GNU/Linux on this machine?
I started this project in the winter of 2002/2003. I began with an installation
of Vector Linux, a Slackware based distribution. After a few days I switched
over to Red Hat Linux 6.1, assuming that a more common distribution
would be a better choice for a beginner. Thanks to
the broad base of users and lots of info on the web and in bookstores, I then ran an
Apache 2 webserver on a Red Hat 7.2 system with a 2.2 kernel on this computer
for nearly one year.
Installing a modern GNU/Linux system on a 486SX with a maximum of 20 MB RAM can
be done. There are caveats though.
What can you expect from GNU/Linux on such an old piece of hardware?
If you want Desktop applications, you're better off with Windows 3.1 or 95.
GNU/Linux desktops, even the lightest ones, run terribly slow on this machine.
Equipped with a modern hard drive, the Aero with its fanless 486 processor is a
completely noiseless system that can be run from your living room or even your
bedroom. With the LCD automatically turned off, it doesn't consume much power.