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Does anyone else remember the early days of Linux, when you had to compile everything yourself if you wanted more than just a shell?

Like X, that took nearly half a day. Even the modem had to be compiled if your chips wasn't compiled into the kernel. Forget sound cards being readily available, they had to be compiled too.

Even recompiling the kernel was fun, you learnt a lot about how the system worked by doing that. The source code was full of swear words, and assembler.

These days, it's so easy to apt install and away you go.

The bit that got me, was having to boot into windows to download the modem source code so I could compile it to access the Internet

Comments
  • 2
    I once compiled the kernel for slackware on a 486 33mhz server with 8mg ram.

    6 days!
  • 1
    @oudalally
    I remember I had a 486 clone from Cyrix, and compiling a kernel triggered an hardware bug 😭
    In those days there was no Google or stackoverflow, took ages to get solutions 😄
  • 3
    @nbamaral Wow, I'd forgotten Cyrix.

    I had a 66Mhz Cyrix chip in an old Peacock 486 desktop machine.

    32Mb Ram, 680mb Connor hard drive, and a Media Vision Pro Spectrum sound card with a SCSI CD-ROM port built in.

    I ran windows 95 on that for a while, then started on the *nix adventure with RedHat 5.

    Good machine, built like a tank!!

    I don't miss EDO SIMMS though..... those were a pain in the arse!
  • 2
    I guess it says something when Arch Linux is considered a hardcore install these days. Granted getting it to work took me a solid week.

    And if you're really bored there's always Slackware.
  • 1
    @starrynights89 Got enough to occupy myself with this FreeBSD machine :)
  • 2
    i use gentoo. what do you mean remember the days? lol. but ya even back when i started using that, it was a bitch, and part of why i flopped distros so much.

    reminds me, i'm glad ndisWrapper is gone
  • 2
    the swearing didnt disappear. its there and grows steadily.
  • 0
    @oudalally how's your server bro
  • 0
    @oudalally
    Ahahah, I don't miss Connor hdds 😄
    But that was an awesome machine for those days.
    After a brief time with Slackware, I really learned Linux on a Redhat 4.0 I bought. Don't miss those days you had to go through usenet on a console to find solutions every time you messed things up, like X timings or libc (on the transition between libc5 to glibc, that was traumatic 😛)
  • 1
    @drekhi12 It's running, can boot from its own disk now, and the RAID is running fine at long last.

    Setting up Samba hasn't worked so well, but that could be because it was 4:30am and I wasn't really very with it.

    I'm going to tackle Samba again shortly now I know that the disks all passed SMART validation.
  • 2
    @nbamaral This is why I loved Caldera.

    8 CDs, with lots of lovely RPMs, and it could resolve dependencies itself.

    I used to hate the manual process. If you didn't know EVERY dependency before you started the install, you were effectively going one by one through every missing package and installing that manually, then installing all the other packages each subsequent one depended on.

    With a 680mb disk, you couldn't just throw the lot on!

    I built that machine from parts in my Dad's office when I was about 10, so we're talking 1995 or around then.

    All I really used it for was programming in QB45 or Pascal, then it became my Linux experimentation platform for a while.

    It was a fantastic machine!!!
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