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I'd like to build Ubuntu LTS 12.04 from source (kernel+daemons) on very old hardware. The hardware I'm on is i486 cpu on a pc104 single board computer. Most live cd's have trouble getting further than just booting on the computer.

It has 512mb ram but less than 512mb hardrive space and very slow CPU. I can't get the Ubuntu minimal CD to get past just booting.

So I'm trying out this CD next http://www.ubuntu-mini-remix.org/. If I can't get a really small and stable Ubuntu to run on this, then I'm going to try Gentoo next.

I want to install a tiny Ubuntu on this old hardware ,I've done lots of Googling but haven't found much.

Tinycore Linux works good on this hardware though(microcore to be exact). I just want a very tiny Ubuntu (without xorg+DE) to work on extremely this old hardware.

Is there some way I can install Ubuntu from another Linux's Live cd ?

I know you can do this on gentoo. What are your recommendations for installing a tiny very basic Ubuntu/Linux based server distro on very old hardware ?

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I recommend against compiling any kind of linux system on the old hardware - it will simply take too long. Far better to cross-compile for that architecture on a newer, more powerful machine and go from there. – Aaron D Feb 28 '13 at 15:11

the best recomondation I can give you is to use the Ubuntu Server 12.04.2 LTS select the 32 bit version. You will not have anything as far as Xorg the only thing you will have is just the kernal and the demons that is needed along with whatever you whant to install. you might whant to take a look at this guide it will give you step by set instructions on installing and setting up Ubuntu server.

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I tried the i386 server 12.0.4 LTS and it said that its not i486 compatible. Don't know if I could just use tinycorelinux's livecd to install ubuntu server? This possible answers my question,I'll try it out and give feedback. Link related [link]askubuntu.com/questions/113209/… – Rupert Feb 28 '13 at 8:47
    
@Rupert - what exact error did you get (e.g. like the one here), and what server setup are you aiming for? i386+ I think is still supported by most linux distros, so I think you may be looking for the wrong sort of solution - if Ubuntu won't work a better alternative likely would be to use another linux distro, as old versions of Ubuntu etc will likely have quite a lot of vulnerabilities. – Wilf Oct 27 '15 at 13:47

Trying to rebuild a Debian-based distro from source is a rather large undertaking (I should know, I run raspbian). Even if you limit yourself to the subset of the distro you actually want you will find a maze of tangled build-dependencies.

You would have to do these builds on a machine that could run the existing binaries. Otherwise you have a severe chicken and egg problem.

I'm not positive what the last version of Debian to support 486 systems was but from https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/11/msg00570.html (which says the compiler default was changed in the gcc 4.4.0 packaging) and https://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=gcc (which lists squeeze as having gcc 4.4.4) I would guess that lenny was the last Debian release to support the 486.

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