VOGONS


First post, by Sphere478

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there really doesn't seem to be a good guide out there to what operating systems you have to choose from when it comes to i586 machines and I stumbled quite a bit wasting many cds trying to figure it out.

586 processors include pentium, cyrix mII, k6-x, pentium mmx, etc

there are a few things that will get in your way when trying to run operating systems on a i586

the biggest one with linux seems to be CMOV instruction set support
naturally all 64 bit OSs are out
and of course sufficient ram but that's kind of another issue
and the wild card seems to be acpi support in the bios. this one is hard to nail down, either you have it or you don't but it seems bios's at or after 1999 seem to have a better chance of having it

take note that not all 586 processors are created equal, but their ability to run software is similar what worked on my k6 III+ may not work on your pentium 90

the following is a list of operating systems confirmed to work on a 586 processor feel free to add to this list but only if you have actually run it

debian jessie 8.11.1 this is supposed to be the last debian with support for i586 and it's a relatively modern one too. the assumption is that this and all previous versions would work but not future ones. note had a failure to install on non acpi pentium 233 mmx this appeared to be cpu related but had a successful install on a k6 3+ acpi

fedora 11 this is supposed to be the last fedora/redhat with support for i586 and it's not terribly old. the assumption is that this and all previous versions would work but not future ones. there is a false claim that fedora 14 is supposed to work but it does not. 13,12 untested but assumed non working. 14 failed due to lack of cmov

windows 7 yes this absolutely will run on i586. you will need 384mb of ram to make the installer run but the os it's self doesn't run too bad on 256 and you don't really even need a lite version the lite and full versions aren't that different in ram usage there is a hex edit to disable the setup ram check and allow installation on 256mb (or less?) that is confirmed to work. acpi is a must here note that 7 rtm will not work it has a glitch that prevents i586 from working but later version with service pack will work

windows vista unverified but assumed to be the same story as windows 7 (try the latest service pack version if you attempt)

windows 8,8.1,10 no go

windows xp,2k,ME,98SE,98,95,nt,3.11,etc all work

haiku beta 2 I tried to get this to work but it froze on loading setup more testing may find a version that works or a setup that it works on

beos 5 confirmed working by cyberdyne

freebsd there are supposed to be some relativly recent versions that are supposed to work but I was unable to get setup to fully launch on my system more testing may find a version that works or a setup that it works on

Temple OS appears to be 64 bit so no go

os/2 confirmed working by cyberdyne

mac os some of the earlier versions are supposed to be able to work under dos virtualization but untested not sure if this counts but figured it's worth mentioning

dos 6.2, dos 7, freedos, all work assumed previous versions also do. 5.0 3.3x confirmed working by cyberdyne.

CentOS up to EL6 reported by froller

Mandriva up to 2010.2 reported by froller

OpenSuse up to 15.2 reported by froller

Alt Linux up to 7.0 reported by froller

RedHat Linux all versions (not the RedHat Enterprise Linux)

Mandrake Linux all versions reported by froller

alpinelinux Reported by warloard no version given assume all till OP date

Windows xp media center edition 2005 sp3. Runs very well, even works on dual pentium 1 MMXs with mps multiprocessor.

Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-03-04, 17:05. Edited 9 times in total.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 1 of 52, by mr.cat

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"Of course it runs NetBSD"

I'm pretty sure I was using NetBSD 1.5.x or 1.6.x (and maybe OpenBSD too) on AMD K6-2, but u know it has been almost 20 years...
More recently I did some testing on virtual machines and NetBSD definitely seemed much easier on the hw requirement side than Linux, for example.

From their i386 port page:

Any i486 or better CPU should work - genuine Intel or a compatible such as Cyrix, AMD, or NexGen.

Last edited by mr.cat on 2021-02-19, 14:31. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 2 of 52, by Cyberdyne

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MS-DOS 5.0 3.3x work. I have used them in many fast machines. Few times tried 4.01.
Temple OS needs a 64bit cpu.
OS/2 1.3 2.11 Warp all have been used and tested.
Beos 5 woks and I have been using.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 3 of 52, by Sphere478

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mr.cat wrote on 2021-02-18, 10:04:

"Of course it runs NetBSD"

I'm pretty sure I was using some version of NetBSD (and maybe OpenBSD too) on AMD K6-something, but u know it has been almost 20 years...
More recently I did some testing on virtual machines and NetBSD definitely seemed much easier on the hw requirement side than Linux, for example.

can anyone confirm if the latest versions of net,open,free bsd are working because I have been unable to get them working though it isn't for sure a processor problem as far as I can tell

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 5 of 52, by Jo22

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Obnox OS? 😁

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3TXeh_t23o

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 6 of 52, by Sphere478

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guys it doesn't appear any of the current bsd releases are working on 586 I tried free net and open

anyone have some versions laying around that the y can try so we can narrow down when they stopped working?

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 7 of 52, by Jo22

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I can't answer that question, but I remember using SuSe Linux 6.x on a pre-MMX Pentium with 75MHz and 24MB RAM..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 9 of 52, by mr.cat

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-02-19, 13:08:

I'm considering wasting a cd on react os.

but after watching the linus video on it I'm having second thoughts 🤣

thoughts?

Yeah, it seems like an interesting concept but currently not very practical one. But for sheer curiosity's sake, why not.
Hw support is lacking, so it's probably better to try it in a vm.
If you get it running there, then you have at least some general idea what it is about. Then maybe proceed to install to a physical machine (if you have the right hw).

Reply 10 of 52, by Jo22

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-02-19, 13:08:

I'm considering wasting a cd on react os.

but after watching the linus video on it I'm having second thoughts 🤣

thoughts?

Aaaaaactually...

I once indeed ran ReactOS on a Pentium with ~120MHz and 64MB RAM.

The old releases of ReactOS truly ran on that.
But where buggy as !?&#/!! 🤣

Edit : Don't get me wrong, ReactOS is neat.
And even if very unpolished, well written programs that run on Win32s or Win NT 3.51/NT4, are quite usable on ReactOS.
Such as VLC player, IrfanView, XNView, Visual Basic v5, Delphi 2/3, Winamp, MixW2, Astronomy Lab 2, Audacity, etc.

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 52, by mr.cat

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-02-19, 14:12:
Aaaaaactually... […]
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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-02-19, 13:08:

I'm considering wasting a cd on react os.

but after watching the linus video on it I'm having second thoughts 🤣

thoughts?

Aaaaaactually...

I once indeed ran ReactOS on a Pentium with ~120MHz and 64MB RAM.

The old releases of ReactOS truly ran on that.
But where buggy as !?&#/!! 🤣

Edit : Don't get me wrong, ReactOS is neat.
And even if very unpolished, well written programs that run on Win32s or Win NT 3.51/NT4, are quite usable on ReactOS.
Such as VLC player, IrfanView, XNView, Visual Basic v5, Delphi 2/3, Winamp, MixW2, Astronomy Lab 2, Audacity, etc.

Jo22, thanks! So it *can* be done 😁
Nice set of programs too. Well it is somewhat based on Wine code, so maybe it's not so surprising.
Wasn't the general idea that you could also use Windows drivers? I guess they have their own default set that is initially used.

Reply 12 of 52, by mr.cat

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-02-19, 12:31:

guys it doesn't appear any of the current bsd releases are working on 586 I tried free net and open

anyone have some versions laying around that the y can try so we can narrow down when they stopped working?

On a physical machine? Does it crash or what?

This quick test with qemu did successfully boot to the install screen (didn't try to to actually install though):

qemu-system-i386 -cpu pentium -m 96 -net none -cdrom NetBSD-9.0-i386.iso

Reply 13 of 52, by Sphere478

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mr.cat wrote on 2021-02-19, 15:49:
On a physical machine? Does it crash or what? […]
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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-02-19, 12:31:

guys it doesn't appear any of the current bsd releases are working on 586 I tried free net and open

anyone have some versions laying around that the y can try so we can narrow down when they stopped working?

On a physical machine? Does it crash or what?

This quick test with qemu did successfully boot to the install screen (didn't try to to actually install though):

qemu-system-i386 -cpu pentium -m 96 -net none -cdrom NetBSD-9.0-i386.iso

two physical machines yes. one a dual 233 mmx 430hx the other a k6 3+ with 430tx both crash on loading the installer openbsd got the furthest on the dual mmx using latest (as of) feb 2021 versions

can anyone confirm that the new bsd even support pre 686 instruction sets

is anyone of the impression that react os doesn't work with 586 anymore on latest builds before I waste a cd

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 14 of 52, by mr.cat

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Most of the CPUs are marked as working on ReactOS wiki page (well, no guarantees as you can expect). Didn't notice anything about chipsets. Do it for science?
I must wonder though, what would be the niche for ReactOS where you would like to use it instead, say, Win98SE? (Even if it worked 100% bugfree)
One plus side would be that you could distribute it as a part of other packages, but from a user's pov?

Reply 15 of 52, by Warlord

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best os=one that runs your programs with the least amount of resources. Single 586 = 98lite install or nLited 2k... Dual 586 = nLited 2k install. All unnecessary bloat removed. nLited XP SP2 isnt bad... SP3 is a dog though,

worst os = one that runs like it is trying to walk underwater and lags. unusable.

Reply 16 of 52, by Sphere478

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any idea which versions of slackware and mint will work? anyone running them on a 586?

Warlord wrote on 2021-02-21, 15:16:

best os=one that runs your programs with the least amount of resources. Single 586 = 98lite install or nLited 2k... Dual 586 = nLited 2k install. All unnecessary bloat removed. nLited XP SP2 isnt bad... SP3 is a dog though,

worst os = one that runs like it is trying to walk underwater and lags. unusable.

don't forget about stability. it ma be slower but so far I've been using windows 7 on my k6 more than anything else that I've gotten to load just because it never gives me trouble, connects to network, does stuff without crashing, except some old games 🤣.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 18 of 52, by mr.cat

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Warlord wrote on 2021-02-22, 08:55:

VectorLinux Light Edition is usable on computers with 256 MB of RAM I'm sure there are other distros but this one is based on slackware.

Yes and Caluser2000 mentioned Debian Jessie (released 2015, but still fairly current) back there, so that gives some indication that maybe some older Mint versions would also work (since they're based on Ubuntu/Debian).
I would add that in my vm tests, 192MB was enough for most Linux flavors to get them installed. That's way more than what we had back in the day.
(if you don't have that much memory, prepare for weirdness...it seems the install programs mostly don't care to check it)

EDIT: distrowatch says VectorLinux is for i486, but it looks like it needs pae & cmov.

Last edited by mr.cat on 2021-02-22, 23:34. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 52, by Sphere478

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Warlord wrote on 2021-02-22, 08:55:

VectorLinux Light Edition is usable on computers with 256 MB of RAM I'm sure there are other distros but this one is based on slackware.

Which versions are confirmed working on 586?

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build