The Slackware Server Project

The Slackware Server project happened because I wanted to use Linux on an Industrial 486 Computer to control the PCL-730 I/O cards I purchased off of ebay and the computer parallel port.

I tried many versions of Linux (Tom's Root Boot and many others I can't even recall) but many would not work on the hardware, and the ones that would work, did not have the features I wanted (Apache Server, PhP, and GCC).

Then I found various articles that suggested older versions of Slackware. It seemed to install OK, but then LILO would not boot the system. I found various articles that said that LILO uses the BIOS HDD routines and if the harddrive was larger than the BIOS could handle, it would not work (this was the case with my system since it was a 486 with an 8Gig HDD).

I found that you could overcome this problem by a few different methods:

  • Get a BIOS Exdender card - this was not an option for me since the Industrial Computer has 4 slots and each was taken: Single Board Computer, Video, NIC, and PCL-730 IO Card.
  • Get a smaller harddrive - try to find one under 1Gig now.
  • Partition the hell out of it - I really wanted the max size for linux I could get without a lot of crap
  • Use a boot time program - tried it and failed.

    Finally read about LOADLIN and although booting DOS to get to Linux seems sacsacrilege, it looked like it would work (I also like fooling around with DOS networking anyway).

    Steps for set up:
  • Do a low level format of the HDD (optional)
  • Boot to DOS
  • Boot to Slackware 8.0 CD*
  • Boot to Slackware 8.0 via the floppy boot disk created above
  • you will probably want to do the following:
  • you will need to reboot for the changes to take affect

    Slackware 8.0 notes:
  • www default pages are stored at /var/www/htdocs
  • apache setup files at /etc/apace/httpd.conf
  • default user public directory is public_html
  • apachectl start|stop|help (used to start/stop appache server)
  • /etc/rc.d/rc.sshd start|stop|restart (used to start/stop sshd)
  • ifconfg (used to obtain network info)
  • lynx (text only www browser)
  • more to come (need to verify my notes before publishing)

    * - Why Slackware 8.0 and not the most recent Slackware? Well I found that this was the last version that would run on a limited system (486, limited memory etc).