[CentOS-devel] Status of CentOS 5 for the i586?

Sun Jun 5 18:38:51 UTC 2011
Dmitry E. Mikhailov <d.mikhailov at infocommunications.ru>

Hi all,

A year ago I read instructions on centos.org. About ten original Pentium boxes 
were converted from CentOS 4.* and are used for small businesses as an 
el-cheapo router/fileserver/etc

AFAIR you need to rebuild only the kernel for a basic firewall/router (No GUI) 
machine. I was succesful and there's even a semi-automated kernel 
get-patch-build-post-makerepo script hanging somewhere. And there is a 
half-dead repo at my server http://infocs.ru/rpmrepo/

Index of /rpmrepo/i586
[ ]	kernel-2.6.18-164.15.1.el5.infocs.i586.rpm	13-Apr-2010 01:48 	16M
[ ]	kernel-devel-2.6.18-164.15.1.el5.infocs.i586.rpm	13-Apr-2010 01:48 	5.3M

The repo is a year old (CentOS 5.4 AFAIR) and not maintained. I was the 
original maintainer, abandoned due to the lack of time/interest.

By the way, the system can't be installed straight on i586 because of i686 
installer and it's memory requirements which (even for text mode) are hard to 
be fulfilled on original-Pentium boxes. And it also would take a hell lot of 
time. So for me it looks like:
0)pull HDD from old box
1)put that harddrive to modern box
2)install OS to it
3)boot it (on modern box)
4)copy and install an i586 kernel
5)remove i686 kernel
6)downgrade glibc* and openssl from i686 to i386 version
7)put that HDD to old box and be happy.

It's hard to use yum also because it needs 64+ MB of RAM just to start doing 

Can't imagine to use i586 boxes as a desktop with GUI. Thin client maybe, but 
there are better distros for that. The memory is the primary limitation. But 
a router with PPTP server and a Samba can work pretty well at 

Best regards,
	Dmitry Mikhailov

P.S. For happy owners for IBM/Cyrix CPUs. They carry the necessary 
instructions for an i686 kernel to boot successfully AFAIR. I was surprised. 
It's a pity they run too hot to be reasonably used.