Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

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Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby joloughlin » 2018-01-04 11:57

Hi Guys

Not quite a newbie as have been "dabbling" with Linux for years (as the subject might suggest !!!) but am no expert.

For years I've been running an IBM Thinkpad 770 as a "headless" home server running debian, current versions are:
Distributor ID: Debian
Description: Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (etch)
Release: 4.0
Codename: etch

Kernel: Linux 2.6.18-6-486 i586

So question is, what are my upgrade options as I'm looking at deploying OpenVPN access server ?

Thanks in advance for your support.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2018-01-04 12:05

I realy don't think debian would support that CPU anymore:
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/4iiikn/debian_drops_support_for_586class_cpus/
But I have a good option for that specific use:
https://opnsense.org/
Still support those old machines. Been running good for almost an year now on an old Dell server.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby joloughlin » 2018-01-04 12:13

Thanks for the reply @Captain_Jack, just had a look at opensuse and only has a download option for i386 and AMD64
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby kedaha » 2018-01-04 13:02

Hi,
I recommend not to use that ancient Thinkpad. It would be frustrating with so little CPU and memory, a waste of time. A raspberry pi or similar would be a much better option for a headless server.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby joloughlin » 2018-01-04 13:38

Appreciate the ancient HW point, but would really like to try it before any investment just to see if it meets my needs.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-01-04 15:49

In any event, to try to upgrade from Debian 4 to,?? you didn't say???
But it would not be practical, the difference between Debian 4, and Debian 9 is huge.
You would be better off just installing a the newer version,.. Make a good clone, / backup so you have everything you want to save.
If Debian 9 will run on that old of hardware, ( I have my doubts), then after you
have the server running , you could transfer the data/files you need to the new system.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby debiman » 2018-01-04 18:40

joloughlin wrote:IBM Thinkpad 770

by jove, it's almost 20 years old.
don't throw it away, it belongs in a museum!

i agree that even for a headless server it's not so good anymore; you can get discarded hardware for free, that has significantly more oomph. or spend a little on a raspberry pi.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2018-01-04 19:50

Or just stay as it is, no further version will be made....There are other distros that focus on that type of hardware, if you have facebook take a pick here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lightweight.linux/

By the way, if you feel your question was answered, please, edit the first message title adding [SOLVED] to the beginning of it, so others can benefit from your information.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby pcalvert » 2018-01-07 12:15

Instead of Debian, consider using Alpine Linux for that old Thinkpad.

See: https://www.alpinelinux.org/

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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby pylkko » 2018-01-07 12:38

First you would need to figure out what exact model and CPU it is. If it is indeed one of the ones dropped by Debian 9 (wikipedia seems to say that 770's had a 200mhz or 233 MHz Pentium MMX processor), remember that you could still use Debian 8.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby debiman » 2018-01-08 06:12

actually i think it should stay on debian 4.
since it's a museum piece, so should the software be.

obviously, don't use it as a server.

if op lives in a so-called "western" country, they can easily get a discarded laptop for free that has significantly better specs. for the server.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby steve_v » 2018-01-10 04:51

joloughlin wrote:For years I've been running an IBM Thinkpad 770... I'm looking at deploying OpenVPN access server

Throughput on that hardware will be horrible, less-than-dialup speed horrible.
OpenVPN needs a reasonably modern CPU or a crypto-accelerator (do these still exist?) for reasonable performance, that old MMX will struggle to keep up... unless you're still using an analogue modem.

Aside, the only reason I retired my 486 router (freesco) is that ADSL got faster than its 10Mbit network cards. :P
As others have suggested, if you want to persevere with antique hardware, use a speciality router distro. Freesco is dead, but I hear Alpine is good. Or Fli4l.
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Re: Upgrading from Debian 4 !!

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2018-01-10 05:09

OT too ...
steve_v wrote:Aside, the only reason I retired my 486 router (freesco) is that ADSL got faster than its 10Mbit network cards. :P

Way! +1
Freesco was the business. 8)

I had a small fleet of them doing dialup duties and LAN services for a bunch of clients back in the day.
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