How to recondition old Boxes with Emmabuntüs

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First we must agree on the terms of old computer, because there are two types:

  • The computosaurs Pentium II processor or below, with less than 256MB RAM. For them, Emmabunüs distros cannot do anything.  We recommend Puppy Linux: Puppy Linux or SliTaz

  • Computers more than 10 years old and equipped with at least a Pentium III running at 1.0 GHz with 256 MB of RAM and with 20 GB of free space on the hard disk are the requirements to repackage them with Emmabuntüs distributions, but it will still not be a fast machine.

We encourage you to use our distributions on machines with a processor at 1.4 GHz, 512 MB ​​RAM and 40 GB hard drive


There are several ways to approach this problem of repackaging, but it is not impossible to do so if one assumes that a computer is a box and can be opened. It is even advisable to do so and remove from time to time, every 2 years on average, the excess dust on fan blades and on the CPU cooler. So if you are a great handyman you should have a Phillips screwdriver to open the can, the can opener and bottle openers are not recommended !!!

1 – Installing from an additional DVD

  • Open the box

  • Disconnect the CD-Rom player, and instead, connect the DVD player (recently tested to be sure):
    • If the CD is only connected to a single connection, replace it with the new DVD player
    • If the CD is connected on the same channel as the hard drive, plug the DVD drive on the available secondary IDE connector, and the configuration of our DVD extra must be in master mode (find a link to the configuration mode for the IDE devices: see the manual for this motherboard, sis, the piece of paper gathering dust in the box there), without disconnecting the CD, see «IDE, Jumpers and connections»
    • If you already have a DVD drive in your computer, you think it does not bother to put a DVD extra. Well this is wrong for two reasons :
      • it is likely that the drawer does not open, and it is dirty at the player's lens is one of the most fragile device of the computer, rather than the hard drive.
      • chances are he can not read properly all the new formats of DVD in particular RW+ or RW-, is a very bad idea to use it, and then say that Ubuntu is installed wrong, when it comes to a hardware problem ! but nothing beats a test for noticing.

  • Put the Emmabuntüs DVD in the drive, this DVD of course has been written to lowest speed, and was controlled using MD5 or SHA1 code provided on our site. To use it on Ubuntu and Co GtkHash, and on Windoze File Hash Checher, Winmd5sum, or HashCheck Shell Extension. Refer to the very good post about the MD5 hash of explanations.

  • Turn on your machine, and make sure the computer boots from the DVD, if it is not the case you can by pressing either F10 or F12, get the menu for selecting the boot device. If these keys do not work, try the F2, F8, Del or Sup, or Esc to enter BIOS, but if it does not work, see your computer documentation regarding access to BIOS.

  • Now that everything is in place it'll just do the installation, see Chapter Emmabuntüs software installation.

2 – Installing from an additional machine

  • Remove the hard disk of the machine being installed, and put it on a machine with all the other characteristics of point 1. The advantage of this method is to take a newer machine and therefore more efficient, but also having more RAM to speed up the installation. With a machine with Pentium 4 processor at 3 GHz and 1 GB of RAM, the installation is done in ten minutes.

  • Follow the method of point 1, from "Put the DVD in the drive"

3 - Without opening the box, the installation is also possible, but requires additional software: Multisystem (in french) associated with Plop Boot Manager

  • Multisystem is a software running on Linux and to put on a USB drive, external USB hard drive, as ISO images of Linux distributions that support can hold. After Multisystem installed on a Linux distribution (Multisystem is present on all distributions Emmabuntüs, the creator of Multisystem Emmabuntüs belongs to the collective, and collective supports Multisystem having proposed html notice (in french) on the site Framasoft (in french)). To put an ISO on the drive is as easy as a drag / drop, and besides, we can do as well. Then it is very complicated, but there Multisystem handles ALL. In the end you have a bootable key with GRUB2, and that selects the ISO you want to install.
  • Plop is a software on a CD, so it takes only 2.5 MB which allows to handle the USB ports of a machine and boot from it. Well, if you have a USB on your old machine, do not expect miracles when the installation time, and Plop can never turn the USB 1 USB 2. But there you can do this by opening the box, and putting a USB 2 PCI card into the PC. This does not work with all PCI USB2. Why? I do not know. For my part I am testing USB 2 PCI cards to find what works, and that's all. Our goal is to install a new OS, not to solve all the problems of the machine, there is another area ;)

  • Now that everything is ready, put the USB into the port of the same name, and the CD Plop if necessary in the CD, or DVD, and start the machine by booting from the CD, which will find the USB start and Multisystem.

Remark : For people who do not have Linux installed on their machines, but want to test this, the Multisystem designer launches an offer to USB stick Multisystem, or with your choice of distros, plus Mini CD Plop on a USB key without equal, has the great advantage of being very fast and last over time. For after the CD/DVD, the most fragile material, come the USB low-end. You know the one they give you in shops, or you buy at the supermarket, at least not use them EVER to contain important documents, because they stop working at once. To do a little pub style merchant Laundry: "I now with my key Multisystem, I can show the installation of Emmabuntüs in the Train, and I never break a key, and is much less than large the Corsair Survivor I was using previously, I had bought to keep my wife puts it in the washing machine, and if that had happened, it does not matter it was planned for that ;)" well the version used by Multisystem is not the model for all-terrain reconditioning as some members of the group, including me, but it is great and it will not make a hole in your flannels ;) » 

  • And now for testing and installation by watching these two short videos, fast track to not fall asleep because it's not exciting to see the installation of a system ;-)

  • Video of the launch of the Live mode Emmabuntüs to verify that the computer works correctly : HERE

  • Video installation of Emmabuntüs not available at this time, she is short of achieving ;)

NB : the choice of installation is 4 in the list proposed by Multisystem or if you press the space bar to launch the DVD, in this mode only the manual partitioning step is necessary, the rest of Installation is done automatically, by against the user's name will be Emmabuntus and the password avenir.

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