[conspire] help accessing manpages

Tony Godshall tony at of.net
Thu Apr 1 10:17:10 PDT 2010

>> Hi everyone, I am setting up TinyMe linux on a Pentium M Dell laptop
>> (Latitude D600) which has been handed down to (lucky) me. The laptop
>> is lightweight and the display is large enough to make it good  to
>> carry around. The display is  much better than the tiny ones on
>> netbooks.
>> I have a kind of major problem. TinyMe linux did not ship with
>> manpages. I have downloaded the GNU manpages and ran "make install".
>> The manpages have been installed in /usr/share/man/ but I can only
>> read tlhem with this unsuitable  method.

> What you really should be asking yourself, though, is whether your
> Pentium M can't run a real distribution instead of TinyMe.  Given that
> TinyMe doesn't _even_ furnish manpages or a man utility, it's really not
> anything like a complete, real system.
> You may have heard this before from me, and I know that some other
> members of this mailing list have.  Sorry about the repetition:  There
> seems to be a persistent misconception that low-spec hardware is
> inadequate to run any Linux distributions other than toy ones.  This is
> simply not true.  It bothers me that I keep hearing it!

I'm running Ubuntu 9.04 on an old Inspirion 8600, which Wikipedia says
is a "near-clone of Latitude D810". Runs great.  I think it's over
eight years old by now, and still has one of the best displays
available (IMHO nonglare 1920x1200 is better than high-glare, no
matter how bright or big)  It's gotta be eight

Are you short of disk space?  That's the only reason I can think of to
omit manpages.

If you are looking for small without this kind of weird compromise,
Debian can be installed very small.  I've done full GUI installs in
less than 2GB of disk and made fully running systems in less than 1GB
(by making /usr a squashfs loopback)

> If you have at least 128 MB RAM on the machine -- or can within economic
> feasibility add RAM to reach at least 128 MB -- then you can install and
> run real Linux distributions (Debian, Slackware, AntiX MEPIS, for
> starters).  Details:  Please see my posts to BerkeleyLUG's forum, here:
> http://www.berkeleylug.com/?p=401
> Please note that my posts to BerkeleyLUG's forum concerned Pentium MMX
> 200 MHz machines, which are quite a bit older and cruftier than your
> Pentium M, a series of CPUs that came out about five years later and
> were something of a hybrid between the (old) PIII processors and the
> (incoming) Pentium 4 ones.  It was pretty routine for Pentium M boxes to
> ship with at 512 MB, so I suspect your probably have something on that
> scale, and are really wasting your time fooling with TinyMe, in my
> opinion.

Amen to that.  Linus Torvalds has been making sure the kernel is fully
compatible with low-spec CPUs at the same time they add support for
high-performance kernels because low-spec CPUs are still being made
for appliance and mobile applications.  The Pentium M CPUs are as far
as I've seen fully compatible will the mainstream distros (specifically I've
installed Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu on them).  I like the
Debian flavor distros because of their emphasis on
- automatic buildability
- automation of administration
- open bug-reporting and bug-tracking and public discussion (no login
required, no forum-centricity)
- avoidance of codenames (I don't care to care what a kudzu or an
anaconda is, thank you very much)

Oops... got a little off-track there, sorry.

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