Installing Slackware 10 went like a breeze.  On the old Pentium 1 it took around an hour, but nothing went wrong, and I was soon booting into a virgin bash shell.

The first thing on my list of things to do was to get the network operational.  I have a cheapo US Robotics network card that I picked up from the computer store at work a couple of days ago.  Browsing the CD that came with it revealed a directory called “Linux”.  So I copied it off into my home folder, and had a look at the contents.

Inside were three folders: bin, usr, and install.  Install seemed like a pretty obvious option, so I opened it up, and inside found a shell script called  When I ran it, it gave me some file not found kind of error messages, but it was pretty clear it was looking for the bin and usr directories, so I copied up one level (sudo cp ..) and then ran it again (./, and it printed some pretty text on the screen and stopped.  I assumed that meant it was finished, so to see if it worked, first of all I set eth0 to use a static ip address, and told it the dns name servers for my network using netconfig:


That was easy.  Ok, now let’s get slackware to test if it works:

sudo /sbin/modprobe \*

Loads the newly installed driver.


and yes! eth0 is now recognized.

Next I needed to get SSH running so that I could get the lump off my desk and onto the floor, and reconnect my main computer to the monitor and keyboard (and hopefully get it running again after its crash).

sudo pico /etc/ssh/ssh_conf

All that needed to be done here was to uncomment (#) from Host * to the end, then ^O to save. Now to restart the ssh daemon to so it will read the changes in the configuration file.

sudo /etc/rc.d/rc.sshd restart

That should be working now.  My only other functional computer at the moment is my work laptop running Vista.  The easiest way to open a secure shell from there is using Putty.  Inside putty, all I need to do is enter the IP address of the Pentium 1 (which I have called blackbird) and the port that it is listening on, click go… and bingo I have a login prompt.  If I forward a port from my firewall to the IP address of blackbird, I should even be able to control it from any internet connected computer, using putty.

That went without a hitch.  What was going on?  It isn’t supposed to just work!

With SSH working, there was no need to keep it on my desk, so I unplugged it all and stuck it on the floor under the desk.  The great thing about Pentium 1 and older computers is that they don’t run so hot even when stuffed in a corner. All that is now plugged into the back is the power cable and a network cable.

All further setup will be done over SSH using Putty on my Windows box.

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