Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

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Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby jaycee on Fri May 30, 2014 5:22 am

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've been here! A testament to the stability of LM13 I suppose... ;)
Today I finally made time to attempt installing Linux Mint 17 RC on a laptop with a Pentium M processor that isn't PAE enabled. I noticed for Ubuntu 14.04 that it was made possible to install Ubuntu on PAE disabled processors by following instructions provided by the Ubuntu community - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PAE - and tried to install LM17RC similarly. By pressing the escape key during the automatic boot countdown, pressing the tab key, typing forcepae after the two dashes (with a single space between forcepae and the two dashes), and pressing the enter key, I was able to boot into the live environment, and successfully install it on my laptop! :D I've had no issues to speak of yet, so I shouldn't have to install the final release. :) Anyway, I noticed that the release notes for LM17 suggest installing LM13 on computers with PAE disabled processors. Perhaps this installation method could be recommended instead?
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Monsta on Fri May 30, 2014 5:41 am

This is interesting. So you can indeed install it without PAE? And how does the installed system boot and work after that? Is everything alright?
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Pierre on Fri May 30, 2014 9:59 am

Most interesting indeed !

- will now grab a copy of Mint 17 stable,
- give this a run on my non_pae based 'test' PC :o
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby jaycee on Sat May 31, 2014 3:44 am

I just lost a detailed post due to an automatic logout. :( Anyway everything's working fine, as it should. The only reason there was ever an issue was because the PAE flag wasn't switched on for Pentium M processors, making them tell the operating system they weren't capable of running a PAE kernel even though they are.
Hopefully for LM17.1 the forcepae boot parameter will be present by default to simplify the installation...
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby gold_finger on Sat May 31, 2014 5:56 am

Thanks for posting this jaycee!

This comes up fairly frequently on the forum. Going to bookmark your post for future reference.
Add "Solved" to title of thread if solution is found. (Go to your first post and hit "Edit" button.) This helps make it easier for others to find solutions that work.

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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby xenopeek on Sat May 31, 2014 8:18 am

How to boot Linux Mint 17 on non-PAE coomputers is detailed in the release notes of Linux Mint 17 (final release, that is out today).
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:48 am

Thanks xenopeek

The notes about non PAE use are not too detailed, and as a beginner, I am not sure about exactly how to do that. I have noted this in another post here: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=164454#p876129. A sticky with more detailed basic step by step instructions would be good, if you could point me to one? [EDIT: noted that first post here specifies the apparently accepted way; at the end after --. Before -- also works]

Playing around, I discovered that it seems I have to do that appending for each option in the boot menu. I ran the Integrity check this way, and it noted a whole lot of files as No such file or directory; mainly ./isolinux/*.tr files. Does this mean my USB is not good, or are these files only for using a CD over a USB?

Cheers
Last edited by Frankus333 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:51 pm

WARNING: CAUTION FORCING PAE ON PENTIUM M
G'day folks

I have been trying out installing Kubuntu 14.04 on my old HP Compaq nx5000 laptop, with a 1.5GHz pentium m, using forcepae to get the live USB to boot. It did (as did a Mint 17 mate live USB), and I successfully installed Kubuntu 14.04. and it seemed to be running normally.

However, It would not complete the installation of a large update (the one listing lots of software), seeming to fail on upgrading the kernal. On reboot, it came up again, but took much longer to reach the full desktop screen, and the touchpad mouse no longer works (movement or buttons). Fortunately, plugging in a normal USB mouse does work.

System info says kernal is 3.13.0-24-generic (not -29). Input Devices - Touchpad has a note that "Synaptic driver is not installed (or is not used)", and Desktop Effects - Advanced now shows Compositing type as XRender ( initially Open GL 2) and Qt Graphics system as Native (previously something else with Qt4 in it I think). I will explore further, but wanted to warn of possible "kernal taint" in trying forcepae, as noted in LM preboot warning.

Also found this interesting: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnablingPAE
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby turboscrew on Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:25 am

Watch out: 'forcepae' should be used with processors like Pentium M most of which actually support PAE, but don't have the flag.
PAE is supported from 'Dothan' on, but (I understand), not by 'Banias'.

You can tell by checking from 'system information':
Family 6, Model 13 => Dothan
Family 6, Model 9 -> Banias
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:31 am

Thanks turboscrew

My processor is listed as Family 6, Model 9, Stepping 5, but "forcepae" worked to allow LM 17 and Kubuntu 14.04 to run from live USB, after both refused to run initially due to pae absence. I went ahead and installed Kubuntu 14.04 and it is running OK
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:42 pm

G'day folks; update on explorations:

The problem with the large update breaking the system as noted in my earlier post seems related to the fact that the update was large, and required adjustment of the kernal, and the lack of the PAE flag caused it to exit without completing. The trick of attaching the flag as shown in the link I posted allowed the update to be completed fully and correctly via the terminal tty1. However, the flag addition does not seem to stick once system rebooted. I presume the next update affecting the kernal will require the same workaround. (A recent small update completed normally via update manager).

The code from the above link is as below:

cat /proc/cpuinfo | sed 's/flags\t*:/& pae/' > /tmp/cpuinfo_pae
mount -o bind /tmp/cpuinfo_pae /proc/cpuinfo
mount -o remount,ro,bind /proc/cpuinfo
grep flags /proc/cpuinfo
# should output "flags : ... pae ..."

I found I had to prepend sudo to get the mount commands to work, and change cpuinfo_pae to cpuinfo-pae as well (somehow terminal doesn't seem to read the underscore correctly?)

I will explore further (maybe using sudo for each command) to see if that gets the flag to stick. Maybe someone knows a better way to make the flag stick?

Please note that all this is on my kubuntu 14.04 partition; not yet tried with a LM17 installation, but I presume it will work when I get to that. Also, I am a relative newbie, and hope that my playing around is not leading anyone astray.
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:07 am

Another quick update: the manual for the mount command seems to suggest that the above code is designed so that the changes WON'T be permanent in the flags information. Not sure why, or why editing the /proc/cpuinfo file to have the pae flag in it permanently isn't the complete solution?

Does this workaround actually turn on the processor pae attribute, or just fool the installers by editing the cpuinfo file? I hope it is not the case that running the above code for each update of the kernal will be required?
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:33 am

G'day folks

As expected, latest update of kernal (kubuntu), in which 4 packages set for update, failed on one of the linux image packages:

Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-3.13.0-30-generic_3.13.0-30.55_i386.deb
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Re-running the PAE flag setting code above allowed the update to finish when called up again.

Still curious about whether there is a way to make the flag stick, so this won't be necessary with subsequent kernal updates?

Cheers
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Re: Installing Linux Mint 17 on Pentium M Processors

Postby Frankus333 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:17 am

G'day folks

LM17 KDE successfully installed on my pentium m laptop. Unlike the Kubuntu 14.04 I have been reporting about above, the flag change seems to be permanently made during installation, so LM17 handled the large kernal update with no problems.

I note that the actual PAE function is not relevant to my situation with this machine, because it does not have enough RAM to take advantage of it anyway. My main intention is to be able to avail myself of the current supported distros/kernals for as long as I can on this old hardware. At this stage that will take me to at least 2019 with LM17, unless the kernals become too complex for this old hardware to run for other reasons than PAE, and/or a simpler distro like XFCE or LXDE also no longer runs.

The above problems with the pae flag not sticking are a Kubuntu problem, and I will consult the appropriate forums over there.

(Three) Cheers (for LM)
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