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DHCP server installation on 8MB a sub-notebook PC

What's good if you use a notebook PC as a server.

  1. Silent : Usually Notebook PC does not have a fan.
  2. Saving energy : Notebook PCs are equipped such as APM to save energy.


Pamlico is a sub-notebook PC with 8MB memory, 120MB HDD and i486SX-26MHz MPU.

Sometimes, I take my Libretto70 or Gateway2000 Liberty to my office. I had to change IP address when I took them there. At the company, we have a DHCP server. If I have one in my house, I don't have to setup IP address every time I take them to the office.

I downloaded dhcpd from ISC.

  1. I usually NFS mounted CD-ROM to install Linux in a NotebookPC. Pamlico has a FDD with a PCMCIA interface. And when this card is inserted in slot 0, slot 1 is disabled. 120MB is not enough to make a DOS partition. So I gave up to install from DOS partition. I thought once I installed diskset A and N from FDs, I could mount NFS and install other disksets. But this was wrong. I had to install AP, D, K from FDs too.
  2. When memory is 8MB, how much swap partition is enough ? I started from 8MB. But I found that to make a new kernel, you need at least 30MB. I received 'SWAP exhausted' message until then.
  3. I tried to minimize the new kernel. IP:Allow large windows (not recommended if <16MB of memory) should be answered N.
  4. I made a new kernel and mounted CD-ROM. But a strange thing happened. When I entered 'ls' command, came up files are limited max. 7, and the rest were ignored.
  5. I though this was a TCP/IP related problem and checked 'make config' and modified /etc/rc.d files. Two weeks later, Another idea was flashed. I noticed this might be a PCMCIA related problem. I changed Ethernet card from Accton to 3Com. But nothing had changed. After that, when I read PCMCIA-HOWTO, I felt this was a 'timing' problem. So, I added "cmd_time=16" after PCIC_OPTS= in rc.pcmcia. Even though this value is showed as an example for Gateway2000 Liberty, this solved the problem. Now, NFS , ftp and other network-related things are working fine. (My Liberty works fine without this line.)
  6. Linux never sleeps, but ...... Notebook PC sleeps and is slow to wake up. When DHCP client calls the server, it takes a little while to answer and the client gives up to search a server. Now, I don't allow Pamlico to sleep.

June 1998