No Network Interface

Once upon a time the vintage 486 had Slackware 11.0 installed. That hard disk was retired but for historical purposes an image file was saved.

The image file was used to create a virtual disk to simulate the vintage computer in a virtual machine (VM). There was an obvious issue booting the VM. There was no Ethernet interface.

Some hours of letting the subconscious wrangle with the problem found the cause. The problem was not remembering or creating notes of how the system was configured many years ago.

Because of the limited 16 MB of RAM in the 486, the 2.4.33 kernel was custom compiled to reduce the memory footprint. This is in the days of not using an initrd and every byte mattered. After remembering this tidbit, the problem became obvious — there was no network module compiled for the network interfaces supported in VirtualBox.

Tinkering with vintage systems — as crude as they sometimes seem compared to modern systems — has a unique way of confronting the cobwebs of ancient memories.

Posted: Category: Tutorial Tagged: General

Next: Bash Startup Files

Previous: Monitoring CMOS Batteries