View Full Version : The world's slowest Linux computer...

04-02-2012, 07:53 AM
Running on a 8-bit RISC microcontroller.


A programmer managed to run Ubuntu on a 8-bit RISC @ 6.5KHz, with only 16KB of SRAM and 128KB of flash storage...

Programmer Dmitry Grinberg managed to run Ubuntu on an 8-bit micro. Linux minimum system requirements are 32-bit machine with 1MB of RAM, so surely this is the world's slowest Linux computer... by far.

Dmitry, however, put this theory to test, building a barebones set-up with just an 8-bit RISC microcontroller at its heart. Running at a somewhat sedentary 6.5KHz, with only 16KB of SRAM and 128KB of flash storage, these are specs that make most phones look like supercomputers.

He had to write an ARM emulator so that the system appeared as having a 32-bit processor with an MMU and, according to him, it took four hours to boot the system, but the command line was completely usable, typically responding "within a minute".

uARM is certainly no speed demon. It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt ("init=/bin/bash" kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu ("exec init" and then login). Starting X takes a lot longer.

The effective emulated CPU speed is about 6.5KHz, which is on par with what you'd expect emulating a 32-bit CPU & MMU on a measly 8-bit micro. Curiously enough, once booted, the system is somewhat usable. You can type a command and get a reply within a minute.

That is to say that you can, in fact, use it. I used it to day to format an SD card, for example. This is definitely not the fastest, but I think it may be the cheapest, slowest, simplest to hand assemble, lowest part count, and lowest-end Linux PC. The board is hand-soldered using wires, there is not even a requirement for a printed circuit board.

Check out the video below, to see how he tests it, and of course his webpage for complete details on how he managed to build this thing!


OFFICIAL SITE: http://dmitry.co/index.php?p=./04.Thoughts/07.%20Linux%20on%208bit

NEWS SOURCE: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/01/worlds-slowest-linux-computer/

Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news story!

04-02-2012, 08:40 AM
rubbish, leave my sister alone with any PC for 5 minutes and it will run a hell of a lot slower, if she can figure out how to turn it on . This is a girl who has in the past stored food in an empty DVD drive bay when i forgot to put the cover back on, then later the PC wouldn't stay on for more than 5 minutes without crashing, which I found out was due to a half a digestive biscuit lodged in the CPU fan. I also can't forget the keyboard that didn't work properly and kept sticking on cwertain, buttons, when i pisked it up I got covered inthe coffe she had tipped in it earlier that day and forgotten about.