I have several ALIX systems (powered by the AMD Geode LX processor without PAE support) that are still running on Ubuntu 12.04, the last Ubuntu-Release to supports non-PAE kernels (i.e. compiled for the i586 architecture). I use them as low-profile, general purpose (internal) servers (SSH, file serving, cron jobs, small web apps), which is why I chose Ubuntu in the first place. Since 12.04 is EOL, I am looking for alternatives but I have not found one, yet. Even the OSes listed on the manufacturer's site seem mostly outdated or special-purpose. The only options seem to be:
- Alpine Linux (THIS!, see updates)
- Slackware, last release in 2016-06 and active patches (though I'm unsure about the non-PAE-support of the current version 14.2)
- Voyage Linux, last release in 2017-01, some parts of the site seem defunct
- Keep Ubuntu 12.04 and simply ignore the EOL status
Are there any field reports/recommendations regarding Linux distributions of other ALIX users that face the same problem?
Edit: Status quo as of 2018-03-04
After being deedless for a while, I have also been experimenting with Slackware lately. I think it will take some time to become a fan if you are used to popular Linux distrubtions like Debian/Ubuntu and CentOS/RHEL, but it is IMHO the best way to keep my ALIX systems alive. For me, the most prominent drawbacks of Slackware (that I learned so far) are
- the missing dependency management of the package manager and
- having to deal with init scripts again after using
systemdfor half a decade now.
This will require some tedious work to get everyting up and running, but who am I to complain ;)
Since this is now a "famous question" and I did some further digging: Alpine Linux supports non-PAE processors and runs perfectly fine on my ALIX.1D.