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Old 07-29-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
pest79456
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Linux for older computer please


This computer is a Dell desktop and 265 meg ram and an intel processor. It ran WinXP (without recent updates) and I have tried running a few compact versions including crunchbang and DSL. I either couldn't get any to run or the install prosedure was hard to understand. I have also tried Ubuntu and it installed well but it took forever and uses up all the ram just to run standalone.

Last edited by pest79456; 07-29-2013 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #2
k3lt01
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Read this thread.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
snowpine
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Personally I will not touch a computer with less than 1gb ram in the year 2013. Time for the recycle center (or a ram upgrade if it has decent processor and video card)... An iPhone has more ram, fits in your pocket, and is free with 2 year activation.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
John VV
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with 256 meg ram , there is not much you will be able to do with it these days

512 meg would be better , but 1 gig ram really is needed these days
 
Old 07-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
astrogeek
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Just this week I installed Slackware -current on an old Athalon machine with 256MB ram, without (many) problems.

I installed via PXE boot and NFS mount. I had to pass a few kernel params to get that going (nomodeset, pci=noacpi as I recall).

But it installed and boots fine.

I installed without X or KDE packages and set it up as my new PXE server for network installs, and seems well up to the task.

That might be a different story if I needed GUI desktop apps, but I had installed X with fluxbox on it recently too, seemed to do OK.

Last edited by astrogeek; 07-29-2013 at 10:40 PM.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 03:43 AM   #6
k3lt01
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My old Acer Extensa 2300 come with 256 MB RAM and can still run Debian Wheezy with something like LXDE, MATE, or XFCE. Admittedly 512 MB RAM is much better and that is what it has now but it will run with 256.

The problem with Ubuntu on low powered machines is ureadahead. It cripples anything with low RAM. Distros like Ubuntu are deliberatelt designed for more modern hardware. They are for people who want all the bells and whistles. Choose a non Ubuntu (or derivative) distro with a lightweight desktop environment and install it using a text based installer.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
dt64
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Just recently I installed an old Toshiba Tecra 8200 (Pentium Mobile 833MHz, 256MB RAM) with Centos 5.9.
I can't say it runs like a dream but it does its job as a play machine for the kids (playing in terms of learning Linux, not playing FPS). Before I had tried CentOS6, but that wasn't ok to run with less than 512MB without tweaking.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
duffmckagan
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You can try Puppy Linux. I installed it on an old computer once with 512MB ram it worked just fine.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
DavidMcCann
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The bottom line for full computing (well, perhaps not video editing!) is 128MB.

Several distros have 256MB as the minimum, but for good performance you want something that has a lower minimum: AntiX, AtlasX, Bodhi, Exe Linux, SalentOS, Salix, Vector, Zorin Light will all do. I've written reviews of all of them on this site.

You don't say what your CPU is, but if it's non-pae (some Celerons), Bodhi will work.
 
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Personally I will not touch a computer with less than 1gb ram in the year 2013. Time for the recycle center (or a ram upgrade if it has decent processor and video card)... An iPhone has more ram, fits in your pocket, and is free with 2 year activation.
Yeah, just don't get an Iphone.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 09:16 AM   #11
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pest79456 View Post
This computer is a Dell desktop and 265 meg ram and an intel processor. It ran WinXP (without recent updates) and I have tried running a few compact versions including crunchbang and DSL. I either couldn't get any to run or the install prosedure was hard to understand. I have also tried Ubuntu and it installed well but it took forever and uses up all the ram just to run standalone.
Try Slax(oops, thought there was a USB versio.. Forget slax) or just Slackware.

choose a light desktop like OpenBox (window manager) or Enlightenment.

Good luck!

Last edited by zeebra; 08-02-2013 at 03:01 AM.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
DavidMcCann
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Slax is not intended for installation on a hard disk: it doesn't come with an installer. It will just run in 256MB, but if you let it copy to RAM as recommended, you need 3x that! If you found CrunchBang and DSL difficult, you would not like Slackware.

The ones I recommended will work: I've actually used them. Congratulations on keeping a old computer in use; too many people wastefully abandon perfectly good hardware.
 
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:01 PM   #13
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Personally I will not touch a computer with less than 1gb ram in the year 2013...
Sometimes we have no other choice...

In my own case, hardware from the thrift store or scrap heap has kept me afloat for long periods.

If the CPU clock still ticks, it still has life in it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Congratulations on keeping a old computer in use; too many people wastefully abandon perfectly good hardware.
+1 on that! It makes me cringe to see newer, more capable hardware than what I use productively every day, headed for the scrap pile.

I highly recommend Slackware for older hardware, with Fluxbox if you need a GUI environment.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 02:48 AM   #14
pest79456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek View Post
Just this week I installed Slackware -current on an old Athalon machine with 256MB ram....
I winged off of windows in the begining of this year I don't think I have used a distro that didn't have X already installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
My old Acer Extensa 2300 come with 256 MB RAM and can still run Debian Wheezy with.....
Yeah I intend on upgrading my ram soon. Thank You.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dt64 View Post
Just recently I installed........Centos 5.9 I can't say it runs like a dream but it does its job as a play machine for the kids (playing in terms of learning Linux
I intnd on using it for the kids playing old style arcade games to beter their motor skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
The bottom line for full computing (well, perhaps not video editing!) is 128MB......
....You don't say what your CPU is, but if it's non-pae (some Celerons), Bodhi will work.
I am still not sure of the power of the processor but I think it's a celeron...
__________________________________________


Anyway thanks for the information I'll post on this thread again if I can get the thing to work.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #15
thelinuxist
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OK, I risk to make some enemies here, but this line must be dropped.
I have a 15 year old IBM Thinkpad with a 800 Mhz CPU and 384 MBs of RAM. Not even Windows 2000 was running on it well enough to work, so I decided to use Linux.
First of all: I don't use it in production any more, but it accompanied me all the time I went to school, from my fifth grade up to finishing vocational school (That's eight years in Germany, and I purchased it used. Told the story to my boss, she gave me a new notebook as a present :-))
The best thing to work on these computers is DSL (Damn Small Linux), as it doesn't need to much HDD space (and HDD space is a precious thing if you only have 10 Gigs, like me, or 2 Gigs, like the Pentium 1 I worked on before). If you are a pro, remove the graphical system and work text mode only (Like Linus did :-)). That way, I didn't even notice that the screen was damaged and only able to draw greyscale colors.
If DSL doesn't work... well, then the computer is probably broken :-)

And yeah, computers/parts from the thrift shop or even the junkyard are the best! Love it - revive nostalgia - save the environment! (Seriously people, that's the right thing to do). And, they still perfectly fulfill any office or surfing purpose, unless you like playing next-gen games.
 
  


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