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Old 08-27-2004, 08:47 AM   #1
g-string 3
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Newbie needs help choosing the best distribution for an old computer


Hi,
i am a total newbie and this is my first post about linux.

I am searching a small distribution which is best for use with OpenOffice. I do not need other applications.

What do i need?
- the distribution, e.g. Gentoo Linux "minimal" or "standard installer" or is a different distribution better suited?
- graphics desktop?
- drivers for the motherboard, the cpu, the videocard, the IDE-controller?
- software for creating a bootdisc?
- software for creating a partition?

My computer specs are shown below in the signature

Thank you
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:12 AM   #2
PenguinPwrdBox
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Um......
Well, this is a hard one.
Were this me, I would do a Stage One Gentoo install, with only X and OOo.
That's a bit difficult, though, and unless you have a HSI connection, it will take you about a week....
You could use any distro, just go through the packages, and choose to install the bare essentials.
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:15 AM   #3
g-string 3
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Is "stage one" the gentoo i386 universal installer version 2004.1 at linuxiso.org?

At linuxiso.org there is also "linex". It's on one disc and they say it could be easy to handle, even for beginners.

Last edited by g-string 3; 08-27-2004 at 09:19 AM.
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:27 AM   #4
PenguinPwrdBox
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No.
There are three ways to install Gentoo Linux.
Stage 1: You must have a working high speed internet connection. The CD that you burn (ISO Image) is booted on your machine.
In a Stage 1 install, you download, customize, and compile (compiling is the act of taking source code - human readable programming language, and converting it into machine language that can run on your machine) the ENTIRE OS - the bootstrap, the kernel, and all other packages. The source is not contained on the CD, and is downloaded an compiled piece-by-piece by the live CD. This is the hardest, but most customizable of the installs (I highly recommend this for a slow box, but you MUST know what you are doing)

Stage 2: This is the same as a Stage 1, except you will be using a pre-compiled bootstrap. All that you will be compiling is the kernel.

Stage 3: This is simply taking a compressed Gentoo filesystem that is on the CD, and copying it onto the HDD, and you have a fully functional, generic Gentoo install. This is the easiest, as you don't have to compile, and you don't require an internet connection.

I have never heard of Line-x - but I'm sure someone around here has.....
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:28 AM   #5
synaptical
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what processor do you have? if it's i686 (pentium II or higher), i would do a base Arch install (small and very fast), and then just pacman for openoffice, which will give you just the dependencies you need.

if your CPU isn't i686 arch., i would probably go with a base debian install. don't go gentoo with a slower computer, you will spend ages compiling and if something screws up during install you'll have to start over again. not worth it for what you want to do, imho.
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:42 AM   #6
g-string 3
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@PenguinPwrdBox

How much discspace does step 3 take?
At the moment there are 2 HDD build in.
C: 512MB HDD1 FAT32
D: 270MB HDD2 FAT32
E:~680MB HDD1 FAT32


@Synaptical

- the cpu is an IBM166+@133MHZ


It should be easy to install.
I am friendly with computers, but more on drag&drop.
 
Old 08-27-2004, 09:48 AM   #7
g-string 3
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Arch linux seems to be very small. As you already said, it does not seem to be optimized for such an old piece of hardware from the last century.

Tell me more about Debian, please.

It seems i need only the first CD for a basic install.

Last edited by g-string 3; 08-27-2004 at 09:55 AM.
 
Old 08-27-2004, 12:04 PM   #8
synaptical
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debian installer, one cd.
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
 
Old 08-27-2004, 12:35 PM   #9
stranger777
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I have a similiar system (PI 233, 64MB). Your problem is going to be GUI and hardware recognition. Before you install the distro of your choice, run DSL (DamnSmallLinux) from CD only and see if everything works. I used a HD install of DSL until I was able to install my 40GB drive. I am not sure if OpenOffice will work with DSL, I don't use it myself, it's very big when it comes to memory usage. Everything fancy (like KDE or GNOME) will be very slow on your system.
If you are on highspeed, burn yourself DSL (it's only 50MB) and install it. During installation it will ask you to automatically upgrade it (download more stuff) which brings it to about 200MB. It uses Fluxbux as window manager, nice and light.
The good thing about DSL is that it uses the Knoppix hardware recognition: IMHO the easiest way for a newbie to get yourself startet since you don't need to fiddle around with drivers/modules. The installation should be straight forward.
Does it have to be OpenOffice? For older systems I recommand Abiword as word processor (and there are other, lighter, office apps out there, too).
 
Old 08-27-2004, 03:02 PM   #10
coindood
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FreeBSD. You can compile the system from ports if you want to, and it just works out of the box. It doesn't need tons of memory (the main memory hog would be the WM and OpenOffice anyway). Read up on FreeBSD and stop on by www.freebsd.org for more info.

For any distro, light weight WMs like black/fluxbox or even fvwm take little memory.

Most likely the drivers will be included with the distro (or just a kldload away in FBSD).

Last edited by coindood; 08-27-2004 at 03:05 PM.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 09:52 AM   #11
g-string 3
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i, ve chosen debian 30r2. Until now fast enough.

The problem is x crashes. The error message i get is sth. like this: x connection broken to 0.0.

I think debian doesn't remember the settings for the display and graphics card.

i ve tried different settings e.g. 640x480 vga 60HZ and 31.5KHZ (also 30-40; 50-70) and chose the S3 Trio64V+ generic vga (this chipset is displayed while booting).

Scanpci tells me the chipset is called Trio32/64.

What would you do?

I have another graphics card at home. It s matrox millenium. should i change the card or should i change the system?


DSL anf FreeBSD sounds really good.

If i am right FreeBSD is NOT LINUX

Thank you for reply

Last edited by g-string 3; 08-30-2004 at 10:25 AM.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 02:43 PM   #12
mugstar
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@everyone:

The poster describes themselves as a newbie ... and you're allowing him to even think about installing Gentoo or Debian? sheesh!!

@poster:

IMHO the advice to use DSL is good. I use it before I attempt an installation on any box, it's very good at picking out hardware incompatibilities.

The S3 Trio32/64V+, AFAIK (and I was trying to get one working last week on a similar box) is unsupported under Linux. My advice would be to change the card. If you've got this far with Debian, stick with it.

I think OpenOffice will run v e r y s l o w l y with 48MB RAM. Maybe you should check out
Abiword.

Last edited by mugstar; 08-30-2004 at 02:45 PM.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 06:55 PM   #13
Mara
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux-Distributions and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 07:02 PM   #14
coindood
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mugstar: a newbie is only a newbie until he decides to stop using software for newbies and takes a plunge into the deep end
 
Old 08-31-2004, 08:20 AM   #15
g-string 3
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I spend a whole day for installing partially debian 30r2. I won't stop trying!!!
But i ve several issues to solve.

1. size of the swap partition
what do you think about the size of the swap partition? (remember: the amount of system RAM is really huge -> 48MB, (HAHA, what a silly and sad joke)

Now it looks like this:

boot: 10MB
swap: 512MB
/: 700MB

What is the command to see how much disc space is left?


2. installing the mouse
Where can i install the mouse best.
And what does this "tty1" mean? (i ve a usual serial 3-button mouse)

3. startx problem (probably the S3 TrioV64+)
-> x server connection broken to 0.0.
 
  


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