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Old 04-07-2002, 01:57 PM   #1
BBlalock
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Pentium 133, 64Meg ram, 3.4GB hd. Which Distro?


I've been using Mandrake on my main box (466MHx celery) and I want to install it on my "kick around" box to try out different window managers/GUIs for Linux, and for general horsing around.

I'm still pretty much a clueless newbie, so I'm going to need a distribution that's about as easy to install as Red Hat and Mandrake.

I also want decent performance, so I'll need all of the useless crud (Useless to a general desktop user that is.) stripped out.

I've got a set of Mandrake 8.2 beta 3 CDs, and I can't find thier minumal install option.(supposably around 65-70mb) This looks promising, provided that it installs *some* GUI.

Gentoo Linux also looks possable, provided that it's newbie friendly, and there's some way to install it without being online.

I've got questions, do you have answers?
 
Old 04-07-2002, 03:03 PM   #2
danrees
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You say you want something easy to install, but a lot of the modern, newbie-friendly distros require newish hardware. If you have that box spare, I think you would do well to install Debian Woody (will be officially released 1st May), as you can get a minimal graphical system running to a point where it is actually quite usable. There are great, light window-managers out there such as blackbox/fluxbox, windowmaker and fvwm.

FYI I've run Debian Woody on a similar box:

Pentium 133
2mb 2D graphics
48mb EDO-RAM
2.5gb hard-disk

If, as you say, its only a spare box then you could use it to learn more abot Linux. Debian isn't difficult if you follow the instructions in the installation manual carefully and take time to research things yourself. Installing programs is as easy as apt-get install packagename, although you may have to tweak things in a text editor. Note: apt-get can install from CD-ROMs as well as via FTP/HTTP.

Of course, Slackware, Gentoo and Linux from Scratch will teach you about Linux, and probably to a greater extent. The learning curve for these distros is a lot steeper than Debian though.

The alternative is to carry on using the likes of Mandrake, who set things up for your. Don't get me wrong, Mandrake is great for getting a Linux system installed quickly and easily, and is a good distro which a lot of people like. However, it does make a lot of things too easy, and if something does go wrong (e.g. KDE 3 rpms screw your system up), you often don't have the experience to fix the problem yourself.

Just a thought.
 
Old 04-08-2002, 02:43 AM   #3
AutoBot
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Thumbs up

Debian Woody with FluxBox
 
Old 04-08-2002, 04:08 PM   #4
jazz...
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gentoo all the way.
you only install what you want.
compile the code to optimize your system.

but it is a pain in a## to set up. :-(
but once it is up... omg it is amazing. :-)
 
Old 04-09-2002, 05:26 AM   #5
u02gtt
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you should take a look at mulinux
http://sunsite.dk/mulinux/

on your computer it will fly. I have it on a 486dx and X is very smooth and quick, its very easy to install (unless you try to fit 1770 on the floppy manually - but it does it all for you) adn you can add the stuff you want. it's got x11r6, vnc, and lots of other stuff. I tried installing slackware and peanut, both of which i had no luck with, and mu practically installed itself
 
Old 04-09-2002, 06:04 AM   #6
Mara
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I'm using MDK 7.2 on Pentium and Slackware 3.4 on 486. I guess that newer version of Slack will be OK.
 
Old 04-09-2002, 06:15 AM   #7
u02gtt
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how much space does slack take? Could it be installed on a 160mbhd?
 
Old 04-09-2002, 11:41 AM   #8
jglen490
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You don't need another distro, unless you really want to get it . Just use your Mandrake CDs and select the Expert install from the beginning. You'll be able to select specific packages to load, or not. If you don't want to set up the major heavy weights like KDE and Gnome, there should be a light(er) weight window manager available as an option -- it may be window maker or FVWM or something like that.

On my P120 laptop, I do run KDE 2.2 on occasion, but mostly I stick with IceWM (a relative light weight) or XFCE (a desktop/GUI, but lighter than KDE).

Have fun !!
 
Old 04-09-2002, 07:10 PM   #9
BBlalock
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I've checked the homepages for the distributions that everyone has suggested, and get the idea that I'm asking for too much.

As a newbie even the expert installation option of Mandrake fell short. How do I know what package contains what I want? And what if I miss something I need? I have tried this, and Mandrake's first time setup thingy didn't run, which isn't a big deal, but there was no internet dialer, and that is a big deal to me. There may be other missing packages that I need as well, but given the gobbldygook names these packages have (and the descriptions Mandrake provides only help a little bit) I really have no way of knowing what I really need to include or not. (Yes, I know dependancies are handled automatically, that's a neato feature BTW.)

Anyway, thanks!
 
Old 04-09-2002, 07:19 PM   #10
AutoBot
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RedHat has a much better minimal install than Mandrake, I know because I have tried them both......Mandrake actually installs The Gimp by default during an expert minimal install without X, I had to uncheck it before I installed which isn't a big deal because I always only install the packages I wan't but someone new to linux will probably be afraid to uncheck default things.
 
Old 04-09-2002, 09:11 PM   #11
Aussie
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I've slack 8 installed on my spare box, it's a k6-2 450 but only has a couple of 120mb drives...thats right I said 120mb, not a lot of room but it runs fwm like lightning
 
Old 04-10-2002, 05:36 AM   #12
BBlalock
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Quote:
Originally posted by AutoBot
RedHat has a much better minimal install than Mandrake, I know because I have tried them both......Mandrake actually installs The Gimp by default during an expert minimal install without X, I had to uncheck it before I installed which isn't a big deal because I always only install the packages I wan't but someone new to linux will probably be afraid to uncheck default things.
I tried RH 7.2, and it doesn't detect the video card properly. Not a serious problem, as I've got a few other junk ones lying about, I just haven't felt like popping open the case to swap it out. I'll have to get around to that.

How stable is the testing version of Slackware? I was really hoping to get a 2.4 kernal, it seems much nicer on my main box than the 2.2 I used to have.

And how newbie frindly is Slackware? I know that they say it has "simplicity and ease of use", but that's not quite the same thing as "newbie friendly" (www.slackware.org, for those that didn't know)

Thanks!
 
Old 04-10-2002, 05:53 AM   #13
Aussie
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How comfortable are you in drake? You can use the config's from drake as a template for setting up slack.
 
Old 04-11-2002, 06:12 AM   #14
BBlalock
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aussie
How comfortable are you in drake? You can use the config's from drake as a template for setting up slack.
I've been using it since November, but "using" isn't the same as "understanding." My second computer is going to be my tool to move from one to the other.

That said, I'm assuming by "config's" you mean Mandrake's default configurations. Is there a way to get to those in a human readable format? The only way I can really think of is re-running a mock install on my current box while trying to put Slackware on my second box.

Near as I can tell that wouldn't help my desire to eliminate the extra crud that a regular desktop user doesn't need hogging resources. I'd just end up copying my Mandrake install, and calling it Slackware.

?
 
Old 04-11-2002, 06:40 AM   #15
Aussie
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Just have a look at all the files in /etc, they are almost all plain text , they tell linux what to do when booting, how to connect to a network and almost every thing else. in /etc/X11 you have the config files for your x server and other related programs. By reading these you'll get a good idea on what to do to get slack up and running.
 
  


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