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Old 10-31-2012, 05:12 AM   #1
turboscrew
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Which distro for programming on an old laptop?


Which distro would you recommend for SW development:

- Old Thinkpad T42: 1 MB RAM, 120 MB disk
(not very powerful, ATI Radeon)
- Slow SW development
(sessions may be weeks apart - no crucial updates every week)
- Maybe driver development
- Lots of different (SW development) tools
(Debian-based?, Gnome?)
 
Old 10-31-2012, 05:36 AM   #2
cascade9
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1MB RAM, 120MB HDD? Doesnt sound right for a T42. Do you mean 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD?
 
Old 10-31-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
dushyantgohil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
Which distro would you recommend for SW development:

- Old Thinkpad T42: 1 MB RAM, 120 MB disk
(not very powerful, ATI Radeon)
- Slow SW development
(sessions may be weeks apart - no crucial updates every week)
- Maybe driver development
- Lots of different (SW development) tools
(Debian-based?, Gnome?)
are you sure?
 
Old 10-31-2012, 06:20 AM   #4
turboscrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
1MB RAM, 120MB HDD? Doesnt sound right for a T42. Do you mean 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD?
Ooops, yes, Gigas, of course.

(The 40 GB disk was replaced by 120 GB. The BIOS is not supposed to be able to handle bigger...)

BTW, I understand that Debian doesn't use modified kernel any more?

Last edited by turboscrew; 10-31-2012 at 06:24 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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you can use ubuntu 12.04 LTS its good.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dushyantgohil View Post
you can use ubuntu 12.04 LTS its good.
Even if ubuntu 12.04 works, I'd never suggest it.....unity sucks, ubuntu 12.04 (and later) are IMO spyware and canoncial are bastards.

I dont know the exact setup of the T42 in question, many of them have Pentium M CPUs which dont work with PAE kernels. While its possible to install 12.04 on a system that wont work with PAE kerenls, its nowhere near as easy as the usual way (you have to get the non-PAE netboot Minimal ISO, which has its own issues). The T42s also came with Mobility Radeons which have no cosed driver support. Which means that unity 3D wont work well, if at al, you'll have to drop back to unity 2D...which doesnt exist on later versions....

turboscrew, do you have a running OS on this laptop? If you've got it running with any OS, there will be tools that can let us know what hardware you are running.

It normally doesnt matter quite so much, but the pentium-Ms whcih dotn work with PAE kernels make life more difficult. If we knew for sure which CPU it was, we would know if you need to worry about finding a non-PAE kernel distro or not.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
turboscrew
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I've had some problems with Ubuntu earlier: about a month after installing Lucid Lynx (Alternate install CD) as dual boot with Vista
it wanted to update itself, and it "half-updated" to Oneiric Ocelot ruining the Windows Boot.
(BTW I didn't like Unity either, and burning ISO-images onto CDs/DVDs was pain in the ass too. Couldn't get Brasero to do that and didn't find a replacement at the time.)

The same kind of thing happened years earlier with Debian: It updated its kernel an lost my Ralink Wi-Fi driver that I managed to
manually compile and install.

At the moment Mint (Maya, 32-bit, Live CD) doesn't have any control bar. Tried both Cinnamon and MATE. (The Graphics?)
(The same thing with Lisa. Helena - Mint 8 - desktop seems to work. Not so sure about the rest of the HW.)

Last edited by turboscrew; 10-31-2012 at 07:38 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 07:44 AM   #8
turboscrew
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Oh, the processor is Pentium M @ 1.70 GHz.
The graphics is Ati Radeon Mobility 7500.

[edit]
In Helena (Live CD) the cpuinfo says:
Family 6
Model 13
Stepping 6

Last edited by turboscrew; 10-31-2012 at 08:50 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 09:14 AM   #9
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With Mint 12 (Lisa) I can open a terminal, but can't type any commands.
Looks like the window is not selected - and can't be selected, even if closing the terminal from the file menu can be done.

The HW doesn't seem to be compatible with Mint any more.

I have used that same DVD for installing Lisa in two different other machines.
 
Old 10-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #10
turboscrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Even if ubuntu 12.04 works, I'd never suggest it.....unity sucks, ubuntu 12.04 (and later) are IMO spyware and canoncial are bastards.

I dont know the exact setup of the T42 in question, many of them have Pentium M CPUs which dont work with PAE kernels. While its possible to install 12.04 on a system that wont work with PAE kerenls, its nowhere near as easy as the usual way (you have to get the non-PAE netboot Minimal ISO, which has its own issues). The T42s also came with Mobility Radeons which have no cosed driver support. Which means that unity 3D wont work well, if at al, you'll have to drop back to unity 2D...which doesnt exist on later versions....

turboscrew, do you have a running OS on this laptop? If you've got it running with any OS, there will be tools that can let us know what hardware you are running.

It normally doesnt matter quite so much, but the pentium-Ms whcih dotn work with PAE kernels make life more difficult. If we knew for sure which CPU it was, we would know if you need to worry about finding a non-PAE kernel distro or not.
I think PAE kernel should work:
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=643012
 
Old 10-31-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
turboscrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
I've had some problems with Ubuntu earlier: about a month after installing Lucid Lynx (Alternate install CD) as dual boot with Vista
it wanted to update itself, and it "half-updated" to Oneiric Ocelot ruining the Windows Boot.
(BTW I didn't like Unity either, and burning ISO-images onto CDs/DVDs was pain in the ass too. Couldn't get Brasero to do that and didn't find a replacement at the time.)

The same kind of thing happened years earlier with Debian: It updated its kernel an lost my Ralink Wi-Fi driver that I managed to
manually compile and install.

At the moment Mint (Maya, 32-bit, Live CD) doesn't have any control bar. Tried both Cinnamon and MATE. (The Graphics?)
(The same thing with Lisa. Helena - Mint 8 - desktop seems to work. Not so sure about the rest of the HW.)
Well, Mint 13 Maya 32-bit KDE seems to work!
It's the newer Gnome that doesn't work.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
turboscrew
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What would you say about:
CrunchBang
Debian (Live Debian 686 seems to run)
EasyPeasy
Mint (KDE)
Lubuntu

Any of them too heavy?
Any of them lighter than others?
Probable problems?
Other comments?

Is Lubuntu (too) a rolling distro (like ubuntu)?

Remember, the machine has only 1 GB RAM.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #13
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
Which distro would you recommend for SW development:

- Old Thinkpad T42: 1 MB RAM, 120 MB disk
(not very powerful, ATI Radeon)
With this specs I would opt for XFCE as desktop environment, or maybe MATE.

Quote:
- Slow SW development
(sessions may be weeks apart - no crucial updates every week)
If you want a stable system that doesn't change very often I would go for Debian, Slackware or RHEL/CentOS/SL.

Quote:
- Maybe driver development
Can be done on any distro.

Quote:
- Lots of different (SW development) tools
Slackware comes with anything you need for SW development out of the box. On Debian it is easy to install all you need very easily (due to the very large repository) and I would be surprised if that wouldn't be the same for the Red Hat distros.

Quote:
(Debian-based?, Gnome?)
Sounds as you haven answered your questions yourself. Just go with Debian.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #14
turboscrew
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Quote:
Sounds as you haven answered your questions yourself. Just go with Debian.
Thanks. I think I will.
 
Old 11-03-2012, 02:37 AM   #15
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
Oh, the processor is Pentium M @ 1.70 GHz
There are a few Pentium M @ 1.7 Ghz so that alone doesnt help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
What would you say about:
CrunchBang
Debian (Live Debian 686 seems to run)
EasyPeasy
Mint (KDE)
Lubuntu

Any of them too heavy?
Any of them lighter than others?
Probable problems?
Other comments?
EasyPeasy seems to be using notebook remix, a.k.a. 'proto-unity'. I wouldnt touch it.

KDE distros will be too much for the ancient Radeon Mobility IMO. It also eats RAM, not good with 1GB.

Lubuntu, O.K., if you want, but I'd use debian Lxde over lubuntu. Not that I like Lxde much, I'd rather have Xfce. Debian Xfce is something I would try on that setup, if you find it too sluggish, I'd go to antix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboscrew View Post
Is Lubuntu (too) a rolling distro (like ubuntu)?
Ubuntu is not rolling release.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-05-2012 at 06:28 AM.
 
  


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