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greatquizzard 04-26-2009 04:33 AM

Distro suggestion for old PCs (Pentium III)
 
OK, so I finally convinced my school to ditch Windows 98 and shift to Linux. Problem is that the PCs in question are quite old 2003-era Compaqs with Pentium III processors and 20 GB hard disks. I'm thinking of testing Xubuntu 9.04 and Linux Mint 6 Xfce on them. Is there any other suggestion that I should look into?

I was trying to find an Xfce edition of OpenSuse 11.1, but there seems to be none (other than one which seems to be version 11.0). (I can't install from DVD since those PCs don't have a DVD drive.) The reason why I mentioned OpenSuse is because updating would be lighter on the school's bandwidth bills because of its delta updates. Any other Xfce-using distro offering delta / incremental updates?

jhwilliams 04-26-2009 07:24 AM

It would take a bit more work, but you can set up an apt-cacher on one of the systems and then have the other ones feed off that for new updates. That'll cut your bandwidth by factors.

greatquizzard 04-26-2009 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhwilliams (Post 3521293)
It would take a bit more work, but you can set up an apt-cacher on one of the systems and then have the other ones feed off that for new updates. That'll cut your bandwidth by factors.

Thanks for the suggestion! This certainly seems interesting, and if implemented then it should solve the bandwidth problem. BTW, have you used this earlier? I just wanted to know whether apt-cacher works OK when upgrading meta-packages like 'firefox'.

The other solution I was thinking of is APT-on-CD, but that's still a manual procedure. And I've had trouble when upgrading meta-packages when using it.

jhwilliams 04-26-2009 11:41 AM

I personally have not set it up, no -- but my buddy...
Ha, well you get the idea. Sounds good at the high level planning stage anyway, right?

greatquizzard 04-26-2009 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhwilliams (Post 3521527)
I personally have not set it up, no -- but my buddy...
Ha, well you get the idea. Sounds good at the high level planning stage anyway, right?

I guess yes. Once they see the improvements in performance in using Linux I think school authorities would be happy. Users are getting frustrated with the kind of functionality they're getting out of Windows 98 and the applications that they can run on it.

salasi 04-26-2009 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greatquizzard (Post 3521194)

I was trying to find an Xfce edition of OpenSuse 11.1, but there seems to be none (other than one which seems to be version 11.0).

The standard DVD includes several different GUIs including a couple of KDEs, Gnome and XFCE and a few others. I take it you can't fix your 'can't use the DVD' problem by using an external usb DVD drive?

Usually one of the problems with PCs of this vintage is that they don't have much ram, and often they can't be expanded much, even thought memory is, these days, comparatively cheap.

AsusDave 04-26-2009 04:03 PM

What kinds of programs are they wanting to run?
Can you give us more detailed specifications to the PCs?

Here is a link to a howto on setting up an apt-cacher which will help you simplify updates, especially if you have many machines.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=564301

HTH
Dave

greatquizzard 04-27-2009 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AsusDave (Post 3521744)
What kinds of programs are they wanting to run?
Can you give us more detailed specifications to the PCs?

Thanks for the apt-cacher tutorial!

Mostly, they'll just be browsing websites and a bit of light word processing, nothing complex. Our school has latest Core 2 Duos for most other tasks. These old PCs are for the internet lab, which is dedicated specifically to just allow students and teachers to browse. So I think for that purpose Xubuntu will do fine.


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