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Old 07-10-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
wicked721
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general system requirements


im thinking of installing linux on my system and i was wondering what is the general system requirements or could you tell me if i already meet them.

MY system: 12gig hd, 96mb ram, win98, compaq presario 5280,ATI rage lt pro agp 2x, intel celeron processor 450mhz,

 
Old 07-10-2006, 08:49 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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Yes you can install linux, but don't expect to be able to run the latest and greatest with all the eye candy. If you can afford it, it would be worth it to upgrade the RAM. Just be sure to get exactly the recommended brand from somewhere like MemoryX. Compaqs notoriously only recognize half the RAM if you buy standard RAM.

You'll probably want to install something fairly lightweight. For older machines, I usually recommend either a bare bones Debian install (text only, then install X separately) or Damn Small Linux, which is built for older hardware. You can try out DSL as a live CD and then if you like it do a hard drive install (I've never tried this though). You might need the syslinux download for your old machine.

Here's some screenshots of Sarge installation. If you want a 2.6 kernel instead of 2.4, type linux26 at the boot prompt (the first screenshot). You might also read this, it's a bit outdated, but will help with the install anyway. Use aptitude everywhere it says apt-get (it's basically a newer program that does the same thing).

To maintain a lightweight system, you'll want to stay away from KDE or Gnome (which most distros use by default). Probably use something like fluxbox, windowmaker, or icewm instead. If you do want to use kde, in Debian you can do aptitude install kde-core which will be slimmer than most KDE installs. If you want a graphical login, you'll need to install either xdm, kdm, or gdm. I believe xdm is the lightest of the three.

I have an old machine that is similar to yours and runs KDE just fine (although I do have 256MB RAM). Anyway, if you have more questions or want some help, I'd be happy to post a more detailed Debian installation...
 
Old 07-10-2006, 09:47 PM   #3
wicked721
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thanks

thanks for the info but unfortuneally my systems max ram is 96mb so... i also have a dell latitude d800 with 1024mb
ram and a 1.6ghz processor so maybe ill try it on that
 
Old 07-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #4
pljvaldez
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You certainly can run linux on the machine with 96MB. You'll just have to use a light window manager like xfce, icewm, windowmaker, fluxbox, etc. There's a lot of them out there and it'll work fine. Most newbies just prefer KDE (which is similar feel to Windows) or Gnome (which is a similar feel to Mac). But my minimal KDE install takes up ~60MB RAM by itself. Using a lightweight one, you can probably get that down to the low 30MB range.

Also try to use light weight applications like abiword and gnumeric instead of OpenOffice Write and Spreadsheet. The power of linux (and especially Debian) is that you can customize your installation.

Here's an article on building a lightweight desktop. Here's another.

My final suggestion that resulted in a pretty big increase in speed is to recompile your kernel once you're comfortable in linux. Basically, the stock kernel you'll install will support tons of hardware out of the box. So what you do is only include the hardware you need. Find out what your chipset, video card, filesystem type, network card, etc is and then only include that stuff. Everything else can be set to no. If you find you missed something, you'll have to recompile it in. On my old 400MHz Celeron it takes about an hour to go through all the menus and select what I want (you get faster as time goes on, I think it took me over 2 hours the first time). Then the actual compile takes a couple hours on the old machine (or you can compile it on a newer machine and just copy it to the old machine). It's not that hard. If you end up using Debian, follow this guide. You'll of course want whatever is the newest kernel. Or you can aptitude install the kernel source from the repositories. It won't be the absolute latest, but you'll get a feel for compiling before you do your own.
 
Old 07-11-2006, 04:27 PM   #5
wicked721
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ok thanks for all the info ill try what you said when i get the cds in the mail
 
Old 07-11-2006, 04:33 PM   #6
pljvaldez
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Do you have broadband? If so, for Debian all you need is the netinstall cd for sarge.

Or if you want Etch (testing), it's here.

Each is about a 180MB download. This way all the packages will be installed from the net and will therefore be the latest packages from the repositories (save you some time of installing things and then updating them on the web anyway).
 
Old 07-11-2006, 08:10 PM   #7
wicked721
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yea i have a home network were connected and 10mbs and after i download them do i have to burn them to a cd because i dont have a burner

Last edited by wicked721; 07-11-2006 at 08:11 PM.
 
Old 07-11-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
pljvaldez
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I'd definitely go with a netinstall then or download Damn Small Linux and try that. You can try it as a live CD first. I've never done a hard drive install of DSL...

The Debian CD's will be outdated before they get to you in the mail...

Last edited by pljvaldez; 07-11-2006 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 07-11-2006, 08:15 PM   #9
wicked721
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ok im downloadin the netinstall right now
 
Old 07-11-2006, 08:41 PM   #10
pljvaldez
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Oh, as you're building your system from scratch on the command line, one of your best friends will be the apt-cache command. You can search for different packages using apt-cache search term1 and term2. For example, if you want to find all the email clients available try apt-cache search email and client. Then if you want to see something about one of the packages (like a longer description or the dependencies that will be downloaded) you can do apt-cache show packagename. Then when you find what you want, just do aptitude install packagename.
 
Old 07-12-2006, 01:35 AM   #11
Deviathan
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yea, you need at least win98 to run linux, win95 ain't supported, so you should be good to go.
 
  


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