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Ztcoracat 06-22-2013 12:26 AM

What Distribution for a 2006 HP Pavilion Desktop
 
;)Hi:

I am helping a friend of mine with his HP Pavilion Media Center m1160n Desktop that was purchased about Dec. 2006-

I really do not know what distro to advise him to install.
Any ideas based on the system config and specs outlined below?

The spec's are:
Code:

Processor AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / 2.2 GHz
Memory 512.0 MB / 2.0 GB (max)
Hard Drive 200.0 GB - 7200.0 rpm
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Optical Drive DVD±RW (+R DL) - IDE
Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200XT
Graphics Controller AGP 8x - Plug-in card

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/hp-...-31156377.html

BTW, this desktop is not in my possesionso it could take several days if you need me to run a Live Linux DVD/CD and provide you with output.

Any recommendations and suggestions are appreciated.

John VV 06-22-2013 02:18 AM

I would use CentOS 6.4 64 bit for a media center
there should be a kmod-nvidia 173 for that old card
or use the 173.14.37 *.run driver

Ztcoracat 06-22-2013 03:01 AM

My friend say's :Thanks ;)

In the process of looking for version 6.4:-
Found this distro in German but my German is really rusty!

Found it--
Download here and it's a torrent.
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Syste...ntOS-906.shtml

John VV 06-22-2013 03:39 AM

A rather fast mirror
http://mirrors.arsc.edu/centos/6.4/isos/x86_64/

in the EU ,Germany
http://mirror.atrpms.net/centos/6.4/isos/x86_64/

gradinaruvasile 06-22-2013 04:49 AM

Something 32-bit (less memory usage), any current distro that runs xfce or Gnome 2 (the latter isnt supported anymore so you wont get bugfixes for it so choose wisely). Avoid Gnome 3 or kde 4, those DEs are a bit much for that amount of RAM.

Debian is very good for example (my favourite). Xubuntu and Mint are good also.
The thing with Debian and its descendents is that those have the biggest official repositories (Debian has the largest) and pretty much everything that has Linux version has packages for them even they are not in the repos.

Ztcoracat 06-23-2013 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John VV (Post 4976501)

Thanks; John VV!
I click on the first link and am happily downloading the LiveCD.iso-
Looking forwarding to helping and teaching my friend Linux!

Ztcoracat 06-23-2013 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile (Post 4976516)
Something 32-bit (less memory usage), any current distro that runs xfce or Gnome 2 (the latter isnt supported anymore so you wont get bugfixes for it so choose wisely). Avoid Gnome 3 or kde 4, those DEs are a bit much for that amount of RAM.

Debian is very good for example (my favourite). Xubuntu and Mint are good also.
The thing with Debian and its descendents is that those have the biggest official repositories (Debian has the largest) and pretty much everything that has Linux version has packages for them even they are not in the repos.

Thanks for the wise councel on avoiding Gnome 3 or KDE-

I ran Debian for about a year so I understand why it's your fav. I liked Debian for it's stability!
If my friend doesn't like Centos I'll suggest Mint like you have suggested-:cool:

Thanks; gradinaruvasile!

Timothy Miller 06-23-2013 01:04 AM

IMO, the memory for that machine can be picked up pretty cheap on something like ebay ($8 for a 1 GB), so get your friend to buy 2 1 GB DIMMS in order to jump it up to 2 GB, and run a 64-bit version of Debian with a lightweight DE (LXDE or XFCE) or a WM. Huge repositories, and the 64-bit is definitely faster on the same hardware as the 32-bit version if it's not starved for memory. With the lighter weight DE, that desktop should still run perfectly well.

gradinaruvasile 06-23-2013 01:12 AM

I suggest you stay at 32-bit releases. If you dont have more than 4 GB RAM (even here you can use the now-standard PAE i386 kernels) there is absolutely no need for 64-bit. Why?

- 64-bit native programs use more memory
- some software still require certain 32-bit libraries (Skype etc) and it can be difficult to get them all installed (you have to define multiarch etc). I know from experience. When i installed Debian 64 bit (i actually need it for IOMMU) first time i was surprised by the amount of additional stuff i had to do (find and install i386 libs alongside their 64-bit versions, some not even documented) compared to i386 where everything worked plain and simple.
- THERE IS NO PERFORMANCE difference if you dont use programs that deal with huge amount of data (larger than 4 GB per process) which is typically a server scenario.

Timothy Miller 06-23-2013 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile (Post 4976906)
- THERE IS NO PERFORMANCE difference if you dont use programs that deal with huge amount of data (larger than 4 GB per process) which is typically a server scenario.

Depends on the OS. While Arch Linux and other "686-"optimized distros, I'd agree, something like Debian (that defaults to still being compatible with much much older hardware optimizations) there is a noticeable performance difference between the 32 and 64 bit distros.

Ztcoracat 06-23-2013 02:11 AM

Download complete and checking the integrity of that file was a go-;)

Not sure if friend will upgrade the RAM :-

John VV 06-23-2013 02:24 AM

I know for a fact that CentOS 5.6 ( this was some time ago ) ran just fine with 512 meg ram
on the same box with 1 gig ram ScientificLinux 6.4 - 32 bit runs just fine on the 12 year old box ( the Gforce 2 card is unsupported in Xorg however )
but the OP's "NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200XT" is supported

but CentOS 6 still has about 4+ YEARS of support

gradinaruvasile 06-23-2013 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 4976908)
Depends on the OS. While Arch Linux and other "686-"optimized distros, I'd agree, something like Debian (that defaults to still being compatible with much much older hardware optimizations) there is a noticeable performance difference between the 32 and 64 bit distros.

Debian has 686 for long time as default. I used it before and now i have 64 bit. Absolutely no noticeable difference besides higher all around memory usage (and accompanied by more frequent disk activity related to swapping).
I have 4GB RAM (-512mb for video) and run 1-2 VMs etc and i do get to the point where programs are swapped out. It happens more frequently on 64 bit than on 32-bit.
So all in all 64 bit is SLOWER. I need it for a certain virtualization feature (AMD IOMMU) that is available only on 64 bit, but other than that if you have 4 GB (linux uses up to 64 GB just fine even with 32 bit arch unlike Windows' desktop versions) of RAM or less i see absolutely no reason to use 64 bit. 32-bit is lower on memory and easier to set up.

I know that are certain workloads that benefit from 64 bit architecture but those deal with high amounts of data and are used on servers.
On desktops these benchmarks/workloads have absolutely no relevance. CPUs ARE NOT FASTER on 64 bit on typical programs (yes 64=32x2, but that isnt how performance is scaled normally).
Also note that many programs are in fact 32 bit and provide only a wrapper for 64 bit architectures - in fact they use 32 bit libs and work in 32 bit mode.

PS the above is also true for Windows - most programs install in the Poogram Files(x86) folder, meaning that in fact they are 32 bit. Additionally Microsoft made an artificial restriction on Windows desktop versions - removing PAE (which exists on 32 bit server versions) to make people use the 64 bit version which leads to the same issues as discussed above (only Windows tends to bundle everything needed for running 32 bit programs).

Ztcoracat 06-23-2013 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John VV (Post 4976920)
I know for a fact that CentOS 5.6 ( this was some time ago ) ran just fine with 512 meg ram
on the same box with 1 gig ram ScientificLinux 6.4 - 32 bit runs just fine on the 12 year old box ( the Gforce 2 card is unsupported in Xorg however )
but the OP's "NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200XT" is supported

but CentOS 6 still has about 4+ YEARS of support

My friend likes CentOS he saw it yesterday!
When I install it for him next week I'll let you know how things went.

I will look for the kmod-nvidia 173 or use the 173.14.37*.run that you already advised me on-;)

Ztcoracat 06-23-2013 08:21 PM

gradinaruvasile:

You mentioned that:

Quote:

Windows tends to bundle everything needed for running 32 bit programs
Is this a bad practice?


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