LinuxQuestions.org
Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Laptop and Netbook
User Name
Password
Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 10-18-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
Best Linux distro for an old IBM Thinkpad A20m with 256 mb RAM


Hi,

I would like to use my old IBM thinkpad A20m to try my first Linux install. Can you suggest what distro would be the most appropriate considering the computer is quite old and only has 256 MB RAM? I want to make sure the hardware is recognized.

Thanks
 
Old 10-18-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
snowpine
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,908

Rep: Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044
I think you will find this resource very handy: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

With such limited hardware, I recommend a "lightweight" distro designed specifically for older machines. This is a very Frequently Asked question on these forums (and elsewhere on the web) but my personal picks in this category include Puppy, SliTaz, and AntiX. Of course, knowing nothing about your needs/wants/habits/must-have-applications, this is nothing more than a guess on my part.
 
Old 10-18-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks.
The needs are simple: this is for use as a simple machine for basic web browsing and word processing.
I guess I'll try SliTaz first.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
I think you will find this resource very handy: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

With such limited hardware, I recommend a "lightweight" distro designed specifically for older machines. This is a very Frequently Asked question on these forums (and elsewhere on the web) but my personal picks in this category include Puppy, SliTaz, and AntiX. Of course, knowing nothing about your needs/wants/habits/must-have-applications, this is nothing more than a guess on my part.
 
Old 10-18-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
snowpine
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,908

Rep: Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044
SliTaz rocks! Good choice.
 
Old 10-18-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
Indy452
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: Kansan
Distribution: solydK
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 16
I used to use the same thinkpad till I upgraded but I used to use Debris linux openbox on it and it ran great with it.

You might also like to try out Absolute linux on it as it uses ICEWM which should run O.K. on 256 mb ram.

http://debrislinux.org/index.php?PHP...cc&page=22

http://www.absolutelinux.org/
 
Old 10-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #6
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks
I think that I will compare Debis and SliTaz and see which one works the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy452 View Post
I used to use the same thinkpad till I upgraded but I used to use Debris linux openbox on it and it ran great with it.

You might also like to try out Absolute linux on it as it uses ICEWM which should run O.K. on 256 mb ram.

http://debrislinux.org/index.php?PHP...cc&page=22

http://www.absolutelinux.org/
 
Old 10-20-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I ended up testing SliTaz, Debris and Puppy, all as LiveCD.
Slitaz did not recognize my PCMCIA wireless card.
Puppy did not recognize it automatically either, but I was able to have it detected manually.
But then, the system froze as I tried to get Firefox activated...
Debris performed the best and detected well my hardware. I was able to connect to the internet in no time.
I think that I will install Debris directly to the hard disk.
Does anybody know how to do this? I don't see instructions about this on the Debris website.

This being said, I would have liked to have OpenOffice included.
Is there any other distro that is similar to Debris, but with both Firefox and OpenOffice?
Thanks
 
Old 10-20-2010, 10:37 AM   #8
snowpine
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,908

Rep: Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by trudeal View Post
This being said, I would have liked to have OpenOffice included.
Is there any other distro that is similar to Debris, but with both Firefox and OpenOffice?
Thanks
You can install OpenOffice in any Linux distro. I have not personally tried Debris, but their website implies it's based on Ubuntu. Therefore you should be able to easily install with:

Code:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openoffice.org
If Debris includes the Synaptic Package Manager or Ubuntu Software Center, you can use either of them as a GUI for adding/removing software.

Good luck!
 
Old 10-20-2010, 10:46 AM   #9
Indy452
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: Kansan
Distribution: solydK
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by trudeal View Post
I ended up testing SliTaz, Debris and Puppy, all as LiveCD.
Slitaz did not recognize my PCMCIA wireless card.
Puppy did not recognize it automatically either, but I was able to have it detected manually.
But then, the system froze as I tried to get Firefox activated...
Debris performed the best and detected well my hardware. I was able to connect to the internet in no time.
I think that I will install Debris directly to the hard disk.
Does anybody know how to do this? I don't see instructions about this on the Debris website.

This being said, I would have liked to have OpenOffice included.
Is there any other distro that is similar to Debris, but with both Firefox and OpenOffice?
Thanks

Yes Debris does come with an easy installer. I can't remember where it is right off bat but its in the menu someplace...try administration.

As for Openoffice Debris does come with Synaptic but Open office will bog that system down some when opening but It might be fine.

Once you have installed Debris to your HD be sure to run the updates...it will appear as an icon on the menu bar....there will be 84 or so.

Also with Debris if you live in the US you may want to open Synaptic and search for Ubuntu restricted extras and install those so you will have flash, java etc....

If you need more help post back to this thread and I'll see if I can assist.
 
Old 10-21-2010, 09:59 AM   #10
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I ended up installing AntiX, because it has many more utilities included, including the Synaptic Package Manager. The install went very well, except that the copying of files to the drive stalled at 95% for quite a while. But in the end, it made it through. Seems like a great distro, feature-rich, but working well with an old machine. I'll post more about the performance of the various applications soon.

I have done the numerous updates through Synaptic.
However, how do I go about installing Open Office through Synaptic?
What version of OpenOffice should I download?

Thanks
 
Old 10-21-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
snowpine
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,908

Rep: Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044Reputation: 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by trudeal View Post
However, how do I go about installing Open Office through Synaptic?
What version of OpenOffice should I download?
I like AntiX a lot, good choice!

Simply use Synaptic to search for and install the 'openoffice.org' package. It should pull in all the components (word, spreadsheet, database, etc) as dependencies.

Or you can use the terminal commands I suggested in post #8.
 
Old 10-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #12
fbobraga
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2010
Location: São Paulo - Brasil
Distribution: Fedora 17 amd64 / Fedora 17 i686 LXDE (w e17)
Posts: 229

Rep: Reputation: 41
I have a similar machine (a COMPAQ Armada M700 with 256MB oh RAM) with http://crunchbanglinux.org/downloads/statler/alpha-02/ - and it works very well
 
Old 10-21-2010, 07:56 PM   #13
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Could any of you tell me how to select or install drivers for a French-canadian keyboard?
This choice does not appear anywhere.
 
Old 10-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #14
trudeal
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Everything now works great.
The main applications are relatively fast and responsive.
Thanks for everybody's help.
 
Old 10-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #15
paintitblack756
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2010
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
just wanted to ask a question in this thread, i have an old thinkpad, with i believe a pentium2 128mb ram, and maybe a 10gb HD, its all messed up because someone installed XP on it and split the HD into 3 or 4 partitions, so far i deleted the xp partition, unintentionally, and it rebooted to win98, the thing has one usb port,no ethernet connection, has space for a phone jack, but its blocked off, and used an old dlink pcm (discontinued in 2004) card for a wifi connection. i just want this for homework and web browsing for someone, that is easy to use, the thing has 3 connecters on it that i dont recognize in the least. still extremely new to linux, but i think i just need the right distro, and the driver (if needed) for the card (a dlink DWL-650)
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! Installed pc-bsd on ibm thinkpad a20m, after install, rebooted, no response... malaika *BSD 4 06-26-2009 02:19 PM
Recommend a linux distro(For pentium 4,256 MB ram) bala21 Linux - Distributions 3 09-12-2007 02:32 AM
Distro for a 500MHz Celeron and 256 MB RAM amdrake Linux - Distributions 3 07-11-2005 09:14 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:21 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration