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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).

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Old 08-30-2004, 09:42 PM   #1
JonEberger
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
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Linux on old laptop


So I have a P2 233 MHz IBM Thinkpad. It has 192 MB RAM and only a 3 GB HD. (Back in the 90's this thing was pimp.) So does anyone have a suggestion for a Linux Distro? I'd like for it to be a pretty small install so I have plenty of space left.
 
Old 08-31-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
joe83
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Distribution: Slackware-current , Slack81Zip, Smoothwall v2
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Talking

I would suggest Slackware 10 with X, no KDE/ GNOME running fluxbox or one of the other small window managers. I use this setup on a similar spec older machine and it is fast and rock solid.

 
Old 08-31-2004, 02:59 PM   #3
cybergal
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Parksville, BC Canada
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I'm running an abbreviated Libranet 2.8.1on a Compaq Armada 1500 PII with 64 MB RAM; 32MB RAM is the minimum but 64+ is recommended. Hard drive requirement for the minimal install is 600MB; full install 3.0GB but 4.0GB recommended. The default window manager is IceWM. http://libranet.com
 
Old 08-31-2004, 06:47 PM   #4
robert644
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Distribution: slackware
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i will second the recommendation for slackware

machine:
66mhz sharp laptop
20mb ram
750mb hard drive
512k video ram

os:
slackware X

notes:
i am running Xfree86 from slackware 7.1 and using the VGA16 driver as i was unable to get anything else to work. I have used Xvesa in the past, however I was unable to get Xvesa to work with the VNC software I am using.

So i have wireless networking, XFree 3.3.3, compiler, and assorted required libraries in 415mb !

Currently i am using it as a VNC client to my main box, after it's monitor died. I have to say that responsiveness of X (in the VNC window) is terrible. And I only get 4bpp color depth.
 
Old 08-31-2004, 10:55 PM   #5
JonEberger
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wireless is where i'm headed for this guy.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 10:27 AM   #6
Ghost_runner
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Kansas City, MO
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i have a similar machine, thinkpad 380z, running mandrake 10 full kde, all the toys, wireless etc. Would recommend searching for a 20G hdd (i got one for $48) makes all the difference. Look for a cheap prism2 wireless card (around $20) and follow the wiki instructions for installation, works great (i drive a semi and connect thru a truckstop wireless hub that is usually hundreds of feet away!)
 
Old 09-04-2004, 06:18 AM   #7
nickI-S
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Disk size need not be a huge issue - 2.5" IDEs are available in much larger sizes these days.

On the wireless front: for old laptops beware that some are PCMCIA (16-bit) only
and quite a few wireless cards these days are CardBus (32-bit).
 
Old 09-10-2004, 12:35 PM   #8
Ghost_runner
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anything with a pentium 2 or better is likely to be 32bit, my old ibm uses cardbus and yep, it has a 20G drive i got for $59
 
Old 09-12-2004, 09:21 PM   #9
jglen490
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Most any distro will work just fine with your machine. What you choose to run within your selected distro is what determines how well it will run. My distro of choice is currently Mandrake 9.2. I run a fairly light window manager, IceWM, which still lets me run some heavy applications -- with patience. My machine is much less potent than yours, as it is a ThinkPad 365XD (P120/72MB/3.2GB). Again, these older baoxes require some patience, but they work well when set up well.

Last edited by jglen490; 09-12-2004 at 09:27 PM.
 
Old 09-13-2004, 06:19 AM   #10
db391
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older distros will genereally run faster on older hardware and you get more diskspace freed up.

i used to use mandrake 7.2 (kernel 2.2) with icewm (no gnome/kde) on my old laptop:
Compaq LTE5000
75MHz pentium cpu
810MB hard disk
24MB ram
1MB Cirrus7543 video
ESS1688 sound
3.5" floppy
6x cdrom
 
Old 09-13-2004, 06:52 AM   #11
theYinYeti
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I have a P150MMX/32MB/2GB laptop running Mandrake9.1 (10 wouldn't install) very nicely with Matchbox and GPE software ([matchbox|gpe].handhelds.org).
No other window manager is installed (no KDE, no Gnome, no IceWM...), thus saving disk space, even though the libs are installed.

Yves.
 
Old 09-14-2004, 06:05 AM   #12
canllaith
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: NZ
Distribution: Slackware, Redhat
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My notebook is a touch more powerful than the ones you guys have - it's a 500Mhz pIII that I just recently upgraded from 128mb to 256mb of ram. I also have run linux on a thinkpad 266Mhz with 96mb ram. Even though my current notebook is only a pIII and my desktop is a 2400 I work on it for 8 hours a day, then come home and chat on it for another 5 hours. Slackware is a good choice since it tends to be pretty speedy but really any distro will do if you take the time to tweak it and such. Slackware 10 and a full graphical desktop runs really well even with only 128mb ram. The main thing is really take time over the install, cutting out everything you don't want, make sure you go through your startup services and remove any that you don't need. I've noticed a reasonable difference in performance between xorg and xfree - xorg makes just that little bit of difference to this poor old beast.
 
Old 09-15-2004, 05:11 PM   #13
jaro
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Registered: Apr 2004
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I'm about to install Linux on an old Dell Inspiron, PII 233 MHz. The bizarre thing about this machine is that, despite its Pentium processor, it does not have a CD-ROM drive. So I am forced to do an install completely from floppies/network. I would appreciate advice on which distro (and perhaps what version) to use. Here are the key concerns:
* I need a distro that does not require a CD to install
* The installer should be able to detect my network card easily
* I am worried that if I use an old version, packages will cease to be available (over the net) for maintaining my system

Subject to these constraints, I'd like something relatively user-friendly. In particularly, I'd prefer not to edit configuration files for X, etc. by hand.

Thanks in advance to anyone offering advice.
 
Old 09-16-2004, 03:34 AM   #14
nickI-S
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>I'm about to install Linux on an old Dell Inspiron
I have an even older Dell without a CDROM and 3Com PCMCIA ethernet.
I did SuSE can install from NFS export of CDROM on desktop.
(That was SuSE7.3).
SuSE 9.1 needs a small stack of "modules" floppies as well
as the boot floppy.
SuSE is a user-friendly install but GUI installer needs a fair amount
of RAM to run well.
 
Old 09-16-2004, 05:45 AM   #15
canllaith
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I installed Slackware 10 on my notebook using an NFS install. It requires 5 floppy disks that you can make using images from the first install cd. A kernel, 2 install disks and a pcmcia and network disk if you plan on using a pcmcia ethernet card for an NFS install. Most distros will allow you to install over a network using either NFS or FTP so .. go with what you're comfortable with.
 
  


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