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hello all, i hope this is the right place to post it. I will admit im a linux n00b i have an older laptop that i want to make my first linux only machine. ive installed linux on a desktop before but its a current machine and duel booted. this machine is kinda old but works good
im looking for a linux distro that will run on it. i dont know if they stop support for older processors in current distros or like XP they just wont run or will run slow as hell
its a pentium 2 400mhz
with 64 mb of ram
10gb hard drive
With 64M of memory just about any UI is going to be slow.
Any distribution should install just fine and if you use a light window manger like WindowMaker, enlightenment, fluxbox, etc it'll probably perform almost good. But I would definatley try to find more memory for the thing.
I go with what Noth said, keep things minimal and it should run fine I'd definately recommend Fluxbox, and try to get your hands on another 64MB RAM to make things a bit smoother. ofcourse if you can find more, the merrier
As for distro, I would put in a plug for my current - Vector linux,
which is slackware-based but widely credited to be fast. But I
endorse the advice earlier about using a WM other than KDE
or GNOME which are resource-hungry.
OR look at Beatrix Linux - GNOME-based but compiled in such
a way as to work on ANY Pentium, apparently.
I have an old ToughBook with the same specs except the h/d crashed. I run knoppix LiveCD on it and I believe the window manager is twm. Takes some getting used to and is fairly slow but I surf with elinks sometimes just for a change and it puts an old box to good use.
"To the best of my knowledge, Knoppix used KDE (K Desktop Environment)." True enough, but since this old laptop has no h/d there was no dos partition to carve out a swap space and not enough ram for kde so I assume twm was a fail-safe option.
I had no problems getting Slackware to run on an old laptop with 64 MB RAM and a 6 GB harddrive. Can't remember the CPU, but I think it was a PIII at about 0.5-1 GHz. Just skip the last CD (containing KDE and GNOME) and you'll be fine; I used Fluxbox on it.
Well, actually I had a problem with it, but that was not the system's fault; it was the harddrive which - I believe - had some bad sectors. The Slackware installer wasn't able to create the swap partition, but after creating it with Partition Magic and then by-pass the swap creation during the installation, I managed to get the system installed. Later, I was surprised that Firefox kept crashing when I opened too many tabs, only to discover that the swap partition wasn't activated - there wasn't even an entry for it in fstab. I added one, activated the swap, and everything worked.
However, this was apparently a sign that the hd was starting to give up. We discovered that the hard way some months later when LILO only managed to get to LIL during boot up and the hd started to make strange noises... Oh, well
Ah, sorry, I got off track here. Anyway, Slack without KDE/GNOME works nicely.
When laptops were 400MHZ, I ran Mandrake 8.0 on one. It did have 96MB Ram, but with that much HD, should be able to get by fine. It was NOT slow, I used KDe fine, and you could almost certainly install firefox and OpenOffice, which means you could do almost anything with it. The older distros actually worked fine, of course, they don't have the latest games nor media stuff, but for basic use, they will do it.
If you can find a new one with all the XP type stuff, and it will work on it, that is better, of course. But, most basic use will work on older distros.
I agree with those who said the amount of RAM is what will slow down the GUI. Everything else is fine. I run SuSE 8.1/KDE 3.0 on an IBM ThinkPad 600e. The clock speed is just 366 MHZ, BUT, it has 288 MB of RAM and everything runs smoothly.