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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 06-27-2009, 01:55 AM   #1
ritckare231
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Minimalist distro suggestions? For Dell Inspiron 3500


All I really need is word processing and internet. For word processing, I need a program that allows some asthetic formatting and spell check (so more OpenOffice than Tomboy). I have an AirPlus G DWL-G630 wireless card.

I got this computer used, so unfortunately I don't know much of the internal specs. 4 gb harddrive. I don't know its RAM, but it cannot run any of the 'buntus without serious crashes and always maxing out the CPU. I don't see any writing on bottom of the case about its specs - it's been covered by stickers.

I've been browsing through dozens of other distros, and other similar topics, and so far Damn Small Linux and Knoppix look like the best options. Thoughts?

Edit: Being able to use usb 2.0 devices would be a given; being able to use my Palm iiixe through serial a major plus.

Last edited by ritckare231; 06-27-2009 at 02:00 AM.
 
Old 06-27-2009, 03:57 AM   #2
repo
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puppy, tinycore
 
Old 06-28-2009, 05:26 AM   #3
elliott678
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I just looked up the specs of one of those:
233-400Mhz Pentium II/Celeron
32-256MB of RAM
NeoMagic Video 2.5MB

So, even with the best 3500, the *buntus, Fedora and the like are pretty much out. Also, I really, really doubt OpenOffice would be even close to usable on that, look into lighter word processors. Tomboy relies on Mono, which does not make it very low resource friendly either.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 06:10 AM   #4
linus72
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Hello ritckare231, and welcome to LQ!

Now, there are a few up-to-date distro's that will run great on that lappy.

Your lappy seems to be similar to mine; I have a Toshiba 7000CT with 160mb RAM, 4GB HD, with
neomagic graphics too.

1st, you are gonna have to use Frame Buffer for alot of distro's using Xvesa vs Xorg.
This just means use the boot code "vga=xxx" where xxx is 789 for 800x600x24 color
for distro's like dsl, tinycore, etc.

Good distro's I used in my lappy are Microcore/Tinycore_2.1rc2, Almost any Puppy-Linux,
slax, wolvix, goblinx and a newby named "Debris", which is Ubuntu based.

So, if you need help setting it up, etc, just post.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #5
akiku
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Here's another option for you, SliTaz

SliTaz is a live distro that can be installed on a hard drive, I guess similar to Slax. Big advantage is that it was specifically designed to be light and fast -- root fs is < 30MB, X runs on Xvesa. It is highly configurable too, over 1400 packages to configure per one's need.

I haven't tried it, but it seems to be an ideal distro for older hw.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
ritckare231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliott678 View Post
I just looked up the specs of one of those:
233-400Mhz Pentium II/Celeron
32-256MB of RAM
NeoMagic Video 2.5MB

So, even with the best 3500, the *buntus, Fedora and the like are pretty much out. Also, I really, really doubt OpenOffice would be even close to usable on that, look into lighter word processors. Tomboy relies on Mono, which does not make it very low resource friendly either.
Thanks for looking that up; I'll make a note of that.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
linus72
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Actually, I have had CrunchBang-8.04 on my 160mb ram toshiba 7000ct and it ran ok

best options may be tinycore/microcore/puppy(any)
and stuff like that

browserpuppy 4.9 maybe best, it's firefox 3.5 with flash10 and not much else(66mb)
it runs really fast with 160mb too
 
Old 07-10-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
StarsAndBars14
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The only things that come close to minimalist which I've had any experience with are Knoppix and FreeBSD.

I'd suggest Damn Small Linux but I don't know if that can really help you.
 
Old 07-10-2009, 03:07 PM   #9
Hern_28
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Similar to mine.

Can use slackware ( only install what you want and a lightweight gui ) with openoffice works well enough.

Running Gentoo on mine but it takes a looong time to compile.

You can use debian but keep everything minimal and run 1 gig of swap if you want to use openoffice.

Any of the mini or ultra light distro's should work, the fastest booting buntu on mine was about 15 minutes so don't bother. I wanted a litte more with mine, basic kde with openoffice and firefox so I did not use them.
 
Old 07-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
rob.rice
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I'd have to say slackware-10.0 or less you get a full distro that you can do just about anything you might want to on the net
there a lot of slackwarepackages around for this distro all in about 1.5 Gigs of disk space
an older distro will serve you a more complete system than a tiny newer distro will
 
Old 07-11-2009, 03:01 PM   #11
frankbell
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I have an IBM PC300 (that's one of the original Pentiums) with 384 MB RAM running Slackware 12.2 and it performs satisfactorily, especially with Fluxbox rather than KDE as an interface.

I use it primarily for a backup file server now, but it can surf the web, do light word processing and printing, burn CDs and DVDs (external drive), and play audio. The Pentium chip can't handle video. Video wasn't even on the horizon when that box came off the assembly line.

Heck, for three years I used it for a webserver. I had to upgrade when my blog database got to be more than about 35 MB (that's the size of the *.sql backup file, not the live database).

So Slackware might be worth a try.
 
  


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