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I am trying to help my roommate out and install linux on his laptop so he can at least browse webpages and stuff. The laptop is a Pentium MMX 166MHz with 32MB RAM and a 2GB HD. What distro would be best for this machine. It had windows 98 on it, and was pretty much useless. Is there any distro with a graphical environent and pretty low overhead? My roommate knows nothing about linux or computers, so it needs to be fairly easy to use.
Take a look at some of the "alternative" Window Managers out there (meaning other than KDE or Gnome, which are resource-heavy) -- Fluxbox, et cetera. They may be exactly what you need.
I generally recommend Slackware for any system, but especially for lower-end systems with little processing power under the hood. Most distros should be fine, however, as long as you're careful on the WM selection.
Mandrake, oddly, works allright on a small footprint machine (my P90 IBM laptop) running ICEWM, allthough XFCE4 would probably be better. Alternatively you can look into peanut linux, damn small linux, and the like.