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Old 08-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #1
MuckSavage
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Best distro for older pc?


I have a 700mhz celeron that I inherited and decided to try linux. I have been a mac guy and computer geek for years. I installed Mandrake 10 on it, but to be truthful, it runs like a dog. Is this the performance I can expect from most modern distros? Not a fault of Mandrake; I wouldn't expect OS X to run speedy on an early G3. I am currently downloading SuSe 9.1, and will give it a try.
 
Old 08-19-2004, 08:23 PM   #2
JimBass
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I run a 300 Mhz Athlon, so the processor isn't great, but also isn't much of a problem. The distro also isn't "much" of a big deal. Obviously a larger, bulky distro will slow you down more than a lean and mean one. Play around with it for a bit of time. What can improve the apparent speed of your box is by having a very lean kernel. I wouldn't suggest making a new kernel as an activity for a newb. There is nothing "advanvced" about how to build the kernel, it just requires a decent amount of knowledge about what is on your system, both hardware and software wise. Until you know where everything is located in linux, it can be hard to make a new kernel. My first attempt was horrible, I couldn't even get close to booting.

Good luck with everything, and when the inevitible questions arise, post and you'll get plenty of help.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 08-19-2004, 08:26 PM   #3
synaptical
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linux is fast, GUIs are sloooowwwwww. the key for your "new" computer will be to run a lightweight window manager instead of kde or gnome, e.g., fluxbox, blackbox, fvwm, xfce4, icewm, etc. maybe even windowmaker, but coming from OSX it might seem a little primitive-looking. it is fast, though.

then learn about services and turn off the ones you don't need (most of the default ones, probably). then recompile a custom kernel, buiding in everything you can as a module. make sure you have set up swap space 2x ram, and have turned on DMA for your hard drive/s. after all that, even w/700mhz celeron you will have a lightning-fast box.
 
Old 08-19-2004, 09:00 PM   #4
amosf
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Registered: Jun 2004
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I have mandrake 9.0 running on a celeron 666 quite succesfully. Its my wife machine she does all the dog and business work on and it runs well. I plan on upgrading to maybe mdk 9.2 or 10 sometime. Watch with mandrake as it will often install a lot of services and things you don't need and you can trim it so it runs okay on most machines if you have enough ram... The least ram on boxes I have here is 192meg I think and I have a P3-450 running mdk 9.1, a P3-550 and celeron 1000 running mdk 10 well - and then the celeron 666 with the mdk 9.0. The P3-700 runs mdk 10 very well, tho running a lean 2.6.8.1 kernel.

Ram is all 192 - 256 meg I think.

KDE runs on all of these quite well, the blackbox or windomaker are faster... I will switch to blackbox when I am gaming sometimes, tho quake 3 and original UT are okay with KDE running.

Although I don't like the celerons much, I would expect reasonable performance out of a celeron 700 with mandrake 10, so I think you have other isses either with the machine or the install... How much ram?

Also as said above, a custom kernel can be a big plus, and the box will run like a dog if you don't have DMA going (may not have recognized the chipset?)
 
Old 08-19-2004, 09:25 PM   #5
MuckSavage
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It's got 128 megs of ram. What is DMA?
 
Old 08-19-2004, 09:40 PM   #6
synaptical
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DMA = "disk memory access." you can google it to get the details.

to find out if DMA is enabled, use the hdparm utility:

# hdparm /dev/hda

it should say using dma = 1 (on) somewhere in there.
 
Old 08-19-2004, 09:47 PM   #7
jens
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SuSE 9.1(default=KDE) will work fine on your system.
If you do want a faster GUI, try XFCE.
You can find binaries for SuSE 9.1 here:
http://www.xfce.org/index.php?page=download&lang=en
 
Old 08-19-2004, 10:03 PM   #8
amosf
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Suse would would, sure, but then so should mdk 10... 128 meg ram would certainly be the bottom limit, and may be lowing you down a bit. I would think 128 should be okay tho.
 
  


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