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Old 12-04-2006, 06:56 AM   #1
HippyVanMan
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Best distro for Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd


I have an old laptop, which is currently running windows 98 very slowly, I don't want to run 98 for many reasons, and instead want to run linux.
The laptops specs: Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd
Speed is an issue with me, and I'd like the laptop to run as fast as it possibly can, without me having to wait, basically like a nice desktop pc or laptop. And I want to know which distro would run best. Arch linux?
I also plan on installing some nice GUI programs, namely open office. I've been told running open office on this machine will mean open office runs quite slowly, are there any better office suites for the job that can open and save in open document and microsoft file formats?
I dont have many worries regarding the size of the HDD, as linux takes up considerably less room than windows. How much space should I set as swap to optimize the laptops performance but not lose a single unnecersary mb of space? Im not entirely sure how much programs like open office take up on disk, frankly I havent really had to worry about it, so id like to be a strict as possible with my diskspace as I don't want to run out.
The laptops primary uses will probably be word processing and not to complex spreadsheets and maths.
Some music too and possibly some videos but not really anything too intensive, a standard pc.
Thanks for any help you can give me as I realise ive asked allot :P
 
Old 12-04-2006, 07:45 AM   #2
arochester
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Arch Linux is optimised for 64bit machines and would not be appropriate at all.

At 128Mb of RAM you are not going to get either KDE or Gnome. At 128Mb is either Zenwalk orXubuntu - both are Xface. The quickest might be Puppy Linux

You say that you want to use OpenOffice - does this mean that you want to use Spreadsheets, Database etc? There are useful alternatives to Openoffice Writer e.g. Abiword
 
Old 12-04-2006, 07:57 AM   #3
HippyVanMan
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I was told that arch linux was for i686 machines which pentium II is, therefor it would work well. Is this not true?
Yes, I will definately want to use spreadsheets, and I suppose databases would be good too, but I dont know of any office programs that save databases in accesses format.
Can abiword save and open open document ofrmats and microsoft formats?
 
Old 12-04-2006, 09:00 AM   #4
ethics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Linux site
Currently we have official packages optimized for the i686 and x86-64 architectures
i've got arch on a 700 mhz, 128mb RAM laptop, works quite well with fluxbox as a window manager.

I use abiword as OO is a bit intensive for the poor little machine. It can certainly save to .Doc format and i;ve had no major formattin issues (although my formatting needs are very basic)

Quote:
Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd
Speed is an issue with me, and I'd like the laptop to run as fast as it possibly can, without me having to wait, basically like a nice desktop pc or laptop. And I want to know which distro would run best. Arch linux?
factoring in the specs, with todays operating system and software, it's going to be a struggle.

gnumeric - http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumeric/ can do spreadsheets.

For the speed aspect, it doesn't really matter what distro, you'll still be stripping off as many services as you can and wanting to re-compile a leaner kernel
 
Old 12-04-2006, 09:16 AM   #5
IndyGunFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HippyVanMan
Speed is an issue with me, and I'd like the laptop to run as fast as it possibly can, without me having to wait, basically like a nice desktop pc or laptop. And I want to know which distro would run best.
Thats understandable, but you have to have reasonable expectations. This will likely be a difficult task at best. Videos will be difficult also, as your video controller is likely shared with your system memory, probably 8-16mb, maybe 32. So that just syphons more of your system memory.

I'd suggest the smallest, crap free distro you can find, then add whatever software you're wanting to use.

My first guess would be Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux, but I don't have any experience with either.

IGF

Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 12-04-2006 at 09:33 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
HippyVanMan
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Yeah, I think I'll go with DSL, because I'm a newb and don't know what half the stuff on linux does, so I'll start with the smallest install I can find and build my system up from there. I don't know if DSL is optimized to run on i686 but my guess is it isn't, but it will still go faster than arch, right?
 
Old 12-04-2006, 10:04 AM   #7
linuxone
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I really don't think the distro you choose will really matter. The laptop you have is rather slow and thus you will need to install and find the right set of apps for your use.

for quite some time before i had the money for a new laptop i ran a 166mhz digital laptop with 32mb ram. At the time i used Redhat 7.2, which as i stated above isn't really relevant. you want to focus on finding the right apps that will do what you need in a small memory footprint.

my reccomendations.

Windowmanager : ICEWM or fluxbox.
office like programs: abiword
browser : opera (atleast at the time i was using the laptop opera was the quickest)
file manager : rox-filer, midnight commander
chat/IM : tkabber
 
  


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