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Old 12-31-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
owlfish
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Can someone recommend a version of Linux that would run nicely on a quite old PC ?


My mother's computer runs Windows 95 and it's quite old. I wouldn't bother you with my question except that i can't seem to find the answer anywhere online: is there a version of Linux which would run significantly better than Windows 95 on the said computer if i was to acquire it?

I can get some exact information on the system properties later if that would be helpful.

Thanks.
 
Old 12-31-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
repo
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Welcome to LQ
puppy, debian, slackware, DSL,
http://www.delilinux.de/
http://www.linux.com/news/hardware/d...older-hardware
http://www.google.be/search?q=linux+...ient=firefox-a
 
Old 12-31-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
~sHyLoCk~
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Hi a little more details on the spec would be helpful. Like CPU, RAM, etc.
 
Old 12-31-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
onebuck
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Hi,

I just installed Slackware 13.0 x86_32 on a HP Ominibook 4100. The install was trimmed to suit the old lady but works great and snappy with 'XFCE'. The laptop memory is maxed out. I'll probably trim more to get a minimal system but she works for a remote terminal for now. I've got power machines for development so using it for a convenient remote terminal is better than setting and gathering dust.

The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 12-31-2009, 09:40 AM   #5
owlfish
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Thanks for providing advice so fast
I'll take some time to consider these tomorrow, and will come back with the system spec.
 
Old 01-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
owlfish
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Apparently it runs the second release of Windows 95 (B), and this is probably the original operating system. It's an ex-government computer so I wouldn't know what year it's from.
It has 32.0 MB RAM, a CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk drive (so now I'm not sure what method of installation will work).

I can give more specific information if needed.
 
Old 01-01-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
onebuck
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Hi,

I would increase the RAM since more is better for a GNU/Linux. You may need to go for a older version of any distribution because of the legacy hardware.

 
Old 01-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
DavidMcCann
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If you want a GUI you may need more memory. The most suitable distros are
Deli Linux — it may work in 32MB (go to their forum and ask!)
Damn Small Linux — 24MB OK, though 64MB preferred
Puppy Linux — needs 64MB.
I have not considered Slackware because you sound as if you are new to Linux, and that's not for beginners. It also requires 64MB at the very least.

Last edited by DavidMcCann; 01-02-2010 at 12:54 PM.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #9
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owlfish View Post
Apparently it runs the second release of Windows 95 (B), and this is probably the original operating system. It's an ex-government computer so I wouldn't know what year it's from.
It has 32.0 MB RAM, a CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk drive (so now I'm not sure what method of installation will work).

I can give more specific information if needed.
Except for something like Puppy or Damn Small Linux that computer probably won't run Linux very well. I've found with older machines Windows 95/98 or Windows NT work the best.

The main problem is RAM. You really need 256MB to 512MB in order to run a modern Linux distro. Older computers are usually limited in the amount of RAM that can be installed. The motherboard and the RAM modules are not designed for the kinds of large RAM chips used now. It is a good idea to add as much RAM as you can but you may find that the modules are hard to find and expensive.

Some older computers have limited CD-ROM boot support. They may only boot CDs that use an emulated floppy image, rather than the no-emulation boot images on modern discs. You will have to try booting some Linux CDs to find out if they work.

Does the computer have an Ethernet port? Many older computers have no built-in Ethernet. You may need a USB "dongle" or some other Ethernet device to use broadband. You can get wired Ethernet adapters for around $10 and wireless adapters for around $20. There's no point in using a really expensive adapter since the computer won't keep up with a high-speed link.

Modern web browsers and the add-ons tend to use more memory than the old versions of Internet Explorer (3.0 and 4.0). The computer might not be practical to use on the Internet because of the RAM limitations.

Post more about what you want to do with the computer and you will get better recommendations for distros and software.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 01:23 PM   #10
jschiwal
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I would second the notion of increasing the amount of ram you use. Using a lighter weight desktop environment will allow you to use less ram and still have a usable system. The desktop environment you choose will make the most difference. Go to their web sites. They may indicate what they require for memory.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 09:30 PM   #11
owlfish
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Thank you again for all your advice

My ideas for the computer are in offline use. I'd like a place to securely write and store documents without being hacked or virused (the computer itself seems to have lost the ability to connect to the net anyway). I don't need it to run any browsers or high-power programs, just a word processing suite, so I had decided maybe it would be a good chance to experiment with one of the smaller Linux distros while I have a spare computer to work with.
I'm under the impression that a Linux system would be more stable than Windows 95 for the same processes because they have been produced recently. Sorry if I've misunderstood something by the way.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 09:57 PM   #12
GoinEasy9
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AntiX Linux (An offshoot of Mepis) is a good lightweight linux made for older computers. I had it running successfully on an old IBM Thinkpad i1413 with minimal memory (256k) and HD space (4GB). This older laptop originally came with Windows 95. If all you need is a place to write and store documents, google "AntiX Mepis" and take a look.
 
Old 01-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
owlfish
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Thanks
AntiX sounds good; I'll look into that some more.
 
Old 01-03-2010, 06:05 PM   #14
teckk
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http://worldforfree.net/1146028467-w...xperience.html

http://code.google.com/p/evoke/

Couple more options
 
Old 01-03-2010, 07:40 PM   #15
racepres
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While I have a lappy w/100M cpu and 40 whole M of ram that browses via ethernet or wirelessly using puppy linux [v1.0.8]. I should think that windows 95 or possibly 98se as a better choice, should be plenty for word processing chores. As for security w/o internet or other outside influences, all the security you should require is a lockable closet!!!
Good luck
RP
 
  


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