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I have a laptop (NEC VERSA P/75 running windows 3.1) that I would like to convert to linux. Being its a very low-end computer (512MB hard drive, 16MB of RAM, Pentium (without numeral)) most current linux distributions would not run well, especially in GUI mode.
Having heard the slackware and debian are good choices for low-enc computer I have investigated both but can not arrive at any conclusion. So I was wondering if someone could give me a more informed opinion.
I know that slackware and debian are not good choices as introductions to linux but being I want to really learn how run linux (not just running wizards and a GUI like windows) and being this computer will not be necessary for work, I am willing to take the "risks." However, being a newbie, good support and general help will be a requirement.
Although I said earlier that I plan to use this as more of a computer to learn linux on, eventually I'd like to be able to use it for a few things:
1. word processing (I prefer to do this in GUI)
2. capability to transfer word processing documents and other files to windows or mac with a 3.5 diskette.
3. I would like to set it up as a server (although it will not be connected to another computer) so as to allow me to develop php sites, etc.
Thanks for you help and begging pardon for the long message.
If it is a learning pc then just go ahead and install slack. Then you'll have to read, read and read some more to learn everything for linux. Finally I would suggest installing linux from scratch, that is to install everything for yourself.
I think you shouldn't restrict yourself to X straight from the beginning. Linux is a fascinating world that teaches you new stuff every day. There is a whole system called TeX that will allow you to create documents with much more control than word (although it will take some time to learn that system).
Sharing files using floppy disks is really easy, and any distro will support it. Actually this feature comes with a package that is called mutils, that lets you use dos commands such as cp, mkdir etc under linux with a dos formatted floppy.
I do not know how the server thing will work, as I have never tried it. Nevertheless you can do that with your future system once you have learned Linux!
Originally posted by Tinkster Even though TeX is great, a sensible install
(LaTeX) would consume about a quarter of
his HDD, and that were if he could do without
Not if he has a cd-rom drive. TeX has a live cd feature which runs every possible package including TeX LaTeX BibTex pdftex and more from the cd. I use that although I have a 160gb hard drive.
Yet of course, this doesn't change the fact that 512 is small, which I find quite sad. I have 512 megs of ram, but I am sure that twenty or even ten years ago people were running complete servers on such a drive (I missed those times due to my age ) And look what happens now, the guy can't even run a distro correctly.
I feel as if we were losing our heritage and becoming like windows which currently takes one gig to install and a high performance cpu just to display the stupid blue taskbar.
Try to find a used computer. I recently picked-up a second-hand Compaq, system box only, for $50. I use it to run an old version of SuSE (v.7.0), since I can't get access to the bios to change the boot device to the CDrom.
My plan is to use it as a server to learn LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). It only has a 2GB drive and 64MB RAM and it runs X (when I ask it to) and seems to be OK for server/learning purposes.