LinuxQuestions.org
Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 01-11-2004, 04:33 PM   #1
jbridgman
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
choosing a distro, slackware vs debian


Hello, my name is Jeffrey. New here.

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.
 
Old 01-11-2004, 04:38 PM   #2
Tinkster
Moderator
 
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,067
Blog Entries: 11

Rep: Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910
Hi Jeffrey, and welcome to LQ.

If you can't get a RAM upgrade you shouldn't
even contemplate running X, apache and php
on that machine :}

X, maybe, if you grab slack and use an old version
with XFree 3.3.6, and fluxbox ... but then, there
won't be any suitable word-processors in GUI
mode, either.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 01-11-2004, 04:52 PM   #3
graffitici
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Istanbul - Turkey
Distribution: Fedora, Gentoo
Posts: 150

Rep: Reputation: 15
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!
 
Old 01-11-2004, 05:04 PM   #4
Tinkster
Moderator
 
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,067
Blog Entries: 11

Rep: Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally posted by graffitici
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).
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
a swap-partition ... I don't think that this is what
he wants ;)


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 01-11-2004, 05:07 PM   #5
drknow
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Shrike (RH9)
Posts: 73

Rep: Reputation: 15
I would just get a better computer before I tried to get something running on that machine.
 
Old 01-11-2004, 05:24 PM   #6
graffitici
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Istanbul - Turkey
Distribution: Fedora, Gentoo
Posts: 150

Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
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
a swap-partition
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.

Oh well.
 
Old 01-13-2004, 05:01 PM   #7
jbridgman
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
ok, thanks for the feedback.

So if I were to use this as a learning computer would you recommend the current version (slack or debian(stable)) without X? And when you said read, did you mean a book, or all over the web?

Does anyone know where I could get any better computer (any computer) for like under $50?
 
Old 01-13-2004, 05:33 PM   #8
Tinkster
Moderator
 
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,067
Blog Entries: 11

Rep: Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910
I'd go for Slack 7 (X 3.3.6 - way slimmer) and strip
it down as much as possible.

Just upgrade the kernel and other vulnerable
packages later...



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 01-13-2004, 05:38 PM   #9
sfarber53
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Blacklick, OH
Distribution: CentOS 4.x; also OS X.4
Posts: 17

Rep: Reputation: 0
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.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
choosing the right distro jc80 Linux - Distributions 3 09-01-2005 03:23 AM
Choosing a Distro raspera Linux - Newbie 5 08-02-2005 04:16 PM
Help in a choosing a distro dcsipe Linux - Newbie 23 07-17-2005 05:48 PM
Choosing distro leonidg Linux - Distributions 4 03-24-2005 04:48 AM
Help choosing a distro. American Psycho Linux - Distributions 7 04-13-2004 11:46 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:01 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration