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Old 03-06-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
Ozisl
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Choosing a light dist for X


I know that there is a lot of discussion and specific builds about light installs, but after reading a lot I am adding this to the heap.

As mostly as learning project, but also to resurrect some mobility from an old laptop, I am trying to fix up a workable system off outdated hardware.

Specs:
Toshiba Satellite 2805
Intel Celeron 650 MHz
192 MB SD RAM
USB-capable

I have enough hdd space (6 gb).

An additional requirement is using a PCMCIA Linksys WPC54GS wifi card (this operates off the general Broadcom B43xx chipset).

The goal of this system is to effectively run a build of Chrome. Sound is not a requirement or issue, and there are no other necessary program packages beyond the standard; Chrome is the apex of system demands.

Assume the system will have two users, one advanced that can handle the terminal commands, and one "dumb" who knows nothing about Linux.

I *have* done a lot of looking into system specs for builds, but obviously everyone has their very biased opinons on combinations. I have arrived at two options;

1) Find the lightest possible modern kernel Xorg system that can run Chrome

2) Find an outdated kernel build with lower system requirements and try to get it working.

I need more opinions on what path to take. I am defining Chrome as a requirement because of its inbuilt synchronizing with other Chrome installs on other systems. Any alternative suggestions and advice would also be appreciated.

I have tried several installs. The most effective is a CD-boot, but I want a hdd install for learning purposes. I have tried a few systems, currently Xubuntu, but the performance is not acceptable.

Thank you.

Last edited by Ozisl; 03-06-2012 at 07:24 AM.
 
Old 03-06-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
zhjim
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What about "damn small linux"?
Try alpine linux

or browse http://distrowatch.com/
or checkout http://www.linux-chooser.com/
 
Old 03-06-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
Satyaveer Arya
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Quote:
Specs:
Toshiba Satellite 2805
Intel Celeron 650 MHz
192 MB SD RAM
USB-capable

I have enough hdd space (6 gb).

The most effective is a CD-boot, but I want a hdd install for learning purposes.
Give a try to Puppy linux. You can download it from here: http://puppylinux.com/download/
Check it's review from here: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy
 
Old 03-06-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
snowpine
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My recommendation is to upgrade your hardware. Your specs are plenty for a "lightweight" distribution such as SliTaz, Puppy, TinyCore... but will probably grind to a halt once you open multiple tabs in your browser. For example my browser is currently using ~300mb as I type this. I think you'll find your hardware will struggle with popular sites like Facebook, Youtube, etc. no matter which distro you choose.

That being said, the economy is bad and sometimes there is no budget for a hardware upgrade. In that case you will certainly want to install the appropriate plugins to block ads, scripts, and flash; and limit the number of browser tabs you keep open at the same time.

Good luck to you!
 
Old 03-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
colorpurple21859
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puppy 4.3 with one of the alternate kernels should work. DSL linue is now defunk and no longer an option. Siltz or salix might also work. A basic install of debian then install the xorg-server and synaptics with a light window manager is also a viable option. The only possible problem with debian is you hardrive space and debians dependency checking. An install of Slackware 12.2 is another option, and by doing a minimal install you can save harddrive space.
 
Old 03-06-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
Indy452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhjim View Post
What about "damn small linux"?
Try alpine linux

or browse http://distrowatch.com/
or checkout http://www.linux-chooser.com/
Seriously? DSL has been out of the picture for years....


Dude, you need to be looking at Puppy Wary or Legacy OS or AntiX Tiny core is nice but you will need to do your homework before getting started there.

I'd seriously take a look at Puppy wary edition.....its for older hardware just like you have. http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/war...wary-5.2.2.iso
 
Old 03-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #7
TobiSGD
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I personally would avoid larger systems that run in RAM, like Puppy, on a machine which low amounts of memory. What would be the point in taking away usable RAM from the system to load the OS into it?
I would rather go the first path you described, take a recent and supported kernel and add the minimum you need to it. The antiX developer has done this in a very nice way, but if your purpose is learning how to do that yourself I would suggest to start with a bare minimum Debian (or any other major distribution) install and build the system yourself up from there.
I would also suggest not to use your second described approach, for a simple reason: Older kernels are unsupported and mostly live in unsupported distributions. Since your goal is to have a system that will be exposed to the net the implied lack of security is IMHO a serious downside.
 
Old 03-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #8
wpeckham
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Not buying flowers just yet...

DSL is not dead, just not changing. Think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

That said, both puppy and TinyCore (or MultiCore) have much more current toys, support more current hardware, and do things that were not in the DSL goals. There are other options for minimal hardware that are more mainstream, but I would rather go light and fast than heavy and slow.
 
Old 03-06-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
repo
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Install the debian base system and add a lightweight WM

Kind regards
 
Old 03-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
DSL is not dead, just not changing. Think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!
In the same way you could say that Debian Woody or Red Hat Shrike is not dead, but just not changing. A distro that gets neither security updates nor bugfixes and is abandoned by the developers to make something different is dead. Simple as that.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #11
Ozisl
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I've actually got something up and working - I took the Debian minimum install and put XFCE on it... has enough horsepower to run Chrome with Gmail, Facebook and another tab open, and also to run Abiword and some other essentials. Not fast, but not too shabby for a 600 MHz Celeron. It fulfills the need for simple mobile connection.

Multitasking is kinda out, though ;-)

Thanks for the tips.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 05:40 PM   #12
TKH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Your specs are plenty for a "lightweight" distribution such as SliTaz, Puppy, TinyCore... but will probably grind to a halt once you open multiple tabs in your browser. For example my browser is currently using ~300mb as I type this. I think you'll find your hardware will struggle with popular sites like Facebook, Youtube, etc. no matter which distro you choose.
Depends on the browser. Mozilla Firefox is undoubtably heavy, but it would be different if you use a more lightweight browser (Google Chrome)
 
  


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