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Hello! I am looking to try Linux on an older PC. It is a Celeron 400MHz, 256MB RAM. So I need a distribution that will run acceptably on an old system like this, but will also be good for someone with no prior Linux/Unix experience. Any reccomendations? Thanks
P.S. I have tried Fedora Core 4, but the install wouldn't work for some reason.
Any Linux distribution will run fine. It's what you're going to run on top of it is what matters, applications that depend on resources, like X, Gnome, KDE, etc.. I'm a Slacker, so I recommend Slackware, too. Find one that you think you'll like, if you don't like it, download another one.
I think that, as a Windows user curious about linux, I would definitely want KDE or GNOME going. I have no idea what the difference is between those two, though.
I wouldn't use either of those with the amount of RAM and CPU power you have, IMHO. You might want to try Fluxbox, Blackbox instead, and they should be included with the Linux distribution you chose to download. KDE is a resource hog, as is Gnome. Fluxbox and Blackbox are light weight. You'll get better performance out of one of those two.
So I had a change of heart and put on Damn Small Linux (HD install). I'm quite pleased with it; there are a few annoyances since it's meant as a LiveCD distribution but it runs really well. Win98 had toasted the computer to the point of hardware failure; it's now working just fine.