[SOLVED] Choosing right distro for old Thinkpad T23 / slow download from Windows
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In light of these problems, I decided to try a distro with smaller runtime memory footprint than Salix with Xfce (although people have said Salix + Xfce will run in 256MB RAM). The reason for the repeated failure to mount the wiped-tested-partitioned drive is still unknown. I'm downloading antiX-M11 and this will take a while...
Hi, Sky, how is the progress sofar?
BTW: welcome to Linux (I see You are running a Live one with Gparted (Salix install CD?), and are "hand in mud" all over tha place?)
I still would give a go with the 1st Slackware 13.37 install CD and "manual" fdisk - I like the plain old fdisk as it's output is most sane in case of (usual) trouble I usually encounter on unusual partitioning.
I understand Your HDD is zero bad sector now?
And I recomend JFS for the filesystem strongly (no EXT2, no ReiserFS, no XFS, JFS proved to me to be best for low CPU/slow Disk I/O and fastest mount/unmount) for it provides most file-data to partition space yield amongst the journaled file systems.
Am deliberating on Salix + Xfce versus AntiX + IceWM for this T23 ThinkPad.
Salix + Xfce is installed and running nicely. Albeit a little stodgy on the T23's limited hardware. Everything I have tried works, so far. The user-friendly attitude of the Linux development community is a pleasant surprise. A lot of things "just work".
AntiX + IceWM booted from a liveCD runs considerably faster (due to its smaller memory occupancy I presume) and is quite responsive -- even though the file system is on a CD. It is attractive, easy to use, the system monitor on the desktop is a nice practical touch, the Control Centre integrates lots of common functions, Logout/Quit on the bottom line of the screen, elegant.
On the negative side for AntiX, it was not able to automatically detect the T23's sound system and there is no sound working. It does not include an Open Office suite clone, which this machine must have. And the browser is IceApe (ice weasel) rather than FireFox. I guess IceApe is basically the Mozilla source code but a different branding, and presumably on a different release schedule with a forked code base.
I believe, but have not completely invesigated yet, that the ham radio apps that I need can be made to run on either distro. CQRLog native, and/or Logger32 (Windows app) in a virtualbox or inside the WINE shim code.
Anyway, any comments to help me sort out this choice would be welcome!
Last edited by SkyMeadow; 03-04-2012 at 10:32 AM.
Reason: removed inaccurate characterization of Claws as Outlook Express workalike
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
Good think is working for you.
I tried IceWM in a different distro and I didnt like that I had to heavily custumized text files in order to do things that a Desktop Manager will just do out of the box. Eg, I didnt have a file browser so I had to edit a text file to browse directories.
So I think If I had to vote I will vote for Xfce.
I dont know how well your Thinkpad will handle virtualbox. I think you mentioned it is a pentium III so you better look for ham radio applications for Linux.
I never used ham radio but I am sure there is something for Linux
I downloaded Ubuntu 12.04 and installed it on a T23, removing Windows XP in the process.
LibreOffice is built-in, and Chrome or Chromium can be used,instead of or with the built-in Firefox.
Built-in or easily installed apps can do anything that I would have done under Win XP.
My T23 is all original equipment, like your specs, except I added RAM to 1 GB.
I think you would like the additional RAM.
Assuming you have 1GB of RAM available on these machines, you don't need any special lightweight Linux. Mint with LXDE or Xfce will work great. I know, because I have 4 Thinkpads. They will work great with Mint, Ubuntu, or even Mepis with KDE without you having to do any special configuration or downloading. I'd suggest you use a bittorrent client for your downloads, then it doesn't matter if you get interrupted or not. I'd avoid Slackware.
Oh gosh. It was months ago that I set up that T23 Thinkpad with Linux Mint 12 and marked this thread "solved".
Now that I am "experienced" with having 3 older Thinkpads running Linux, I echo your comments, guyonearth.
(1) Select your distro based on the applications that you intend to run. In the case of that T23, it is a ham radio logging and file server PC solely. On that machine, lots of Windows apps that I hoped to run won't run with wine, because of insufficient memory or similar reasons. But the selected suite of apps does run and gets the job done.
(2) Avoid Slackware. Yes, I tried Slackware. Having to compile my apps and debug the issues was a really big pain. Finding precompiled apps was also difficult. There was a limited universe of stuff to choose from. I did not like Slackware at all.
Now my issue, but it's not a bad issue, is keeping 3 Linux Mint 12 PCs updated in sync. Due to limited bandwidth is takes quite a long time to download the regular updates via the package manager. So the trick is to copy the package files from one PC which has downloaded them, from /opt/cache/apt/archives if memory serves, to the other two, and force the update of packages that are installed on the others, without duplicated downloads.
Even though it is some trouble, this is all SO much better than it was with Windows. We have applications to meet all our needs and have been able to solve all application problems that we encountered without much difficulty.
Sound, Track button in middle of keyboard, Wireless N pcmcia card made by SMC in china, DVDROM/CDRW drive, all work just fine in 2015 with the distro posted above in code tags and ram/memory used is livable with Iceweasel open posting this now with conky running and xmms playing streaming internet radio.
Easy to setup Using a 4 series kernel. Savage graphics chip needs to be ran by Vesa driver. At least for me. Newer xorg is problematic with savage graphics chip as you will find out trying other modern linux distros. Vesa handles things OK. So if trying Puppy. Use the Xvesa option on bootup.
Google says solved for this old thread. Hence why I am updating it for 2015.
This is not my main rig. Just a test laptop for distro limitations.
Windows XP is probably the only other alternative on these old rigs any more.
The web will slow it to a crawl even on XP though.
I run Links2 and Dillo also on here plus UZBL browser because of Hardware Limitations.
Debian has it all in their repos/synaptic package manager. AntiX is based on Debian.
Edit: I.m not going to bump this thread over this but:
I've run a lot of these old machines. Internet has nothing to do with it. Your roadblock is RAM, and the very slow hard drive. With more RAM and an SSD, it would be very usable, even today.
Ram is at 1gig (max allowed). Processor maxes out 100% on certain websites using Iceweasel or other full fledged browsers. It is a fact.
SSD is not cost effective for these old units. But it would have been nice to be more detailed in the reply than a 4 sentence critique. From a Windows 10 machine.
Plus, this a T-23 specific thread. Not a "lot of these old machines" thread.