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Still running a Pentium2-450mhz with 256mb ram usin XP and a zippy cable broadband connection. I've ran Ubuntu on an even older lower spec machine but it ran very slow. I've also tried out a few Live mainly Knoppix based distros and found "Puppy" ran great but wasn't geared for a HD install. So i'm tempted to download the latest "dapper drake" Ubuntu release to see how it plays, but if anyone more experienced can make a suggestion it'd be well received. Might help my mind more than messin about the garden and attempting Resident Evil4 on "Pro".
Slackware will definitely run. I run Slack 10.0 on AMD K6/III-450 with 128 MB. Gnome is sluggisch, but acceptable. KDE not installed, so not tested. You may want to try some of the other window managers instead for a speedy experience.
You can also try XUbunu instead of Ubuntu/Kubuntu.
You did not tell us what you want to use it for. Server type, Slackware will do (and an X environment not really necessary). Desktop use, Slackware can do but other distro's might have more apps out-of-the-box.
Can not say anything about other distros as I haven't tried recent ones.
I run ubuntu on a K6-2/400 458Mb 6Gb(4+2) TNT2.
xubuntu and kubuntu has no point. Install one and sudo apt-get xfce4 if you want xfce and kde if you want kde. I have fluxbox, xfce and gnome. Gnome runs ok. Firefox is slow to start, dillo rocks. Eclipse is too slow to be usable.
I'd give most distros a try with XFCE. KDE and Gnome are likely to be pretty slow. Slackware is probably your best bet as previously mentioned, but if you want a lot of extra software it will be more difficult to configure than other distros. If you're feeling brave you could try a Gentoo install...
Thanks for all the replies! Appreciated. I reckon i'll give Ubuntu/Kubuntu (haven't yet decided) a go on this machine, Slackware seems kinda scary. It'll have to wait whilst i set up the XP installation on a new larger HD and i get to grips with preparing and configuring a dual boot setup. Have to keep an XP installation as this is the pc at my girlfriends and i cant dump her staight into Linux with no experience other than dabbling with games off of the Live distros. Personally she prefers hours at popcap.com for "ZUMA". Will post back when i've made next steps. Again, ta for the messages.