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What´s the best distro that you recommend for a Pentium 166? This oldie has also only 16 MB of RAM and 2 GB of hard disk, it has a ethernet NIC card and an S3 Virgo (i think) as the grapics card. I would use it to learn some more of linux in general,not much, so no need for fancy desktops or lots of apps (also bcoz they wouldn't run in this PC,duh!!).
I was thinking of Damn Small Linux, but I would like to know your oppinion guys.
Most distros will be fine, provided you stay away from KDE or Gnome as your Desktop Environment. I'm a big advocate of Fluxbox (or if that's too slow, Blackbox will work or you), and other "no-frills" window managers.
I'm also a big advocate of Slackware, which has worked flawlessly for me on chips from Pentium Is through Athlon XPs. Take a look at distrowatch.com to see what may suit you, and be sure to check out the distro forum here at LQ -- not all of them cator to the same userbase, but they're all great.
I agree with Poetics about the favours of Slackware - it's a great learning tool. In my personal opinion, Debian will get you started a little faster - and if you'd like to set up your system quickly, it's easier to achieve. And you'll get a system at least as stable as Slackware. On the other hand, if learning is you first goal, Slackware is hard to beat (well, there's Gentoo, but that's pretty hard to start with, really).
And yes, Fluxbox is great - I'm running a 233MMX here with Fluxbox on 64MB RAM, it's really smooth. If I'd recommend the usage of any window manager with the little RAM you have, I don't know. Learning can be mostly done just as well without X (if you don't want to learn about X, that is...).
it was 16MB (maybe it was 8?). i really oculdnt believe i got it running nad the setups were all cli basesd (boot dsl into textmode). and yes, it was vector 4.0. it wasnt particualrly swift with vector on it, but hey, it worked and had a wm.
"Arch Linux uses i686-optimized packages which gives us improved performance over some of our i386-optimized cousins. This means that Arch Linux will only run on a Pentium II processor or higher. We try to stay fairly bleeding edge, and typically have the latest stable versions of software. "
I have a 266mhz/64meg ram, laptop. I've tried everything under the sun on it. It has Vector5.1 on hard drive at moment. Works great, but will choke on 16meg, really need 32. I only had 32meg till this past spring. Took laptop with me and popped into all the local shops till I found one that admitted to having a stash of old ram. Just kept trying ram modules till I found one that worked and ran memtest on it. The guy only charged me $20 for really hard to find edo for a dell. Maybe worth a try.
What will work is DSL, I use that too. Will run live or as frugal install. I still use it live, had frugal install for a couple weeks, but went back to Vector. Really like that Vector distro. Every couple months I get bored and have an install fest on the laptop looking for something better but always end up back to Vector.