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Old 02-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #1
muni08
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Good linux for my older system


Hi, I have recently decided to put linux onto my old laptop. The reason for this is firstly to try linux out a bit more (Just started learning ubuntu on my laptop, as a secondary partition). But more so I am planning on getting rid of my laptop soon, I bought it cheap to do word processing on (sort of I can take it out and not worry if it gets damaged thing) but find it pointless as my (main)laptop can do all the processing this laptop can do and more, plus the fact connecting to the internet is pretty hard (need to buy components and it's not really worth it), and the battery is long gone.
Anyway since I can't find a decent use for it, I will probably see if any of my friends need one, or donate to charity. In either case it needs an operating system. I'm a paranoid individual, so when I bought it cheap - second hand, I figured it's best to reinstall windows than to find viruses, or system hogging software etc on there.
So I put my windows XP on there (I don't much like it, but it came with my main comp) hence I don't want to be giving it out with my serial codes etc. Besides it being Illegal.
Only problem is it's old. it's:
Pentium 2 - 399MHz
10GB HDD
64MB RAM

Any suggestions for what to put on it?
I have tried:
DSL
YOP
Puppy
Vector
Kbuntu - so far only one I got working
Feather
Nimblex
Deli
and Slax

I'd prefer not to download anymore as I'm at university and hogging there bandwith already (I'm sure a 200 MB iso would be possible though If I missed anything). Most failed to work, maybe my comp is not able to get them running, or maybe I need to try harder. I mean if it can run windows xp, albeit at a snails pace, it can run an old linux right?

Thank you for your time.

~Mike
 
Old 02-25-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muni08 View Post

I mean if it can run windows xp, albeit at a snails pace, it can run an old linux right?
Linux is highly configurable. A current version of Linux can be made as small as an old version. I suggest that you stick with making a current version of Linux small and responsive enough to be practical on your old hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muni08 View Post
Any suggestions for what to put on it?
I have tried:
DSL
YOP
Puppy
Vector
Kbuntu - so far only one I got working
Feather
Nimblex
Deli
and Slax

I'd prefer not to download anymore as I'm at university and hogging there bandwith already (I'm sure a 200 MB iso would be possible though If I missed anything). Most failed to work, maybe my comp is not able to get them running, or maybe I need to try harder.
Of the distributions that you have tried so far Kubuntu probably has the largest and slowest default configuration. DSL and Puppy probably have the fastest default configurations for old hardware.

I recommend that you dual boot kubuntu and an experimental Linux. Set up three partitions, kubuntu. swap, and experimental. Then spend some time trying to get DSL or Puppy working in the experimental partition.

------------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 02-25-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
muni08
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Hi Steve,
Thanks a lot for your fast response. I'll go read up on DSL and attempt to get it to a functional state.

~Mike
 
Old 02-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
Zulloi
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DSL would be the best..
 
Old 02-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
b0uncer
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Try Slackware, but don't put KDE on it - rather use XFCE, for example. It's easy enough to use, yet a lot faster than KDE or Gnome, for example. You'll need the first disc to install Slackware, the 2 others are more or less optional (if you don't put KDE in, you won't need them I think). With package selections you can slim down the Slackware installation quite a bit, and making it go with a light desktop such as XFCE it runs quickly enough - yet the Slackware version 12 comes with 2.6 kernel, HAL, Dbus and all sorts of candy to keep the users smile when they don't have to "do magic" on anything to get things work.

Don't get frightened by the text-mode installer, just follow the simple steps to complete the installation. If you are ok with formatting the whole disk (i.e. not making dual-boot or anything), the partitioning step is rather easy, and the rest is more or less yes/no/pick your best questions.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 02:08 AM   #6
expat
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Give TinyMe a try it's based on Pclinuxos and is only 200 mb. Try it as a live cd first then install if you like it.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:40 AM   #7
catweasel28
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Smile Lighter Desktop Needed

I think you'll find xfce (as found on Vector, Slax, Zenwalk etc.) a bit too demanding for 64MB RAM. They'll normally need 96-128MB.
I notice that, for such a venerable m/c, you've got a decent-sized HDD
(10GB); so I'd suggest a Fluxbox or Icewm based-distro with plenty of apps. The two which immediately come to mind are:

Absolute Linux
www.pcbypaul.com/absolute/

AntiX Mepis
http://antix.mepis.org

Let's know how you get on - best of luck!
 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:46 AM   #8
Fred Caro
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old computer

You could try 'Damn small Linux' or Debian as a minimalst event. The actual specs that are needed to even install Windows 2000 are not great but how it works afterwards is another matter. Others have suggested not putting KDE on it, this appears a bit exteam. If it is going to be donated to charity you don't want to put people off using the thing- even windows 98 would go on it! Things that use a lot of ram and space such as Open Office are available in miniture (for free) and can be carried around on a pen drive.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:08 AM   #9
phantom_cyph
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Slackware...
 
Old 02-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #10
x1101
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I would recommend Fluxbuntu for and older system. This has all the ease of use that comes with Ubuntu and all the slimness that comes with any fluxbox distro. I currently have it running on my laptop with these specs:

Thinkpad A21M
------------
750mhz PIII
192mb Ram
20Gb HD
 
Old 02-27-2008, 12:35 PM   #11
RexCoeus
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I think your best option would be to use slackware, or possibly a bsd, without X at all. I'm sure there are ways to configure X to run well on a computer with such limited ram, but the best way to get a box like that up and running is without X. Not to mention it'll be a ball-busting course in how to REALLY use *nix. Good luck either way.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:25 PM   #12
muni08
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Hi, Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has contributed with their OS, very much appreciated.
I thought of DSL from the start pretty much but it always hangs on install. I tried googling a fix for this but to no avail.
Tinyme was the most interesting, worked fine till I clicked install to HDD then i couldn't even repeat booting from the live cd.
Anyway Flux and absoloute gave the best results, by hmmm actually installing :-p
So I think I'll go with them.
Thanks again all for your support. Maybe one day I shall know enough linux to return the favor to a struugling newbie as I am now.
Regards Mike
 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:59 PM   #13
Hern_28
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May be a repeat.

I have an old laptop with almost identical specs to the one that you are running. Use it for checking email while traveling and thats about it. I used the debian net-install disk and set it up with jwm and icewm. Added a few more apps for printing networking and getting icons on the desktop and it actually runs pretty well.
Gentoo is actually the fastest distro but it took me a week to compile it and the few applications that i MUST have... Mozilla-Firefox & thunderbird, icewm, idesk, hp-utils, rox file manager and a few others so probably not worth that kinda trouble for a laptop your giving away.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.
 
Old 02-29-2008, 04:13 AM   #14
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by muni08 View Post
<snip>

Only problem is it's old. it's:
Pentium 2 - 399MHz
10GB HDD
64MB RAM

Any suggestions for what to put on it?
I have tried:
DSL
YOP
Puppy
Vector
Kbuntu - so far only one I got working
Feather
Nimblex
Deli
and Slax

I'd prefer not to download anymore as I'm at university and hogging there bandwith already (I'm sure a 200 MB iso would be possible though If I missed anything). Most failed to work, maybe my comp is not able to get them running, or maybe I need to try harder. I mean if it can run windows xp, albeit at a snails pace, it can run an old linux right?

Thank you for your time.

~Mike
Your big problem is the 'legacy hardware'. You could roll back to earlier versions of a particular distribution in hopes of getting the hardware recognized. I've used early versions of Slackware on similar hardware but a lot of tweaking to get it working. Well worth the time to get older Thinkpads functional with a decent OS.

I would suggest that you attempt at least Slackware 10.2/11 and use the 2.4 kernel. Cooking up a good operational system on older hardware can be time consuming and very challenging. The gains by using a 2.6 kernel on such old hardware are not worth the time spent. The 2.4 kernel is stable and should work well with the equipment in question.

As for your Kubuntu working? Slowwwwww I bet. If you can increase the RAM, system response should improve for any 'X' environment you choose.
 
Old 02-29-2008, 09:17 AM   #15
Karl Schrader
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Registered: Dec 2007
Posts: 4

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Almost ready to give up

I tried Fedora Core 7 which came with the Dummies book and I have worked on it for about 2 months now but could not get any satisfaction out of it. What I need is the most simple Linux program I can use on the old PC to do simple wordprocessing and to send e-mails.
A very clear and straightforward suggestion would be appreciated otherwise I do not think Bill Gates has anything to worry about.

Learning curve or not, why make Linux more userunfriendly than neccessary ??
 
  


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