LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 11-06-2006, 06:54 PM   #1
Fakhri
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Indonesia
Distribution: Mandriva One 2007, openSuSE 10.2, FC6, Ubuntu 6.10
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
Question How to run linux on an old pc?


I need some help.
I have an old pc HP Vectra (PIII 400 MHz, 128 MB RAM)
I've installed a Knoppix 3.8. But, It run soooooooo slow on this system. It need more than 3 min even 5 min to start an OpenOffice. When I used win xp, it need less than min to start ms-word. Now I've removed my knoppix and back to my Xp "pirated edition".Would someone like to give some solution?

"Finally I made my first post!!"
 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
pljvaldez
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 271Reputation: 271Reputation: 271
Do you mean you used Knoppix as a live CD or you installed it to the HD? The LiveCD will be slow, you don't have a lot of RAM and it's probably a slow CD-rom anyway. On the HD, it will have a very bloated kernel that will slow down your old machine.

A few things to try:

1) Try running a lighter weight distro like Xubuntu or Damn Small Linux.
2) Try installing Debian (text install only), then build your system from the ground up using apt-get.
3) Try recompiling your kernel. If in doubt, leave it out. It might take you a few tries to get the right things compiled in, but it'll provide a noticable difference on your old machine. (At least it did on my old Celeron 400MHz, 256MB ram).
4) Use lightweight applications instead of memory hogs like OpenOffice. You'll have a bit better luck with Abiword and Gnumeric...
 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
randomsel
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington, DE
Distribution: Slackware 11
Posts: 201

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'm currently running a PII 300MHz with 320 ram.
Distro? Slackware 11 with xfce.
Install time with configuration? 1 hour. (due to slow cd)

Runs like a charm
 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:29 PM   #4
J.W.
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 83
OpenOffice is a great app but it also consumes a great deal of resources. As pljvaldez indicated, I think you've got 4 conditions that are responsible for the poor performance: relatively little RAM, an app that's a resource hog, a fairly slow CPU, and you are running 100% off the CD rather than the hard drive. All of those things will add up to slow performance.

Assuming that you have the space on your hard drive, you might also want to consider setting up your PC as a dual boot system. Using a lighter-weight distro and installing Linux to the hard drive should both yield some performance gains, as would increasing the amount of RAM. Overall though, given that new CPU's run about 8 times faster than your PIII, realistically it won't be capable of lightning speed. That's not meant as criticism, and older machines can be perfectly good desktops (I've got a PIII 600Mz with 256Mg RAM, and it's fine)

Lastly, I'll also recommend Abiword - it's a great application
 
Old 11-06-2006, 11:13 PM   #5
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738
I was running a p-III with Windows 2000. With 128M of RAM, it would get paralyzed frequently. Adding 64M (total 192) made a HUGE difference. I would expect similar payoff with Linux.
 
Old 11-06-2006, 11:18 PM   #6
2damncommon
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 2,870

Rep: Reputation: 87
Take a look at Vector Linux.
 
Old 11-07-2006, 12:46 AM   #7
LzW-x
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: SuSe
Posts: 66

Rep: Reputation: 15
slackwhere has something called zipslack I believe is pretty easy on the hardware specs... Also something called DSL (damn small linux) might work since it's small.

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
http://www.slackware.com/zipslack/
 
Old 11-07-2006, 02:30 AM   #8
jacook
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Townsville, Australia
Distribution: PCLinuxOS .93 Junior
Posts: 437

Rep: Reputation: 30
feather Linux
http://featherlinux.berlios.de/

Vector Linux 4.3
http://www.vectorlinux.com/

DSL
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

Puppy Linux
http://www.puppylinux.org/user/viewpage.php?page_id=3

Slackware
http://www.slackware.com/

BeatrIX
http://www.watsky.net/

Jake
 
Old 11-07-2006, 02:35 AM   #9
b0uncer
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I'd try Vector Linux too, but it "really" does not matter which one you choose; the main things, wich which you can prevent slowdowns, are

1) don't use heavy desktop environments (KDE, Gnome), prefer console and/or light desktop things (maybe XFCE, Fluxbox etc.)
2) If you have a possibility to do so, at some point try compiling your own kernel, leaving unneeded stuff out (like support for > 4GB RAM in your case, as an example)
3) Disable unneeded services. Most distributions will surely have some services that start during boot process that take time, that you don't need. Less services to start is less time to boot.
4) Especially on GUI side, try to pick up light versions/alternatives of apps. OpenOffice sure is great, but it's heavy, so try alternatives (AbiWord? Not sure if it's lighter, though) if you can. It spares your nerves.
 
Old 11-07-2006, 03:47 AM   #10
theYinYeti
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 61
You don't need to go that minimal with a PIII400!
I have a PII350, and I run Mandriva 2007 on it: the newer OpenOffice2 is a lot faster than previous versions: it opens in less than 30s.

Just don't use KDE with so little memory, maybe not even Gnome. I use Ion3 (wonderfull after redefining keybindings to more usual values, unusable with default ones) but this is maybe a little too minimal. I've always found IceWM to be a good tradeoff: familiar, but still lean: it is even lighter on resources than the well known Fluxbox.

Yves.
 
Old 11-07-2006, 01:32 PM   #11
tanstaafl4y
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 15
On my "real" computers I have used several live distro's but brought back to life an old box to learn the basics. I could not install Ubuntu or knoppix but was able to HD install DSL (Damn Small Linux).

My System
AMD K6 @ 333mhz
FIC VA-503A Motherboard
64 Megs RAM (PC100 SD)
4GB Hard Drive (Completly Blank)

Things run very quickly from command line but the GUI (I think its kde) bogs down due to the miniscule ammount of ram. My intent is to download from the internet the packages (programs) that I wanted to test (which would have automatically installed with a diffrent distro).

If you intend to USE this computer, I'd reccomend spending a few bucks to increase the RAM...but if your just dabbling to get your feet wet, install DSL to hard drive and accept that the "bogging down" is a hardware issue rather than software related.
 
Old 11-07-2006, 01:49 PM   #12
alred
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: singapore
Distribution: puppy and Ubuntu and ... erh ... redhat(sort of) :( ... + the venerable bsd and solaris ^_^
Posts: 658
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 31
just increase your ram ... as much as possible and you will be fine ...

you can even run kde and open office while gnome would be slow(even if you are a patient computer user) for that kind of spec ...


my suggestion is that you try kde ubuntu with more ram(and probably with faster disks too) first and see how it goes ...


[EDIT ::] btw ... i remember with 128 mb of ram you cant even run a proper win98 , right ??


.

Last edited by alred; 11-07-2006 at 01:51 PM.
 
Old 11-07-2006, 03:13 PM   #13
farslayer
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 190Reputation: 190
The lightweight Desktop is the key to making it run decent on a low end machine.

Debian Etch - XFCE4 - Pentium 166 mmx 64MB RAM 2 MB Video Card..

It's no greased lightening for sure but fir browsing the web and doing email it's fine.
so your PIII 400 with 128 MB of RAM shouldn't be too difficult


Debian Netinstall Base no Package groups.
then login and install X
apt-get update
apt-get install xserver-xorg xfce4 firefox

Easy !!
 
Old 11-07-2006, 03:17 PM   #14
vwvr9
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: OpenSuse 10.1 / Centos 4.4
Posts: 60

Rep: Reputation: 15
more ram is all you need,
 
Old 11-08-2006, 04:05 PM   #15
theYinYeti
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 61
With Damn Small Linux, even my laptop was fast (see "nomade" in signature). I could even use 2 X sessions at once!

Yves.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I have a 64bit CPU but I run linux-86.. How to switch to linux-86_64? vratojr Linux - Hardware 2 02-21-2006 05:42 AM
which can run linux os run better on my old computer kennycc Linux - Software 10 02-09-2006 09:41 PM
Cannot get NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-1.0-6629-pkg2.run to run properly doctorwebbox Linux - Hardware 0 02-06-2005 07:18 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration