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Old 07-04-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
robuust
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In search of Linux distro for older pc - already tried a few


Hello everyone,

I've got a pentium III 1000 mhz computer, with a geforce 2, 512mb ram, 40 gig HD, I'm not sure about the motherboard. I've already tried ubuntu, opensuse, ubuntu minimal + xfce. They all feel too slow, not responsive enough. I just want to browse the web, and it has to be as fast as possible.

It needs to (most important need first):

- be fast/responsive so preferably with a lightweight (but fully functional) window manager. Xfce?
- be robust, it has to be a mature distro.
- be secure, doesn't have to be a fortress out of the box, but I like exploits/security leaks to be patched as fast as possible. A large community is a big plus.
- clean, I'd like to install only the software I need, nothing more.

Software I'm going to install on it:

firefox/opera or any other decent browser, preferably the latest release.
- with flash
- with adobe pdf
- with java
open office or any alternative
winehq with the game Diablo II
wicd or any other wireless manager
pidgin
maybe apparmor/selinux

I'm a linux newbe, so don't be to hard one me :S
 
Old 07-04-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
Uncle_Theodore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robuust View Post
Hello everyone,

I've got a pentium III 1000 mhz computer, with a geforce 2, 512mb ram, 40 gig HD, I'm not sure about the motherboard. I've already tried ubuntu, opensuse, ubuntu minimal + xfce. They all feel too slow, not responsive enough. I just want to browse the web, and it has to be as fast as possible.

It needs to (most important need first):

- be fast/responsive so preferably with a lightweight (but fully functional) window manager. Xfce?
- be robust, it has to be a mature distro.
- be secure, doesn't have to be a fortress out of the box, but I like exploits/security leaks to be patched as fast as possible. A large community is a big plus.
- clean, I'd like to install only the software I need, nothing more.
Based on your description above I would suggest Slackware. I was going to say an older Slackware, but if you want all that:
Quote:
Software I'm going to install on it:

firefox/opera or any other decent browser, preferably the latest release.
- with flash
- with adobe pdf
- with java
open office or any alternative
winehq with the game Diablo II
wicd or any other wireless manager
pidgin
maybe apparmor/selinux
then, probably, last Slackware or Arch. You can also try Gentoo or its variants. But beware that no matter how fast your system is, these things -- java, flash, openoffice and such are resource hogs all by themselves. But I think, fluxbox or openbox might be a good choice of WM for you.
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,

I agree that Slackware would be a good choice. But you could try some LiveCD from 'The LiveCD List' to see what fits. Try some older releases but there's nothing saying the newer won't work. If you try a LiveCD then you could get all your hardware information with 'lspci -vv' from the cli.

If you do select your distribution be sure to choose one with a light environment for your 'X'.

The above link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
robuust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
Based on your description above I would suggest Slackware. I was going to say an older Slackware, but if you want all that:

then, probably, last Slackware or Arch. You can also try Gentoo or its variants. But beware that no matter how fast your system is, these things -- java, flash, openoffice and such are resource hogs all by themselves. But I think, fluxbox or openbox might be a good choice of WM for you.
Thanks for your reply!

A few questions:
Are fluxbox/openbox fully functional window managers? I do not mind to sacrifice a little bit of speed, if it gives me a much better window manager, as long as it's not too much of a sacrifice
Are slackware/arch regularly updated? Are they secure?

And I understand firefox/openoffice are resource hogs, I might try alternatives.
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
emetib
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i would go with plain debian. even though ubuntu is based on debian, debian is still much lighter.
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
saivin
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Vector Linux or Zenwalk linux... both based on rocksolid slackware but more new-user friendly...
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
robuust
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I'm going to try debian with xfce (or fluxbox) first, if thats not fast enough, I'm going to switch to slackware + fluxbox.
I have the feeling debian is used more, so I'll give try that before slackware.
I'll post my experiences

Last question, is fluxbox robust/functional enough?
 
Old 07-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #8
Uncle_Theodore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robuust View Post
Thanks for your reply!

A few questions:
Are fluxbox/openbox fully functional window managers? I do not mind to sacrifice a little bit of speed, if it gives me a much better window manager, as long as it's not too much of a sacrifice
Yes, they are fully functional as window managers. But they are not desktop environments like KDE or GNOME. So, you get to choose what file manager you want to go with them, for example. But I've been using fluxbox for several years exclusively, now thinking about switching to openbox.
Quote:
Are slackware/arch regularly updated? Are they secure?
Arch is "rolling-release". It's both a good and a bad thing. It's constantly updated with new software, but sometimes it can be a bit buggy.
Slackware follows a more-or-less 6 month release cycle, with regular security updates and bug fixes. It is very stable.
Quote:
And I understand firefox/openoffice are resource hogs, I might try alternatives.
Good luck!
 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
robuust
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Debian + xfce is a little heavy
It uses 4xx mb ram of the 512 mb I have...
When I launch firefox with a few tabs open, It feels a little slow.

Should I try debian + fluxbox/openbox, or slackware + fluxbox/openbox?
 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:32 PM   #10
Quads
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I don't know about playing Diablo, but for everything else you've listed Puppy is more than capable, and its is rocket fast. You can run either the cheesy window manager it comes with or fluxbox or whatever you want, already all set up as there are many livecd variations out there. I ran it on a PIII 600 with 384 MB of ram for quite a while and it ran just fine, it just boots slow. I don't know about getting wine to run on it but I'm sure you can.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:57 PM   #11
linus72
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I second puppy or more specifically a puppy-remaster(easy) or puplet
( http://www.puppylinux.org/downloads/puplets )
Frugal install is best if enough ram, full-hd is best for low-ram
use xvesa with older stuff too.

I remastered browserpuppy 4.8 in less than a day using a script and made "rescuepuppy412"
which has recovery/rescue stuff
( http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...embers-737444/ )

I just got done with my official rescue/install kit which has PartedMagic frugal/cd/usb(100mb)
rescuepuppy(100mb) with jwm
tinycore with openbox
microcore with fluxbox and jwm
netbootcd(net-installs major distro'
s
and plop bootmanager
it all goes on usb(fat32 or ext2/3), cd or harddrive as their all frugal
comes with premade grub menu.lst's sub-menus' and isolinux(cd) and syslinux(fatusb) config files and sub-menus too.
and it comes with 2 scripts to make a isolinux iso image or grub stage2_eltorito iso image
basically it lives anywhere
transformer.

anyway, if you wanna try it I'll upload it now, still messing with menu's but it all works.

so, I recommend puppy or tinycore
 
Old 07-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #12
linus72
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OH, to elaborate more robust; Browserpuppy 4.8 has latest firefox 3.5 + flash
and minimal other stuff and wine is available too
( http://www.browserpuppy.com/ )

tinycore_2.1 etc uses flash10 and wine is available
 
Old 07-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #13
linus72
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oh, he just released 4.9!
 
Old 07-05-2009, 07:06 PM   #14
i92guboj
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You might want to consider lxde as a desktop environment if you don't want to roll your own using a light wm.

http://www.lxde.org/
 
Old 07-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #15
carl0ski
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Ubuntu modern 9.04 and 8.04 runs pretty well on my Pentium III 1.1ghz Laptop (768MB Ram).

1GB is minimum for anything though.
Firefox and Flash chew more ram and resources than any other part of the OS.
Regardless what window manager or distro you use you'll find the web slow.

Please get some more ram.
 
  


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