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totalshredder 01-01-2005 12:35 AM

Linux for My Pentium 75
Okay guys, I'm minorly new to linux, and have installed quite a few distros with a... little bit... of sucess. The problem is, I have no good computers that I really want to mess up(family data files) by trying to install linux(I did it before).

Anyways, could you guys start listing off(Give me as many as you can!!!!) the linux distros that you think could work on my PC.

Here are my specs for now

Compaq Presario CDS 972 (bought in 1995 new)
Processer: Pentium 75 (75 mhz)
RAM: 85 MB
Hard Drive: 400 MB
LAN: Realtek RTL8139 PCI 10/100
Has a Floppy
4x CD-ROM Drive
14.4k Modem (haha)
(Has run windows 95, pretty well)

So what is you people's take on it all? For now, I am trying to pick which one I should use. Be as creative as you can be. Don't stick to the mainstream, as I have probibly already seen them. But don't hesitate to add them ;)

Thanks for any help!!!!


floppywhopper 01-01-2005 12:43 AM

well whatever distro you choose is going to be stripped down for racing.

You could make it do something useful like being a firewall for your other computers. You wont fit one of the more popular mainstream distros like smoothwall or astaro on a HDD that small but you could try M0n0wall 1.1 which is a BSD based firewall.

good luck
live long and prosper

totalshredder 01-01-2005 12:56 AM

No, there are linux distros that would work on this. I know that for sure. I was able to get DSL(damnsmalllinux) working without much trouble, but I want something a little bit bigger and badder ;)

What else can you guys think of?

Lleb_KCir 01-01-2005 01:00 AM

IPCop should also work for you

is the home page. i have heard some very good things about this firewall setup. basicaly you burn the CD, or mount the .iso file and run it from that. reboot and you are done for a basic setup. little more configuration if you want to get fancy.

if you want a full blow linux, i would sujest that you try to find a distro vs that was popular in the year your computer was made (1995) and see about getting that distro ISO files and install that. you should be able to update the kernel, but i highly doubt, in fact i know you could not install a modern GUI on something that old.

totalshredder 01-01-2005 01:32 AM

Thanks guys,

But I do not need a firewall or router. I seriously just want a linux distro on it. With a gui like fluxbox or something. I have had some success with DSL, but want to move higher.


claudius753 01-01-2005 01:52 AM

Have you tried VectorLinux? 'Tis made for older hardware.

It runs well on my 166Mhz Thinkpad 4Gig HD, 48 MB RAM.

Last I Checkied, it ran on a 386?

claudius753 01-01-2005 01:58 AM

Nevermind, I checked the vector site, the minimum is now 166MHz, so I would go for an older distro, something that came out in 96 or 98 that your hardware could run without much trouble.

ericxx2004 01-01-2005 03:13 AM

Maybe Slax would be a good choice? I haven't tried it on anything other then my athlon xp though. Slax popcorn comes with xfce too.

mugstar 01-01-2005 04:27 AM

IMHO, the question isn't necessarily "which distro" but rather "which packages". Any distro which will run on a 386 will run on your box - Debian and Slackware being two examples. Check Distrowatch for suitable distros. You'll need to strip it down to the bare bones and use the lightest of GUI's, if, that is, you feel you need one. Getting by with a console-only install will free up CPU cycles, RAM, disk space and still allow you email, browsing etc.

totalshredder 01-01-2005 11:39 AM

Okay, let's assume I could upgrade my computer to a 1.2 GB HD and 128 MB RAM. I also might be able to put a DVD player on it. Would that be able to boost the types of things I can run on it?

Also, how much of linux is based on the processer compared to the ram and swap etc. That would be interesting to know :)


btmiller 01-01-2005 01:23 PM

You might try DeLi Linux, which is up to date and claims to run on your hardware. It is basedof an old Slackware version with updated packages I would not get an old distro from 1996 or so as some have suggested. The reason for that is many of those distros had gaping security holes, so you'd have to do a lot of patching, or get your machine 0wn3d as soon as you try to use it in any sort of server capacity (don't know if you were planning to do that).

Getting the hard drive and memory expanded would help, particularly the memory. Most of the GUIs depend more on having lots of RAM than a fast CPU, but a reasonably fast CPU is important.

totalshredder 01-01-2005 02:45 PM

Very Nice.

That is exactly the type of stuff I'm looking for. The only problem with that one is the beta status, and, as btmiller said, security holes.

I would plan on using the computer as a server if I could. But it isn't absolutely nessisary. I will probibly buy a better computer for that. This is mostly an experiment.

Thanks Guys!

(Any more would be great)

Hangdog42 01-01-2005 05:50 PM

With hardware like that, I would load up Slackware and just run in console mode. My orignial linux box was a 133 MHz pentium with 49MB RAM and 8 GB of disk. Anything needing X sucked wind, even with a lightweight wm like fluxbox, but in console mode, the thing screamed along quite nicely and even worked reasonably well as a web server. Surfing the net with lynx is a bit of an experience as well. Besides, running a console-only machine brings you face to face with Linux in all its glory, configuring the way it was intended, with a text editor.

And I'd like to second the suggestion that you keep to supported distro versions. There are enough choices for hardware like your that you don't need to venture into obsolete stuff.

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