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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.