LinuxQuestions.org
LinuxAnswers - the LQ Linux tutorial section.
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 01-07-2008, 06:18 AM   #1
ed933
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Linux for old computer??


Hey all!

I've got a 9 old computer (1.3GHz P4 | 128MB RDRAM | Nvidia GeForce2 MX) which runs EXTREMELY SLOWLY on Windows 2000 Professional, that I'd like to revive using Linux.

I've tried several distributions of Linux on the computer - Xubuntu, Puppy Linux, Feather Linux, Debian, yet all of them ran with problems - Xubuntu was S L O W, Puppy Linux and Feather Linux didn't install properly on the Hard Drive and Debian ended up with no sound and also a bit slow.

I've been planning to use this computer as a fast workstation, but I'm also planning to use it as a home proxy server for 3 other PC's with a wireless router. (This PC will be wired up to the router)

Is there such a distribution that fits my needs? (I'm a total Linux n00b)

Thanks in advance for ANY help!

Last edited by ed933; 01-07-2008 at 06:22 AM. Reason: Punctuation
 
Old 01-07-2008, 06:28 AM   #2
ev0ltn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2007
Distribution: Gentoo, Fedora, Slackware .. Mac OS X?
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Sure there is. Try Slackware or Gentoo. I don't know how much you know about Linux but I'll be guessing you're still quite new to this? (I'm just judging by the types of distros you tried and the problems you ran into). You should be fine if you follow the Gentoo installation docs, and Slackware.. well the install process is pretty straightforward. It takes some time to configure though, and there are no fancy GUI tools to do the 'dirty work' for you. I'd dare to say Gentoo is very much like Slackware but with a unique package manager.

Check them out, if you get any problems during installation just post here, I'm sure we'll be able to help you.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 06:38 AM   #3
b0uncer
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Well the hardware isn't "old" in my opinion, but for Windows it might be..Gentoo users typically (or so it's said) want to compile all their software when installed, and that takes time - so unless you want the CPU of the machine run red-heated for a few days, I recommend Slackware. Many have a misconception that Slackware doesn't have a package manager, but it does - and if you want to have a tool that automatically checks for updated packages in an internet reposity and updates them for you, there is software available for that too. Packages are distributed in a simple .tar.gz format, and available in the web, so you're not missing anything..besides Slackware is rather simple, yet everything you might need. What it does not come with is a hand-holding graphical semi-automatic tool everything, so you need to do your changes yourself. It's not difficult, there are some helper apps and you can work in graphical environment at least most of the time, but it's not like Ubuntu. Should run on an "old" hardware smoothly, the only thing that might choke is the graphical desktop - and this is the case with the rest of the Linux distributions too. It's not the system itself that runs slow on those specs, but the software that needs most CPU and RAM - graphical X server, and the graphical desktop environment that runs on it. Slackware's main default is KDE which is fairly heavy, and it doesn't provide you with (also heavy) Gnome unless you want to try one of the contributed projects available on the web, but it does come with some less heavy desktops/window managers that you can select during the installation - XFCE (used by Xubuntu too), WindowMaker, and so on. You can install them all if you wish, try them out, and remove those you don't like later on.

I'm a bit curious why Xubuntu would run slow on the thing. What exactly was slow - everything, or just graphic intensive apps? Of course Linux operating systems can't turn your 1,3GHz P4 into a 4GHz shiny beast, but neither it should be as slow as Windows typically can be. Maybe it's the amount of RAM; if you can, you might want to find and buy some more (upgrade it to 256MB at least, or preferrably 512MB), because running short of RAM will make things slow.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 06:43 AM   #4
titopoquito
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Ruhr Area, Germany
Distribution: Slackware64 14.0
Posts: 1,524

Rep: Reputation: 94
I would not recommend Gentoo for an old computer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of compiling from source is done to install apps (compared to other distros that use binary packages). That will take much longer on an old computer of course.
I second the Slackware recommendation, although it CAN get hard if you are new to Linux, but not harder than possible other suggestions -- Damn Small Linux comes to my mind besides the ones that already gave you problems. Basically all distros should be fine that give you a lean Window Manager like Fluxbox, IceWM, Openbox etc and allows you to disable compositing managers (Beryl, Compiz, Compiz Fusion) and resource intensive tools (like Beagle desktop search). With that amount of RAM a fully "bloated" desktop environment like KDE or Gnome and probably even Xfce4 would consume to much resources.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 07:06 AM   #5
ed933
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for the xtremely fast reply! o.o

Well, Xubuntu was just sluggish and unpleasant to use - most apps took 5 secs just to load up, sluggish scrolling, etc. I think Xfce is a bit too heavy for this computer. I guess Debian w/ Fluxbox will do for the time being. As for upgrading RAM, I do not plan to upgrade RAM as RDRAM is expensive... I'll try downloading Gentoo and Slackware and see how it goes .

Also, if I do get Gentoo or Slackware running, how do I set it up to become BOTH a workstation AND a proxy/firewall server?

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by ed933; 01-07-2008 at 07:08 AM. Reason: .
 
Old 01-07-2008, 08:03 AM   #6
lucazorzi
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Italy
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian, OS X
Posts: 70

Rep: Reputation: 16
Xfce too heavy?
I run KDE and Compiz fusion very well on a p3 900 mhz with 256 mb of ram and a 128 mb Geforce MX...
 
Old 01-07-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
ev0ltn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2007
Distribution: Gentoo, Fedora, Slackware .. Mac OS X?
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
I would not recommend Gentoo for an old computer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of compiling from source is done to install apps (compared to other distros that use binary packages). That will take much longer on an old computer of course
and ..
Quote:
(..) so unless you want the CPU of the machine run red-heated for a few days, I recommend Slackware.
Red heated for a few days, eh? That's EXACTLY what I had been told when I asked about Gentoo before trying it out myself and it scared me off. But then it turned out it's just not true - my laptop runs on a 1.6 GHz Celeron and I only had to leave it running overnight once, when I was downloading + compiling Gnome. Installation took 4~ hours off a minimal CD. I can live with that, at least I know all my software is optimized for _my_ machine and the software I use. USE flags are easy to understand even for a novice.

Right now I have a fully working Gnome environment with full multimedia support. And I never really felt anything was taking too much time.

Still, I encourage you to try both (Slack & Gentoo). Don't be afraid of Gentoo (I know many people are) once you understand the basics, you're pulling the strings.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 09:36 AM   #8
armanox
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
Distribution: Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, IRIX, OS X
Posts: 192

Rep: Reputation: 32
Gentoo might not be a bad choice. The Gentoo handbook walks straight through the install process, and, after the compiling ends, you end up with a Linux install completely tuned to your box.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 11:58 AM   #9
titopoquito
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Ruhr Area, Germany
Distribution: Slackware64 14.0
Posts: 1,524

Rep: Reputation: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucazorzi View Post
Xfce too heavy?
I run KDE and Compiz fusion very well on a p3 900 mhz with 256 mb of ram and a 128 mb Geforce MX...
The topic poster has half the amount of RAM you have. I don't have anymore a machine like this up and running, but I guess it will make a difference if you have 128 or 256 MBs ...
 
Old 01-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #10
dv502
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: USA - NYC
Distribution: Whatever icon you see!
Posts: 642

Rep: Reputation: 57
Try arch linux. It is optimized for i686 and higher cpu's and runs fast.

For installation instructions

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Main_Page

Arch linux is aim mostly for experience linux users, but if you can follow the instructions, I believe you can install it too.

Last edited by dv502; 01-07-2008 at 12:42 PM.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #11
AwesomeMachine
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: USA and Italy
Distribution: Debian jessie/sid; OpenSuSE; Fedora
Posts: 1,593

Rep: Reputation: 162Reputation: 162
Nothing is going to work right until you put more ram in the machine.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #12
LinuxCrayon
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 274

Rep: Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
Nothing is going to work right until you put more ram in the machine.
I would disagree. Even with only 128MB, if he turns off all unnecessary services, uses a lightweight WM such as Flux, sticks to less intensive programs (KWrite over OpenOffice Writer, for example), and doesn't try to run four programs at once, he should be fine.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:20 PM   #13
chrism01
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney
Distribution: Centos 6.5, Centos 5.10
Posts: 16,289

Rep: Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034Reputation: 2034
To summarise the last 2 posts, if you are willing to put some work in and use less common options, you can make it run reasonably, but a simple and quick solution is definitely to get a decent amount of RAM. The rest of the HW specs are fine.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 07:34 PM   #14
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,281
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446
Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed933 View Post
Hey all!

I've got a 9 old computer (1.3GHz P4 | 128MB RDRAM | Nvidia GeForce2 MX) which runs EXTREMELY SLOWLY on Windows 2000 Professional, that I'd like to revive using Linux.

I've tried several distributions of Linux on the computer - Xubuntu, Puppy Linux, Feather Linux, Debian, yet all of them ran with problems - Xubuntu was S L O W, Puppy Linux and Feather Linux didn't install properly on the Hard Drive and Debian ended up with no sound and also a bit slow.

I've been planning to use this computer as a fast workstation, but I'm also planning to use it as a home proxy server for 3 other PC's with a wireless router. (This PC will be wired up to the router)

Is there such a distribution that fits my needs? (I'm a total Linux n00b)

Thanks in advance for ANY help!
This is hardware is not that old. The P4 with the right amount of RAM and HDD will work with just about any modern distribution. You didn't state the motherboard or other peripheral devices. This could be some problems with drivers or support but I don't think that I would worry too much.

I like Slackware and use it for my servers and other needs within my test arena. I've got several test benches with a workstation at each. My console laptops(IBM 760el/xl) run Slackware and these are for controller access.

You could look at the LiveCD section of 'Slackware-Links' . Select one or two to try out a distribution and see what fits or works for you.
 
  


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
How to move open office doc from Linux computer to Windows computer Phoenixink Linux - Software 6 02-15-2007 07:09 AM
installing linux on a computer and use hard disk on another computer danrweki Linux - Newbie 8 11-16-2005 10:11 PM
Can't copy files from an SCO Unix System V computer to a Linux computer gnppapas Linux - General 2 11-27-2004 01:39 PM
Why would a windows computer smoke a linux computer for download speed ? lostboy Linux - General 4 10-21-2003 05:20 PM
How can i portage Linux from computer with Celeron proc to computer with Pentium 166? gdi Linux - General 4 05-31-2003 01:11 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:28 PM.

Main Menu
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
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration