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Old 11-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
felinus
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Question Linux in 256mb


Hi,
I am new here and a newbie to Linux.
I have an old laptop which is perfectly serviceable but only has 256mb of memory, is there a Linux that would work with this small amount of memory ?
I tried Ubuntu but it was terribly slow.
Also the machine cannot boot from a memory stick and only has a cd player so would have to be installed from a cd.
Any help much appreciated.
Felinus
 
Old 11-13-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
snowpine
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If you are brand-new to Linux, then I recommend you upgrade your hardware, so that you will have a pleasant learning experience.

I find that Linux Mint is super-dooper-easy, perfect for a beginner or experienced user alike! They have several nice desktop options (I prefer Xfce for older hardware). The release notes list the hardware requirements: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2366

You can probably find a computer that meets Mint's requirements for free if you ask family/friends/coworkers.

If you are truly stuck with only 256mb for whatever reason, a lightweight distro like AntiX or Slitaz should give you basic functionality. Just don't run too many apps at once, and stay away from multimedia-rich websites. Adblock/scriptblock/flashblock plugins are your friend when browsing the web on low-end hardware.
 
Old 11-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
TobiSGD
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As snowpine already said, you will get the best experience when upgrading your RAM, but in the meantime you can try antiX, Salix LXDE (or one of the versions that only comes with a WM), Bodhi and actually any of the general purpose distros, if you make a minimal install and only install lightweight versions of the software you need. For example, it will be better to use the Midori browser than the RAM hungry Firefox, and so on.
 
Old 11-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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For a distro which comes on a CD rather than a DVD and runs comfortably in 256MB, you have a choice of Antix, Bodhi, and Zorin Lite.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7

They differ chiefly in user interface: visit their websites and look at the screen-shots or, better still, try them. I'd say the Zorin Lite is the most user-friendly.

If you CPU is a Pentium Pro, Pentium II or better, any will do. If you have a Pentium I, Zorin won't run. If you have a Pentium M, it depends on the model: Zorin won't run on the version with the 400MHX FSB.
 
Old 11-13-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
NetBot
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To: felinus

You can try Tinycore linux, Crunchbang linux or Puppy Linux

If you could upgrade your memory that would help greatly and get better performance.

If you're not sure of your memory specs, you can run this command from a LiveCD as root

Code:
dmidecode --type memory
Below is a sample output for one of my memory sticks

Memory Device
Array Handle: 0x0007
Error Information Handle: Not Provided
Total Width: 64 bits
Data Width: 64 bits
Size: 8192 MB
Form Factor: DIMM
Set: None
Locator: ChannelB-DIMM1
Bank Locator: BANK 3
Type: DDR3
Type Detail: Synchronous
Speed: 1600 MHz
Manufacturer: 859B
Serial Number: 00000000
Asset Tag: 9876543210
Part Number: CT102464BA160B.M16
Rank: 2
Configured Clock Speed: 1600 MHz

The items in Bold are what I believe to be important for the memory.

Or, you can use this site http://www.crucial.com/store/drammemory.aspx to determine your memory type on the left side titled Two ways to find your upgrades

Welcome to Linux and LQ!

Last edited by NetBot; 11-13-2013 at 06:45 PM.
 
Old 11-14-2013, 03:47 AM   #6
felinus
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Thanks for all the info, It's nice when people are so generous with their knowledge.
I am looking at all of the versions mentioned and am also going to consider getting a bit more memory.
Many thanks and very best regards to you all.
Felinus
 
Old 11-14-2013, 04:07 AM   #7
AwesomeMachine
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Just a footnote: any distro without the xserver is pretty light weight. Desktop linux with an xserver requires more than 256 MB of ram to run almost at all.
 
Old 11-14-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
felinus
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Just downloaded Puppy Linux, got it running from a CD and it seems to be running really fast, faster than Windows xp anyway !
Looks very interesting with a familiar interface etc. Am now off to learn what/how it does.
Thanks for all the advice folks.
Very best regards
Felinus
 
Old 11-14-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
americast
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You could give Lubuntu a try...
 
  


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