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Old 10-11-2002, 11:12 AM   #1
joeberk
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Linux on a tired old laptop?


Here's my situation:

I have an old Compaq LTE5280 laptop. It's got a Pentium 120mhz processor, 32MB of RAM, 1MB of video RAM, and just over 1GB on the HD. I've got some sort of PCMCIA network card in the laptop, along with a PCMCIA modem.

Also, you have to swap the floppy & CD-ROM drives, so you can't have both in the machine at once. (Though I can setup the machine such that it boots into DOS and can recognize the CD-ROM drive).

It's basically unusable under Windows 9X.

I'd like to try Linux on it. All I really need on it is a web browser (so my wife and I can check mail via the WWW), the ability to SSH to my web host (which isn't a big deal), and the ability to (later) setup my PCMCIA modem. As best I can tell, GNOME and KDE are too much for my machine - so I'd be using X Windows version 3.

I've tried Vector Linux, with no success - apparently, you can't run the setup from the CD-ROM. I've also had no luck with the instructions they give.

So here's my questions:

1) Are there any mistakes in my (newbie) logic?

2) Can I get X running on the laptop and it be usable?

3) Are there any other distros I should try? Would I be able to install a Debian or Slackware (which are above my level of understanding, admittedly) and it be usable?

All help is appreciated.
 
Old 10-11-2002, 11:36 AM   #2
stickman
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Your machine is quite usable. Although it's not running Linux, I've got a similar machine running OpenBSD with X and Fluxbox. It's rather snappy considering the hardware.
 
Old 10-11-2002, 11:56 AM   #3
joeberk
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Are you running a recent version of OpenBSD, or an older version?

I'm concerned about the version of X, as I've seen ver. 4 is for faster machines than mine.
 
Old 10-11-2002, 04:00 PM   #4
stickman
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I'm running OpenBSD 3.1 on it. XFree86 is at 4.2.0. It's done pretty well so far considering that it only has 32MB RAM and 2 MB video RAM. It doesn't have a CD so my only install option was floppy and FTP.
 
Old 10-11-2002, 04:15 PM   #5
joeberk
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Quote:
Originally posted by stickman
I'm running OpenBSD 3.1 on it. XFree86 is at 4.2.0. It's done pretty well so far considering that it only has 32MB RAM and 2 MB video RAM. It doesn't have a CD so my only install option was floppy and FTP.
Hmm - I'll give it a try. I had heard you shouldn't bother with XFree86 4 unless you had a Pentium 200 or greater...

Last edited by joeberk; 10-11-2002 at 04:23 PM.
 
  


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