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Old 11-15-2011, 05:51 PM   #1
Acclue
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Looking for a linux distribution for a really old laptop


My school just felt the need to gave away a bunch of IBM Thinkpad 600E laptops and I thought it would be a nice little computer to have for word processing and a little bit of programming when I'm not at my desktop.

Problem is, it came from the school loaded with msdos and I'd really feel more comfortable with a graphical interface, but I can't seem to find a reliable source for a really old linux distribution that will run on it.

So does anyone have any links to something that will run it mostly just for word processing? Preferably in an iso. I can do without the ability to actually compile any modern programming if that's too much to ask of this little guy.

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to put a note at the original post. I managed to use a cd-rw to install the latest version of damn small linux and it works just fine. Thanks for your help everyone.

Last edited by Acclue; 11-20-2011 at 03:30 PM.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 06:31 PM   #2
zrdc28
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Puppy and bodhi will both run on that rig ok. Go to distrowatch and get the iso. Slackware 12.1 is another that will run on it ok.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
k3lt01
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You don't give us any specs on the machine, that model had various levels of specification from 266 MHz to 400 MHz with 32 to 64 MB RAM.

Debian Lenny (oldstable) with the i486 kernel and maybe even the i686 kernel will run on it if you use a minimal setup, i.e. Fluxbox or something extremely lightweight. I think you could probably, with a little bit of work, get Squeeze (current stable) running on it reasonably ok. Lets put it this way, with any currently supported distro (apart from Puppy or DammSmallLinux) the machine isn't going to be a rocket but for simple work it should be satisfactory.

Last edited by k3lt01; 11-15-2011 at 06:55 PM.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
kindofabuzz
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The thing is that it probably won't boot to a cd and defiantly won't boot to usb.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
inoculos
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providing you can the thing to boot from cd..

http://tuxradar.com/content/whats-be...t-linux-distro
 
Old 11-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
Acclue
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I loaded it with Puppy, but getting an error message at boot.

Code:
Loading drivers needed to access disk drives.. done
Searching for Puppy files....puppy_slacko_5.3.sfs not found. Dropping out to initial-ramdisk console...
/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
not sure what to think of it, but it's my last cdr till I can stop by the store tomorrow, so I hope it wasn't a bad burn. I'd like to have it for tomorrow morning.

EDIT: it does go past the puppy intro page and I can use the function keys to get into the help files, but after that it just boots with that error.

Last edited by Acclue; 11-15-2011 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 10:43 PM   #7
mogrady
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Try An Older Version of Puppy

I would suggest you drop back to some older versions of Puppy and check the Puppy Distro pages for instructions on how to make a boot FLOPPY DISK that might further your progress. And the Damn Small Distro is also worth a try.

Good luck, Michael
 
Old 11-15-2011, 11:31 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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I would step away from Puppy at all, ON a machine with so small amount of RAM it won't work, and it doesn't make sense to run any distro from RAM if there is not enough RAM. Try ConnochaetOS, Slackware with Fluxbox or, if it has a i686 capable processor, maybe Arch is worth a try.
We could help you much better if you tell us the specs of that machine.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:14 AM   #9
Acclue
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I would love to tell you the specs of the machine, but I have no way of getting the specs. the thing doesn't have a bios screen for some reason (really, nothing, just blank screen then whatever I have loaded into it at the time) and I currently don't have the tools available to disassemble it and look at the parts (forgot my toolbox at home this semester, been kicking myself over it for months). Regardless, I'm gonna have to wait till tomorrow to get another cdr or floppy to try anything else. probably get a rewriteable this time though just in case this happens again.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:25 AM   #10
k3lt01
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You may be wasting money on buying a cd-rw as the machine may not be able to read one. Actually some older machines cannot even read cd-r and can only read cd-rom. Are there any labels underneath the machine? Manufacturers often put a model number and other details which you can then lookup online to see what you have. An example of this is my laptop on the lid it says RV511 but if you look at my signature you can see there is other information and that makes a difference.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:29 AM   #11
rokytnji
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I'm thinking that Slacko Puppy 5.3's kernel 2.6.37.6 may be too new for that 600 you have.

You might go with http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42553 since I don't know your ram specs. This version of Puppy was made for legacy computers like yours.

I run AntiX 11 on my P3 IBM a22m but my ram I bumped it up to 512MB to run comfortably. It ran AntiX ok on 256MB of ram, but not with too many apps open. Requires a /swap partition also of about 700MBs.

Edit: saw the post above mine. He is right. My IBM a22m which is newer than yours and has a DVDROM drive won't boot cdrw. Just cdr.

Last edited by rokytnji; 11-16-2011 at 12:31 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #12
rokytnji
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Just another thread you can look through to see what IBM 600 Puppy users use.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=51474

Edit: and another thread http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=27224

Last edited by rokytnji; 11-16-2011 at 12:38 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 12:43 AM   #13
poly_s
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In dos try
Code:
 mem
Or
Code:
msd
To give a clue on memory.

If you have lots of time to read loads of wiki's then Arch would mean you could have a gui that does just what you want to and nothing else.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 11-16-2011, 01:16 AM   #14
k3lt01
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From the current Debian Stable (Squeeze) installation guide.
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch02s05.html.en
2.5. Memory and Disk Space Requirements

You must have at least 56MB of memory and 650MB of hard disk space to perform a normal installation. Note that these are fairly minimal numbers. For more realistic figures, see Section 3.4, “Meeting Minimum Hardware Requirements”.

Installation on systems with less memory[4] or disk space available may be possible but is only advised for experienced users.

[4] Installation images that support the graphical installer require more memory than images that support only the textual installer and should not be used on systems with less than 56MB of memory. If there is a choice between booting the regular and the graphical installer, the former should be selected.
and
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch03s04.html.en
3.4. Meeting Minimum Hardware Requirements

Once you have gathered information about your computer's hardware, check that your hardware will let you do the type of installation that you want to do.

Depending on your needs, you might manage with less than some of the recommended hardware listed in the table below. However, most users risk being frustrated if they ignore these suggestions.

A Pentium 4, 1GHz system is the minimum recommended for a desktop system.

Table 3.2. Recommended Minimum System Requirements
Install Type RAM (minimal) RAM (recommended) Hard Drive
No desktop 64 megabytes 256 megabytes 1 gigabyte
With Desktop 128 megabytes 512 megabytes 5 gigabytes

The actual minimum memory requirements are a lot less then the numbers listed in this table. Depending on the architecture, it is possible to install Debian with as little as 20MB (for s390) to 60MB (for amd64). The same goes for the disk space requirements, especially if you pick and choose which applications to install; see Section D.2, “Disk Space Needed for Tasks” for additional information on disk space requirements.

It is possible to run a graphical desktop environment on older or low-end systems, but in that case it is recommended to install a window manager that is less resource-hungry than those of the GNOME or KDE desktop environments; alternatives include xfce4, icewm and wmaker, but there are others to choose from.

It is practically impossible to give general memory or disk space requirements for server installations as those very much depend on what the server is to be used for.

Remember that these sizes don't include all the other materials which are usually to be found, such as user files, mail, and data. It is always best to be generous when considering the space for your own files and data.

Disk space required for the smooth operation of the Debian GNU/Linux system itself is taken into account in these recommended system requirements. Notably, the /var partition contains a lot of state information specific to Debian in addition to its regular contents, like logfiles. The dpkg files (with information on all installed packages) can easily consume 40MB. Also, apt-get puts downloaded packages here before they are installed. You should usually allocate at least 200MB for /var, and a lot more if you install a graphical desktop environment.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 01:38 AM   #15
ssaigol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindofabuzz View Post
The thing is that it probably won't boot to a cd and defiantly won't boot to usb.

The Plop linux boot manager is capable of booting a PC whose bios is unable to boot from CD or USB Check it out.

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html

The following distros will work on this machine. Debian 3.0, Red Hat ver 6.0, Slackware ver 10
Ubuntu 5.04 with openbox should work just fine. DSL (Damn Small Linux) will be fine if you use the 50 MB version. And of course Win95
 
  


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