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Old 01-31-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
z1p
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Looking for Distro suggestions fpr PIII 450 w/ 768MB Ram


What do folks suggest for the system listed in the title? It is an old gateway box with the original Phoenix BIOS.


Currently I have Ubuntu on it and it was working ok till I went from 9 to 10, since then it has been acting up.

I run it basically as a backroom server, (file server, home automation, media), but it doesn't get hit hard.

I'm looking for something lighter than Ubuntu.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

Last edited by z1p; 01-31-2011 at 08:58 AM. Reason: correct sys spec to PIII 450
 
Old 01-31-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
TobiSGD
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If you want to use it as a server, and want something lighter than Ubuntu I would recommend Debian (if you are used to Ubuntu you should not have greater problems to adapt to Debian) or Slackware. Do you run a graphical environment on it? Wouldn't recommend that on a server, but each to his own. If you want that, I would go for a WM (like one of the *boxes, IceWM, JWM or one of the tiling WMs) or a lighter DE (like LXDE, XFCE or Enlightenment).
 
Old 01-31-2011, 09:19 AM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

Define lighter?

You could expand on service requirements, duty.
I personally like Slackware for my systems. You can get more out of a Slackware system than a hold your hand Gnu/Linux.

Get Slackware Linux will have links.

Just a few more useful links;


SlackwareŽ Essentials
SlackwareŽ Basics
Linux Documentation Project
Rute Tutorial & Exposition
Linux Command Guide
Bash Reference Manual
Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
Linux Newbie Admin Guide
LinuxSelfHelp
Utimate Linux Newbie Guide





The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 01-31-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
sag47
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Pentium III came out in '99 so I would recommend any distro with a 2.2 Kernel since its last release was in 2004 or a 2.4 Kernel. The following claims to be geared towards Pentium I but I can't vouch for it:
http://www.connochaetos.org/

RedHat 9 is a solid 2.4 kernel distro.
Here's a list of Slackware by kernel version.

If you want to check out other distros then go here.

The rest is at your finger tips with Google.

Last edited by sag47; 01-31-2011 at 09:43 AM.
 
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
jmc1987
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Puppy Linux will run fast
 
Old 01-31-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
Pentium III came out in '99 so I would recommend any distro with a 2.2 Kernel since its last release was in 2004 or a 2.4 Kernel. The following claims to be geared towards Pentium I but I can't vouch for it:
http://www.connochaetos.org/

RedHat 9 is a solid 2.4 kernel distro.
Here's a list of Slackware by kernel version.

If you want to check out other distros then go here.

The rest is at your finger tips with Google.
2.6 kernel runs fine here on Celeron 550 MHz and Pentium III 600 MHZ, no need to go for an outdated kernel.

And it is a bad advice to recommend distros like Red Hat 9, this very outdated and will get neither security updates nor bugfixes. Please do not recommend such things.
 
Old 01-31-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
petebow4
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As mentioned above it would be best to not have a GUI running on a server; I couldn't agree more. I'm surprised that going from 9 to 10 of Ubuntu gave you so much grief, IF you are running the server version without the GUI. Personally I would recommend installing Ubuntu Server Long Term Support (LTS) without the GUI, as you are comfortable with using Ubuntu.

That being said, a little off topic, if you're up for a challenge I thought I'd mention Linux From Scratch (LFS). I once did a LFS installation on a very old machine and found amazing results by installing IceWM. While LFS is not a distro, and requires a *significant* amount of work to install and maintain, you can decide with precision which applications you need to run on your server. So while doing the install is not for the faint of heart, it is a good opportunity to really get into the depths of Linux. Since you are planning to reinstall the server, it might be a good time to play around with LFS before you pick a distro, as it really will give you a better understanding of Linux and what applications you want installed when picking a distro.


Of course if you if you really just want a good distro and need to get back online ASAP, I think that the advice from the previous posts are spot on. But if you feel like a challenge and have the time to play with it... check out LFS.
 
Old 01-31-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
sag47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
2.6 kernel runs fine here on Celeron 550 MHz and Pentium III 600 MHZ, no need to go for an outdated kernel.

And it is a bad advice to recommend distros like Red Hat 9, this very outdated and will get neither security updates nor bugfixes. Please do not recommend such things.
I figured picking a version from around the same time period would maximize the support. Oh well disregard then.
 
Old 01-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
Pentium III came out in '99 so I would recommend any distro with a 2.2 Kernel since its last release was in 2004 or a 2.4 Kernel. The following claims to be geared towards Pentium I but I can't vouch for it:
http://www.connochaetos.org/

RedHat 9 is a solid 2.4 kernel distro.
Here's a list of Slackware by kernel version.

If you want to check out other distros then go here.

The rest is at your finger tips with Google.
OP doesn't need to roll back that far to get legacy equipment to function. A 2.4 or 2.6 circa 2004 should work.

Look at Slackware 10.2, ANNOUNCE.10_2.
If you have issues with 10.2 then roll to earlier 10.1 or 9.1. My money is on 10.2 to work with the 2.4 or use the 2.6 to test out.

No need to roll back to a 2.2 kernel.
Your memory on the machine is fine, what about hdd space.

 
Old 01-31-2011, 12:00 PM   #10
Charles4809
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Enlightenment

You could give Bodhi Linux a try. It's still in Beta, but works fine. (I'm doing some tests on the latest release)
It's based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS but with a very lightweight desktop environment.
Only core aps are included but the repository gives you everything you want to make your computer a specialized machine.
 
Old 01-31-2011, 12:24 PM   #11
EDDY1
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I have a Dell optiplex Gx1 with 500Mhz cpu, 768Mb ram and it runs great on Squeeze.
 
Old 01-31-2011, 12:25 PM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,



OP doesn't need to roll back that far to get legacy equipment to function. A 2.4 or 2.6 circa 2004 should work.

Look at Slackware 10.2, ANNOUNCE.10_2.
If you have issues with 10.2 then roll to earlier 10.1 or 9.1. My money is on 10.2 to work with the 2.4 or use the 2.6 to test out.

No need to roll back to a 2.2 kernel.
Your memory on the machine is fine, what about hdd space.

May I ask why you think that a recent version of any distro shouldn't work on this machine? Why should he use a kernel from 2004 if any recent kernel works, what would be the benefit?
As I stated before, I would recommend to go for a recent Debian or Slackware version, especially if you work without GUI, or at least a lightweight GUI, this machine will run fine. For example, I have a laptop with a Celeron 550 MHz (based on Pentium III, so same era as the OP's CPU) with only 256 MB RAM, and it runs perfectly fine with Debian Squeeze LXDE. No need for old software or a seven years old kernel.
 
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:48 PM   #13
Powder-Dust
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Puppy will work

After my Dad passed I got his old computer with something like a 633mhz and about 92mhz RAM and I installed Puppy on there. It ran!, but it was slow. Click on something and go get a cup of coffee and by the time you get back, it would finish popping up. When I said, "go get a cup of coffee", I meant down at the corner grab-n-gag! It was *that* slow!
Now that I have faster computers, Puppy whizzes, but it's a fine whizz


~ornery~
 
Old 01-31-2011, 02:22 PM   #14
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
May I ask why you think that a recent version of any distro shouldn't work on this machine? Why should he use a kernel from 2004 if any recent kernel works, what would be the benefit?
As I stated before, I would recommend to go for a recent Debian or Slackware version, especially if you work without GUI, or at least a lightweight GUI, this machine will run fine. For example, I have a laptop with a Celeron 550 MHz (based on Pentium III, so same era as the OP's CPU) with only 256 MB RAM, and it runs perfectly fine with Debian Squeeze LXDE. No need for old software or a seven years old kernel.
Glad to see it's working for you. Doesn't mean it will work for the OP.

Less chance of having difficulties with legacy hardware. You do not have the same hardware, maybe a comparable processor, less memory and most likely different chipsets thus subsystems will not be the same.

Some users can get things working with a newer Gnu/Linux. But the chances of having problems is much greater by using a newer Gnu/Linux on hardware of this type. Look at peripheral devices on this class and see how things work out. I'm not saying it is impossible but the OP would have less problems using older versions that were matched for that hardware.

You cannot get a stock model 'T' to perform like a Ferrari unless you do some major work. Not just the engine(kernel) but the chassis and hardware(chipsets/peripherals) .

What do you expect to gain by the use of the new kernel on old hardware? Security? I know that Slackware versions have security updates back to ver 8.1. Personally I've worked on a lot of hardware, I would not attempt the install unless it was absolutely necessary on such old hardware. Here on LQ, people are always asking about and expecting the install to work on dated equipment. The only way the OP will know is to try. I'm sure there will be problems, lots of problems. You turn to carry!

Performance gains? No, minimal if any therefore not noticeable!
 
Old 01-31-2011, 02:39 PM   #15
TobiSGD
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No, I don't meant security as an issue. And I have until now never seen that older hardware doesn't work with newer distros. Maybe I am a lucky guy. What most people want, also on older hardware, is somewhat recent software. Even if there are security updates for Slackware 8.1, it was released 2002 and the software that comes with it is simply outdated. And you will have hard times to compile newer software on it, if you want. Just as an example, I know that this will be a server and not a desktop system, but at the time of 10.2 Firefox was version 1.x and Samba was an early 3.0.x.
That is the whole point.
 
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