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Old 10-05-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
tracyballard
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More problems for old computer, no internet access with cable modem on older distros


I've been testing some different distros on my computer to see what works well, and so far, none of the distros that are small enough to run with 128MB ram will connect to the internet. I had no problem with Firefox on Ubuntu and Google chrome worked fine on Lubuntu, but I can't get any connectivity with older distros combined with my cable modem. I just tried Puppy 2.17 and the seamonkeys were not swimming up the internet stream. Any ideas??
 
Old 10-05-2010, 07:21 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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What model cable modem and what type of connection (ethernet or usb) is between the computer and the modem? If it's usb, it's possible that the older kernels don't support that particular cable modem. Ethernet should work all the time regardless.

Do you get an IP address on the older distros? If so, can you ping google by address (ping -c 3 74.125.127.106)? If you don't have an IP address, you have a connection issue. If you have an IP address and can ping google by address but not by name, then you have a DNS issue and need to check /etc/resolv.conf.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
TobiSGD
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I would not recommend to go with outdated distros, only because your computer is older. There a distros out there especially for this case, like Antix, Deli-Linux and so on.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 10:48 PM   #4
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I would not recommend to go with outdated distros, only because your computer is older. There a distros out there especially for this case, like Antix, Deli-Linux and so on.
Why? If the class of computer is matched with the circa of the distribution then I see no reason not to use the older versions. Why do you call them outdated? Sometimes you cannot get legacy hardware to work with newer distributions therefore why not roll back to earlier versions that will work? Sure there have been major improvements with Linux and GNU/Linux distributions but if someone has older hardware then use the one that will work.

Toss in the fact of the possibility that the hardware and system layout as a whole doesn't meet the standards of a new GNU/Linux. I would not recommend someone to attempt to use *buntu or anything for that matter on anything prior to 2000 circa hardware. Too much of a hassle!
 
Old 10-06-2010, 12:59 AM   #5
tracyballard
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I just burned a disc with Antix M8.2.1, if that won't work on my mother in law's computer, she'll just have to get a new one.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Why? If the class of computer is matched with the circa of the distribution then I see no reason not to use the older versions. Why do you call them outdated?
Generally, the reason to say that is that those older distros are no longer getting any security updates. Also, in my opinion, there have been significant improvements to the linux UI over the last several years. For those reasons, I feel you'd be better off using a newer distro tailored to old hardware than an old distro tailored to at the time up to date hardware.

In the end, the issue today is application bloat. You don't want to run heavy programs like OpenOffice on an old box. You're better off with lightweight apps. You can get a small performance increase on that old box by recompiling the kernel and cutting out as much stuff as you can that you don't need.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
Generally, the reason to say that is that those older distros are no longer getting any security updates. Also, in my opinion, there have been significant improvements to the linux UI over the last several years. For those reasons, I feel you'd be better off using a newer distro tailored to old hardware than an old distro tailored to at the time up to date hardware.

In the end, the issue today is application bloat. You don't want to run heavy programs like OpenOffice on an old box. You're better off with lightweight apps. You can get a small performance increase on that old box by recompiling the kernel and cutting out as much stuff as you can that you don't need.
Sure if you roll back to a version that is not supported by the GNU/Linux. Look at Slackware for an example goes back to version 8.1 circa 2001 security udates. If you look back to 1999 the version updates are around Slackware 7.1. I believe the current update cycle goes back to Slackware 8.2. So my suggestion is to choose wisely and know what you are working with.

It still depends on the hardware. Sure the 2.6 kernel was not actively used on some but the stable 2.4 was. Also the 2.4 is still used and is stable today. Not all GNU/Linux limit security update periods. Not a valid argument for an informed user.

When you speak of Linux UI are you speaking of DE/Desktop? Of course there have been major differences/changes in 'X' and the DE or WM association. But as for a UI for Kernel control/parameter(s), I still use 2.4 Kernel for certain machines. Works, stable thus no way a newer GNU/Linux is necessary. To lazily use a GUI and say it's improvement is no way a valid position overall.

Sure, some hold your hand distributions attempt to provide a clear, clean and concise UI to the Kernel. But why put something that does break and is another stumbling block when working with the Kernel. If you need the UI and it satisfies your need then so be it. Your still dependent on the person who has developed the UI to cover all bases. Hopefully things don't break with the GUI UI and your left with a non-functional system.

Your system to work with but when speaking holistically this is not necessarily true for all GNU/Linux.

You may get lucky with a custom 2.6 kernel using legacy hardware but most times you will have to work to get things good to go. At other times it will be impossible without major work. I have seen better results with earlier versions that matched the hardware. It all boils down to the Legacy 'hardware' support.

 
Old 10-06-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,



Sure if you roll back to a version that is not supported by the GNU/Linux. Look at Slackware for an example goes back to version 8.1 circa 2001 security udates. If you look back to 1999 the version updates are around Slackware 7.1. I believe the current update cycle goes back to Slackware 8.2. So my suggestion is to choose wisely and know what you are working with.

It still depends on the hardware. Sure the 2.6 kernel was not actively used on some but the stable 2.4 was. Also the 2.4 is still used and is stable today. Not all GNU/Linux limit security update periods. Not a valid argument for an informed user.

When you speak of Linux UI are you speaking of DE/Desktop? Of course there have been major differences/changes in 'X' and the DE or WM association. But as for a UI for Kernel control/parameter(s), I still use 2.4 Kernel for certain machines. Works, stable thus no way a newer GNU/Linux is necessary. To lazily use a GUI and say it's improvement is no way a valid position overall.

Sure, some hold your hand distributions attempt to provide a clear, clean and concise UI to the Kernel. But why put something that does break and is another stumbling block when working with the Kernel. If you need the UI and it satisfies your need then so be it. Your still dependent on the person who has developed the UI to cover all bases. Hopefully things don't break with the GUI UI and your left with a non-functional system.

Your system to work with but when speaking holistically this is not necessarily true for all GNU/Linux.

You may get lucky with a custom 2.6 kernel using legacy hardware but most times you will have to work to get things good to go. At other times it will be impossible without major work. I have seen better results with earlier versions that matched the hardware. It all boils down to the Legacy 'hardware' support.

I could be wrong, but I'm skeptical that the Slackware project is still pushing security updates to programs in the 8.1 release. Sure the kernel is still being updated and the 2.4 kernel series is still maintained and updated. But there is more to a distro than just the kernel. Sure he could try to compile newer versions of the programs on 8.1, but they may or may not install depending on the toolchain in 8.1 and the dependencies of the individual program.

I also am aware that you don't need a gui for everything. But the way the question was framed, I took it to mean that he was looking for a desktop system, which will typically want a gui interface, especially for a newbie (i.e. his mother-in-law) who is just looking for an email/web browsing distro. So UI improvements seem important in this particular case.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 05:26 PM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
I could be wrong, but I'm skeptical that the Slackware project is still pushing security updates to programs in the 8.1 release. Sure the kernel is still being updated and the 2.4 kernel series is still maintained and updated. But there is more to a distro than just the kernel. Sure he could try to compile newer versions of the programs on 8.1, but they may or may not install depending on the toolchain in 8.1 and the dependencies of the individual program.
Quote:

slackware-security from 2002


2002-11-20 - [slackware-security] New Samba package available
2002-07-31 - [slackware-security] Security updates for Slackware 8.1
2002-06-26 - [slackware-security] New OpenSSH packages available
2002-06-19 - [slackware-security] new apache/mod_ssl packages available
2002-04-25 - [slackware-security] sudo upgrade fixes a potential vulnerability
2002-03-11 - [slackware-security] cvs recompiled against updated zlib + /tmp fix
2002-03-11 - [slackware-security] rsync update fixes security problems
2002-03-11 - [slackware-security] zlib upgrade fixes vulnerability
2002-03-07 - [slackware-security] OpenSSH security problem fixed
2002-03-02 - [slackware-security] mod_php update fixes security problems
2002-01-25 - [slackware-security] rsync update fixes security problems
2002-01-21 - [slackware-security] Security updates: at, sudo, xchat
2002-01-12 - [slackware-security] Pine update fixes insecure URL-handling
2002-01-11 - [slackware-security] glibc glob overflow patched
2002-01-07 - [slackware-security] mutt remote exploit patched
You can look further at Security Advisories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
I also am aware that you don't need a gui for everything. But the way the question was framed, I took it to mean that he was looking for a desktop system, which will typically want a gui interface, especially for a newbie (i.e. his mother-in-law) who is just looking for an email/web browsing distro. So UI improvements seem important in this particular case.
And I was addressing what you presented in the quoted post in my reply to you.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 06:10 PM   #10
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
You can look further at [SIZE=-1][B]Security Advisories
Those security advisories are FROM 2002. What I meant is that you won't get a security update for the version of the package in 8.1, for example Mozilla 1.0 or Samba 2.2. Every software/distro has a limited time for security updates before the developers move on to other things and no longer patch holes. For example Debian support security updates for old stable releases for 1 year after a new stable release (so usually something like 3 years total). After that, you're on your own...

I'm sure Slackware has an excellent record for security updates (as listed by the number of advisories), but legacy vulnerabilities are found all the time and left unpatched in old outdated versions. That's all I was driving at with the security update thing.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 06:55 PM   #11
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyballard View Post
I just tried Puppy 2.17 and the seamonkeys were not swimming up the internet stream. Any ideas??
Why Puppy 2.17? Try the latest version, 5, or the reliable 4.3 (still supported, I believe). Alternatively, have you tried Vector Light?

Those people who advise an old distro for an old computer forget that you don't have an old internet connection.
 
Old 10-07-2010, 12:12 AM   #12
tracyballard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Why Puppy 2.17? Try the latest version, 5, or the reliable 4.3 (still supported, I believe). Alternatively, have you tried Vector Light?

Those people who advise an old distro for an old computer forget that you don't have an old internet connection.
from my research and other opinions, it seems likely that puppy 4 or 5 are borderline or too much for her 128mb ram.
 
Old 10-07-2010, 01:54 AM   #13
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To OP: I'm a little confused with your post.
Did Ubuntu and Lubuntu work on the mother-in-law's (MIL) computer? If so, why are you experimenting with older distros? I'm going to assume that Ubuntu and Lubuntu just ran too slow on the MIL's computer.

Depending on the liveCD, sometimes you have to click on network setup icons to establish an internet connection. By pressing on the network setup icon, you tell the computer to go do a DHCP request. I think Puppy may be one of those distros, but I'm not certain.

I would recommend you use the newer versions of distros tailored towards low resource computers. There are four that come to mind: Puppy, Damn Small, Tiny Core (smallest but not necessarily the most intuitive), and Slitaz (this one is only 30 MB). Two others to consider, though not necessary tailored for low resource computers, are Slax and Sidux.

It's more difficult to accomplish, but you can look into doing a minimal Ubuntu install and install an efficient window manager such as Openbox or Fluxbox. You will want to only do the base install. Don't do the additional installs such as Ubuntu Desktop or Xubuntu or etc. link to minimal Ubuntu install CD.
 
Old 10-08-2010, 12:32 AM   #14
tracyballard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btncix View Post
To OP: I'm a little confused with your post.
Did Ubuntu and Lubuntu work on the mother-in-law's (MIL) computer? If so, why are you experimenting with older distros? I'm going to assume that Ubuntu and Lubuntu just ran too slow on the MIL's computer.

Depending on the liveCD, sometimes you have to click on network setup icons to establish an internet connection. By pressing on the network setup icon, you tell the computer to go do a DHCP request. I think Puppy may be one of those distros, but I'm not certain.

I would recommend you use the newer versions of distros tailored towards low resource computers. There are four that come to mind: Puppy, Damn Small, Tiny Core (smallest but not necessarily the most intuitive), and Slitaz (this one is only 30 MB). Two others to consider, though not necessary tailored for low resource computers, are Slax and Sidux.

It's more difficult to accomplish, but you can look into doing a minimal Ubuntu install and install an efficient window manager such as Openbox or Fluxbox. You will want to only do the base install. Don't do the additional installs such as Ubuntu Desktop or Xubuntu or etc. link to minimal Ubuntu install CD.
no, Ubuntu and Lubuntu did not run on the MIL's computer, as stated.
 
Old 10-08-2010, 08:40 AM   #15
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btncix View Post
I would recommend you use the newer versions of distros tailored towards low resource computers. There are four that come to mind: Puppy, Damn Small, Tiny Core (smallest but not necessarily the most intuitive), and Slitaz (this one is only 30 MB). Two others to consider, though not necessary tailored for low resource computers, are Slax and Sidux.
Good suggestion, but: The latest Damn Small is from 2006, and sidux is currently in a "not-really-existent"-state, because the developer-team left the team and forked sidux to Aptosid.
 
  


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